Part 30 out of 34
pudding, vegetables. 2. Baked apple pudding, mince pies.
2130. _Monday_.--1. Hashed turkey, cold pork, mashed potatoes. 2.
2131. _Tuesday_.--1. Pea-soup made from liquor in which pork was boiled.
2. Boiled fowls and celery sauce, vegetables. 3. Baked rice pudding.
2132. _Wednesday_.--1. Roast leg of mutton, stewed Spanish onions,
potatoes. 2. Baked rolled jam pudding.
2133. _Thursday_.--1. Baked cod's head. 2. Cold mutton, roast hare,
gravy and red-currant jelly. 3. Macaroni.
2134. _Friday_.--1. Hare soup, made with stock and remains of roast
hare. 2. Hashed mutton, pork cutlets, and mashed potatoes. 3. Open
tarts, rice blancmange.
2135. _Saturday_.--1. Rump-steak-and-kidney pudding, vegetables. 2.
Mince pies, baked apple dumplings.
2136.--BILL OF FARE FOR A GAME DINNER FOR 30 PERSONS (November).
Puree of Grouse. Vase of Pheasant Soup.
Soup a la Reine.
Salmi of Fillets of Hare Salmi of
Widgeon. en Chevereuil. Woodcock.
Lark Pudding. Vase of Game Patties.
Salmi of Fillet of Pheasant Salmi of
Woodcock. and Truffles. Widgeon.
Leveret, larded and
Cold Pheasant Pie Vase of Hot raised Pie of
a la Perigord. Flowers. mixed Game.
Snipes. Pintails. Ortolans.
Golden Vase of Widgeon.
Wild Duck. Woodcock. Snipes.
_Entremets and Removes_.
Apricot Boudin a la Nesselrode. Maids of
Vol-au-Vent Vase of Gateau.
of Pears. Flowers. Genoise glace.
Maids of Plum Pudding. Compote of
Olives. Strawberry-Ice Figs.
Preserved Pineapples. Dried
Filberts. Pears. Walnuts.
Ginger-Ice Cream. Vase of Orange-Water Ice.
Dried Grapes. Preserved
Figs. Lemon-Water Ice. Olives.
2137.--SERVICE A LA RUSSE (July).
Turbot and Lobster Sauce.
Matelote d'Anguilles a la Toulouse.
Filets de Soles a la Normandie.
Riz de Veau a la Banquiere.
Filets de Poulets aux Coucombres.
Canards a la Rouennaise.
Mutton Cutlets a la Jardiniere.
Braised Beef a la Flamande.
Roast Quarter of Lamb.
Roast Saddle of Mutton.
Ham and Peas.
Turkey Poult, larded.
Mayonnaise of Chicken.
Green Peas a la Francaise.
Suedoise of Strawberries.
Compote of Cherries.
Madeira Wine Jelly.
Iced Pudding a la Nesselrode.
DESSERT AND ICES.
_Note._--Dinners a la Russe differ from ordinary dinners in the mode of
serving the various dishes. In a dinner a la Russe, the dishes are cut
up on a sideboard, and handed round to the guests, and each dish may be
considered a course. The table for a dinner a la Russe should be laid
with flowers and plants in fancy flowerpots down the middle, together
with some of the dessert dishes. A menu or bill of fare should be laid
by the side of each guest.
2138.--SERVICE A LA RUSSE (November).
Soup a la Jardiniere.
Turbot and Lobster Sauce.
Crimped Cod and Oyster Sauce.
Soles a la Normandie.
Pike and Cream Sauce.
Fried Filleted Soles.
Filets de Boeuf a la Jardiniere.
Croquettes of Game aux Champignons.
Mutton Cutlets and Tomata Sauce.
Partridges aux fines herbes.
Poulets aux Cressons.
Haunch of Mutton.
Boiled Turkey and Celery Sauce.
Charlotte aux Pommes.
Compote of Pears.
Croutes madrees aux Fruits.
DESSERT AND ICES.
_Note._--Dinners a la Russe are scarcely suitable for small
establishments; a large number of servants being required to carve; and
to help the guests; besides there being a necessity for more plates,
dishes, knives, forks, and spoons, than are usually to be found in any
other than a very large establishment. Where, however, a service a la
Russe is practicable, there it, perhaps, no mode of serving a dinner so
enjoyable as this.
2139. Much may be done in the arrangement of a supper-table, at a very
small expense, provided _taste_ and _ingenuity_ are exercised. The
colours and flavours of the various dishes should contrast nicely; there
should be plenty of fruit and flowers on the table, and the room should
be well lighted. We have endeavoured to show how the various dishes may
be placed; but of course these little matters entirely depend on the
length and width of the table used, on individual taste, whether the
tables are arranged round the room, whether down the centre, with a
cross one at the top, or whether the supper is laid in two separate
rooms, &c. &c. The garnishing of the dishes has also much to do with the
appearance of a supper-table. Hams and tongues should be ornamented with
cut vegetable flowers, raised pies with aspic jelly cut in dice, and all
the dishes garnished sufficiently to be in good taste without looking
absurd. The eye, in fact, should be as much gratified as the palate. Hot
soup is now often served at suppers, but is not placed on the table. The
servants fill the plates from a tureen on the buffet, and then hand them
to the guests: when these plates are removed, the business of supper
2140. Where small rooms and large parties necessitate having a standing
supper, many things enumerated in the following bill of fare may be
placed on the buffet. Dishes for these suppers should be selected which
may be eaten standing without any trouble. The following list may,
perhaps, assist our readers in the arrangement of a buffet for a
2141. Beef, ham, and tongue sandwiches, lobster and oyster patties,
sausage rolls, meat rolls, lobster salad, dishes of fowls, the latter
_all cut up_; dishes of sliced ham, sliced tongue, sliced beef, and
galantine of veal; various jellies, blancmanges, and creams; custards in
glasses, compotes of fruit, tartlets of jam, and several dishes of small
fancy pastry; dishes of fresh fruit, bonbons, sweetmeats, two or three
sponge cakes, a few plates of biscuits, and the buffet ornamented with
vases of fresh or artificial flowers. The above dishes are quite
sufficient for a standing supper; where more are desired, a supper must
then be laid and arranged in the usual manner.
2142.--BILL OF FARE FOR A BALL SUPPER FOR 60 PERSONS (For Winter)
garnished with Aspic Jelly.
Lobster Salad Lobster Salad.
Fruited Jelly. Mayonnaise of Fowl. Charlotte Russe.
Small Ham, garnished.
Small Pastry. Iced Savoy Cake. Biscuits.
Vanilla Cream EPERGNE, WITH FRUIT. Fruited Jelly.
Two Roast Fowls, cut up. Two Roast Fowls, cut up.
Prawns Two Boiled Fowls, with Bechamel Prawns
Biscuits Small Pastry
Custards, TRIFLE, ORNAMENTED. Custards,
in glasses. in glasses.
Raised Chicken Pie.
Lobster Salad. Lobster Salad.
Fruited Jelly. Swiss Cream.
Meringues. EPERGNE, WITH FRUIT. Meringues.
Raspberry Cream. Galantine of Veal. Fruited Jelly.
Small Pastry. Biscuits.
Raised Game Pie.
Custards, TRIFLE, ORNAMENTED Custards,
in glasses. in glasses.
Two Roast Fowls, cut up. Two Roast Fowls, cut up.
Two Boiled Fowls, with Bechamel
Biscuits. Small Pastry.
EPERGNE, WITH FRUIT.
Lobster Salad. Lobster Salad.
Fruited Jelly. Iced Savoy Cake. Blancmange.
Small Ham, garnished.
Mayonnaise of Fowl.
Charlotte Russe. Fruited Jelly.
_Note:_ When soup is served from the buffet, Mock Turtle and Julienne
may be selected. Besides the articles enumerated above, Ices, Wafers,
Biscuits, Tea, Coffee, Wines and Liqueurs will be required. Punch a la
Romaine may also be added to the list of beverages.
2143.--BILL OF FARE FOR A BALL SUPPER,
Or a Cold Collation for a Summer Entertainment, or Wedding or
Christening Breakfast for 70 or 80 Persons (July).
[Illustration: Containing the following--]
[Columns 1 and 5]
4 Blancmanges, to be placed down the table.
4 Jellies, to be placed down the table.
3 Dishes of Small Pastry.
3 Fruit Tarts.
3 Compotes of Fruit.
3 English Pines.
20 Small Dishes of various Summer Fruits.
Dish of Lobster, cut up.
Charlotte Russe a la Vanille.
Dish of Lobster, cut up.
Dish of Lobster, cut up.
Ribs of Lamb.
Two Roast Fowls.
Mayonnaise of Salmon.
Epergne, with Flowers.
Mayonnaise of Trout.
Boiled Fowls and Bechamel Sauce.
Two Roast Fowls.
Shoulder of Lamb, stuffed.
Mayonnaise of Salmon.
Epergne, with Flowers.
Mayonnaise of Trout.
Boiled Fowls and Bechamel Sauce.
Shoulder of Lamb, stuffed.
Two Roast Fowls.
Mayonnaise of Salmon.
Epergne, with Flowers.
Mayonnaise of Trout.
Boiled Fowls and Bechamel Sauce.
Dish of Lobster, cut up.
Dish of Lobster, cut up.
Charlotte Russe a la Vanille.
Veal and Ham Pie.
Dish of Lobster, cut up.
_Note_.--The length of the page will not admit of our giving the dishes
as they should be placed on the table; they should be arranged with the
large and high dishes down the centre, and the spaces filled up with the
smaller dishes, fruit, and flowers, taking care that the flavours and
colours contrast nicely, and that no two dishes of a sort come together.
This bill of fare may be made to answer three or four purposes, placing
a wedding cake or christening cake in the centre on a high stand, if
required for either of these occasions. A few dishes of fowls, lobster
salads, &c. &c., should be kept in reserve to replenish those that are
most likely to be eaten first. A joint of cold roast and boiled beef
should be placed on the buffet, as being something substantial for the
gentlemen of the party to partake of. Besides the articles enumerated in
the bill of fare, biscuits and wafers will be required, cream-and-water
ices, tea, coffee, wines, liqueurs, soda-water, ginger-beer, and
2144. It will not be necessary to give here a long bill of fare of cold
joints, &c., which may be placed on the side-board, and do duty at the
breakfast-table. Suffice it to say, that any cold meat the larder may
furnish, should be nicely garnished, and be placed on the buffet.
