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Emory Women Writers Resource Project Collections:
Emory Women Writers Resource Project

The Gentlewomans Companion, an electronic edition. Edited with an introduction by Katherine Ellison

by Anonymous

date: 1673
source publisher: Printed by A. Maxwell for Dorman Newman
collection: Early Modern through the 18th Century


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The Gentlewomans Companion:
To all Ingenious
Ladies and Gentlewomen

Ladies, The last I sent unto your view,
The Queen-like Closet I presented you:
And in it such rare Secrets I may say,
In no Book you will find (though read you may.)
'Tis twelve years past since first in print I came,
More for my Countries good, then to get fame.
My Study was to impart to others free,
What God and Nature hath informed me.
I muse not hide that Talent God me gave,
Content I am, others a share should have
To practice what I teach, if pains they'l take,
Amends for all my care they will me make.
Servant to Ingenuity I'le be,
Such Ladies shall command all Arts from me.
Nothing from them I'le hide that's in my heart,
To wait on them I think it is my part.
And to confirm to them what I have writ,
Fearing no Censures 'mongst them that have Wit.
If any one that Honour will be give,
To see me in the place where I do live,
I will them satisfie in every thing
That they desire, and vindication bring
Unto my self, who have been much abus'd
By a late printed Book, my Name there us'd:
I was far distant when they printed it,
Therefore that Book to own I think not fit.
To boast, to brag, tell stories in my praise,
That's not the way (I know) my Fame to raise.
Nor shall I borrow any Pen or Wit
(Innocence will hide what faults I do commit.)
My true intent is for to serve you all;
To work, to write, to come when you do call.
Nor would I seem as dead while I do live,
No commendation to me would that give:
Nor like the idle Drone my time to pass,
But as the Bee, such Honey from Flower and Grass.
The Quintessence of what I have I send;
Accept it really, as I intend,

Appendix 2

For to accomplish those who want the skill,
Their Tables to adorn and Closets fill.
To those of riper judgment I submit,
To commend or to censure want I've writ.
Thus Ladies, I take leave, desiring still,
Your pleasures and your fancies to fulfil.

H. W.