The housholders philosophie

The Housholders

Wherein is perfectly and profitably described,
he true Oeconomia and forme of
With a Table added thereunto of all the notable
thinges therein contained.
First written in Italian by that excellent Orator and Poet
Signior Torquato Tasso,and now translated
by T. K.
Whereunto is anexed a dairie Booke for
all good huswives.

Printed by J. C. for Thomas Hacket,
and are to be sold at his shop in Lomberd-streete,
vnder the signe of the Popes head.


A Catalogue or Index of those thinges woorth the memory contained in this Booke.

AChilles is not to bee imitated of a noble man. Folio. 13
Ayde amongst Servaunts for the helpe and ease of one another necessarie. 17
Arte of weaving honourable. fol. 21
Artificers defined. fol. 17
Autumn more copious offruites then the springtime. fol. 6
Autumn wherfore judged the best of other seasons. 7
Age in marriage to be lookt unto. 10
Apparrell for Women. 11
Arteficiall riches what. fol. 19
Beautie more regarded in a Woman then a Man. fol. 11
Beauty forced by painting insupportable in a woman. cod.
Beefe at feasts, more used for fashion then foode. fol. 5
Beefe sought for and desired by Ulysses Servaunts in theyr [Page] travayle eodem
Bo [...]e wedded to the soule. folio. 9
Catullus why he called Wine bytter. fol. 6
Collour of Wine and what [...]ought to be. fol. 5
Circes given to weaving. 7
Comodities of the spring and of Autumn. 6
Complexion of servaunts, and what it should be. 16
Consideration in condicions of possessions. 19
Clerkes or Secretaries who and what they ought to be. 17
Conjunction of man and wife like that of the body and the soule. 9
Conservation of things howe it shoulde bee used by a good huswife. 18. 20
Customs in bringing up of Children. 13
Care of housekeeping of divers sortes, and whether they varie in forme onely or in gettings. 20
Care of Children how it is to bee devided twixt Father and the Mother. 12
Care of the Huswife concerning thinges that are brought into the house. 20
Cares necessary for a housekeeper desirous to preserve his wealth. 18
Care of houshold is devided into two parts. 8
Care of housekeeping as great to the Fathers and Maisters thereof as is the care of a Kingdome to a King. eodem
Clenlines in housekeeping. 16
Care of servaunts in their sicknes. 17
Chastisement toward servaunts what. 13
Countrey provision unbought serving for the Table. 3
Conserves necessary in houses. 20
C [...]ll warres begunne by Servaunts. 15
Desire of ryches and howe farre it dooth concerne a housekeeper. Fol. 24
Difference betwixt Exchaunge and Usury. 25
Difference of Servaunt and soveraigne or Maister, founded first by Nature. fol. 14
Delights of the Spring and of Autumne. fol. 6
Devision of lande Quadrupartite. 3
Difference betwixt the instruction of Servauntes and of Beastes. fol. 15
Discomodities of Sommer and Winter. 6
Disobedience of Wives whence it riseth. 10
Distinction of nobilitie betwixt man and wife how great. 9.
Difference in merchandize. eodem.
Earth universall nurse of all thinges. Fol. 23
Education of Children as well appertaines to the Mother as the Father. fol. 12
Education of Children, and what it ought to be. 13
Exercise of Housekeepers for health. 10
Equallitie in marriage to be respected. Fol. 9.
Equallitie in marriage wherein it doth consist. eodem
Exercise a Husbandmans phisicke fol. 10
Families or housholdes of what sorte of Servaunts to bee made. fol. 16
Factors and surveighors and overseers. eodem.
Feasts not forbidden to Women. 21
Fortune maketh many men servile. 15
Fruites preserved in Vineger. 20
Fruites of the earth are naturall gaines. 19
Feare not commendable in a man. 10
Forme of getting what. 23.
Gaine in ware naturall 23
Gaine unnaturall how it is distinguished 25
Gaine purchased with sweat or sweete. eodem
Gaine honestly made by the Mistresse of the house. 23
Grapes gathered out of season. fol. 5
Grapes growing in Greece, of what collour and what wine is made of them eodem
Grapes gathered in Autumn. 6
Homer why he called Wine sweete, and why bitter. fol. 6
Homer what properties he gave to Wine. 5
Huswifry consisting much in spinning. 20
Hayre a great ornament of nature. 11
Hayre cut from Wemens heads and why. eodem
Honest recreation not to be with-held from Women. 12
Harts not bredde in Affrick. fol. 5
Idlenes and ease make some servaunts evill. Fol. 16
Instruments of housholde to be kept cleene. eodem
Imitation of Nature. eodem
[Page 3]
Love figured without a bearde. Folio. 11
Lovers wanton embracings different from those of married folke. eodem
Love of Children. 12
Lynen and wollen weaving necessary in housekeeping. 20
Money why and how founde out and used. Fol. [...]9
Matrimonie maketh equall many differences. 10
Marriage at what yeeres to be solemnized 4
Meate wanting upon suddaine entertainment of guests, how to be supplyed. 12
Mothers ought to give their owne Children sucke. eodem
Mothers ought not to be too tender to their children. 13
Nature chaunged by Nurses Milke. Fol. 12
Nurses commonly ordinary persons. eodem
Naturall gayne how to be raysed. eodem
Naturall riches what. 10
Offices how and when to be distinguished. Fol. 16
Oxen placed by Hesiodus in steede of servaunts. 15
Opinions of some concerning the soule. 9
Orders in housholde busines. 16
Orders of Publicans. 24
Practises of minde and body howe to be used. Fol. 13
People regard aparances. 14
Petrarchs opinion of the people. eodem
Quallitie of substaunce what. 19
Quality of servaunts what. eodem
Revenewes. Fol. 18
Rents. eodem
Regard of householders. 19
Reason necessary in Servaunts. eod.
Riches howe to be considered. 20
Servaunts working. Fol. 17
Servaunts care in maintayning of their working tooles. 16. 17
Salary or wages fit for Servaunts. 14
Shamfastnes not improper to a maried man. 9
Scituation of landes. eodem
Servaunts a defence to their Maister. 15
Servaunts different from slaves. 14
Servaunts what and who they be: 17
Servaunts how to be used. eodem
Thales one of the seaven wise men of Greece, howe hee became rich. Fol. 19
Times of the yeere to bee considered of a housholder and good Husbands. eodem
Vertues proper to men what. 9
Vertues proper to Women. eodem
Usury how pernicious a thing it is. 25
Wealth how to be used 18
Weaving how first found out. 20
Women how to be chosen in wedlock. 11
Women maried rather yong then olde. 10