Collared and potted meats or fish, cold game or poultry, veal-and-ham
pies, game-and-Rump-steak pies, are all suitable dishes for the
breakfast-table; as also cold ham, tongue, &c. &c.
2145. The following list of hot dishes may perhaps assist our readers in
knowing what to provide for the comfortable meal called breakfast.
Broiled fish, such as mackerel, whiting, herrings, dried haddocks, &c.;
mutton chops and rump-steaks, broiled sheep's kidneys, kidneys a la
maitre d'hotel, sausages, plain rashers of bacon, bacon and poached
eggs, ham and poached eggs, omelets, plain boiled eggs, oeufs-au-plat,
poached eggs on toast, muffins, toast, marmalade, butter, &c. &c.
2146. In the summer, and when they are obtainable, always have a vase of
freshly-gathered flowers on the breakfast-table, and, when convenient, a
nicely-arranged dish of fruit: when strawberries are in season, these
are particularly refreshing; as also grapes, or even currants.
LUNCHEONS AND SUPPERS.
2147. The remains of cold joints, nicely garnished, a few sweets, or a
little hashed meat, poultry or game, are the usual articles placed on
the table for luncheon, with bread and cheese, biscuits, butter, &c. If
a substantial meal is desired, rump-steaks or mutton chops may he
served, as also veal cutlets, kidneys, or any dish of that kind. In
families where there is a nursery, the mistress of the house often
partakes of the meal with the children, and makes it her luncheon. In
the summer, a few dishes of fresh fruit should be added to the luncheon,
or, instead of this, a compote of fruit or fruit tart, or pudding.
2148. Of suppers we have little to say, as we have already given two
bills of fare for a large party, which will answer very well for a
smaller number, by reducing the quantity of dishes and by omitting a
few. Hot suppers are now very little in request, as people now generally
dine at an hour which precludes the possibility of requiring supper; at
all events, not one of a substantial kind. Should, however, a bill of
fare be required, one of those under the head of DINNERS, with slight
alterations, will be found to answer for a hot supper.
BILL OF FARE FOR A PICNIC FOR 40 PERSONS.
2149. A joint of cold roast beef, a joint of cold boiled beef, 2 ribs of
lamb, 2 shoulders of lamb, 4 roast fowls, 2 roast ducks, 1 ham, 1
tongue, 2 veal-and-ham pies, 2 pigeon pies, 6 medium-sized lobsters, 1
piece of collared calf's head, 18 lettuces, 6 baskets of salad, 6
2150. Stewed fruit well sweetened, and put into glass bottles well
corked; 3 or 4 dozen plain pastry biscuits to eat with the stewed fruit,
2 dozen fruit turnovers, 4 dozen cheesecakes, 2 cold cabinet puddings in
moulds, 2 blancmanges in moulds, a few jam puffs, 1 large cold
plum-pudding (this must be good), a few baskets of fresh fruit, 3 dozen
plain biscuits, a piece of cheese, 6 lbs. of butter (this, of course,
includes the butter for tea), 4 quartern loaves of household broad, 3
dozen rolls, 6 loaves of tin bread (for tea), 2 plain plum cakes, 2
pound cakes, 2 sponge cakes, a tin of mixed biscuits, 1/2 lb, of tea.
Coffee is not suitable for a picnic, being difficult to make.
Things not to be forgotten at a Picnic.
2151. A stick of horseradish, a bottle of mint-sauce well corked, a
bottle of salad dressing, a bottle of vinegar, made mustard, pepper,
salt, good oil, and pounded sugar. If it can be managed, take a little
ice. It is scarcely necessary to say that plates, tumblers,
wine-glasses, knives, forks, and spoons, must not be forgotten; as also
teacups and saucers, 3 or 4 teapots, some lump sugar, and milk, if this
last-named article cannot be obtained in the neighbourhood. Take 3
2152. _Beverages_.--3 dozen quart bottles of ale, packed in hampers;
ginger-beer, soda-water, and lemonade, of each 2 dozen bottles; 6
bottles of sherry, 6 bottles of claret, champagne a discretion, and any
other light wine that may be preferred, and 2 bottles of brandy. Water
can usually be obtained so it is useless to take it.
2153. It is the custom of "Society" to abuse its servants,--_a facon de
parler_, such as leads their lords and masters to talk of the weather,
and, when rurally inclined, of the crops,--leads matronly ladies, and
ladies just entering on their probation in that honoured and honourable
state, to talk of servants, and, as we are told, wax eloquent over the
greatest plague in life while taking a quiet cup of tea. Young men at
their clubs, also, we are told, like to abuse their "fellows," perhaps
not without a certain pride and pleasure at the opportunity of
intimating that they enjoy such appendages to their state. It is another
conviction of "Society" that the race of good servants has died out, at
least in England, although they do order these things better in France;
that there is neither honesty, conscientiousness, nor the careful and
industrious habits which distinguished the servants of our grandmothers
and great-grandmothers; that domestics no longer know their place; that
the introduction of cheap silks and cottons, and, still more recently,
those ambiguous "materials" and tweeds, have removed the landmarks
between the mistress and her maid, between the master and his man.
2154. When the distinction really depends on things so insignificant,
this is very probably the case; when the lady of fashion chooses her
footman without any other consideration than his height, shape, and
_tournure_ of his calf, it is not surprising that she should find a
domestic who has no attachment for the family, who considers the figure
he cuts behind her carriage, and the late hours he is compelled to keep,
a full compensation for the wages he exacts, for the food he wastes, and
for the perquisites he can lay his hands on. Nor should the fast young
man, who chooses his groom for his knowingness in the ways of the turf
and in the tricks of low horse-dealers, be surprised if he is sometimes
the victim of these learned ways. But these are the exceptional cases,
which prove the existence of a better state of things. The great masses
of society among us are not thus deserted; there are few families of
respectability, from the shopkeeper in the next street to the nobleman
whose mansion dignifies the next square, which do not contain among
their dependents attached and useful servants; and where these are
absent altogether, there are good reasons for it. The sensible master
and the kind mistress know, that if servants depend on them for their
means of living, in their turn they are dependent on their servants for
very many of the comforts of life; and that, with a proper amount of
care in choosing servants, and treating them like reasonable beings, and
making slight excuses for the shortcomings of human nature, they will,
save in some exceptional case, be tolerably well served, and, in most
instances, surround themselves with attached domestics.
2155. This remark, which is applicable to all domestics, is especially
so to men-servants. Families accustomed to such attendants have always
about them humble dependents, whose children have no other prospect than
domestic service to look forward to; to them it presents no degradation,
but the reverse, to be so employed; they are initiated step by step into
the mysteries of the household, with the prospect of rising in the
service, if it is a house admitting of promotion,--to the respectable
position of butler or house-steward. In families of humbler pretensions,
where they must look for promotion elsewhere, they know that can only be
attained by acquiring the goodwill of their employers. Can there be any
stronger security for their good conduct,--any doubt that, in the mass
of domestic servants, good conduct is the rule, the reverse the
2156. The number of the male domestics in a family varies according to
the wealth and position of the master, from the owner of the ducal
mansion, with a retinue of attendants, at the head of which is the
chamberlain and house-steward, to the occupier of the humbler house,
where a single footman, or even the odd man-of-all-work, is the only
male retainer. The majority of gentlemen's establishments probably
comprise a servant out of livery, or butler, a footman, and coachman, or
coachman and groom, where the horses exceed two or three.
DUTIES OF THE BUTLER.
2157. The domestic duties of the butler are to bring in the eatables at
breakfast, and wait upon the family at that meal, assisted by the
footman, and see to the cleanliness of everything at table. On taking
away, he removes the tray with the china and plate, for which he is
responsible. At luncheon, he arranges the meal, and waits unassisted,
the footman being now engaged in other duties. At dinner, he places the
silver and plated articles on the table, sees that everything is in its
place, and rectifies what is wrong. He carries in the first dish, and
announces in the drawing-room that dinner is on the table, and
respectfully stands by the door until the company are seated, when he
takes his place behind his master's chair on the left, to remove the
covers, handing them to the other attendants to carry out. After the
first course of plates is supplied, his place is at the sideboard to
serve the wines, but only when called on.
2158. The first course ended, he rings the cook's bell, and hands the
dishes from the table to the other servants to carry away, receiving
from them the second course, which he places on the table, removing the
covers as before, and again taking his place at the sideboard.
2159. At dessert, the slips being removed, the butler receives the
dessert from the other servants, and arranges it on the table, with
plates and glasses, and then takes his place behind his master's chair
to hand the wines and ices, while the footman stands behind his mistress
for the same purpose, the other attendants leaving the room. Where the
old-fashioned practice of having the dessert on the polished table,
without any cloth, is still adhered to, the butler should rub off any
marks made by the hot dishes before arranging the dessert.
2160. Before dinner, he has satisfied himself that the lamps, candles,
or gas-burners are in perfect order, if not lighted, which will usually
be the case. Having served every one with their share of the dessert,
put the fires in order (when these are used), and seen the lights are
all right, at a signal from his master, he and the footman leave the
2161. He now proceeds to the drawing-room, arranges the fireplace, and
sees to the lights; he then returns to his pantry, prepared to answer
the bell, and attend to the company, while the footman is clearing away
and cleaning the plate and glasses.
2162. At tea he again attends. At bedtime he appears with the candles;
he locks up the plate, secures doors and windows, and sees that all the
fires are safe.
2163. In addition to these duties, the butler, where only one footman is
kept, will be required to perform some of the duties of the valet, to
pay bills, and superintend the other servants. But the real duties of
the butler are in the wine-cellar; there he should be competent to
advise his master as to the price and quality of the wine to be laid in;
"fine," bottle, cork, and seal it, and place it in the binns. 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; so
that the book should always show the contents of the cellar.
2164. The office of butler is thus one of very great trust in a
household. Here, as elsewhere, honesty is the best policy: the
butler should make it his business to understand the proper
treatment of the different wines under his charge, which he can
easily do from the wine-merchant, and faithfully attend to it;
his own reputation will soon compensate for the absence of
bribes from unprincipled wine-merchants, if he serves a generous
and hospitable master. Nothing spreads more rapidly in society
than the reputation of a good wine-cellar, and all that is
required is wines well chosen and well cared for; and this a
little knowledge, carefully applied, will soon supply.
