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the boy, and found him asleep on the couch in the sitting
Then he dismissed all threats of law-courts from his mind, and only a broken stick prevented murder. The boy howled for an hour, and was a very much better servant for ever after. Berberine servants are really very good cooks, but they steal your clothes. The Egyptian suffragi is original in one way: he prefers to wear his shirt outside his trousers. If you have bright socks they always go. He does not care about ties—for one thing he does not wear them; but handkerchiefs are popular, and white coats. As a rule, your own servant will only steal small things of which you have a great number. But if you have a visitor he is fair game; if the suffragi does not want your visitor's things himself, he will take them from him to be able to make presents to you
after the visitor is gone.
The Berberine does not worry you much with his prayers as a rule : all natives agree in regarding the English as being absolutely without religion of any kind.
When a burglar breaks into your house your suffragi comes to call you. He can be really courageous if he has you with him to help; otherwise he hides.
There are unfortunately very few Levantine servants about: they are excellent; they thieve from everybody except you, but never from you. And there are very few Italian servants. Ramidge waited a year to get one.
Sometimes the Egyptian suffragi can read and write. But this is exceptional, and it is not to be encouraged, because, if your servant can read, he reads all day. No Egyptian suffragi in Cairo has ever heard of ancient Egypt; he is not half the man that the Sudanese is; he has no more thoughts than a monkey, while the Sudanese have a beautiful folk-lore. Your house-boy robs you of tea and sugar and that kind of thing, but your cook is content to rob you with commissions. Punctuality is one of the Egyptian suffragi's best points ; another is that he always does all in his power to make his master cut a dignified figure before strangers. He never runs down his master to other servants. On the contrary, he lies to make his master appear a better master, and richer and more
important than he really is. But in most respects he is abnormally unreliable. Another good feature is his contentedness; he has only two meals a day, and is content with extraordinarily little at them; he will sleep anywhere. In an Egyptian hotel, unless it is a very grand one, there is generally a suffragi sleeping under the staircase, and another behind the front door. Every house in Egypt has a man at the back of the door, and these men have a tiresome habit of making their beds right against the door, so that it won't open even when it is unlocked. This is all right in a private house with a burglar scare in progress, but rather tiresome if you are trying to get into the telegraph office, or your hotel, at an unusually dissipated hour. Many telegraph offices in Egypt are open all night, and the suffragi's desire to go to bed is the only closing hour enforced at hotels. The law may have ordained one, which is more honoured in the breach than the observance; but what really makes the patrons leave a bar eventually is the knowledge that, as soon as they are gone, the suffragi will gain possession of his al-fresco bedroom,
The suffragi's habit of making his bedroom in every part of the house except a room is not so embarrassing as it might be, because he does not undress when he goes to bed; he only undresses when he goes to his bath, to which he is fortunately addicted. He makes far less difference than his master in the matter of winter and summer clothing.
The suffragi is clean in his person, but he is not vehement about washing, or brushing your house, unless you worry him a good deal more than the flies do. But he makes a very good valet ; he is quite energetic about getting up in the morning, he is always up a little after sunrise, and always asleep when you want him in the afternoon, or at any odd moment. To wipe his own person he uses the gay cotton cloths which Turks use for towels and foreigners take home for antimacassars. He also uses your towels, but not after a bath. He never dries himself after a bath. He does not use the brass water-jug like a grown-up coffee-pot, with which he has to pour water over the hands of his betters, if he is
employed by a native, though he prefers running water if he can get it. He loves washing his hands under a running tap, and sucks the tap too, when he is thirsty. The suffragi class are much cleaner in their persons than the fellahin, and much pleasanter to deal with than the ordinary effendi, who is generally a Nationalist, and, even when he is not, is "merely a swollen-headed idiot as a rule,” to quote the classic columns of an Egyptian newspaper.
The Egyptian maidservant is excellent, but you cannot get one unless you are married. In the Sudan, as in Japan, the English bachelor may have a temporary wife, who is also his servant, without causing any trouble. There is no resentment on the part of the relatives. A servant is sent to make the arrangements, and a sum down is agreed upon and paid. After that she has her board and lodging, like a servant, and receives a sum for dresses and so on. But this is not usual in Egypt, though the same kind of thing may go on in a house, where the master is married, without causing any trouble such as would ensue in a fanatical Moslem country like Persia, or even Tunis. The fact of the woman being employed in "a married family” makes it all right.
Slavery is by no means dead in Egypt, though it is kept out of sight of foreigners. There is a very famous café in the Esbekiya where all the girls have been bought. There is also a proverb that “In the Sudan a fiver will buy you anything."
Café-life is increasing both in Cairo and the provinces. The average Egyptian suffragi, above all the Berberine, spends all his evenings in cafés, and his evenings go very far into the night. This is not the only temptation cafés present for one's servants. Ramidge had a suffragi who could never be found when he was wanted. The reason was that, finding that Ramidge was rather easy-going, he took another job at a café round the corner, and only put in an appearance at Ramidge's when he was fetched, except at certain stated times when he knew that he would be wanted ; and Ramidge never found it out till the other suffragi told him about it after the dismissal of this Berberine Box and
Cox, The cooking is nearly always done on charcoal stoves, and every servant is more or less of a cook. The Arab head-waiter of one of the well-known hotels in Cairo during the season is cook when the season is over, and the European chef has gone to some summer hotel on his native Continent.
The Governor of Damietta gave us the best cooking we had in Egypt. I expect that he had a native cook, though all the big hotels have European chefs.
The Egyptian suffragi may not earn his wages well, but he earns his bakshish from the tourists well. I, who have in “Egypt and the English " told the Egyptian his faults with uncompromising candour, may perhaps be credited when I confess that I liked the Egyptian servants, who waited on me in various ships and hotels, very much. I expected them to be obliging-obligingness is the national good quality. I found them quick to fall into the ways of Europeans, unusually intelligent, often reliable, and with a distinct aptitude for making themselves pleasing objects to look at. I can understand them not being thorough in sweeping out rooms; I can picture them behaving infamously to white women servants; I should not expect every Egyptian to be honest ; but they administered to my creature comforts well, distinctly better than Japanese servants; and I found them very pleasant to deal with.
As a footman the Egyptian is excellent. When you drive up to a resident's house, you are met by a handsome and dignified man in a beautiful dress, spotlessly clean, who receives you cordially without giving his mistress away. He makes you feel like a travelling nobleman, but is not sure whether his mistress is in or out, till he has ascertained whether she wishes to be in or out to you. Oriental instinct tells him whether you are a harmless visitor, or a commercial traveller. I am not sure what he does when he recognises that your object in calling on his mistress is to make her put her name down for a new kind of vacuum broom, or a pianola. But I think that he would make money out of that department. The drummer might perhaps not be admitted ; but if he paid well, the suffragi might insinuate to his mistress that