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Economy in Housekeeping—Artificial Wants--What is Cheapness?
--Marketing-Short Weights and Measures-Adulteration,
A Servant-Maid of 1743 and 1788--Masters and Mistresses and
Servants - Troubles of Service — Servants' Characters-
Board — Wages Servants as a Class - Old Servants-
Training-Schools of Cookery, etc.,
WHO WAS LADY BOUNTIFUL?
NCE upon a time, that is, in the days of good
Queen Anne, there lived George Farquhar, the first of his period who wrote for the stage, in
an easy, flowing style, and drew his characters from real life. In his most celebrated play is the famous character of Lady Bountiful, considered as the representative of a class of benevolent heads of households at that period; or in the words of the dramatist, “one of the best of women: her last husband, Sir Charles Bountiful, left her worth a thousand pounds a-year; and she lays out one-half on't in charitable uses for the good of her neighbours.' She was, indeed, a benevolent old country gentlewoman, who went about curing all sorts of ailments; and Sir Walter Scott describes a dame as a sort of Lady Bountiful in her way, proud of the skill by which she averts the probable attacks of hereditary malady' by very simple remedies. Old books of receipts, common in those times, exist in manuscript as well as in print. Each large establishment had its manuscript cookery-book, more especially as great progress was now making in the culinary as well as the curative art.
The Herb-garden was then much resorted to ; and there was not a Lady Bountiful in the kingdom but made her own dill-tea and diet-drink from herbs of her own planting.
Among her favourite books must have been Culpeper's Last Legacy; left and bequeathed to his dearest Wife for the Publick Good; containing admirable experiences in chirurgery and physick,-namely, compounding of medicines, as waters, syrups, oils, electuaries, conserves, salts, pills, etc. Another favourite book must have been the Honourable Robert Boyle's Medicinal Experiments; or, a Collection of Choice and Safe Remedies, for the most part simple and easily prepared; very useful in Families, and fitted for the Service of Country People. "The most of the receipts in this book (says the author in his preface) are intended chiefly for the use of those that live in the country, in places where physicians are scarce, if at all to be had, especially by poor people. And because very frequently a labouring man, or a handicraft's-man, or some tradesman, has a whole family depending upon him, being maintained by his pains and industry, and yet is disabled to help himself and them, not by any internal, and oftentimes accidental maladies, such as bruises, strains, cuts, tumours, aches, burns, and the like, I have been careful to furnish the final collection with a pretty number of good receipts, obtained most of them from able surgeons and practitioners, for these external accidents, that these poor upholders of families, who cannot find or fee a surgeon, or a doctor, may be cheaply relieved without either of them.'
In large mansions, an apartment was then used for purposes of distillation. The old name for this room was the Stillatory, which is mentioned in the works of Beaumont and Fletcher. Sir Henry Wotton, too, in planning a great gentleman's house, directs how the kitchen and the stillatory should be placed. There is even now, in great houses, a place called the Still-room, which is usually the territory of the housekeeper; and the servant who attends the same is