No. 217. Thursday, Nov. 8, 1711. Budgell.

--Tunc foemina simplex, Et pariter toto repetitur clamor ab antro.
Juv. Sat. 6.

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.


In some of your first Papers you were pleased to give the Publick 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 publick Places. I am not able to express the Pleasure we enjoy from Ten at Night till four in the Morning, in being as rude as you Men can be, for your Lives. As our Play runs high the Room is immediately filled with broken Fans, torn Petticoats, Lappets of Head-dresses, Flounces, Furbelows, Garters, and Working-Aprons. I had forgot to tell you at first, that besides the Coaches we come in our selves, 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 Members 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 farther, that once a Month we demolish a Prude, that is, we get some queer formal Creature in among us, and unrig her in an Instant. Our last Months Prude was so armed and fortified in Whalebone and Buckram that we had much ado to come at her; but you would have died with laughing to have seen how the sober awkward Thing looked when she was forced out of her Intrenchments. In short, Sir, 'tis impossible to give you a true Notion of our Sports, unless you would come one Night amongst us; and tho it be directly against the Rules of our Society to admit a Male Visitant, we repose so much Confidence in your Silence and Taciturnity, that was agreed by the whole Club, at our last Meeting, to give you Entrance for one Night as a Spectator.

I am, Your Humble Servant,

Kitty Termagant.

P. S. We shall demolish a Prude next Thursday.

Tho I thank Kitty for her kind Offer, I do not at present find in my self any Inclination, to venture my Person with her and her romping Companions. I should regard my self as a second Clodius intruding on the Mysterious 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.


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-humour'd; but either wholly neglects, or has no Notion 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 her self into an Elbow-Chair, and professed before a large Company, that she was all over in a Sweat. She told me this Afternoon that her Stomach aked; and was complaining Yesterday 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 or move. 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 insupportable in that of a Wife.

I am, SIR, Yours, &c.

My next Letter comes from a Correspondent whom I cannot but very much value, upon the Account which she gives of her self.


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 contract from their silly Fondness of yours, I read your Railleries on us without Provocation. I can say with Hamlet,

--Man delights not me, Nor Woman neither--

Therefore, dear Sir, as you never spare your own Sex, do not be afraid of reproving what is ridiculous in ours, and you will oblige at least one Woman, who is

Your humble Servant, Susannah Frost.


I am Wife to a Clergyman, and cannot help thinking that in your Tenth or Tithe-Character of Womankind [1] you meant my self, therefore I have no Quarrel against you for the other Nine Characters.

Your humble Servant, A.B.


[Footnote 1: See No. 209.]

Translation of motto:
JUV. Sat. vi. 326.
'Then unrestrain'd by rules of decency,
Th' assembled females raise a general cry.'