• The French garden: for English ladyes and gentlewomen to walke in. Or, A sommer dayes labour Being an instruction for the attayning vnto the knowledge of the French tongue:

    A conversational manual, in the form of a series of dialogues, intended to help teach the French Tongue to ladies.

    Author: Peter Erondell
    Modern English (post-1500)
    Published in 1605
    Renaissance Clothing and Textile Terms
    1600 AD - 1699 AD

    Transcription taken from the text of Erondell's book in "The Elizabethan Home" by Muriel St. Clair Byrne, 1923.


The rising in the Morning

The Lady called my Lady Ri-Melaine
The chamber-maid (called Prudence)
The Page
The wayting Gentle-woman named Joly

Lady. Hoe! Who is in the inner Chamber? how now, Maidens, heere you not? are you deafe?

Prudence. I am heere Madam.

Lady. Why doe you suffer me to sleepe so long? I am ashamed of myselfe truely.

Pru. I came heather soft and faire, once or twice, to see if you were awaked, and seeing you a sleepe I durst not awake you, but it is not so late as you think.

Lady. What is it a clocke?

Pru. It is but halfe an houre past seaven.

Lady. What is it so farre day? Oh God! I went to bed yesternight so timely, thinking to rise this morning, at the farthest at 6. a clock: now I verifie in me the grave speeches of that great Philosopher, the Emperor Marc. Aur. speaking of the unsatiableness of mankinde, when he said (among other things) the more I sleep, the more I would sleep. Go too go too, draw the windowe Curtains: call my Page, let him bring some wood to my Chamber doore, make a fier quickly, that I may rise.

Pru. Page where are you? What are you not readye? I thinke you must have a Chamberlaine.

Page. How now? What have you seene this morning? Hath your lover broken promise with you? How sharp you are! How wel you play the Mistresse? My Lady could not chide better, what ayleth you?

Pru. I cry you mercye Sir, have I offended you? one may not speake to you, but with reerence, you have forgotten your last beating, you have great need that my Lady remember you, it is so long since shee made you be whipped: will it please you to fetch some wood? bring some faggots and billets, forget not a baven, and see that it be drye, for the faggots are too greene, lay them at the Chamber doore, & come not in the chamber until my lady be up, or that you be called, hasten you.

Lady. O God! how long you make me tarrye! Kindle the fire quickly, warme my smocke and give it me. Where is Joly? call her:

Pru. She commeth Madame. Mistress Jolye, My Ladye calleth you in great hast:

Jolye. Good Lord! What shall I doe? She sill chide me, I pray thee sweet heart, help me a little to put on my gowne, give me that Rebato as it is, I will pin it anone, I have not leysure to doe it now: I cannot find my Kertle nor my aprone, I give you great thankes, I will an other time, doe so much for you.

Pru. Mend that same a little, that hangeth behinde you.

Jolye. I am well enough, I will dresse my selfe better anone. Let me goe, I heare my Ladye call.

Lady. Will you keepe me heere all the day? Where be all my thinges? Goe fetch my cloathes: bring my petty-coate bodies: I meane my damask quilt bodies with whale bones, what lace doe you give me heere? this lace is too shorte, the tagges are broken, I cannot lace myselfe with it, take it away, I will have that of greene silke: when shall I have my undercoate? Give me my peticoate of wrought Crimson velvet with silver fringe: why doe you not give me my nightgowne? For I take colde: where by me stockens? Give me some cleane sockes, I will have no woorsted hosen, showe me my Carnation silk stockins: where laid you last night my garters? Take away these slippers, give me my velvet pantofles; send for the shoomaker that he may have again these turn-over shooes, for they be too high. Put on my white pumpes; set them up I will have none of them: Give me rather my Spanish leather shooes, for I will walke to-day....Tye the strings with a strong double knot, for feare they untye themselves: Jolye, come dresse my head, set the Table further from the fire, it is too neere. Put my chayre in his place. Why doe you not set my great looking glasse on the table? It is too high, set the supporter lower, Undoe my night attire: Why doe you not call the Page to warme the rubbers? Let him be called: heere sirra warme that, and take heede you burne it not. I praye you Jolye rubbe well my head, for it is very full of dandrife, are not my combes in the case? Where is my Ivorye combe? Combe me with the boxen combe; Give me first my combing cloth, otherwise you will fill me full of haires, the haires will fall upon my cloathes, Combe backeward, O God! you combe too harde, you scratch me, you pull out my hayres, can you not untangle them softly with your hands before you put the combe to it?

olye. Will it please you to rise up a little Madame? For your haires are so long, that they trayle on the ground.

