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No. CCXVII. THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8.
.Tunc foemina simplex
Then, unrestrain'd by rules of decency,
I SHALL entertain my reader to-day with some letters from my correspondents. The first of them is the description of a club, whether real or imaginary I cannot determine ; but am apt to fancy, that the writer of it, whoever she is, has formed a kind of nocturnal orgie out of her own fancy: whether this be so or not, her letter may conduce to the amendment of that kind of persons who are represented in it, and whose characters are frequent enough in the world.
Mr. Spectator, IN some of your papers you were pleased to give the public a very diverting account of several clubs (and nocturnal assemblies; but I am a member of a • society which has wholly escaped your notice, I « mean a club of She-romps. We take each a hackney-coach, and meet once a week in a large upper chamber, which we hire by the year for that purpose, our landlord and his family, who are quiet people, constantly contriving to be abroad on our club-night. " We are no sooner come together than we throw off all that modesty and reservedness with which our sex are obliged to disguise themselves in public places. I am not able to express the pleasure we enjoy • from ten at night until four in the morning, in being • as rude as you men can be for your lives.
play runs high, the room is immediately filled with • broken fans, torn petticoats, lappets, or head-dresses, * flounces, furbelows, garters, and working aprons.
• I had forgot to tell you at first, that besides the coaches we come in ourselves, there is one which stands always empty to carry off our dead men, for so we call all those fragments and tatters with which the room is strewed, and which we pack up together in bundles and put into the aforesaid coach: < it is no small diversion for us to meet the next
night at some member's chamber, where every one is to pick out what belonged to her from this • confused bundle of silks, stuffs, laces, and ribbons. I have hitherto given you an account of our diversion on ordinary club-nights; but must acquaint you further, that once a month we demolish a
prude ; that is, we get some queer formal crea• ture in among us, and unrig her in an instant. • Our last month's prude was so armed and fortified ' in whale-bone and buckram, and we had much " ado to come at her; but you would have died with
laughing to have seen how the sober aukward thing I looked when she was forced out of her intrench(ments. In short, Sir, it is impossible to give a true notion of our sport, unless you would come one night amongst us; and though it be directly against the rules of our society to admit a male ' visitant, we repose so much confidence in your si
lence and taciturnity, that it was agreed by the whole club, at our last meeting, to give you en• trance for one night as a spectator.
• I am your humble servant,
"Kitty TERMAGANT. P. S. "We shall demolish a prude next Thurs
Though I thank Kitty for her kind offer, I do not at present find in myself any inclination to venture my person with her and her romping companions, I should regard myself as a second Clodius, intrud
iag on the mystericus rites of the Bona Dea, and should apprehend being demolished as much as the prude.
The following letter comes from a gentleman, whose taste I find is much too delicate to endure the least advance towards romping. I may, perhaps, hereafter improve upon the hint he has given me, and make it the subject of a whole Spectator ; in the mean time take it as it follows in his own words.
• Mr. Spectator, • IT is my misfortune to be in love with a young creature who is daily committing faults, which " though they give me the utmost uneasiness, I • know not how to reprove her for, or even acquaint
her with. She is pretty, dresses well, is rich, and • good-humoured; but either wholly neglects, or has
no nction of that which polite people have agreed • to distinguish by the name of Delicacy. After
our return from a walk the other day, she threw • herself into an elbow chair, and professed before
a large company, that “ she was all over in a « sweat.” She told me this afternoon 6 that her 66 stomach aked ;" and was complaining yesterday o at dinner of something that “ stuck in her teeth." ( I treated her with a basket of fruit last summer,
which she eat so very greedily, as almost made me ( resolve never to see her more. In short, Sir, I begin to tremble whenever I see her about to speak
As she does not want sense, if she takes (these hints I am happy; if not, I am more than
afraid, that these things which shock me even in the behaviour of a mistress, will appear insupport"able in that of a wife.
• I am, Sir, your's, &c.
My next letter comes from a correspondent whom I cannot but very much value upon the account which she gives of herself.
Mr. Spectator, • I AM happily arrived at a state of tranquillity, which few people envy, I mean that of an old • maid ; therefore being wholly unconcerned in all • that medley of follies which our sex is apt to con' tract from their silly fondness of yours, I read your railleries on us without provocation. I can say with Hamlet,
Man delights not me,
Therefore, dear Sir, as you never spare your own sex, do not be afraid of reproving what is ridicu• lous in ours, and you will oblige at least one wo
man, who is
. Your humble servant,
• Mr. Spectator, • I AM wife to a clergyman, and cannot help thinking that in your tenth or tithe character of • womankind you meant myself, therefore I have no quarrel against you for the other nine characters.
Your humble servant, X.
" A. Bi'
No. CCXVIII. FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9.
Quid de quoque viro, & cui dicas, sæpe caveto.
.Have a care
I HAPPENED the other day, as my way is, to stroll into a little coffee-house beyond Aldgate; and as I sat there, two or three very plain sensible men were talking of the Spectator. One said, that he had that morning drawn the great benefit-ticket ; another wished he had ; but a third shaked his head and said, it was a pity that the writer of that paper was such a sort of man, that it was no great matter whether he had it or no. He is, it seems, said the good man, the most extravagant creature in the world; has run through vast sums, and yet been in continual want; a man, for all he talks so well of economy, unfit for any of the offices of life by reason of his profuseness. It would be an unhappy thing to be his wife, his child, or his friend; and yet he talks as well of those duties of life as any one. Much reflection has brought me to so easy a contempt for every thing which is false, that this heavy accusation gave me no manner of uneasiness ; but at the same time it threw me into deep thought upon the subject of fame in general ; and I could not but pity. such as were so weak, as to value what the common people say out of their own talkative temper to the advantage or diminution of those whom they mention, without being moved either by malice or goodwill. It will be too long to expatjate upon the sense all mankind have of fame, and the inexpressible pleasure which there is in the approbation of worthy men, to all who are capable of worthy actions ; but