each man ought to attend to his affairs in person. We may
commend also a pair of sayings, one attributed to a Persian and the other to a
Libyan. The former on being asked what best conditions a horse, replied "His
The Libyan, when asked what kind of manure is best,
answered "The master's footprints."
The master and mistress should, therefore,
give personal supervision, each to his or her special department of the
household work. In small households, an occasional inspection will suffice; in
estates managed through stewards, inspections must be frequent. For in
stewardship as in other matters there can be no good copy without a good
example; and if the master and mistress do not attend diligently to their
estate, their deputies will certainly not do so.
Moreover, as such habits are
both commendable for moral reasons and also conducive to good management, the
master and mistress will do well to rise earlier than their servants and to
retire later; to treat their home as a city, and never leave it unguarded; nor
ever, by night or by day, to postpone a task which ought to be done. Rising
before daylight is also to be commended; it is a healthy habit, and gives more
time for the management of the household as well as for liberal
We have remarked that on small holdings the Athenian
method of disposing of the produce is advantageous.
On large estates, after the amount for the year's or the
month's outlay has been set apart, it should be handed to the overseers; and so
also with implements, whether for daily or for occasional use. In addition, an
inspection of implements and stores should be made periodically, so that
remainders and deficiencies may alike be noted.
In constructing a homestead,
we have to provide for the stock which it is to shelter, and for its health and
well-being. Providing for the stock involves questions such as these: What type
of building is best for the storage of crops and of clothing? How are we to
store the dry crops, and how the moist ones? Of the other stock, how is the
living to be housed, and how the dead? and what accommodation are we to make for
slaves and free, for women and men, for foreigners and fellow-citizens? For
well-being and health, again, the homestead should be airy in summer, and sunny
A homestead possessing these qualities would be longer
than it is deep; and its main front would face the south. On large estates,
moreover, it seems worth while to instal as porter a man incapable of other
work, to keep his eye on what passes in and out.