[Page 18]

And nowe because we have sufficiently spoken, (though not so much as you desire) touching the regard of the person, for that our spéeche hath reference as well to Maydens as men Servaunts, and because there hath béene nothing left out that belongeth to a Husband, a Maister, or a Housekeeper: I thinke it requisite to come to that, which we devised and devided for the second part of our discourse: that is, of Wealth or substance, wherein we wil effectually make mention of the duetie of a Huswife, and of womens busines. The care of wealth or substance, as we said before, is imployed toConservation andEncrease, and is devided betwixt the Master and Mistresse, because the encrease is as proper to the Maister, as the keeping to the Mistresse, howbeit to him (that perticulerly considereth the care of the encrease) it is proper to the Maister, and the other common, whatsoever others heertofore have spoken to this purpose. But forasmuch as nothing can be encreased that is not first, and wholy kept togeather: the Housekeeper that is desirous to preserve his wealth, should perticulerly know the quallitie, and quantity of his revenues and expences, wherewith he is to keepe his house, and to maintaine his family with credit, and (measuring the manner of his revenewes, with the issue of his[Page]charges) so to live, as his expence may proove the least, making that proportion with his comings in, as foure to eight, or sixe at least, for he that spends as much, as he receives of his possessions, cannot recover those losses, which by chaunce or Fortune may betide him: as by fires, tempests, inundations, & other such, nor supply the necessity of some expence, which (béeing accidentall) cannot be provided for. Furthermore, (to be certified of his substance, and the value of his riches) it be hooves that he himselfe have séene, and measured his possessions, even with those compasses, which gave begining to GeometryinEgypt; which though they be divers according to the variety of Countreys, is (notwithstanding) no occasion ofsubstantiall difference; it also behooveth that he knowe, that what he reapes be aunswerable unto that he sowed, and with what proportion, the earth restoreth that which it receiveth: and as requisit it is, that hee take ye like notice of all whatsoever els belongeth, to husbandry or grazing, and no lesse to harken after the prices, that are sette by publique Magistrates, or by consent of Marketfolks within the Countrey where he dwelleth, then to be enformed how they buy or sell inTuryno, Myllan, Lyons, or Venice,wherof (béeing well advertised and instructed) he cannot be deceived by his Bailiesfe, béeing a Husbandman, or abused by his Factor béeing a Merchaunt. But forasmuch as I have said, that he ought to be advised, both of the quantity and quallitie, of that which he possesseth: (I call not onely that Quantitie which is measured by Geometrie, as are Fields, Medowes, Woods, or that which is accustomd to be numbred by Algorisme, as Flocks and Heards, but that which is accounted as gold or silver coyned) for (in the quadering and making even of the enteries, with the expences) no quantity is more to be considered, then that of money, which may bee gathered and received of Rent, and such like revenewes, which is often chaunging and incertaine: for Landes are not alwaies let at one rate, their price and profits rise and fall as other meane things, or things of more account.

In [Page 19] which incertainty and variable state of thinges, a good Husbands judgment, experience, & dilligence so much prevailes, as not only is sufficient to preserve, but to encrease his substance, which béeing in the manurance and handling of an ignorant, or overwéener, dooth not onely decrease, but perisheth.

That call I Quallity of substance then, that is artificial or naturall, of living things, or things without life: Arteficiall are moveables or houshold implements, and hapely the house it selfe, and money which was first found out by mans appointment. Because we may live without it, as they dyd in the old time, wherin exchaunge of things was made with out returne of money: afterward (by the lawe of man) was mony invented, whereupon it was called Numus of [...], which (by the Greeke interpretation) signifiethLaw, which commodiously fitting, and making equall things exchanged, hath made the entercourse of buying and selling, very easie, and more certaine, then when they onely used exchaunge.

