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How to Instruct Servants
Enjoin your servants not to talk about other people. If they have been among strangers, and have noticed anything bad there, let them not repeat it at home; nor should they spread rumours about what is going on at home. A servant must remember what he has been sent for, and he must not know, nor answer any other questions that are put to him. The moment he has carried out his commission, he should return home and report to his master in regard to the matter he has been sent for; let him not gossip of things he has not been ordered to report, lest he cause quarrel and coldness between the masters. If you send your servant, or son, to tell, or do something, or buy a thing, ask him twice: "What have I ordered you to do? What are you to say, or do, or buy?" If he repeats to you as you have ordered him, all is well.... if you send anywhere some eatables or liquids, send full measures, so that they cannot lie about them. Send your wares after having measured or weighed them, and count the money, before you send it out. Best of all, dispatch under seal. Carefully instruct the servant whether he is to leave the things at the house, if the master should be absent, or if he is to bring them back home.... When a servant is sent to genteel people, let him knock at the door softly. If anyone should ask him, as he passes through the courtyard: "What business brings you here?" let him not give him any satisfaction, but say: "I have not been sent to you; I shall tell to him to whom I have been sent." Let him clean his dirty feet before the antechamber, or house, or cell, wipe his nose, clear his throat, and correctly say his prayer; and if he does not receive an "amen" in response, he should repeat the prayer in a louder voice, twice or three times. If he still receives no answer, he must softly knock at the door. When he is admitted, he should bow before the holy images, give his master's respects, and tell his message. While doing so, let him not put his finger in his nose, nor cough, nor clean his nose, nor clear his throat, nor spit. If he absolutely must do so, let him step aside. He must stand straight and not look to either side when reporting the message; nor should he relate any matter not relevant to the message. Having done his duty, he should forthwith return home, to report to his master.