The Lazy Cow-Milking Gardener

Ppunchick of Punch 8. This area of the blog offers a selection of entertaining quotes from Punch magazine. The following is from 17th February 1866. The writer is poking fun at some advertisements for servants:

What are the requirements that generate advertisements? Manifestly, the contrary of the thing required. I haven’t a servant: I advertise for one. My butler is fat: I advertise for a lean one. My housemaid is careless: I advertise for one who is careful. What sad domestic pictures arise out of this consideration! Thus:

First, a thorough In-door Servant:

Let us pause for a minute. The advertiser wants several servants. Evidently, there has been a regular turn-out of the entire establishment: the domestics have all been turned out of doors; hence the want of a thorough in-door servant. No gad-about, no desire to walk out and get half a yard of ribbon in the evening, or a pining for a Sunday out, as the other servant, who has left, was accustomed to do. Let us continue:

Wife as Professed Cook: no assistance given, as there are but two in family;

One of the two in family was obliged to assist in the kitchen occasionally in former times, “But,” says he to himself, or she to herself, “I don’t do that again,” and hence the terms of the advertisement.

Secondly, a thoroughly good active Gardener, he must milk one cow well, he must be married, with no encumbrance.

What a state of things must have existed before! Let us suppose what the former gardener was like; of course the opposite of the above description. He must have been “a thoroughly bad slothful gardener, he milked two cows badly, and one not at all; he wasn’t married, but he had seven children.” I pity the master, and am not surprised at the advertisement.

Here’s another that makes one grieve for the suffering family:

FOOTMAN WANTED, not under 20, in a small quiet family, to wear livery, and make himself useful. He must be Church of England, have a year’s character, and not smoke.

Their last footman was, you may gather from this, nineteen years of age, was dirty and slovenly in his dress, and regarded himself as simply ornamental. He was of no fixed principles, inclining secretly to Mormonism, had a vague six months’ character, and appreciated his master’s cigars and tobacco to a pretty considerable extent.

About Roger Pocock

Co-writer on Author of Editor of
This entry was posted in 19th Century, Britain, History, Humor, Humour, Magazines, People, Pick of Punch, Punch, Punch Magazine. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Lazy Cow-Milking Gardener

  1. Your wit it very delightful!

    Liked by 1 person

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