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- Honest Spec, Middle-Temple, June 24. :I Am very glad to hear that thou beginneft to
prate; and find, by thy yesterday's vision, " thou art so used to it, that thou canst not for6 bear talking in thy sleep. Let me only advise
thee to speak like other men, for I am afraid
thou wilt be very queer, if thou doft not intend ' to use the phrases in fashion, as thou calleft them * in thy second paper. Haft thou a mind to pass - for a Bantàmitë, or to make us all Quakers? Ic
do affure thee, dear Spec, I am not polished ouf * of my veracity, when I subscribe myself • Thy constant admirer, .and humble fervant,
6- FRANK TOWNLY."
N° 561. WEDNESDAY, JUNE 39,
Paulatim abolere Schaum Incipit, et vivo tentat pravértere amore Jampridem resides animos defuetaque corda.
VIRG, Æn, i. ver.
• 724 But he Works in the pliant boson of the fair,' And moulds her heart anew, and blots her fore
mer care, The dead is to the living love resign’d, And all Æneas enters in her mind. DRIDEN.
: I Am a tall, broad-shouldered, impudent, black
fellow, and, as I thought, every way qualified "-for a rich widow: But; after having tried my • fortune for above three years together, I have • not been able to get one fingle relict in the mind. • My first attacks were generally successful, but always broke off as soon as they came to the word
settlement. Though I have not improved my • fortune this way, I have my experience, and have « learnt several secrets which
be of ufe to those unhappy gentlemen, who are commonly distin
guished by the name of widow.hunters, and who • do not know that this tribe of women are, gene.
rally speaking, as much upon the catch as them• felves. I shall here communicate to you the myf• teries of a certain female cabal of this order, • who call themselves the Widow-Club. This club
confifts of nine experienced dames, who take * their places, once a week, round a large oval • table.
• I. Mrs. President is a person who has difpofed • of fix husbands, and is now determined to take
a seventh ; being of opinion that there is as much « virtue in the touch of a seventh husband as of a • seventh son. Her comrades are as follow.
• II. Mrs. Snapp, who has four jointures by four different bed-fellows of four different fhires. She • is at present upon the point of marriage with a
Middlesex man, and is faid to have an ambition • of extending her poffefsions through all the coun• ties in England, on this fide the Trent.
. III. Mrs. Medlar, who, after two husbands and a galant, is now wedded to an old gentleman of
fixty. Upon her making her report to the club, * after a week's cohabitation, she is still allowed to * fit as a widow, and accordingly takes her place at the board.
IV. The widow Quick, married within a fort. night after the death of her last husband. Her • weeds have served her thrice, and are still as good
• V. Lady Katharine Swallow. She was a widow at eighteen, and has since buried a fecond hus. band and two coachmen.
"VI, The Lady Waddle. She was inarried in : the fifteenth year of her age to Sir Simon Waddle,
knight, aged threescore and twelve, by wliom the I had twins nine months after his decease. In the • fifty-fifth year of her age she was married to
James Spindle, Esq; a youth of one-and-twenty, who did not out-live the honey-moon. . VII. Deborah Conquest. The case of this Lady
is something particular. She is the relict of Sir • Sampson Conqueft, sometime justice of the Quorum. • Sir Sampson was seven feet high, and two feet in • breadth from the tip of one shoulder to the other. • He had married three wives, who all of them • died in childbed. This terrified the whole sex, • who none of them durft venture on Sir Sampson. • At length Mrs. Deborah undertook him, and gave * so good an account of him, that in three years • time the very fairly laid him out, and measured • his length upon the ground. This exploit has
gained her so great a reputation in the club, that
they added Sir Sampson's three victories to hers, • and give her the merit of a fourth widowhood; • and she takes her place accordingly.
• VIII. The widow Wildfire, relict of Mr. John • Wildfire, Fox-hunter, who broke his neck over a • fix-bar gate. She took his death so much to • heart, that it was thought it would have put an 6 end to her life, had the not diverted her sorrows • by receiving the addresses of a gentleman in the ( neighbourhood, who made love to her in the fe• cond month of her widowhood. This gentle
man was discarded in a fortnight, for the sake of ' a young Templar, who had the poffeffion of her • for fix weeks after, until he was beaten out
by a broken officer, who likewise gave up his place to a gentleman at court. The courtier was
as short lived a favourite as his predecessors, but • had the pleasure to see himself succeeeded by a
long series of lovers, who followed the widow Wildfire to the thirty-seventh year of her age, at which tjine there ensued a cessation of ten years,
• when John Felt, haberdasher, took it in his head
to be in love with her, and it is thought will very • suddenly carry her off.
* IX. The last is pretty Mrs. Runnet, who broke • her first husband's heart before she was fixteen,
at which time she was entered of the club, but ('foon after teft it, upon accouut of a second, • whom she made so quick a dispatch of, that the
returned to her feat in less than a twelvemonth. This young matron is looked upon as the most
rising member of the society, and will probably * be in the president's chair before she dies.
• These ladies, upon their first institution, re' solved to give the pictures of their deceased hus• bands to the club-room, but two of them bring• ing in their dead at full length, they covered all * the walls : Upon which they came to a second “ resolution, that every matron fhould give her
own picture, and set it round with her husbands 6 in miniature.
As they have most of them the misfortune to . • be troubled with the colick, they have a noble • cellar of cordials and strong waters. When they
grow maudlin, they are very apt to commemorate • their former partners with a tear. But ask them
which of their husbands they condole, they are
not able to tell you, and discover plainly that they . do not weep so much for the loss of a husband as • for the want of one.
• The principal rule, by which the whole society are to govern themselves is this, to cry up the
pleasures of a single life upon all occasions, in • order to deter the rest of their sex from mar-riage, and ingrofs the whole male world to themselves.
• They are obliged, when any one makes love to . a member of the society, to communicate his
name, at which time the whole assembly fit upon : his reputation, perfon, fortune, and good-hu
'mour; and if they find him qualified for a fifter • of the club, they lay their heads together how to
make him fure. By this means they are acquaint• ed with all the widow-hunters about town, who • often afford them great diversion. There is an • honest Irish gentleman, it seems, who knows no
thing of this society, but at different times has s made love to the whole club.
• Their conversation often turns upon their for' mer husbands, and it is very diverting to hear • them relate their several arts and stratagems, with • which they amused the jealous, pacified the cha• leric, or wheedled the good-natured man, until
at last, to use the club phrase, They sent him out of the house with his heels foremost.
The politics which are most cultivated by this society of fhe-Machiavels, relate chiefly to these two points, How to treat a lover, and how to manage a husband.
As for the first set of arti' fices, they are too numerous to come within the
compass of your paper, and shall therefore be " reserved for a second letter,
· Tlie management of a husband is built upon
the following doctrines, which are universally • afsented to by the whole club, Not to give him
his head at first. Not to allow him too great • freedoms and familiarities. Not to be treated by
him like a raw girl, but as a woman that knows ' the world. Not to lefsen any thing of her for' mer figurę. To celebrate the generosity, or any ! other virtue of a deceased husband, which the I would recommend to his fucceffor.
To turn away all his old friends and servants, that she may
have the dear man to herself. To make " him difinherit the undutiful children of any for: 'mer wife. Never to be thoroughly convinced of · his affection, until he has made over to her all his • goods and chattels,