Even so, Jane Austen observed the convention that working classes did not appear in novels other than as 'low' comic butts. With the doubtful exception of Rebecca in Mansfield Park, they have no personalities, only names and functions – Baddeley, Sir Thomas' butler; and Mrs. Chapman, Lady Bertram's woman; Patty, maid-of-all-work at Miss Bates's; Hill the housekeeper at Mrs. Bennet's; and Wright at Mrs. Elton's. There are some even without names – 'the maid' who curled Emma's hair, or lit Catherine's fire, or had the third seat in General Tilney's coach.
Servants in the novels say little (except when illustrating the coarseness of the Price household in Portsmouth), but we are aware of their presence, often as inhibitors of conversation. In Mansfield Park, the appearance of Baddeley with the tea things protects Fanny from further importuning by Henry Crawford. Earlier, on the second floor of Mansfield Park, the appearance of a housemaid prevented any further conversation just when Edmund has started to seek Fanny’s help in sorting out his confused feelings for Mary Crawford.