The sheet of writing paper and writing utensils on the desk suggest that this young woman wishes to put something down on paper. But what? She seems uncertain about the subject matter, and so she takes a sip of wine, the wine jug still in her left hand. In Ter Borch’s time, drinking alcohol was considered a sign of loose moral conduct, especially for women. It is therefore certainly no coincidence that an ornate bed decorated with a canopy and curtains appears in the background. In fact, the painter’s sister, a poet, recommended wine as an effective remedy for love’s disappointments! It would therefore be conceivable that the young woman is about to formulate a response to a lover, and that she would like to take a sip of courage first. Her inkwell and quill are ready and waiting.