2165. The butler, we have said, has charge of the contents of the
cellars, and it is his duty to keep them in a proper condition, to fine
down wine in wood, bottle it off, and store it away in places suited to
the sorts. Where wine comes into the cellar ready bottled, it is usual
to return the same number of empty bottles; the butler has not, in this
case, the same inducements to keep the bottles of the different sorts
separated; but where the wine is bottled in the house, he will find his
account, not only in keeping them separate, but in rinsing them well,
and even washing them with clean water as soon as they are empty.
2166. There are various modes of fining wine: isinglass,
gelatine, and gum Arabic are all used for the purpose. Whichever
of these articles is used, the process is always the same.
Supposing eggs (the cheapest) to be used,--Draw a gallon or so
of the wine, and mix one quart of it with the whites of four
eggs, by stirring it with a whisk; afterwards, when thoroughly
mixed, pour it back into the cask through the bunghole, and stir
up the whole cask, in a rotatory direction, with a clean split
stick inserted through the bunghole. Having stirred it
sufficiently, pour in the remainder of the wine drawn off, until
the cask is full; then stir again, skimming off the bubbles that
rise to the surface. When thoroughly mixed by stirring, close
the bunghole, and leave it to stand for three or four days. This
quantity of clarified wine will fine thirteen dozen of port or
sherry. The other clearing ingredients are applied in the same
manner, the material being cut into small pieces, and dissolved
in the quart of wine, and the cask stirred in the same manner.
2167. _To Bottle Wine_.--Having thoroughly washed and dried the
bottles, supposing they have been before used for the same kind
of wine, provide corks, which will be improved by being slightly
boiled, or at least steeped in hot water,--a wooden hammer or
mallet, a bottling-boot, and a squeezer for the corks. Bore a
hole in the lower part of the cask with a gimlet, receiving the
liquid stream which follows in the bottle and filterer, which is
placed in a tub or basin. This operation is best performed by
two persons, one to draw the wine, the other to cork the
bottles. The drawer is to see that the bottles are up to the
mark, but not too full, the bottle being placed in a clean tub
to prevent waste. The corking-boot is buckled by a strap to the
knee, the bottle placed in it, and the cork, after being
squeezed in the press, driven in by a flat wooden mallet.
2168. As the wine draws near to the bottom of the cask, a thick
piece of muslin is placed in the strainer, to prevent the
viscous grounds from passing into the bottle.
2169. Having carefully counted the bottles, they are stored away
in their respective binns, a layer of sand or sawdust being
placed under the first tier, and another over it; a second tier
is laid over this, protected by a lath, the head of the second
being laid to the bottom of the first; over this another bed of
sawdust is laid, not too thick, another lath; and so on till the
binn is filled.
2170. Wine so laid in will be ready for use according to its
quality and age. Port wine, old in the wood, will be ready to
drink in five or six months; but if it is a fruity wine, it will
improve every year. Sherry, if of good quality, will be fit to
drink as soon as the "sickness" (as its first condition after
bottling is called) ceases, and will also improve; but the
cellar must be kept at a perfectly steady temperature, neither
too hot nor too cold, but about 55 deg. or 60 deg., and absolutely free
from draughts of cold air.
DUTIES OF THE FOOTMAN.
2171. Where a single footman, or odd man, is the only male servant,
then, whatever his ostensible position, he is required to make himself
generally useful. He has to clean the knives and shoes, the furniture,
the plate; answer the visitors who call, the drawing-room and parlour
bells; and do all the errands. His life is no sinecure; and a methodical
arrangement of his time will be necessary, in order to perform his many
duties with any satisfaction to himself or his master.
2172. The footman only finds himself in stockings, shoes, and
washing. Where silk stockings, or other extra articles of linen
are worn, they are found by the family, as well as his livery, a
working dress, consisting of a pair of overalls, a waistcoat, a
fustian jacket, with a white or jean one for times when he is
liable to be called to answer the door or wait at breakfast;
and, on quitting his service, he is expected to leave behind him
any livery had within six months.
2173. The footman is expected to rise early, in order to get through all
his dirty work before the family are stirring. Boots and shoes, and
knives and forks, should be cleaned, lamps in use trimmed, his master's
clothes brushed, the furniture rubbed over; so that he may put aside his
working dress, tidy himself, and appear in a clean jean jacket to lay
the cloth and prepare breakfast for the family.
2174. We need hardly dwell on the boot-cleaning process: three
good brushes and good blacking must be provided; one of the
brushes hard, to brush off the mud; the other soft, to lay on
the blacking; the third of a medium hardness, for polishing; and
each should be kept for its particular use. The blacking should
be kept corked up, except when in use, and applied to the brush
with a sponge tied to a stick, which, when put away, rests in a
notch cut in the cork. When boots come in very muddy, it is a
good practice to wash off the mud, and wipe them dry with a
sponge; then leave them to dry very gradually on their sides,
taking care they are not placed near the fire, or scorched. Much
delicacy of treatment is required in cleaning ladies' boots, so
as to make the leather look well-polished, and the upper part
retain a fresh appearance, with the lining free from hand-marks,
which are very offensive to a lady of refined tastes.
2175. Patent leather boots require to be wiped with a wet
sponge, and afterwards with a soft dry cloth, and occasionally
with a soft cloth and sweet oil, blacking and polishing the edge
of the soles in the usual way, but so as not to cover the patent
polish with blacking. A little milk may also be used with very
good effect for patent leather boots.
2176. Top boots are still occasionally worn by gentlemen. While
cleaning the lower part in the usual manner, protect the tops,
by inserting a cloth or brown paper under the edges and bringing
it over them. In cleaning the tops, let the covering fall down
over the boot; wash the tops clean with soap and flannel, and
rub out any spots with pumice-stone. If the tops are to be
whiter, dissolve an ounce of oxalic acid and half an ounce of
pumice-stone in a pint of soft water; if a brown colour is
intended, mix an ounce of muriatic acid, half an ounce of alum,
half an ounce of gum Arabic, and half an ounce of spirit of
lavender, in a pint and a half of skimmed milk "turned." These
mixtures apply by means of a sponge, and polish, when dry, with
a rubber made of soft flannel.
2177. Knives are now generally cleaned by means of Kent's or
Masters's machine, which gives very little trouble, and is very
effective; before, however, putting the knives into the machine,
it is highly necessary that they be first washed in a little
warm (not hot) water, and then thoroughly wiped: if put into the
machine with any grease on them, it adheres to the brushes, and
consequently renders them unfit to use for the next knives that
may be put in. When this precaution is not taken, the machine
must come to pieces, so causing an immense amount of trouble,
which may all be avoided by having the knives thoroughly free
from grease before using the machine. Brushes are also used for
cleaning forks, which facilitate the operation. When knives are
so cleaned, see that they are carefully polished, wiped, and
with a good edge, the ferules and prongs free from dirt, and
place them in the basket with the handles all one way.
2178. Lamp-trimming requires a thorough acquaintance with the
mechanism; after that, constant attention to cleanliness, and an
occasional entire clearing out with hot water: when this is
done, all the parts should be carefully dried before filling
again with oil. When lacquered, wipe the lacquered parts with a
soft brush and cloth, and wash occasionally with weak soapsuds,
wiping carefully afterwards. Brass lamps may be cleaned with oil
and rottenstone every day when trimmed. With bronze, and other
ornamental lamps, more care will be required, and soft flannel
and oil only used, to prevent the removal of the bronze or
enamel. Brass-work, or any metal-work not lacquered, is cleaned
by a little oil and rottenstone made into a paste, or with fine
emery-powder and oil mixed in the same manner. A small portion
of sal ammoniac, beat into a fine powder and moistened with soft
water, rubbed over brass ornaments, and heated over a charcoal
fire, and rubbed dry with bran or whitening, will give to
brass-work the brilliancy of gold. In trimming moderator lamps,
let the wick be cut evenly all round; as, if left higher in one
place than it is in another, it will cause it to smoke and burn
badly. The lamp should then be filled with oil from a feeder,
and afterwards well wiped with a cloth or rag kept for the
purpose. If it can be avoided, never wash the chimneys of a
lamp, as it causes them to crack when they become hot. Small
sticks, covered with wash-leather pads, are the best things to
use for cleaning the glasses inside, and a clean duster for
polishing the outside. The globe of a moderator lamp should be
occasionally washed in warm soap-and-water, then well rinsed in
cold water, and either wiped dry or left to drain. Where
candle-lamps are used, take out the springs occasionally, and
free them well from the grease that adheres to them.
2179. French polish, so universally applied to furniture, is
easily kept in condition by dusting and rubbing with a soft
cloth, or a rubber of old silk; but dining-tables can only be
kept in order by hard rubbing, or rather by quick rubbing, which
warms the wood and removes all spots.
2180. Brushing clothes is a very simple but very necessary
operation. Fine cloths require to be brushed lightly, and with
rather a soft brush, except where mud is to be removed, when a
hard one is necessary, being previously beaten lightly to
dislodge the dirt. Lay the garment on a table, and brush it in
the direction of the nap. Having brushed it properly, turn the
sleeves back to the collar, so that the folds may come at the
elbow-joints; next turn the lappels or sides back over the
folded sleeves; then lay the skirts over level with the collar,
so that the crease may fall about the centre, and double one
half over the other, so as the fold comes in the centre of the
2181. Having got through his dirty work, the single footman has now to
clean himself and prepare the breakfast. He lays the cloth on the table;
over it the breakfast-cloth, and sets the breakfast things in order, and
then proceeds to wait upon his master, if he has any of the duties of a
valet to perform.
2182. Where a valet is not kept, a portion of his duties falls to the
footman's share,--brushing the clothes among others. When the hat is
silk, it requires brushing every day with a soft brush; after rain, it
requires wiping the way of the nap before drying, and, when nearly dry,
brushing with the soft brush and with the hat-stick in it. If the
footman is required to perform any part of a valet's duties, he will
have to see that the housemaid lights a fire in the dressing-room in due
time; that the room is dusted and cleaned; that the washhand-ewer is
filled with soft water; and that the bath, whether hot or cold, is ready
when required; that towels are at hand; that hair-brushes and combs are
properly cleansed, and in their places; that hot water is ready at the
hour ordered; the dressing-gown and slippers in their place, the clean
linen aired, and the clothes to be worn for the day in their proper
places. After the master has dressed, it will be the footman's duty to
restore everything to its place properly cleansed and dry, and the whole
restored to order.
2183. At breakfast, when there is no butler, the footman carries up the
tea-urn, and, assisted by the housemaid, he waits during breakfast.
