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I thought fit, however, to give you this notice, that you may not be surprised at my appearing à la mode de Paris on the next birth-night. I am, sir, your humble servant,
Within an hour after I had read this letter, 1 received another from the owner of the puppet.
On Saturday last, being the 12th instant, there arrived at my house in King-street, Covent-Garden, a French baby, for the year 1712. I have taken the utmost care to have her dressed by the most celebrated tire-women and mantua-makers in Paris, and do not find that I have any reason to be sorry for the expense I have been at in her clothes and importation. However, as I know no person, who is so good a judge of dress as yourself, if you please to call at my house in your way to the city, and take a view of her, I promise to amend whatever you shall disapprove in your next paper, before I exhibit her as a pattern to the public. I am, sir,
• Your most humble admirer,
As I am willing to do any thing in reason for the service of my countrywomen, and had much rather prevent faults than find them, I went last night to the house of the above-mentioned Mrs. Cross-stitch. As soon as I entered, the maid of the shop, who, I suppose, was prepared for my coming, without asking me any questions, intro
duced me to the little damsel, and ran away to call her mistress.
The puppet was dressed in a cherry coloured gown and petticoat, with a short working apron over it, which discovered her shape to the most advantage. Her hair was cut and divided very prettily, with several ribands stuck up and down in it. The milliner assured me, that her complexion was such as was worn by all the ladies of the best fashion in Paris. Her head was extremely high; on which subject, having long since declared my sentiments, I shall say nothing more to it at present. I was also offended at a small patch she wore on her breast, which I can not suppose is placed there with any good design.
Her necklace was of an immoderate length, being tied before in such a manner that the two ends hung down to her girdle; but whether these supply the place of kissing-strings in our enemy's country, and whether our British ladies have any occasion for them, I shall leave to their serious consideration.
After having observed the particulars of her dress, as I was taking a view of it altogether, the shop-maid, who is a pert wench, told me that Mademoiselle had something very curious in the tying of her garters; but as I pay a due respect even to a pair of sticks when they are under petticoats, I did not examine into that particular.
Upon the whole, I was well enough pleased with the appearance of this gay lady; and the more so, because she was not talkative; a quality very rarely to be met with in the rest of her countrywomen.
As I was taking my leave, the milliner further informed me, that with the assistance of a watchmaker who was her neighbour, and the ingenious Mr. Powell, * she had also contrived another puppet, which by the help of several little springs to be wound up within it, could move all its limbs; and that she had .sent it over to her correspondent in Paris, to be taught the various leanings and bendings of the head, the risings of the bosom, the curtsy and recovery, the genteel trip, and the agreeable jet, as they are all now practised at the court of France.
She added, that she hoped she might depend upon having my encouragement as soon as it arrived; but as this was a petition of too great importance to be answered extempore, I left her without reply, and made the best of my way to Will Honeycomb's lodgings, without whose advice I never communicate any thing to the public of this nature.
No. 278. FRIDAY, JANUARY 18.
-Sermones ego mallem
“SIR,—Your having done considerable services in this great city, by rectifying the disorders of
• A deformed cripple, who grew rich by exhibiting a puppet-show.
families, and several wives having preferred your advice and directions to those of their husbands, emboldens me to apply to you at this time. I am a shop-keeper, and though but a young man, 1 find by experience that nothing but the utmost diligence both of husband and wife, among trading people, can keep affairs in any tolerable order. My wife, at the beginning of our establishment, showed herself very assisting to me in my business, as much as could lie in her way, and I have reason to believe it was with her inclination; but of late she has got acquainted with a schoolman, who values himself for his great knowledge in the Greek tongue. He entertains her frequently in the shop with discourses of the beauties and excellencies of that language, and repeats to her several passages out of the Greek poets; wherein he tells her there is unspeakable harmony and agreeable sounds, that all other languages are wholly unacquainted with. He has so infatuated her with this jargon, that instead of using her former diligence in the shop, she now neglects the affairs of the house, and is wholly taken up with her tutor in learning by heart scraps of Greek, which she vents upon all occasions. She told me some days ago that whereas I use sone Latin inscriptions in my shop, she advised me, with a great deal of concern, to have them changed into Greek, it being a language less understood, would be more conformable to the mystery of my profession; that our good friend would be assisting to us in this work; and that a certain faculty of gentlemen would find themselves so much obliged to me that they would infallibly make my fortune. In short, her frequent importunities upon this and other impertinences of the like nature make me very uneasy; and if your remonstrances have no more effect upon her than mine, I am afraid I shall be obliged to ruin myself to procure her a settlement at Oxford with her tutor, for she is already too mad for Bedlam. Now, sir, you see the danger my family is exposed to, and the likelihood of my wife's becoming both troublesome and useless, unless her reading herself in your paper may make her reflect. She is so very learned that I can not pretend by word of mouth to argue with her. She laughed out at your ending a paper in Greek, and said, 'twas a hint to women of literature, and very civil not to translate it to expose them to the vulgar.' You see how it is with;
“Sir, your humble servant.'
If you have that humanity and compassion in your nature that you take such pains to make one think you have, you will not deny your advice to a distressed damsel, who intends to be determined by your judgment in a matter of great importance to her. You must know then, there is an agreeable young fellow, to whose person, wit, and humour, no body makes any objection, that pretends to have been long in love with me. To this I must add, whether it proceeds from the vanity of my nature, or the seeming sincerity of my lover, I won't pretend to say, that I verily believe he has a real value for me; which, if true, you'll allow may justly augment his merit with his mistress. In short, I am so sensible of his good qualities, and what I owe to his passion, that I think I could sooner resolve to give up my