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“I AM a woman of an unspotted reputation, and know nothing I have ever done which should encourage such insolence; but here was one the other day, and he was dressed like a gentleman too, who took the liberty to name the words lusty fellow in my presence. I doubt not but you will resent it in behalf of, sir, • Your most humble servant,
• You lately put out a dreadful paper, wherein you promise a full account of the state of criminal love, and call all the fair who have transgressed in that kind by one very
name, which I do not care to repeat; but I desire to know of you whether I am or am not one of those? My case is as follows. I am kept by an old bachelor, who took me so young that I know not how he came by me; he is a bencher of one of the inns of court, a very gay healthy old man; which is a very lucky thing for him, who has been, he tells me, a scowerer, a scamperer, a breaker of windows, and invader of constables, in the days of yore, when all dominion ended with the day, and males and females met helter-skelter, and the scowerers drove before them all who pretended to keep up order or rule to the interruption of love and honour. This is his way of talk, for he is very gay when he visits me; but as his former knowledge of the town has alarmed him into an invincible jealousy, he keeps me in a pair of slippers, neat bodice, warm petticoats, and my own hair woven in ringlets, after a manner, he
says, he remembers. I am not mistress of one farthing of money, but have all necessaries provided for me, under the guard of one who procured for him while he had any desires to gratify. I know nothing of a wench's life but the reputation of it; I have a natural voice, and a pretty untaught step in dancing. His manner is to bring an old fellow who has been his servant from his youth, and is gray-headed; this man makes, on a violin, a certain jiggish noise, to which I dance, and when that is over, I sing to him some loose air that has more wantonness than music in it. You must have seen a strange windowed house near Hyde-Park, which is so built that no one can look out of
any of the apartments; my rooms are after this manner, and I never see man, woman, or child, but in company with the two persons abovementioned. He sends me in all the books, pamphlets, plays, operas, and songs, that come out; and his utmost delight in me as a woman, is, to talk over all his old amours in my presence, to play with my neck, say the time was, give me a kiss, and bid me be sure to follow the directions of my guardian, (the abovementioned lady) and I shall never want. The truth of my case is,
that I was educated for a purpose he did not know he should be unfit for when I came to years. Now, sir, what I ask of you as a casuist, is, to tell me how far, in these circumstances, I am innocent, though submissive; he guilty, though impotent?
· I am, sir,
TO THE MAN CALLED THE SPECTATOR.
• Forasmuch as at the birth of thy labour thou didst promise upon thy word, that letting alone the vanities that do abound, thou wouldst only endeavour to straighten the crooked morals of this our Babylon, 1 gave credit to thy fair speeches, and admitted one of thy papers, every day, save Sunday, into my house, for the edification of my daughter Tabitha, and to the end that Susanna, the wife of my bosom, might profit thereby. But alas! my friend, I find that thou art a liar, and that the truth is not in thee; else why didst thou, in a paper which thou didst lately put forth, make mention of those vain coverings for the heads of our females, which thou lovest to liken unto tulips, and which are lately sprung up among us! Nay, why didst thou make mention of them in such a seeming, as if thou didst approve the invention, insomuch that my daughter Tabitha beginneth to wax wanton, and to lust after these foolish vanities? Surely thou dost see with the eyes of the flesh. Verily, therefore, unless thou dost speedily amend and leave off following thine own imaginations, I will leave off thee.
Thy friend, as hereafter thou dost demean thyself, HEZEKIAH BROADBRIM.'
No. 277. THURSDAY, JANUARY 17.
- fus est et ab hoste doceri. Ovid. Receive instruction from an enemy.
I PRESUME I need not inform the polite part of my readers, that before our correspondence with France was unhappily interrupted by the war, our ladies had all their fashions from thence; which the milliners took care to furnish them with, by means of a jointed baby, that came regularly over, once a month, habited after the manner of the most eminent toasts in Paris.
I am credibly informed, that even in the hottest time of the war, the sex made several efforts, and raised large contributions, towards the importation of this wooden mademoiselle.
Whether the vessel they set out was lost or taken, or whether its cargo was seized on by the officers of the custom-house as a piece of contraband goods, I have not yet been able to learn; it is, however, certain, that their first attempts were without success, to the no small disappointment of our whole female world; but as their constancy and application, in a matter of so great importance, can never be sufficiently commended, I am glad to find that, in spite of all opposition, they have at length carried their point; of which I received advice by the two following letters:
• I am so great a lover of whatever is French, that I lately discarded an humble admirer, be
cause he neither spoke that tongue nor drank claret. I have long bewailed, in secret, the calamities of my sex during the war; in all which time we have laboured under the insupportable inventions of English tire-women, who, though they sometimes copy indifferently well, can never compose with that goût they do in France.
I was almost in despair of ever more seeing a model from that dear country, when last Sunday I overheard a lady, in the next pew to me, whiser another, that at the Seven Stars, King-street
, Covent-Garden, there was a mademoiselle completely dressed, just come from Paris.
"I was in the utmost impatience during the remaining part of the service; and as soon as ever it was over, having learned the milliner's addresse, I went directly to her house in Kingstreet, but was told that the French lady was at a person of quality's in Pall-Mall, and would not be back again till very late that night. I was therefore obliged to renew my visit very early this morning, and had then a full view of the dear moppet
from head to foot. • You can not imagine, worthy sir, how ridiculously I find we have all been trussed up during
and how infinitely the French dress ex. cels ours.
• The mantua has no leads in the sleeves, and I hope we are not lighter than the French ladies, so as to want that kind of ballast; the petticoat has no whalebone, but sits with an air altogether gallant and degagè; the ciffure is inexpressibly pretty; and in short, the whole dress has a thou. sand beauties in it, which I would not have as yet made too public.