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with all the submission of a son, but the impatience of a lover. Pray, sir, think of three years: what inexpressible scenes of inquietude, what variety of misery must I have gone through in three whole years! Miranda's fortune is equal to those I have mentioned; but her relations are not intimates with mine! Ah! there's the rub! Miranda's person, wit, and humour, are what the nicest fancy could imagine; and, though we know you to be so elegant a judge of beauty, yet there is none among all your various characters of fine women preferable to Mi. randa. In a word, she is never guilty of doing any thing but one amiss (if she can be thought to do amiss by me), in being as blind to my faults, as she is to her own perfections. I am, Sir,
Your very humble
'WHEN you spent so much time as you did lately in censuring the ambitious young gentlemen who ride in triumph through town and country on coach-boxes, I wished you had employed those moments in consideration of what passes sometimes within-side of those vehicles. I am sure I suffered sufficiently by the insolence and ill-breeding of some persons who travelled lately with me in the stage-coach out of Essex to London. I am sure, when you have heard what I have to say, you will think there are persons under the character of gentlemen, that are fit to be no where else but on the coach-box. Sir, I am a young woman of a sober and religious education, and have preserved that character; but on Monday was fortnight, it was my misfortune to come to London. I was no sooner
clapped into the coach, but to my great surprise, two persons in the habit of gentlemen attacked me with such indecent discourse as I cannot repeat to you, so you may conclude not fit for me to hear. I had no relief but the hopes of a speedy end of my short journey. Sir, form to yourself what a persecution this must needs be to a virtuous and chaste mind; and, in order to your proper handling such a subject, fancy your wife or daughter, if you had any, in such circumstances, and what treatment you would then think due to such dragoons. One of them was called a Captain, and entertained us with nothing but filthy stupid questions, or lewd songs, all the way. Ready to burst with shame and indignation, I repined that nature had not allowed us as easily to shut our ears as our eyes. But was not this a kind of rape? Why should there be accessaries in ravishment any more than murder? Why should not every contributor to the abuse of chastity suffer death? I am sure these shameless hell-hounds deserved it highly. Can you exert yourself better than on such an occasion? If you do not do it effectually I will read no more of your papers. Has every impertinent fellow a privilege to torment me who pay my coach-hire as well as he? Sir, pray consider us in this respect as the weakest sex, who have nothing to defend ourselves; and I think it is as gentleman-like to challenge a woman to fight as to talk obscenely in her company, especially when she has not power to stir. Pray let me tell you a story which you can make fit for public view. I knew a gentleman, who having a very good opinion of the gentlemen of the army, invited ten or twelve of them to sup with him; and at the same time invited two or three friends who were very severe against the manners and morals of gentlemen of that profession. It happened one of them brought two
captains of his regiment newly come into the army, who at first onset engaged the company with very lewd healths and suitable discourse. You may easily imagine the confusion of the entertainer, who finding some of his friends very uneasy, desired to tell them the story of a great man, one Mr. Locke, (whom I find you frequently mention) that being invited to dine with the then lords Halifax, Anglesey, and Shaftesbury, immediately after dinner, instead of conversation, the cards were called for, where the bad or good success produced the usual passions of gaming. Mr. Locke retiring to a window, and writing, my lord Anglesey desired to know what he was writing: "Why, my lords," answered he," I could not sleep last night for the pleasure and improvement I expected from the conversation of the greatest men of the age." This so sensibly stung them, that they gladly compounded to throw their cards in the fire, if he would his paper, and so a conversation ensued fit for such persons. This story pressed so hard upon the young captains, together with the concurrence of their superior officers, that the young fellows left the company in confusion. Sir, I know you hate long things; but if you like it, you may contract it, or how you will; but I think it has a moral in it.
'But, sir, I am told you are a famous mechanic as well as a looker-on, and therefore humbly propose you would invent some padlock, with full power under your hand and seal, for all modest persons, either men or women, to clap upon the mouths of all such impertinent impudent fellows: and I wish you would publish a proclamation that no modest person who has a value for her countenance, and consequently would not be put out of it, presume to travel after such a day without one of them in their pockets. I fancy a smart Spectator
upon this subject would serve for such a padlock; and that public notice may be given in your paper where they may be had, with directions, price twopence; and that part of the directions may be, when any person presumes to be guilty of the above-mentioned crime, the party aggrieved, may produce it to his face, with a request to read it to the company. He must be very much hardened that could outface that rebuke; and his further punishment I leave you to prescribe.
Your humble servant,
N°534. WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 1712.
Rarus enim ferme sensus communis in illâ
-We seldom find
JUV. Sat. viii. 73.
Much sense with an exalted fortune join'd.
'I AM a young woman of nineteen, the only daughter of very wealthy parents, and have my whole life been used with a tenderness which did me no great service in my education. I have perhaps an uncommon desire for knowledge of what is suitable to my sex and quality; but, as far as I can remember, the whole dispute about me has been, whether such a thing was proper for the child to do, or not? or whether such or such a food was the
more wholesome for the young lady to eat? This was ill for my shape, that for my complexion, and the other for my eyes. I am not extravagant when I tell you I do not know that I have trod upon the very earth ever since I was ten years old. A coach or chair I am obliged to for all my motions from one place to another ever since I can remember. All who had to do to instruct me, have ever been bringing stories of the notable things I have said, and the womanly manner of my behaving myself upon such and such an occasion. This has been my state until I came towards years of womanhood; and ever since I grew towards the age of fifteen I have been abused after another manner. Now, forsooth, I am so killing, no one can safely speak to me. house is frequented by men of sense, and I love to ask questions when I fall into such conversation; but I am cut short with something or other about my bright eyes. There is, sir, a language particular for talking to women in; and none but those of the very first good-breeding (who are very few, and seldom come into my way) can speak to us without regard to our sex. Among the generality of those they call gentlemen, it is impossible for me to speak upon any subject whatsoever, without provoking somebody to say, "Oh! to be sure, fine Mrs. Such-a-one must be very particularly acquainted with all that; all the world would contribute to her entertainment and information." Thus, sir, I am so handsome that I murder all who approach me; so wise that I want no new notices; and so well-bred that I am treated by all that know me like a fool, for no one will answer as if I were their friend or companion. Pray, sir, be pleased to take the part of us beauties and fortunes into your consideration, and do not let us be thus flattered out of our senses.
I have got an hussy of a maid who is