Breakfast over, he removes the tray and other things off the table,
folds up the breakfast-cloth, and sets the room in order, by sweeping
up all crumbs, shaking the cloth, and laying it on the table again,
making up the fire, and sweeping up the hearth.
2184. At luncheon-time nearly the same routine is observed, except where
the footman is either out with the carriage or away on other business,
when, in the absence of any butler, the housemaid must assist.
2185. For dinner, the footman lays the cloth, taking care that the table
is not too near the fire, if there is one, and that passage-room is
left. A tablecloth should be laid without a wrinkle; and this requires
two persons: over this the slips are laid, which are usually removed
preparatory to placing dessert on the table. He prepares knives, forks,
and glasses, with five or six plates for each person. This done, he
places chairs enough for the party, distributing them equally on each
side of the table, and opposite to each a napkin neatly folded, within
it a piece of bread or small roll, and a knife on the right side of each
plate, a fork on the left, and a carving-knife and fork at the top and
bottom of the table, outside the others, with the rests opposite to
them, and a gravy-spoon beside the knife. The fish-slice should be at
the top, where the lady of the house, with the assistance of the
gentleman next to her, divides the fish, and the soup-ladle at the
bottom: it is sometimes usual to add a dessert-knife and fork; at the
same time, on the right side also of each plate, put a wine-glass for as
many kinds of wine as it is intended to hand round, and a finger-glass
or glass-cooler about four inches from the edge. The latter are
frequently put on the table with the dessert.
2186. About half an hour before dinner, he rings the dinner-bell, where
that is the practice, and occupies himself with carrying up everything
he is likely to require. At the expiration of the time, having
communicated with the cook, he rings the real dinner-bell, and proceeds
to take it up with such assistance as he can obtain. Having ascertained
that all is in order, that his own dress is clean and presentable, and
his white cotton gloves are without a stain, he announces in the
drawing-room that dinner is served, and stands respectfully by the door
until the company are seated: he places himself on the left, behind his
master, who is to distribute the soup; where soup and fish are served
together, his place will be at his mistress's left hand; but he must be
on the alert to see that whoever is assisting him, whether male or
female, are at their posts. If any of the guests has brought his own
servant with him, his place is behind his master's chair, rendering such
assistance to others as he can, while attending to his master's wants
throughout the dinner, so that every guest has what he requires. This
necessitates both activity and intelligence, and should be done without
bustle, without asking any questions, except where it is the custom of
the house to hand round dishes or wine, when it will be necessary to
mention, in a quiet and unobtrusive manner, the dish or wine you
2187. Salt-cellars should be placed on the table in number
sufficient for the guests, so that each may help themselves, or,
at least, their immediate neighbours.
DINNERS A LA RUSSE.
2188. In some houses the table is laid out with plate and glass,
and ornamented with flowers, the dessert only being placed on
the table, the dinner itself being placed on the sideboard, and
handed round in succession, in courses of soup, fish, entries,
meat, game, and sweets. This is not only elegant but economical,
as fewer dishes are required, the symmetry of the table being
made up with the ornaments and dessert. The various dishes are
also handed round when hot; but it involves additional and
superior attendance, as the wines are also handed round; and
unless the servants are very active and intelligent, many
blunders are likely to be made. (See p. 954.)
2189. While attentive to all, the footman should be obtrusive to none;
he should give nothing but on a waiter, and always hand it with the left
hand and on the left side of the person he serves, and hold it so that
the guest may take it with ease. In lifting dishes from the table, he
should use both hands, and remove them with care, so that nothing is
spilt on the table-cloth or on the dresses of the guests.
2190. Masters as well as servants sometimes make mistakes; but it is not
expected that a servant will correct any omissions, even if he should
have time to notice them, although with the best intentions: thus it
would not be correct, for instance, if he observed that his master took
wine with the ladies all round, as some gentlemen still continue to do,
but stopped at some one:--to nudge him on the shoulder and say, as was
done by the servant of a Scottish gentleman, "What ails you at her in
the green gown?" It will be better to leave the lady unnoticed than for
the servant thus to turn his master into ridicule.
2191. During dinner each person's knife, fork, plate, and spoon should
be changed as soon as he has done with it; the vegetables and sauces
belonging to the different dishes presented without remark to the
guests; and the footman should tread lightly in moving round, and, if
possible, should bear in mind, if there is a wit or humorist of the
party, whose good things keep the table in a roar, that they are not
expected to reach his ears.
2192. In opening wine, let it be done quietly, and without
shaking the bottle; if crusted, let it be inclined to the
crusted side, and decanted while in that position. In opening
champagne, it is not necessary to discharge it with a pop;
properly cooled, the cork is easily extracted without an
explosion; when the cork is out, the mouth of the bottle should
be wiped with the napkin over the footman's arm.
2193. At the end of the first course, notice is conveyed to the cook,
who is waiting to send up the second, which is introduced in the same
way as before; the attendants who remove the fragments, carrying the
dishes from the kitchen, and handing them to the footman or butler,
whose duty it is to arrange them on the table. After dinner, the
dessert-glasses and wines are placed on the table by the footman, who
places himself behind his master's chair, to supply wine and hand round
the ices and other refreshments, all other servants leaving the room.
2194. As soon as the drawing-room bell rings for tea, the footman enters
with the tray, which has been previously prepared; hands the tray round
to the company, with cream and sugar, the tea and coffee being generally
poured out, while another attendant hands cakes, toast, or biscuits. If
it is an ordinary family party, where this social meal is prepared by
the mistress, he carries the urn or kettle, as the case may be; hands
round the toast, or such other eatable as may be required, removing the
whole in the same manner when tea is over.
2195. After each meal, the footman's place is in his pantry:
here perfect order should prevail--a place for everything and
everything in its place. A sink, with hot and cold water laid
on, is very desirable,--cold absolutely necessary. Wooden bowls
or tubs of sufficient capacity are required, one for hot and
another for cold water. Have the bowl three parts full of clean
hot water; in this wash all plate and plated articles which are
greasy, wiping them before cleaning with the brush.
2196. The footman in small families, where only one man is kept,
has many of the duties of the upper servants to perform as well
as his own, and more constant occupation; he will also have the
arrangement of his time more immediately under his own control,
and he will do well to reduce it to a methodical division. All
his rough work should be done before breakfast is ready, when he
must appear clean, and in a presentable state. After breakfast,
when everything belonging to his pantry is cleaned and put in
its place, the furniture in the dining and drawing rooms
requires rubbing. Towards noon, the parlour luncheon is to be
prepared; and he must be at his mistress's disposal to go out
with the carriage, or follow her if she walks out.
2197. Glass is a beautiful and most fragile article: hence it
requires great care in washing. A perfectly clean wooden bowl is
best for this operation, one for moderately hot and another for
cold water. Wash the glasses well in the first and rinse them in
the second, and turn them down on a linen cloth folded two or
three times, to drain for a few minutes. When sufficiently
drained, wipe them with a cloth and polish with a finer one,
doing so tenderly and carefully. Accidents will happen; but
nothing discredits a servant in the drawing-room more than
continual reports of breakages, which, of course, must reach
2198. Decanters and water-jugs require still more tender
treatment in cleaning, inasmuch as they are more costly to
replace. Fill them about two-thirds with hot but not boiling
water, and put in a few pieces of well-soaped brown paper; leave
them thus for two or three hours; then shake the water up and
down in the decanters; empty this out, rinse them well with
clean cold water, and put them in a rack to drain. When dry,
polish them outside and inside, as far as possible, with a fine
cloth. To remove the crust of port or other wines, add a little
muriatic acid to the water, and let it remain for some time.
2199. When required to go out with the carriage, it is the footman's
duty to see that it has come to the door perfectly clean, and that the
glasses, and sashes, and linings, are free from dust. 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.
2200. It is the footman's duty to carry messages or letters for his
master or mistress to their friends, to the post, or to the
tradespeople; and nothing is more important than dispatch and exactness
in doing so, although writing even the simplest message is now the
ordinary and very proper practice. Dean Swift, among his other quaint
directions, all of which are to be read by contraries, recommends a
perusal of all such epistles, in order that you may be the more able to
fulfil your duty to your master. An old lady of Forfarshire had one of
those odd old Caleb Balderston sort of servants, who construed the Dean
of St. Patrick more literally. On one occasion, when dispatch was of
some importance, knowing his inquiring nature, she called her Scotch
Paul Pry to her, opened the note, and read it to him herself, saying,
"Now, Andrew, you ken a' aboot it, and needna' stop to open and read it,
but just take it at once." Probably most of the notes you are expected
to carry might, with equal harmlessness, be communicated to you; but it
will be better not to take so lively an interest in your mistress's
2201. Politeness and civility to visitors is one of the things masters
and mistresses have a right to expect, and should exact rigorously. When
visitors present themselves, the servant charged with the duty of
opening the door will open it promptly, and answer, without hesitation,
if the family are "not at home," or "engaged;" which generally means the
same thing, and might be oftener used with advantage to morals. On the
contrary, if he has no such orders, he will answer affirmatively, open
the door wide to admit them, and precede them to open the door of the
drawing-room. If the family are not there, he will place chairs for
them, open the blinds (if the room is too dark), and intimate civilly
that he goes to inform his mistress. If the lady is in her drawing-room,
he announces the name of the visitors, having previously acquainted
himself with it. In this part of his duty it is necessary to be very
careful to repeat the names correctly; mispronouncing names is very apt
to give offence, and leads sometimes to other disagreeables. The writer
was once initiated into some of the secrets on the "other side" of a
legal affair in which he took an interest, before he could correct a
mistake made by the servant in announcing him. When the visitor is
departing, the servant should be at hand, ready, when rung for, to open
the door; he should open it with a respectful manner, and close it
gently when the visitors are fairly beyond the threshold. When several
visitors arrive together, he should take care not to mix up the
different names together, where they belong to the same family, as Mr.,
Mrs., and Miss; if they are strangers, he should announce each as
distinctly as possible.
2202. _Receptions and Evening Parties_.--The drawing-rooms being
prepared, the card-tables laid out with cards and counters, and such
other arrangements as are necessary made for the reception of the
company, the rooms should be lighted up as the hour appointed
approaches. Attendants in the drawing-room, even more than in the
dining-room, should move about actively but noiselessly; no creaking of
shoes, which is an abomination; watching the lights from time to time,
so as to keep up their brilliancy. But even if the attendant likes a
game of cribbage or whist himself, he must not interfere in his master
or mistress's game, nor even seem to take an interest in it. We once
knew a lady who had a footman, and both were fond of a game of
cribbage,--John in the kitchen, the lady in her drawing-room. The lady
was a giver of evening parties, where she frequently enjoyed her
favourite amusement. While handing about the tea and toast, John could
not always suppress his disgust at her mistakes. "There is more in that
hand, ma'am," he has been known to say; or, "Ma'am, you forgot to count
his nob;" in fact, he identified himself with his mistress's game, and
would have lost twenty places rather than witness a miscount. It is not
necessary to adopt his example on this point, although John had many
qualities a good servant might copy with advantage.
