"as you may have surmised, jonathan, the recent social upheavals have made it necessary to consider some economies in the household."
"and you wish to consult me on them? why, aunt, i am flattered. i have never considered myself much of a hand at such matters, but i would be happy to be of service, if you think i can be."
"no, jonathan. i am afraid i did not summon you to ask for your advice. i have already made my decisions. i have decided to reduce the household by dispensing with some of the more superfluous members of it."
"that is all very well, aunt, but dammit, we have barely enough servants as it is. by god, the next thing you know we'll be expected to draw our own baths - or iron and starch our handkerchiefs !" jonathan settled more comfortably into his chair.
"i was not thinking of reducing the staff."
"well. what then? are you going to close off one of the wings of the house? that would be deuced awkward - not to mention damned depressing."
"not that either. look here, jonathan, since you can not take a hint, i will be blunt. some of the junior members of the family will have to go. beginning with yourself."
"ha ha. you are pleased to be droll tonight, aunt."