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

The Gentlewoman's Companion: or, A Guide to the Female Sex, an electronic edition

by Hannah Woolley [Woolley, Hannah, fl. 1670]

date: 1675
source publisher: Printed by A. Maxwell for Edward Thomas
collection: Early Modern through the 18th Century

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Instructions for all Chamber-maids to Gentle-women in City and Country.

From you it will be required that you wash and starch very well both Tiffanies, Lawns, Points and Laces, and that you can mend what is amiss in them.

That you work Needle-work well, and all sorts | | 210 of Plain-work, or any other work with the Needle which is used in such Houses.

That you wash black and white Sarsnets; that you dress well, and diligently perform what you are commanded by your Mistress; be neat in your Habit, modest in your Carriage, silent when she is angry, willing to please, quick and neat-handed about what you have to do.

You must know how to make all manner of Spoon-meats, to raise Paste, to dress Meat well, (though not often required thereunto) both of Fish and Flesh; to make Sauces, garnish Dishes, make all sorts of Pickles, to see that every thing be served in well and handsomely to the Table, in due time, and to wait with a graceful decorum at the Table if need should require.

Keep your Mistresses Chamber clean, and lay up every thing in its due place; you ought to be skillful in buying any thing in the Market, if you be intrusted therewith; these things will be expected from you in those Houses where there is no Head-cook. If there be no Butler, you must see all things decent and fitting in the Parlour and Dining room.

In a word, you must divest your Mistress from all the care you can, giving to her a just and true account of what moneys you lay out, shewing your self thrifty in all your disbursements; be careful in overlooking inferiour servants, that they waste nothing which belongs to your Master and mistress.

If you are thus qualified, and be of an humble and good disposition, your merit will deserve a good Salary, and a great deal of love and respect. | | 211 If you have not these accomplishments, endeavour their procuration by sparring so me money from superfluous expence, and over gaudy clothes for to see a Maid finely trickt up, having a fine show without, and not one good qualification within, is like a jointed Bartholomem-Baby bought for no other use than to be look'd upon.

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