THE COACHHOUSE AND STABLES.
2203. THE HORSE is the noblest of quadrupeds, whether we view
him in his strength, his sagacity, or his beauty. He is also the
most useful to man of all the animal creation; but his delicacy
is equal to his power and usefulness. No other animal, probably,
is so dependent on man in the state of domestication to which he
has been reduced, or deteriorates so rapidly under exposure, bad
feeding, or bad grooming. It is, therefore, a point of humanity,
not to speak of its obvious impolicy, for the owner of horses to
overlook any neglect in their feeding or grooming. His interest
dictates that so valuable an animal should be well housed, well
fed, and well groomed; and he will do well to acquire so much of
stable lore as will enable him to judge of these points himself.
In a general way, where a horse's coat is habitually rough and
untidy, there is a sad want of elbow-grease in the stable. When
a horse of tolerable breeding is dull and spiritless, he is
getting ill or badly fed; and where he is observed to perspire
much in the stables, is overfed, and probably eats his litter in
addition to his regular supply of food.
2204. _Stables_.--The architectural form of the stables will be
subject to other influences than ours; we confine ourselves,
therefore, to their internal arrangements. They should be roomy
in proportion to the number of stalls; warm, with good
ventilation, and perfectly free from cold draughts; the stalls
roomy, without excess, with good and well-trapped drainage, so
as to exclude bad smells; a sound ceiling to prevent the
entrance of dust from the hayloft, which is usually above them;
and there should be plenty of light, coming, however, either
from above or behind, so as not to glare in the horse's eye.
2205. _Heat_.--The first of these objects is attained, if the
stables are kept within a degree or two of 50 deg. in winter, and
60 deg. in summer; although some grooms insist on a much higher
temperature, in the interests of their own labour.
2206. _Ventilation_ is usually attained by the insertion of one
or more tubes or boxes of wood or iron through the ceiling and
the roof, with a sloping covering over the opening, to keep out
rain, and valves or ventilators below to regulate the
atmosphere, with openings in the walls for the admission of
fresh air: this is still a difficulty, however; for the
effluvium of the stable is difficult to dispel, and draughts
must be avoided. This is sometimes accomplished by means of
hollow walls with gratings at the bottom outside, for the exit
of bad air, which is carried down through the hollow walls and
discharged at the bottom, while, for the admission of fresh air,
the reverse takes place: the fresh by this means gets diffused
and heated before it is discharged into the stable.
2207. _The Stalls_ should be divided by partitions of wood-work
eight or nine feet high at the head and six at the heels, and
nine feet deep, so as to separate each horse from its neighbour.
A hay-rack placed within easy reach of the horse, of wood or
iron, occupies either a corner or the whole breadth of the
stall, which should be about six feet for on ordinary-sized
horse. A manger, formerly of wood, but of late years more
generally of iron lined with enamel, occupies a corner of the
stall. The pavement of the stall should be nearly level, with a
slight incline towards the gutter, to keep the bed dry, paved
with hard Dutch brick laid on edge, or asphalte, or smithy
clinkers, or rubble-stones, laid in strong cement. In the
centre, about five feet from the wall, a grating should be
firmly fixed in the pavement, and in communication with a
well-trapped drain to carry off the water; the gutter outside
the stall should also communicate with the drains by trapped
openings. The passage between the stall and the hall should be
from five to six feet broad at least; on the wall, opposite to
each stall, pegs should be placed for receiving the harness and
other things in daily use.
2208. _A Harness-room_ is indispensable to every stable. It
should be dry and airy, and furnished with a fireplace and
boiler, both for the protection of the harness and to prepare
mashes for the horses when required. The partition-wall should
be boarded where the harness goes, with pegs to hang the various
pieces of harness on, with saddle-trees to rest the saddles on,
a cupboard for the brushes, sponges, and leathers, and a lock-up
2209. _The furniture_ of a stable with coachhouse, consists of
coach-mops, jacks for raising the wheels, horse-brushes,
spoke-brushes, water-brushes, crest and bit-brushes,
dandy-brushes, currycombs, birch and heath brooms,
trimming-combs, scissors and pickers, oil-cans and brushes,
harness-brushes of three sorts, leathers, sponges for horse and
carriage, stable-forks, dung-baskets or wheelbarrow, corn-sieves
and measures, horse-cloths and stable pails, horn or glass
lanterns. Over the stables there should be accommodation for the
coachman or groom to sleep. Accidents sometimes occur, and he
should be at hand to interfere.
DUTIES OF THE COACHMAN, GROOM, AND STABLE-BOY.
2210. _The Establishment_ we have in view will consist of coachman,
groom, and stable-boy, who are capable of keeping in perfect order four
horses, and perhaps the pony. Of this establishment the coachman is
chief. Besides skill in driving, he should possess a good general
knowledge of horses; he has usually to purchase provender, to see that
the horses are regularly fed and properly groomed, watch over their
condition, apply simple remedies to trifling ailments in the animals
under his charge, and report where he observes symptoms of more serious
ones which he does not understand. He has either to clean the carriage
himself, or see that the stable-boy does it properly.
2211. _The Groom's_ first duties are to keep his horses in condition;
but he is sometimes expected to perform the duties of a valet, to ride
out with his master, on occasions, to wait at table, and otherwise
assist in the house: in these cases, he should have the means of
dressing himself, and keeping his clothes entirely away from the
stables. In the morning, about six o'clock, or rather before, the
stables should be opened and cleaned out, and the horses fed, first by
cleaning the rack and throwing in fresh hay, putting it lightly in the
rack, that the horses may get it out easily; a short time afterwards
their usual morning feed of oats should be put into the manger. While
this is going on, the stable-boy has been removing the stable-dung, and
sweeping and washing out the stables, both of which should be done every
day, and every corner carefully swept, in order to keep the stable sweet
and clean. The real duties of the groom follow: where the horses are not
taken out for early exercise, the work of grooming immediately
commences. "Having tied up the head," to use the excellent description
of the process given by old Barrett, "take a currycomb and curry him all
over the body, to raise the dust, beginning first at the neck, holding
the left cheek of the headstall in the left hand, and curry him from the
setting-on of his head all over the body to the buttocks, down to the
point of the hock; then change your hands, and curry him before, on his
breast, and, laying your right arm over his back, join your right side
to his left, and curry him all under the belly near the fore-bowels, and
so all over from the knees and back upwards; after that, go to the far
side and do that likewise. Then take a dead horse's tail, or, failing
that, a cotton dusting-cloth, and strike that away which the currycomb
hath raised. Then take a round brush made of bristles, with a leathern
handle, and dress him all over, both head, body, and legs, to the very
fetlocks, always cleansing the brush from the dust by rubbing it with
the currycomb. In the curry-combing process, as well as brushing, it
must be applied with mildness, especially with fine-skinned horses;
otherwise the tickling irritates them much. The brushing is succeeded by
a hair-cloth, with which rub him all over again very hard, both to take
away loose hairs and lay his coat; then wash your hands in fair water,
and rub him all over while they are wet, as well over the head as the
body. Lastly, take a clean cloth, and rub him all over again till he be
dry; then take another hair-cloth, and rub all his legs exceeding well
from the knees and hocks downwards to his hoofs, picking and dressing
them very carefully about the fetlocks, so as to remove all gravel and
dust which will sometimes lie in the bending of the joints." In addition
to the practice of this old writer, modern grooms add wisping, which
usually follows brushing. The best wisp is made from a hayband,
untwisted, and again doubled up after being moistened with water: this
is applied to every part of the body, as the brushing had been, by
changing the hands, taking care in all these operations to carry the
hand in the direction of the coat. Stains on the hair are removed by
sponging, or, when the coat is very dirty, by the water-brush; the whole
being finished off by a linen or flannel cloth. The horsecloth should
now be put on by taking the cloth in both hands, with the outside next
you, and, with your right hand to the off side, throw it over his back,
placing it no farther back than will leave it straight and level, which
will be about a foot from the tail. Put the roller round, and the
pad-piece under it, about six or eight inches from the fore legs. The
horse's head is now loosened; he is turned about in his stall to have
his head and ears rubbed and brushed over every part, including throat,
with the dusting-cloth, finishing by "pulling his ears," which all
horses seem to enjoy very much. This done, the mane and foretop should
be combed out, passing a wet sponge over them, sponging the mane on both
sides, by throwing it back to the midriff, to make it lie smooth. The
horse is now returned to his headstall, his tail combed out, cleaning it
of stains with a wet brush or sponge, trimming both tail and mane, and
forelock when necessary, smoothing them down with a brush on which a
little oil has been dropped.
2212. Watering usually follows dressing; but some horses refuse
their food until they have drunk: the groom should not,
therefore, lay down exclusive rules on this subject, but study
the temper and habits of his horse.
2213. _Exercise_.--All horses not in work require at least two
hours' exercise daily; and in exercising them a good groom will
put them through the paces to which they have been trained. In
the case of saddle-horses he will walk, trot, canter, and gallop
them, in order to keep them up to their work. With draught
horses they ought to be kept up to a smart walk and trot.
2214. _Feeding_ must depend on their work, but they require
feeding three times a day, with more or less corn each time,
according to their work. In the fast coaching days it was a
saying among proprietors, that "his belly was the measure of his
food;" but the horse's appetite is not to be taken as a
criterion of the quantity of food under any circumstances.
Horses have been known to consume 40 lbs. of hay in twenty-four
hours, whereas 16 lbs. to 18 lbs. is the utmost which should
have been given. Mr. Croall, an extensive coach proprietor in
Scotland, limited his horses to 4-1/2 lbs. cut straw, 8 lbs.
bruised oats, and 2-1/2 lbs. bruised beans, in the morning and
noon, giving them at night 25 lbs. of the following; viz., 560
lbs. steamed potatoes, 36 lbs. barley-dust, 40 lbs. cut straw,
and 6 lbs. salt, mixed up together: under this the horses did
their work well. The ordinary measure given a horse is a peck of
oats, about 40 lbs. to the bushel, twice a day, a third feed and
a rack-full of hay, which may be about 15 lbs. or 18 lbs., when
he is in full work.
