- A valet knows his master’s private life.
- The master may be a hero to the public.
- To the valet, he is only a man, with a man’s weaknesses.
- The saying cynical: and not always true.
A valet is the personal servant of a gentleman. He is what in Pakistan is called a “bearer”. He keeps and brushes his master’s clothes, lays out his suits for him to wear, brings him his morning tea, prepares his bath, helps him to dress, and waits on him in any way his master wants. So the valet knows a good deal of his master’s private life.
Now the valet’s master may be a public character. He may be a great statesman, a famous soldier, a well known artist, a noted musician, a popular actor. To the public outside he is a great and important personage. His guests at dinner see him as an accomplished gentleman and perfect host; the public knows him as a fine orator who can sway the multitude, or a general who has won famous victories, or a singer or violinist who can draw crowds to hear him, or a great actor who can move a theater audience to tears or laughter. To them he is a hero; a great man whom they respect and run to see and hear. They know little or nothing of his private life; they see only the grand outside.
But to his valet the great man is simply a man. He sees his master in undress, so to speak, when no one else is looking, and when a man is likely to be his natural self. The valet sees him off his guard. Even the greatest heroes may be subject to indigation, colds in the heads fits of bad temper, unpleasant habits, and petty human weaknesses. The public do not see their hero in these weak moment’s but the valet does. And, as the similar proverb says, “Familiarity breeds contempt”. The valet says in his heart, “If the public knew my master as he really is, they would no longer admire him and call him a hero”.
But, after all, both these proverbs are rather cynical. They both assume that no master can be great in private as well as in public, and that no personal servant is capable of appreciating greatness. But this is not true. There are valets who can and do appreciate the greatness of their masters because there are masters who are great through and through. Familiarity does not breed contempt except when the man with whom we are familiar really deserves contempt, or when though he really deserves respect, we are incapable of appreciating his noble qualities.
No Man Is a Hero to His Valet – 400 Words
Someone has said: ‘I judge a man from what his servant thinks of him.’ There is a good deal of truth in this observation. The valet or the servant studies his master at close quarters’ he knows him to the soul. Whereas the public see only the exterior, the valet has opportunities of seeing his master in undress-physical and mental.
The world is a stage and men and women are merely actors. In the world outside we all try to pretend, to pose, to pass off better than we are. This is human nature. Take public character. Even when he is poor at making speeches and lacks the gift of the gab, when he is called upon to address a public gathering, he tries to cut a good figure and impress the public. He may have to take the help of some friends; he may have been working hard at home, mugging up the entire speech. These things are known only to the servant at home. The public have no idea of the efforts made at home, and of the friends consulted before making the speech. They judge him on the basis of what he has spoken regardless of any other consideration. Thus we may be a hero in the eyes of his audience but the truth about him is known to the servant.
The public do not know anything about the hero’s private life. The valet knows all about his master, all his faults and frailties, weaknesses and shortcomings. If his master has some foibles bad temper, queer habits etc. the public have fever opportunities of knowing them. But the servant sees him in is weak moments and has innumerable opportunities of studying his master’s weakness. Thus man may succeed in hiding his natural self from outsiders, but e cannot do so from his servant. Many a wine-bibber has been success al in impressing others as a teetotaller, but no drunkard has been able to conceal his weakness from his servant. Appearances are deceptive.
But the saying is not wholly true. There are valets who speak admiringly of their masters. Some heroes have inherent greatness in the and are generally free form ordinary foibles. Their private life is as spotless as their public life and their conduct is the expression of their inner life. The saying does not apply to them. Again, some valets are no judge of character and the fail to understand their masters. Some servants are of a churlish, malicious disposition and malign their masters out of sheer spite. In such circumstances, the valet is not a dependable guide.