Page:The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift, Volume 16.djvu/142

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134
DIRECTIONS TO SERVANTS.

sometimes a pattern of dress to your master, and sometimes he is so to you. You wait at table in all companies, and consequently have the opportunity to see and know the world, and to understand men and manners. I confess your vales are but few, unless you are sent with a present, or attend the tea in the country; but you are called Mr. in the neighbourhood, and sometimes pick up a fortune; perhaps your master's daughter; and I have known many of your tribe to have good commands in the army. In town you have a seat reserved for you in the playhouse, where you have an opportunity of becoming wits and criticks: you have no professed enemy except the rabble, and my lady's waitingwoman, who are sometimes apt to call you skip-kennel. 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 customhouse. But that you, my brethren, may come to better fortunes, I 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 them those of your master's; thus you will grow a favourite both at home and abroad, and 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, otherwise 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