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A sketch of the female domestic servant during the Regency period is summed up thus:
“..her own character and condition overcome all sophistications…her shape, fortified by the mop and scrubbing-brush, will make its way; and exercise keeps her healthy and cheerful. Through the same cause her temper is good..”
La Belle Assemblée; or, Bell’s court and fashionable … N.S. 15-16 (1817)
Of course, if the maidservant be “dirty always,” like the nature of her labor, there is little to be interested in. But if the maid is otherwise “snug and neat at all times,” and if she always has a pin to give you, that is something remarkable, and therefore worth examining.
In the “ordinary room,” which is usually the kitchen, the maidservant has a drawer assigned to her. It might be in the great trestle table, or among the zillions of drawers in the large wall-cupboard. Inside it she…
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