2215. You cannot take up a paper without having the question
put, "Do you bruise your oats?" Well, that depends on
circumstances: a fresh young horse can bruise its own oats when
it can get them; but aged horses, after a time, lose the power
of masticating and bruising them, and bolt them whole; thus much
impeding the work of digestion. For an old horse, then, bruise
the oats; for a young one it does no harm and little good. Oats
should be bright and dry, and not too new. Where they are new,
sprinkle them with salt and water; otherwise, they overload the
horse's stomach. Chopped straw mixed with oats, in the
proportion of a third of straw or hay, is a good food for horses
in full work; and carrots, of which horses are remarkably fond,
have a perceptible effect in a short time on the gloss of the
2216. The water given to a horse merits some attention; it
should not be too cold; hard water is not to be recommended;
stagnant or muddy water is positively injurious; river water is
the best for all purposes; and anything is preferable to spring
water, which should be exposed to the sun in summer for an hour
or two, and stirred up before using it; a handful of oatmeal
thrown into the pail will much improve its quality.
2217. _Shoeing_.--A horse should not be sent on a journey or any
other hard work immediately after new shoeing;--the stiffness
incidental to new shoes is not unlikely to bring him down. A
day's rest, with reasonable exercise, will not be thrown away
after this operation. On reaching home very hot, the groom
should walk him about for a few minutes; this done, he should
take off the moisture with the scraper, and afterwards wisp him
over with a handful of straw and a flannel cloth: if the cloth
is dipped in some spirit, all the better. He should wash, pick,
and wipe dry the legs and feet, take off the bridle and crupper,
and fasten it to the rack, then the girths, and put a wisp of
straw under the saddle. When sufficiently cool, the horse should
have some hay given him, and then a feed of oats: if he refuse
the latter, offer him a little wet bran, or a handful of oatmeal
in tepid water. When he has been fed, he should be thoroughly
cleaned, and his body-clothes put on, and, if very much harassed
with fatigue, a little good ale or wine will be well bestowed on
a valuable horse, adding plenty of fresh litter under the belly.
2218. _Bridles_.--Every time a horse is unbridled, the bit
should be carefully washed and dried, and the leather wiped, to
keep them sweet, as well as the girths and saddle, the latter
being carefully dried and beaten with a switch before it is
again put on. In washing a horse's feet after a day's work, the
master should insist upon the legs and feet being washed
thoroughly with a sponge until the water flows over them, and
then rubbed with a brush till quite dry.
2219. _Harness_, if not carefully preserved, very soon gets a
shabby tarnished appearance. Where the coachman has a proper
harness-room and sufficient assistance, this is inexcusable and
easily prevented. The harness-room should have a wooden lining
all round, and be perfectly dry and well ventilated. Around the
walls, hooks and pegs should be placed, for the several pieces
of harness, at such a height as to prevent their touching the
ground; and every part of the harness should have its peg or
hook,--one for the halters, another for the reins, and others
for snaffles and other bits and metal-work; and either a wooden
horse or saddle-trees for the saddles and pads. All these parts
should be dry, clean, and shining. This is only to be done by
careful cleaning and polishing, and the use of several requisite
pastes. The metallic parts, when white, should be cleaned by a
soft brush and plate-powder; the copper and brass parts
burnished with rottenstone-powder and oil,--steel with
emery-powder; both made into a paste with a little oil.
2220. An excellent paste for polishing harness and the
leather-work of carriages, is made by melting 8 lbs. of yellow
wax, stirring it till completely dissolved. Into this pour 1 lb.
of litharge of the shops, which has been pounded up with water,
and dried and sifted through a sieve, leaving the two, when
mixed, to simmer on the fire, stirring them continually till all
is melted. When it is a little cool, mix this with 1-1/4 lb. of
good ivory-black; place this again on the fire, and stir till it
boils anew, and suffer it to cool. When cooled a little, add
distilled turpentine till it has the consistence of a thickish
paste, scenting it with any essence at hand, thinning it when
necessary from time to time, by adding distilled turpentine.
2221. When the leather is old and greasy, it should be cleaned
before applying this polish, with a brush wetted in a weak
solution of potass and water, washing afterwards with soft river
water, and drying thoroughly. If the leather is not black, one
or two coats of black ink may be given before applying the
polish. When quite dry, the varnish should be laid on with a
soft shoe-brush, using also a soft brush to polish the leather.
2222. When the leather is very old, it may be softened with
fish-oil, and, after putting on the ink, a sponge charged with
distilled turpentine passed over, to scour the surface of the
leather, which should be polished as above.
2223. _For fawn or yellow-coloured leather_, take a quart of
skimmed milk, pour into it 1 oz. of sulphuric acid, and, when
cold, add to it 4 oz. of hydrochloric acid, shaking the bottle
gently until it ceases to emit white vapours; separate the
coagulated from the liquid part, by straining through a sieve,
and store it away till required. In applying it, clean the
leather by a weak solution of oxalic acid, washing it off
immediately, and apply the composition when dry with a sponge.
2224. _Wheel-grease_ is usually purchased at the shops; but a
good paste is made as follows:--Melt 80 parts of grease, and
stir into it, mixing it thoroughly and smoothly, 20 parts of
fine black-lead in powder, and store away in a tin box for use.
This grease is used in the mint at Paris, and is highly
2225. _Carriages_ in an endless variety of shapes and names are
continually making their appearance; but the hackney cab or
clarence seems most in request for light carriages; the family
carriage of the day being a modified form of the clarence
adapted for family use. The carriage is a valuable piece of
furniture, requiring all the care of the most delicate
upholstery, with the additional disadvantage of continual
exposure to the weather and to the muddy streets.
2216. It requires, therefore, to be carefully cleaned before putting
away, and a coach-house perfectly dry and well ventilated, for the
wood-work swells with moisture; it shrinks also with heat, unless the
timber has undergone a long course of seasoning: it should also have a
dry floor, a boarded one being recommended. It must be removed from the
ammoniacal influence of the stables, from open drains and cesspools, and
other gaseous influences likely to affect the paint and varnish. When
the carriage returns home, it should be carefully washed and dried, and
that, if possible, before the mud has time to dry on it. This is done by
first well slushing it with clean water, so as to wash away all
particles of sand, having first closed the sashes to avoid wetting the
linings. The body is then gone carefully over with a soft mop, using
plenty of clean water, and penetrating into every corner of the carved
work, so that not an atom of dirt remains; the body of the carriage is
then raised by placing the jack under the axletree and raising it so
that the wheel turns freely; this is now thoroughly washed with the mop
until the dirt is removed, using a water-brush for corners where the mop
does not penetrate. Every particle of mud and sand removed by the mop,
and afterwards with a wet sponge, the carriage is wiped dry, and, as
soon after as possible, the varnish is carefully polished with soft
leather, using a little sweet oil for the leather parts, and even for
the panels, so as to check any tendency of the varnish to crack. Stains
are removed by rubbing them with the leather and sweet oil; if that
fails, a little Tripoli powder mixed with the oil will be more
2227. In preparing the carriage for use, the whole body should be rubbed
over with a clean leather and carefully polished, the iron-work and
joints oiled, the plated and brass-work occasionally cleaned,--the one
with plate-powder, or with well-washed whiting mixed with sweet oil, and
leather kept for the purpose,--the other with rottenstone mixed with a
little oil, and applied without too much rubbing, until the paste is
removed; but, if rubbed every day with the leather, little more will be
required to keep it untarnished. The linings require careful brushing
every day, the cushions being taken out and beaten, and the glass sashes
should always be bright and clean. The wheel-tires and axletree are
carefully seen to, and greased when required, the bolts and nuts
tightened, and all the parts likely to get out of order overhauled.
2228. These duties, however, are only incidental to the coachman's
office, which is to drive; and much of the enjoyment of those in the
carriage depends on his proficiency in his art,--much also of the wear
of the carriage and horses. He should have sufficient knowledge of the
construction of the carriage to know when it is out of order,--to know,
also, the pace at which he can go over the road he has under him,
without risking the springs, and without shaking those he is driving too
2229. Having, with or without the help of the groom or stable-boy, put
his horses to the carriage, and satisfied himself, by walking round
them, that everything is properly arranged, the coachman proceeds to the
off-side of the carriage, takes the reins from the back of the horses,
where they were thrown, buckles them together, and, placing his foot on
the step, ascends to his box, having his horses now entirely under
control. In ordinary circumstances, he is not expected to descend, for
where no footman accompanies the carriage, the doors are usually so
arranged that even a lady may let herself out, if she wishes it, from
the inside. The coachman's duties are to avoid everything approaching an
accident, and all his attention is required to guide his horses.
2230. The pace at which he drives will depend upon his
orders,--in all probability a moderate pace of seven or eight
miles an hour; less speed is injurious to the horses, getting
them into lazy and sluggish habits; for it is wonderful how soon
these are acquired by some horses. The writer was once employed
to purchase a horse for a country friend, and he picked a very
handsome gelding out of Collins's stables, which seemed to
answer to his friend's wants. It was duly committed to the
coachman who was to drive it, after some very successful trials
in harness and out of it, and seemed likely to give great
satisfaction. After a time, the friend got tired of his
carriage, and gave it up; as the easiest mode of getting rid of
the horse, it was sent up to the writer's stables,--a present.
Only twelve months had elapsed; the horse was as handsome as
ever, with plenty of flesh, and a sleek glossy coat, and he was
thankfully enough received; but, on trial, it was found that a
stupid coachman, who was imbued with one of their old maxims,
that "it's the pace that kills," had driven the horse, capable
of doing his nine miles an hour with ease, at a jog-trot of four
miles, or four and a half; and now, no persuasion of the whip
could get more out of him. After many unsuccessful efforts to
bring him back to his pace, in one of which a break-down
occurred, under the hands of a professional trainer, he was sent
to the hammer, and sold for a sum that did not pay for the
attempt to break him in. This maxim, therefore, "that it's the
pace that kills," is altogether fallacious in the moderate sense
in which we are viewing it. In the old coaching days, indeed,
when the Shrewsbury "Wonder" drove into the inn yard while the
clock was striking, week after week and mouth after month, with
unerring regularity, twenty-seven hours to a hundred and
sixty-two miles; when the "Quicksilver" mail was timed to eleven
miles an hour between London and Plymouth, with a fine of L5 to
the driver if behind time; when the Brighton "Age," "tool'd" and
horsed by the late Mr. Stevenson, used to dash round the square
as the fifth hour was striking, having stopped at the half-way
house while his servant handed a sandwich and a glass of sherry
to his passengers,--then the pace was indeed "killing." But the
truth is, horses that are driven at a jog-trot pace lose that
_elan_ with which a good driver can inspire them, and they are
left to do their work by mere weight and muscle; therefore,
unless he has contrary orders, a good driver will choose a smart
pace, but not enough to make his horses perspire: on level roads
this should never be seen.
