“It is true, I have not been so numerous in receipts as some who have gone before me, but I think I have made amends in giving none but what are approved and practicable, and fit either for a genteel or a noble Table; and altho’ I have omitted odd and fantastical messes, yet I have set down a considerable number of receipts.
“The treatise is divided into ten parts: cookery contains above an hundred receipts, pickles fifty, puddings above fifty, pastry above forty, cakes forty, creams and jellies above forty, preserving an hundred, made wines forty, cordial waters and powders above seventy, medicines and salves above two hundred; in all near eight hundred.
“I have likewise presented you with schemes engraven on copper-plates for the regular disposition or placing the dishes of provision on the table according to the best manner, both for summer and winter, first and second courses, &c.
“As for the receipts for medicines, salves, ointments, good in several diseases, wounds, hurts, bruises, aches, pains, &c., which amount to above two hundred, they are generally family receipts, that have never been made publick; excellent in their kind, and approved remedies, which have not been obtained by me without much difficulty; and of such efficacy in distempers, &c., to which they are appropriated, that they have cured when all other means have failed; and a few of them which I have communicated to a friend, have procured a very handsome livelihood.
“They are very proper for those generous, charitable, and Christian gentlewomen that have a disposition to be serviceable to their poor country neighbours, labouring under any of the afflicted circumstances mentioned; who by making the medicines, and generously contributing as occasions offer, may help the poor in their afflictions, gain their good-will and wishes, entitle themselves to their blessings and prayers, and also have the pleasure of seeing the good they do in this world, and have good reason to hope for a reward (though not by way of merit) in the world to come.
“As the whole of this collection has cost me much pains and a thirty years’ diligent application, and I have had experience of their use and efficacy, I hope they will be as kindly accepted, as by me they are generously offered to the publick: and if they prove to the advantage of many, the end will be answered that is proposed by her that is ready to serve the publick in what she may.”
SELECT EXTRACTS FROM AN EARLY RECEIPT-BOOK.