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unknown persons, as they are often forgeries or borrowed for the occasion. Apply to Missionary brethren, or other Christian friends, to recommend servants.
When truly converted native Christian servants can be procured, they are by all means to be preferred. They will show kindness to inquirers, and may otherwise be helpful to the Missionary in his work. Such, however, are difficult to obtain. The best native Christians, as a rule, are not accustomed to domestic service. Mere nominal Christians are not more honest than heathens, and sometimes drink, which the latter, as a rule, do not. Heathen servants are to be preferred to bad Christians, as they do not bring disgrace on the religion they profess. Hindu servants were found much more faithful during the Mutiny than Mahommadans. Humanly speaking, they are also more hopeful as regards their conversion.
Indian servants have their faults, like servants at home, though of a different character. But kind judicious masters will in general find their servants docile and attached. Often Indian servants seem to know by a kind of instinct, the wishes and intentions of their masters.
Punctuality-Fix the hours when meals are to be ready. A clock is necessary to enable the servants to know the time with exactness. A good American eight-day clock may be purchased at no great cost. Money will seldom be spent to more advantage than for such a purpose. Let the head servant understand that he must wind it on such a day, and at such an hour. If the servants, as is often the case, were not accustomed to order under their former employers, some attention will be necessary till the habit has been formed.
Bill of Fare.- Wholesome food, well cooked, is essential to health ; but undue attention to “ creature comforts" should be avoided. It should not form a subject for daily consideration, what is to be pur
chased for breakfast or dinner, and how it is to be prepared. Perhaps the best plan is to arrange the bill of fare for a week. Sufficient variety may thus be obtained; while the order may be easily recollected. Special directions will, of course, be necessary when there are visitors.
Accounts.-Dishonesty is the great evil to be guarded against in Indian servants. It does not assume the form of direct theft. Although it is imprudent and wrong to place temptations in the way of servants by leaving money on a table or otherwise exposed, it is comparatively seldom that losses are sustained in that way. You are charged more than the proper price of articles, the difference being pocketed. If a man bring straw for sale, your servant may bargain with him to ask so much, provided he allows him a certain proportion. The proportion taken varies from 3 to 24 per cent. except in the case of spend-thrifts, when it is much greater. Servants generally attempt to justify it under the name of commission. It is almost impossible to check it entirely, for a shop-keeper prefers making an allowance to a servant to ensure the continuance of your custom. Provide your servant with a large blank book of cheap paper, and let him enter every item of expenditure. Caution him before· hand, that this book will be shown to people who know the proper prices. Get some friend, who is a good manager, to go over the account with you. In this manner, surcharges may soon be stopped.
It would require too much time for you to take down and add up the items daily. Let the servant present his household expense book every Monday morning, or other more convenient time, for inspection. Glance over the whole, and test any thing which seems suspicious. Give in advance as much money as will probably be required during the week.
The main object is to have a sufficient check at the smallest expenditure of your time. This may be best secured by keeping an account yourself of your monthly outlay. A single folio page will serve for a year.
Thirteen columns will answer for the twelve months and the totals. Have as many items as seem necessary, arranged under different heads. Make your servant keep an account of how much is spent during the month on bread, rice, sugar, &c. Enter the principal articles, and class the remainder as miscellaneous. In this manner you may be relieved of three-fourths of the burden of accounts, while at the same time you can scrutinise your expenditure. Servants' wages can easily be put down in a lump.
You should provide yourself with a bound Day-Book to enter all moneys received or paid. In India life is even more uncertain than at home. No one can tell whether at the end of 24 hours he may not be in his grave. In the agonies of cholera, accounts cannot be explained. Make daily entries, so that if called away at any moment, every thing may be easily understood. Do not say that you have no time to do this. You must make up your Mission accounts at some period or other, and if you do not keep your Day-Book properly, you will spend double the time, perhaps perspiring and fretting, while endeavouring to adjust them.
Preserve all vouchers on a file. This will occasionally save you from requiring to make double
payments. Give cheques where practicable instead of silver in payment of bills. They will serve, in some measure, as receipts, should the latter be lost.
Giving Charge.-The best way to get clothing, spoons, knives, &c., looked after, is to hand them over to your head servant, and hold him responsible. When he enters your employ, make him write out a list of the whole, with the date and his signature. Let this inventory be preserved by you, and let there be a quarterly or half-yearly inspection. It is a marked feature in the character of Indian seryants, the care
they take of what is specially intrusted to their keeping
The same principle may be followed with regard to articles of household consumption. Oil, sugar, rice, &c., are apt to disappear with great rapidity ; yet it would take up a good deal of time to issue them daily. Ascertain the quantity used, and calculate how long the supply obtained should last. Give charge of the articles to the servant, saying, this must suffice for such a time. He must give an explanation of any excess in the consumption.
Horsekeepers are probably of all servants the worst. Many of them are inveterate thieves, making away with the food of the animals committed to their care. It is a good precaution to require them to show the feed just before it is given. Some have the horse brought near the verandah when it is fed.
Style of Living.–Bridges says of the clergyman at home, “ he must expect not only his personal character, but his domestic arrangements—the conduct of his wife, the dress and habits of his children and servants, the furniture of his house, and the provision of his table-to be the subject of daily and most scrutinizing observation."*
Heygate thus replies to those inclined to regard this as an impertinence :
Why should we complain that we are watched, we, and our houses, and families ? Is it not a testimony to the honour and
power of our office, as well as to the weight of our responsibilities? Is it not a means of doing the greatest possible good, of preaching by deeds, always so much more efficacious than words ? Suppose our table plain, our furniture and our persons simple--suppose our hours regular, and our habits quiet; our devotions frequent; our whole life self-denying; our distinct position testified by non-conformity to the world—what could we do better in this case than to throw open our doors, and let the people behold? The spectacle would be more persuasive than any sermon of words. Ye know that from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons. What an appeal is here ? if we could thus invite our people to see us, as we are at our homes, we might as well complaiu of their listening to our sermons, as of their desire to know how we live, and whether we are what we preach.” |
* Christian Ministry, p. 220,
Missionaries are quite as closely observed in India. Many people at home, confounding their condition with that of the pioneers in savage countries, suppose that Missionaries here endure physical hardships. A very different impression prevails among worldly men in India, who think that in general Missionaries resemble in self-denial those monks of the middle ages, who selected the fairest spots for their settlements. It is true that the loudest complaints come from the parties who are the least acquainted with Missionaries, and who give nothing to the cause. Still, it must be admitted, that the dissatisfaction is not confined to them. Judson writes,
“ Beware of genteel living. Maintain as little intercourse as possible with fashionable European Society. The mode of living adopted by many Missionaries in the East is quite incousistent with that familiar intereourse with the natives which is essential to a Missionary."
Though from the great increase in the cost of living, the difficulty now is to make both ends meet, the young Missionary will do well to bear in mind the following remarks by Mrs. Weitbrecht:
“Simplicity in dress, in household arrangements, and in our general ideas we must studiously practise. From the habits of European Society, and from various cireumstances peculiar to, and inseparable from, a residence in India, one may, when not on one's guard, fall almost uneonsciously into a style of management, that does not consist well with a Missionary establish
* Quoted in the Pastoral Office by Oxenden, p. 319.