2231. In choosing his horses, every master will see that they
are properly paired,--that their paces are about equal. When
their habits differ, it is the coachman's duty to discover how
he can, with least annoyance to the horses, get that pace out of
them. Some horses have been accustomed to be driven on the
check, and the curb irritates them; others, with harder mouths,
cannot be controlled with the slight leverage this affords; he
must, therefore, accommodate the horses as he best can. The
reins should always be held so that the horses are "in hand;"
but he is a very bad driver who always drives with a tight rein;
the pain to the horse is intolerable, and causes him to rear and
plunge, and finally break sway, if he can. He is also a bad
driver when the reins are always slack; the horse then feels
abandoned to himself; he is neither directed nor supported, and
if no accident occurs, it is great good luck.
2232. The true coachman's hands are so delicate and gentle, that the
mere weight of the reins is felt on the bit, and the directions are
indicated by a turn of the wrist rather than by a pull; the horses are
guided and encouraged, and only pulled up when they exceed their
intended pace, or in the event of a stumble; for there is a strong
though gentle hand on the reins.
2233. _The Whip_, in the hands of a good driver, and with well-bred
cattle, is there, more as a precaution than a "tool" for frequent use;
if he uses it, it is to encourage, by stroking the flanks; except,
indeed, he has to punish some waywardness of temper, and then he does it
effectually, taking care, however, that it is done on the flank, where
there is no very tender part, never on the crupper. In driving, the
coachman should never give way to temper. How often do we see horses
stumble from being conducted, or at least "allowed," to go over bad
ground by some careless driver, who immediately wreaks that vengeance on
the poor horse which might, with much more justice, be applied to his
own brutal shoulders. The whip is of course useful, and even necessary,
but should be rarely used, except to encourage and excite the horses.
DUTIES OF THE VALET.
2234. _Attendants on the Person_.-"No man is a hero to his valet," saith
the proverb; and the corollary may run, "No lady is a heroine to her
maid." The infirmities of humanity are, perhaps, too numerous and too
equally distributed to stand the severe microscopic tests which
attendants on the person have opportunities of applying. The valet and
waiting-maid are placed near the persons of the master and mistress,
receiving orders only from them, dressing them, accompanying them in all
their journeys, the confidants and agents of their most unguarded
moments, of their most secret habits, and of course subject to their
commands,--even to their caprices; they themselves being subject to
erring judgment, aggravated by an imperfect education. All that can be
expected from such servants is polite manners, modest demeanour, and a
respectful reserve, which are indispensable. To these, good sense, good
temper, some self-denial, and consideration for the feelings of others,
whether above or below them in the social scale, will be useful
qualifications. Their duty leads them to wait on those who are, from
sheer wealth, station, and education, more polished, and consequently
more susceptible of annoyance; and any vulgar familiarity of manner is
opposed to all their notions of self-respect. Quiet unobtrusive manners,
therefore, and a delicate reserve in speaking of their employers, either
in praise or blame, is as essential in their absence, as good manners
and respectful conduct in their presence.
2235. Some of the duties of the valet we have just hinted at in treating
of the duties of the footman in a small family. His day commences by
seeing that his master's dressing-room is in order; that the housemaid
has swept and dusted it properly; that the fire is lighted and burns
cheerfully; and some time before his master is expected, he will do well
to throw up the sash to admit fresh air, closing it, however, in time to
recover the temperature which he knows his master prefers. It is now his
duty to place the body-linen on the horse before the fire, to be aired
properly; to lay the trousers intended to be worn, carefully brushed and
cleaned, on the back of his master's chair; while the coat and
waistcoat, carefully brushed and folded, and the collar cleaned, are
laid in their place ready to put on when required. All the articles of
the toilet should be in their places, the razors properly set and
stropped, and hot water ready for use.
2236. Gentlemen generally prefer performing the operation of shaving
themselves, but a valet should be prepared to do it if required; and he
should, besides, be a good hairdresser. Shaving over, he has to brush
the hair, beard, and moustache, where that appendage is encouraged,
arranging the whole simply and gracefully, according to the age and
style of countenance. Every fortnight, or three weeks at the utmost, the
hair should be cut, and the points of the whiskers trimmed as often as
required. A good valet will now present the various articles of the
toilet as they are wanted; afterwards, the body-linen, neck-tie, which
he will put on, if required, and, afterwards, waistcoat, coat, and
boots, in suitable order, and carefully brushed and polished.
2237. Having thus seen his master dressed, if he is about to go out, the
valet will hand him his cane, gloves, and hat, the latter well brushed
on the outside with a soft brush, and wiped inside with a clean
handkerchief, respectfully attend him to the door, and open it for him,
and receive his last orders for the day.
2238. He now proceeds to put everything in order in the dressing-room,
cleans the combs and brushes, and brushes and folds up any clothes that
may be left about the room, and puts them away in the drawers.
2239. Gentlemen are sometimes indifferent as to their clothes and
appearance; it is the valet's duty, in this case, where his master
permits it, to select from the wardrobe such things as are suitable for
the occasion, so that he may appear with scrupulous neatness and
cleanliness; that his linen and neck-tie, where that is white or
coloured, are unsoiled; and where he is not accustomed to change them
every day, that the cravat is turned, and even ironed, to remove the
crease of the previous fold. The coat collar,--which where the hair is
oily and worn long, is apt to get greasy--should also be examined; a
careful valet will correct this by removing the spots day by day as they
appear, first by moistening the grease-spots with a little rectified
spirits of wine or spirits of hartshorn, which has a renovating effect,
and the smell of which soon disappears. The grease is dissolved and
removed by gentle scraping. The grease removed, add a little more of the
spirit, and rub with a piece of clean cloth; finish by adding a few
drops more; rub it with the palm of the hand, in the direction of the
grain of the cloth, and it will be clean and glossy as the rest of the
2240. Polish for the boots is an important matter to the valet,
and not always to be obtained good by purchase; never so good,
perhaps, as he can make for himself after the following
recipes:--Take of ivory-black and treacle each 4 oz., sulphuric
acid 1 oz., best olive-oil 2 spoonfuls, best white-wine vinegar
3 half-pints: mix the ivory-black and treacle well in an earthen
jar; then add the sulphuric acid, continuing to stir the
mixture; next pour in the oil; and, lastly, add the vinegar,
stirring it in by degrees, until thoroughly incorporated.
241. Another polish is made by mixing 1 oz. each of pounded
galls and logwood-chips, and 3 lbs. of red French vine
(ordinaire). Boil together till the liquid is reduced to half
the quantity, and pour it off through a strainer. Now take 1/2
lb. each of pounded gum-arabic and lump-sugar, 1 oz. of green
copperas, and 3 lbs. of brandy. Dissolve the gum-arabic in the
preceding decoction, and add the sugar and copperas: when all is
dissolved and mixed together, stir in the brandy, mixing it
smoothly. This mixture will yield 5 or 6 lbs. of a very superior
polishing paste for boots and shoes.
2242. It is, perhaps, unnecessary to add, that having discharged all the
commissions intrusted to him by his master, such as conveying notes or
messages to friends, or the tradesmen, all of which he should punctually
and promptly attend to, it is his duty to be in waiting when his master
returns home to dress for dinner, or for any other occasion, and to have
all things prepared for this second dressing. Previous to this, he
brings under his notice the cards of visitors who may have called,
delivers the messages be may have received for him, and otherwise
acquits himself of the morning's commissions, and receives his orders
for the remainder of the day. The routine of his evening duty is to have
the dressing-room and study, where there is a separate one, arranged
comfortably for his master, the fires lighted, candles prepared,
dressing-gown and slippers in their place, and aired, and everything in
order that is required for his master's comforts.
DUTIES OF THE LADY'S-MAID.
2243. The duties of a lady's-maid are more numerous, and perhaps more
onerous, than those of the valet; for while the latter is aided by the
tailor, the hatter, the linen-draper, and the perfumer, the lady's-maid
has to originate many parts of the mistress's dress herself: she should,
indeed, be a tolerably expert milliner and dressmaker, a good
hairdresser, and possess some chemical knowledge of the cosmetics with
which the toilet-table is supplied, in order to use them with safety and
effect. Her first duty in the morning, after having performed her own
toilet, is to examine the clothes put off by her mistress the evening
before, either to put them away, or to see that they are all in order to
put on again. During the winter, and in wet weather, the dresses should
be carefully examined, and the mud removed. Dresses of tweed, and other
woollen materials, may be laid out on a table and brushed all over; but
in general, even in woollen fabrics, the lightness of the tissues
renders brushing unsuitable to dresses, and it is better to remove the
dust from the folds by beating them lightly with a handkerchief or thin
cloth. Silk dresses should never be brushed, but rubbed with a piece of
merino, or other soft material, of a similar colour, kept for the
purpose. Summer dresses of barege, muslin, mohair, and other light
materials, simply require shaking; but if the muslin be tumbled, it must
be ironed afterwards. If the dresses require slight repair, it should be
done at once: "a stitch in time saves nine."
2244. The bonnet should be dusted with a light feather plume, in
order to remove every particle of dust; but this has probably
been done, as it ought to have been, the night before. Velvet
bonnets, and other velvet articles of dress, should be cleaned
with a soft brush. If the flowers with which the bonnet is
decorated have been crushed or displaced, or the leaves tumbled,
they should be raised and readjusted by means of flower-pliers.
If feathers have suffered from damp, they should be held near
the fire for a few minutes, and restored to their natural state
by the hand or a soft brush.
2245. _The Chausserie_, or foot-gear of a lady, is one of the
few things left to mark her station, and requires special care.
