The Good Servant Guide – everything you need to know about finding the right staff
Many of our great houses still keep a Fool on the staff. A Fool can really help the life of a great house by bringing joy and make comments to bring some light relief to the master or mistress.
We have found some time to talk to Feste, Fool at the house of the grand lady the Countess Olivia.
Good Servant Guide- Feste, tell us about your work at the house of Olivia.
Feste- It is hard work. People don’t think it is, but they don’t realise that you have to keep on watching what is going on around you and then thinking of witty and humorous things to say. Not easy. And you have to be prepared to sing whenever they ask too!
GSG- Some great houses have dispensed with their Fool. Why do you think it is important to have a Fool on the staff?
Feste- The Fool helps to make the life of the house joyful with songs and witty remarks. It can be very serious in a great house like Olivia’s especially as she is in mourning at present. My witty remarks and jokes help to lighten the atmosphere and help my mistress to see the brighter side of life.
GSG- It sounds as though it might be quite a risky position.
Feste Yes, it can be because, sometimes, you might have to point out things that the master or mistress doesn’t want to hear.
GSG Such as?
Feste- Well, I pointed out to my mistress that her mourning might be becoming too excessive. You just have to hope that your words will make her think and look at her life from the outside. It’s a sensitive job and an important one. If you get things wrong and annoy your mistress instead of making her laugh, then you can easily lose your job.
GSG- Thank you, Feste for explaining the fool’s role so clearly for our readers. Perhaps more of our great houses should think about finding a Fool.