It is almost impossible to get a competent girl for general housework these days, and viewed in the light of past experiences with the able but unwilling, the willing but unable, the stupid, the dishonest, the ignorant servant within our gates, with the very occasional good genius of the kitchen to leaven the lump of incompetency, we are sorely tempted to give up the struggle and do our own work, feeling that the time and strength so consumed are more than compensated for by the peace of mind which comes with the cessation of hostilities. But after a breathing spell we are generally ready for another joust, and the struggle goes on as of yore. Shops and factories have greatly reduced the supply of servants, and of these so many specialize as cooks, waitresses, and nurses that we really have a very small choice when seeking an all-round maid - one who has some knowledge and experience of the different branches of housecraft. And right here we encounter another difficulty: ways of living and methods of household management are so diverse that a girl might be considered competent by one mistress and entirely the reverse by another. Our servants are more or less as we make them, and it is frequently the case that the mistress herself needs a course of instruction before she is capable of rightly instructing her maid - a course which shall embrace not only housewifery, but the cultivation of self-command, patience, wisdom, consideration, and that power which comes only with knowledge. The raw foreigner with whom she often has to deal is so entirely ignorant of life as we know it; her training in field and peasant's cottage has in no way prepared her for the refined home with its dainty furnishings and food, and the difficulty of understanding and being understood adds to the perplexities of the slow and undeveloped mind. Such a servant is really nothing but a child, so far as her faculties are concerned, and should be treated as one until experience and training shall enable her to put away childish things. Like most children, she is an imitator; let it be our care that we set only a worthy example before her. She is quick to recognize inconsistency or unfairness, and to seize an opportunity to get the upper hand. Try to treat her with a firmness which is not arbitrary, and a kindness and consideration which are not familiarity. Make her feel that she is an entity, a person of place and importance in making home comfort, and a good bit of that subtle antagonism which seems to exist between mistress and maid will be gradually smoothed away. Don't wonder if she has the blues occasionally; you have them yourself. Don't be worried if she is a trifle slow; help her to systematize and so shorten her labors. If she cracks and breaks your dishes show her how to handle and care for them, with a timely word about avoiding undue haste. If she wants to do certain things in her own way, let her, provided it is not a bad way, until you can prove to her that yours is better. You know there are other ways than yours - good ones, too. Study her as you would a refractory engine; if she runs off the track, or doesn't run at all, or has a hotbox or any other creature failing learn the cause and remedy it if you can. She is human, like yourself, and young too, probably, and needs diversion. Don't begrudge it to her when it is of the right kind. Like you, she needs rest occasionally, between whiles; make an opportunity for it. She needs good strengthening food; see that she has it, and if she prefers plain living and high thinking on bread and tea, that's her own lookout. She probably will have strong leanings toward the jam closet; lock the door and keep the key, and leave no money, jewelry, or other valuables carelessly about to tempt ber, perhaps beyond her strength. Don't be overnice in your exactions; if she is even a fairly good cook, waitress, and laundress, you are indeed blessed among women. Give judicious praise or kindly criticism where due; sometimes a warning in time will save nine blunders. While she is under your roof and a member of your family you are in a measure responsible for her welfare, moral, spiritual, and physical, and are her natural and lawful protector. She may neither need nor want your protection, but let her feel that it is there, none the less.