Lady. My daughter Fleurimonde is like me in that, hath she not fayre haires, what say you of it?

Jolye. Truly Madame she hath the fayrest, the longest flaxen-couler haires that one can see, there needeth no curling of them, for they are curled of themselves, In truth she hath the fayrest head of haires that ever I sawe.

Lady. I like her the better for it, it is a thing verye comely for a woman, and as Saint Paul saith, It is an Ornament unto her, but whilst we prattle, we forget that the time goeth away: go too, I am combed enough. Page take the combe-brushes, and make cleane my combes, take heed you doe not make them cleane with those that I use to my head: take a quill to take away the filth from them, and then put them in the case, that none be missing: go too, make an end of dressing my head.

Jolye. What doth it please you to weare to-day Madame? Will it please you to weare your haires onely, or els to have your French whood?

Lady. Give me my whood, for me thinketh it is somewhat colde, and I have a rewme which is falne on the left side of my head, But tarrye, what weather is it?

Jolye. Truely Madame it seemeth that this day will be the fayrest day that hath bene this great while.

Lady. I perceive that you would have me to take an other attyre, and for to please you, I am content of it, but if I be sicke thereby, I will laye the blame on you.

Jolye. Noe with the grace of God Madame.

Lady. Set up then my French whood and my Border of Rubies, give me an other head attyre: take the key of my closet, and goe fetch my long boxe where I set my Jewels (for to have them out) that I use to weare on my head, what is become of my wyer? where is the haire-cap? Have you any ribans to make knots? Where by the laces for to bind my haires? Go too Page, give me some water to wash, where's my muske ball? Give me rather my paste of Almonds, for it scoureth better: where is my piece of Scarlet to wipe my face? Give me that napkin: now set on my Carkenet of precious stones: call my Taylor to bring my gowne, not the close one, but my open gowne of white Sattin layd on with buttons of Pearle. Prudence, give me my bracelets of Agathes: Shall I have no vardingale? You remember nothing, you have a Coneyes memorye, you lose it in running, go too you head-braine fellowe, Page hear you? You doe but playe the foole, doe you not see that I want my buske? what is become of the buske-poynt?

Jolye. What dooth it please you to have Madame, a ruffe band or a Rebato?

Lady. Let me see that ruffe, How is it that the supporter is so soyled? I knowe not for what you are fit, that you cannot so much as to keep my cloathes cleane: I beleeve that the meanest woman in this towne, hath her apparel in better order then I have: take it away give me my Rebato of cutworke edged, is not the wyer after the same sorte as the other? It is a great wonder if it be any thing better, Me think it is now time that you should know how to serve. Is there no small pinnes for my Cuffes? Looke in the pinne-cushen. Pinne that with a blacke pinne, give me my girdle and see that all the furniture be at it: looke if my Cizers, the pincers, the pen-knife, the knife to close Letters, with the bodkin , the ear-picker and my Seale be in the case: where is my pursse to weare upon my gowne? And see that my silver Comfet box be full of COmfets: have I a cleane handkercher? I will have no Muffe, for it is not colde, but shall I have no gloves? Bring my maske and my fanne, Help me to put on my Chayne of pearles. Page come hether, goe to my Lady of Beau-Sejour, have me most humblye commended unto her, & tell her that if she have no greater busines, if it pleaseth her to take the paines to come & dyne with us, & bring with her, her sister, Mistresse Du-Pont-Galliard, they shall be most hartilie welcome, and whome so ever it shall please them to bring with them, & we will do something this afternoone for to recreate us and passe the time: goe your ways, bring me an answer forthwith: and you Prudence set up all my night-geare, put them in the cushen cloath, dresse my chamber, & then goe aske Mistresse Clemence (my Daughters Mistresse) if they be readye? Bid her bring with her to me in the Gallerie, Fleurimonde & Charlot with their worke. Jolye come with me, carye with you my prayer-booke and my Psalter, first goe to the boyes chamber, see if they be readie: come againe by and by, to the end that I be not alone, you shall finde me in the gallerie.