Arteficiallriches may all those things be called, wherein the workmanship of the Maister is rather solde and more estéemed, then the matter or the thing made:Naturallare those that are produced by Nature, whereof also some are without life, as Lands, Medowes, Mettals, and some with life, as Flocks & Heards, whereof the good Housekeeper (oftentime) receiveth profit. Further it commeth into the consideration ofQuallitie, to know whether the Landes or possessions, lye neere or far from any Cittie, if they joyne to any standing Lake or Poole, by the exhalation of whose evill vapours, the ayre becommeth filthy and infected: or whether any Springs or Ryvers be adjacent, which by (ofte recorse and refluence) may gather vertue, to refine and purge the ayre: and whether they be guirt or environed with hylles, or lye open to the winds, whether uppon the bancks (to any navigable water) or in a champant Countrey: whereby the commodities raised thereupon, may be transported easily in Carres, or other carriages unto the Cittie, or whether it lie[Page]stéepeward downe the hyls, uneasie and painful to be past, so that he must needs be chargde wt sompter men: whether it be néere to any high way or common stréet, through which the Travailers, Italian Merchants, or those ofGermany orFraunce are used to passe: or far from frequence, or resort of Passengers, or such as use to bartre or exchaunge: if aloft, where it lyes in prospect, or below in some Valley, where it may be overflowne: all which conditions, as they much increase and deminish the price and value of the things possest, so may they be occasion of sparing in expences, and teach thée to conserve and multiply thy Revenewes, if (like a good husband) thou advise thee and consider it.

But to come somewhat more perticulerly to the care and regard, that is (indeede) required, he should so provide that whatsoever is necessarye for the use of his house in the Cittie, be brought from his Ferme or Mannor in the Countrey, and to leave his house there, furnished of so much as may suffise him and his family when he shall bee disposed to sojourne there, and to sell the rest at such convenient time as things are déerest, and with the mony that ariseth thereof, to buy those things which his owne possessions yéeld not, and yet are necessary for a Gentleman, now & then when they are better cheape. All which he may easily doo, if in sparing that expence he used at first, he reserve some mony overplus: againe, he may kéepe his mony by him many times, when by his own conjecture, opinion of Prognostications, or spéech of other mens experience he heares, or feareth any dearth or scarcity, and then to lay it out when hee perceives the great aboundaunce of the yere, and fruitfulnes of seasons, remembring that example of Thales, who (through his knowledgeThales, one of the seven wise men of Greece.of naturall things) suddainly became rich, with a bargaine that he made for Dyle. Thys shall bee the Husbands rare. But such things whatsoever as are brought into the house, eyther from the Countrey, or bought about in Markets, shal be wholy recommended to the wyves charge, who is to kéep and set them up, in severall places, according to their natures,[Page 20]for some would be kept moyst and cold, and some dry, othersome would be one while set in the Sunne, another while in the winde, some wilbe long kept, othersome a little while, all which a good huswife (well considering) shold cause those that wyll not kéepe, to be first eaten, and make store of the rest. Howbeit, those also that will not kéepe, (without corruption) may be holpen many waies, and made to kéep long. For Salt and vineger doo not onely keepe flesh long time sweete, and seazoned, but fish and fowle, which will bee suddainly corrupt. Besides, many sorts of fruit that will quickly putrefie and perish, if they be sharpe or tarte (otherwise not) wil be long maintaind in Vineger. Likewise the hanging up in smoke, or baking of some kinds of flesh, or fish and divers sorts of fruits, drawes away theyr moysture, (that is cause of their corruption) and maketh that they may be kept the longer.

This is a selection from the original text


corn, drink, necessaries, scarcity, wealth

Source text

Title: The Housholders Philosophie. Wherein is perfectly and profitably described, the true Oeconomia and forme of Housekeeping. With a Table added thereunto of all the notable thinges therein contained. First written in Italian by that excellent Orator and Poet Signior Torquato Tasso, and now translated by T. K. Whereunto is anexed a dairie Booke for all good huswives.

Author: Torquato Tasso, Thomas Kyd

Publisher: F.C

Publication date: 1588

Edition: 2nd Edition

Place of publication: London

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from images available at Early English Books Online: Bibliographic name / number: STC (2nd ed.) / 23703 Physical description: [6], 27, [11] leaves Copy from: Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery Reel position: STC / 333:12

Digital edition

Original author(s): Torquato Tasso, Thomas Kyd

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) title page
  • 2 ) Catalogue
  • 3 ) 18r to 20v


Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Das Gupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

Texts encoded by: Bonisha Bhattacharya, Shreya Bose, Lucy Corley, Kinshuk Das, Bedbyas Datta, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Sarbajit Mitra, Josh Monk, Reesoom Pal

Encoding checking by: Hannah Petrie, Gary Stringer, Charlotte Tupman

Genre: Britain > manuals and guides

For more information about the project, contact Dr Ayesha Mukherjee at the University of Exeter.