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jeannine   Link to this

From Antonia Fraser's "The Weaker Vessel' (slight spoilers)
From her chapter entitled "The Delight of Business" which starts off with this interesting quote:

"Business is her sole delight in this world....It is a charity to keep her in full employment." As quoted from Mrs. Constance Pley to Samuel Pepys, Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, 1666

"Pepys, as Clerk of the Acts to the Navy Board, involved with the provisioning and equipping of the Fleet, came into contact with more than one 'she-merchant' in the course of his official duties, with pleasanter consequences. Mrs. Elizabeth Russell had been the wife of a respected ship's chandler named Robert Russell. After his death in 1663, the widow took on the business-including the practice of sweetening those able to put business her way. She sent Mrs. Pepys a fine St George in alabaster, which the latter placed in her bedroom; Pepys himself received a case of knives with agate hafts, which he described as 'very pretty'.

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