Satin boots or shoes should be dusted with a soft brush, or
wiped with a cloth. Kid or varnished leather should have the mud
wiped off with a sponge charged with milk, which preserves its
softness and polish. The following is also an excellent polish
for applying to ladies' boots, instead of blacking them:--Mix
equal proportions of sweet-oil, vinegar, and treacle, with 1 oz.
of lamp-black. When all the ingredients are thoroughly
incorporated, rub the mixture on the boots with the palm of the
hand, and put them in a cool place to dry. Ladies' blacking,
which may be purchased in 6d, and 1s. bottles, is also very much
used for patent leather and kid boots, particularly when they
are a little worn. This blacking is merely applied with a piece
of sponge, and the boots should not be put on until the blacking
is dry und hardened.
2246. These various preliminary offices performed, the lady's-maid
should prepare for dressing her mistress, arranging her dressing-room,
toilet-table, and linen, according to her mistress's wishes and habits.
The details of dressing we need not touch upon,--every lady has her own
mode of doing so; but the maid should move about quietly, perform any
offices about her mistress's person, as lacing stays, gently, and adjust
her linen smoothly.
2247. Having prepared the dressing-room by lighting the fire, sweeping
the hearth, and made everything ready for dressing her mistress, placed
her linen before the fire to air, and laid out the various articles of
dress she is to wear, which will probably have been arranged the
previous evening, the lady's-maid is prepared for the morning's duties.
2248. _Hairdressing_ is the most important part of the lady's-maid's
office. If ringlets are worn, remove the curl-papers, and, after
thoroughly brushing the back hair both above and below, dress it
according to the prevailing fashion. If bandeaux are worn, the hair is
thoroughly brushed and frizzed outside and inside, folding the hair back
round the head, brushing it perfectly smooth, giving it a glossy
appearance by the use of pomades, or oil, applied by the palm of the
hand, smoothing it down with a small brush dipped in bandoline. Double
bandeaux are formed by bringing most of the hair forward, and rolling it
over frizettes made of hair the same colour as that of the wearer: it is
finished behind by plaiting the hair, and arranging it in such a manner
as to look well with the head-dress.
2249. Lessons in hairdressing may be obtained, and at not an
unreasonable charge. If a lady's-maid can afford it, we would advise her
to initiate herself in the mysteries of hairdressing before entering on
her duties. If a mistress finds her maid handy, and willing to learn,
she will not mind the expense of a few lessons, which are almost
necessary, as the fashion and mode of dressing the hair is so
continually changing. Brushes and combs should be kept scrupulously
clean, by washing them about twice a week: to do this oftener spoils the
brushes, as very frequent washing makes them so very soft.
To wash Brushes.
2250. Dissolve a piece of soda in some hot water, allowing a piece the
size of a walnut to a quart of water. Put the water into a basin, and,
after combing out the hair from the brushes, dip them, bristles
downwards, into the water and out again, keeping the backs and handles
as free from the water as possible. Repeat this until the bristles look
clean; then rinse the brushes in a little cold water; shake them well,
and wipe the handles and backs with a towel, _but not the bristles_, and
set the brushes to dry in the sun, or near the fire; but take care not
to put them too close to it. Wiping the bristles of a brush makes them
soft, as does also the use of soap.
To clean Combs.
2251. If it can be avoided, never wash combs, as the water often makes
the teeth split, and the tortoiseshell or horn of which they are made,
rough. Small brushes, manufactured purposely for cleaning combs, may be
purchased at a trifling cost: with this the comb should be well brushed,
and afterwards wiped with a cloth or towel.
A good Wash for the Hair.
2252. INGREDIENTS.--1 pennyworth of borax, 1/2 pint of olive-oil, 1 pint
of boiling water.
_Mode_.--Pour the boiling water over the borax and oil; let it cool; then
put the mixture into a bottle. Shake it before using, and apply it with
a flannel. Camphor and borax, dissolved in boiling water and left to
cool, make a very good wash for the hair; as also does rosemary-water
mixed with a little borax. After using any of these washes, when the
hair becomes thoroughly dry, a little pomatum or oil should be rubbed
in, to make it smooth and glossy.
To make Pomade for the Hair.
2253. INGREDIENTS.--1/4 lb. of lard, 2 pennyworth of castor-oil; scent.
_Mode_.--Let the lard be unsalted; beat it up well; then add the
castor-oil, and mix thoroughly together with a knife, adding a few drops
of any scent that may be preferred. Put the pomatum into pots, which
keep well covered to prevent it turning rancid.
Another Recipe for Pomatum.
2254. INGREDIENTS.--8 oz. of olive-oil, 1 oz. of spermaceti, 3
pennyworth of essential oil of almonds, 3 pennyworth of essence of
_Mode_.--Mix these ingredients together, and store away in jars for use.
To make Bandoline.
2555. INGREDIENTS.--1 oz. of gum-tragacanth, 1/4 pint of cold water, 3
pennyworth of essence of almonds, 2 teaspoonfuls of old rum.
_Mode_.--Put the gum-tragacanth into a wide-mouthed bottle with the cold
water; let it stand till dissolved, then stir into it the essence of
almonds; let it remain for an hour or two, when pour the rum on the top.
This should make the stock bottle, and when any is required for use, it
is merely necessary to dilute it with a little cold water until the
desired consistency is obtained, and to keep it in a small bottle, well
corked, for use. This bandoline, instead of injuring the hair, as many
other kinds often do, improves it, by increasing its growth, and making
it always smooth and glossy.
An excellent Pomatum.
2256. INGREDIENTS.--1-1/2 lb. of lard, 1/2 pint of olive-oil, 1/2 pint
of castor-oil, 4 oz. of spermaceti, bergamot, or any other scent;
_Mode_.--Wash the lard well in the elder-flower water; drain, and beat
it to a cream. Mix the two oils together, and heat them sufficiently to
dissolve the spermaceti, which should be beaten fine in a mortar. Mix
all these ingredients together with the brandy and whatever kind of
scent may be preferred; and whilst warm pour into glass bottles for use,
keeping them well corked. The best way to liquefy the pomatum is to set
the bottle in a saucepan of warm water. It will remain good for many
To promote the Growth of Hair.
2257. INGREDIENTS.--Equal quantities of olive-oil and spirit of
rosemary; a few drops of oil of nutmeg.
_Mode_.--Mix the ingredients together, rub the roots of the hair every
night with a little of this liniment, and the growth of it will very
soon sensibly increase.
2258. Our further remarks on dressing must be confined to some
general advice. In putting on a band, see that it is laid quite
flat, and is drawn tightly round the waist before it is pinned
in front; that the pin is a strong one, and that it is secured
to the stays, so as not to slip up or down, or crease in the
folds. Arrange the folds of the dress over the crinoline
petticoats; if the dress fastens behind, put a small pin in the
slit to prevent it from opening. See that the sleeves fall well
over the arms. If it is finished with a jacket, or other upper
dress, see that it fits smoothly under the arms; pull out the
flounces, and spread out the petticoat at the bottom with the
hands, so that it falls in graceful folds. In arranging the
petticoat itself, a careful lady's-maid will see that this is
firmly fastened round the waist.
2259. Where sashes are worn, pin the bows securely on the inside
with a pin, so as not to be visible; then raise the bow with the
fingers. The collar is arranged and carefully adjusted with
brooch or bow in the centre.
2260. Having dressed her mistress for breakfast, and breakfasted
herself, the further duties of the lady's-maid will depend altogether
upon the habits of the family, in which hardly two will probably agree.
Where the duties are entirely confined to attendance on her mistress, it
is probable that the bedroom and dressing-room will be committed to her
care; that, the housemaid will rarely enter, except for the weekly or
other periodical cleaning; she will, therefore, have to make her
mistress's bed, and keep it in order; and as her duties are light and
easy, there can be no allowance made for the slightest approach to
uncleanliness or want of order. Every morning, immediately after her
mistress has left it, and while breakfast is on, she should throw the
bed open, by taking off the clothes; open the windows (except in rainy
weather), and leave the room to air for half an hour. After breakfast,
except her attendance on her mistress prevents it, if the rooms are
carpeted, she should sweep them carefully, having previously strewed the
room with moist tea-leaves, dusting every table and chair, taking care
to penetrate to every corner, and moving every article of furniture that
is portable. This done satisfactorily, and having cleaned the
dressing-glass, polished up the furniture and the ornaments, and made
the glass jug and basin clean and bright, emptied all slops, emptied the
water-jugs and filled them with fresh water, and arranged the rooms, the
dressing-room is ready for the mistress when she thinks proper to
2261. The dressing-room thoroughly in order, the same thing is to be
done in the bedroom, in which she will probably be assisted by the
housemaid to make the bed and empty the slops. In making the bed, she
will study her lady's wishes, whether it is to be hard or soft, sloping
or straight, and see that it is done accordingly.
2262. Having swept the bedroom with equal care, dusted the tables and
chairs, chimney-ornaments, and put away all articles of dress left from
yesterday, and cleaned and put away any articles of jewellery, her next
care is to see, before her mistress goes out, what requires replacing in
her department, and furnish her with a list of them, that she may use
her discretion about ordering them. All this done, she may settle
herself down to any work on which she is engaged. This will consist
chiefly in mending; which is first to be seen to; everything, except
stockings, being mended before washing. Plain work will probably be one
of the lady's-maid's chief employments.
2263. A waiting-maid, who wishes to make herself useful, will
study the fashion-books with attention, so as to be able to aid
her mistress's judgment in dressing, according to the prevailing
fashion, with such modifications as her style of countenance
requires. She will also, if she has her mistress's interest at
heart, employ her spare time in repairing and making up dresses
which have served one purpose, to serve another also, or turning
many things, unfitted for her mistress to use, for the younger
branches of the family. The lady's-maid may thus render herself
invaluable to her mistress, and increase her own happiness in so
doing. The exigencies of fashion and luxury are such, that all
ladies, except those of the very highest rank, will consider
themselves fortunate in having about them a thoughtful person,
capable of diverting their finery to a useful purpose.
2264. Among other duties, the lady's-maid should understand the various
processes for washing, and cleaning, and repairing laces; edging of
collars; removing stains and grease-spots from dresses, and similar
processes, for which the following recipes will be found very useful. In
2265. _Blonde_, fine toilet-soap is used; the blonde is soaped
over very slightly, and washed in water in which a little
fig-blue is dissolved, rubbing it very gently; when clean, dry
it. Dip it afterwards in very thin gum-water, dry it again in
linen, spread it out as flat as it will lie, and iron it. Where
the blonde is of better quality, and wider, it may be stretched
on a hoop to dry after washing in the blue-water, applying the
gum with a sponge; or it may be washed finally in water in which
a lump of sugar has been dissolved, which gives it more the
appearance of new blonde.
2266. Lace collars soil very quickly when in contact with the