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served for you in the Play-house, where
you have an Opportunity of becoming Wits and Criticks. You have no professed Enemy except the Rabble, and my Lady's Waiting-woman, who are sometimes apt to call you Skipkennel, I have a true Veneration for your Office, because I had once the Honour to be one of your order, which I foolishly left, by demeaning myself with accepting an Employment in the Custom-house. But, that you, my Brethren, may come to better Fortunes, Í shall here deliver my Instructions, which have been the Fruits of much Thought and Observation, as well as of seven Years Experience.
In order to learn the Secrets of other Families, tell your Brethren those of your Master's ; thus you will
grow a Favourite both at Home ånd Abroad, and be regarded as a Person of Importance.
Never be seen in the Streets with a Basket, or Bundle, in your Hands ; and carry nothing but what you can hide in your Pocket, otherwife
you will disgrace your Calling : To prevent which, always retain a Blackguard Boy, to carry your Loads; and, if you want Farthings, pay him with a good Slice of Bread, or Scrap of Meat.
Let a Shoe-boy clean your own Shoes first, for fear of fouling the Chamber, and then let him clean your Master's ; keep him on Purpose for that Use, and to run of Errands, and pay him with Scraps. When you are fent on
an Errand, be sure to hedge in some Business of your own, either to see your Sweet-heart, or drink a Pot of Ale with some Brother-fervant, which is so much Time clear gained.
There is a great Controversy about the most convenient and genteel Way of holding your Plate, when you wait on your Master, and his Company, at Meals ; some Butlers stick it between the Frame and the Back of the Chair, which is an excellent Expedient, where the Fashion of the Chair will allow it ; others, for Fear the Plate should fall, grasp it so firmly, that their Thumb reacheth to the Middle of the Hollow, which, however, if be diy, is no secure Method; and therefore, in that Case, I advise your wetting the Ball of it with your Tongue : As to that absurd Practice of letting the Back of the Plate lie leaning on the Hollow of your Hand, which some Ladies recommend, it is universally exploded, being liable to so many Accidents; others again, are so refined, that they hold their Plate directly under the left Arm-pit, which is the best Situation for keeping it warm ; but this may be dangerous in the Article of taking away a Dish, where your Plate may happen to fall upon some of the Company's Heads. I confess myself to have objected against all these Ways, which I have frequently tried ; and, therefore, I recommend a Fourth, which is, to stick your Plate, up to the Rim inclusive, in the left Side, between your Waistcoat and your
Shirt ; this will keep it at least as warm as un-
for a better Servant, too good to hold a Plate ; this will secure it from falling, and thus disposed, it lieth ready for you to whip out in a Moment, ready warmed, to any Guest within your Reach, who may want it ; and, lastly, there is another Convenience in this Method, that if, at any Time during your waiting, you find yourself going to cough, or sneeze, you can immediately snatch out your Plate, and hold the hollow Part close to your Nose or Mouth, and thus prevent spirting any Moisture from either, upon the Dishes, or a Lady's Head-dress. You see Gentlemen and Ladies observe a like Practice upon such an Occasion, with a Hat, or a Handkerchief yet, a Plate is less fouled, and sooner cleaned, than either of those ; for, when your Cough, or Sneese, is over, it is but returning the Plate to the fame Position, and your Shirt will clean it in the Passage.
Take off the largest Dishes, and set them on, with one Hand, to shew the Ladies
your Vigour, and Strength of Back ; but always do it between two Ladies, that, if the Dish happeneth to flip, the Soup, or Sauce, may fall on their Cloaths, and not daub the Floor : By this Practice, two of our Brethren, my worthy Friends, got considerable Fortunes.
Learn all the new-fashion Words, and Oaths, and Songs, and Scraps of Plays that your
Memory can hold. Thus, you will become the Delight of nine Ladies in ten, and the Envy of ninety-nine Beaux in a hundred.
Take Care, that in certain Periods, during Dinner, especially when Persons of Quality are there, you and your Brethren be all out of the Room together, by which you will give yourselves some Ease from the Fatigue of waiting, and, at the same Time, leave the Company to converse more freely, without being constrained by your Presence.
When you are sent on a Message, deliver it in your own Words, although it be to a Duke or a Duchess, and not in the Words of your Master or Lady; for, how can they understand what belongeth to a Message as well as you, who have been bred to the Employment ? But never deliver the Answer until it is called for ; and then adorn it with your own Style.
When Dinner is done, carry down a great Heap of Plates to the Kitchen ; and as you come to the Head of the Stairs, trundle them all before
you: There is not a more agreeable Sight or Sound, especially, if they be Silver ; befides, the Trouble they fave you; and there they will lie ready, near the Kitchen Door, for the Scullion to wash them.
If you are bringing up a Joint of Meat in a Dish, and it falleth out of your Hands, before you get into the Dining-room, with the Meat,
on the Ground, and the Sauce spilled, take up the Meat gently, wipe it with the Lap of your Coat, then put it again into the Dish, and serve it up; and when your Lady misses the Sauce, tell her, it is to be sent up in a Plate by itself.
When you carry up a Difh of Meat, dip your Fingers in the Sauce, or lick it with
your Tongue, to try, whether it be good, and fit for your
Master's Table. You are the best Judge of what Acquaintance your Lady ought to have ; and, therefore, if she send you on a Message of Compliment, or Business, to a Family you do not like, deliver the Answer in such a Manner, as may breed a Quarrel between them, not to be reconciled : Or, if a Footman cometh from the fame Family, on the like Errand, turn the Answer she ordereth you to deliver, in such a Manner, as the other Family may take it for an Affront.
When you are in Lodgings, and no Shoeboy to be got, clean your Master's Shoes with the Bottom of the Curtains, a clean Napkin, or your Landlady's Apron.
Ever wear your Hat in the House ; but when your
Master calleth, and as soon as you come into his Presence, pull it off, to shew your Manners.
Never clean your Shoes on the Scraper, but in the Entry, or at the Foot of the Stairs ; by which you will have the Credit of being at