This concluding chapter investigates how subalterns spend those long periods of inactivity. By virtue of their function, they continue to work even when all they have to do is wait: either for the next command or for the bell, from one of the rooms or at the front door. Waiting makes all servants equal, irrespective of their real status: whether they are high-ranking messengers, servants of communication stationed somewhere at the periphery, or underlings passing the time in the staff room, they wait for the bell to ring. But whenever they are deep in thought, lost in reading, or taking in spiritual nourishment, servants do not necessarily manage their own time but rather the time of their masters. The lack of activity is not meant for their own comfort or relaxation.
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