'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 Food was the more wholsome for the young Lady to eat? This was ill for my Shape, that for my Complexion, and t'other for my Eyes. I am not extravagant when I tell you, I do not know that I have trod upon the very Earth 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 my self upon such and such an Occasion. This has been my State, till 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. Our 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 who 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 will 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 Hussey of a Maid, who is most craftily given to this ill Quality. I was at first diverted with a certain Absurdity the Creature was guilty of in every thing she said: She is a Country Girl, and in the Dialect of the Shire she was born in, would tell me that every body reckon'd her Lady had the purest Red and White in the World: Then she would tell me, I was the most like one Sisly Dobson in their Town, who made the Miller make away with himself, and walk afterwards in the Corn-Field where they used to meet. With all this, this cunning Hussey can lay Letters in my way, and put a Billet in my Gloves, and then stand in it she knows nothing of it. I do not know, from my Birth to this Day, that I have been ever treated by any one as I ought; and if it were not for a few Books which I delight in, I should be at this Hour a Novice to all common Sense. Would it not be worth your while to lay down Rules for Behaviour in this Case, and tell People, that we Fair-ones expect honest plain Answers as well as other People? Why must I, good Sir, because I have a good Air, a fine Complexion, and am in the Bloom of my Years, be mis-led in all my Actions? and have the Notions of Good and Ill confounded in my Mind, for no other Offence, but because I have the Advantages of Beauty and Fortune? Indeed, Sir, what with the silly Homage which is paid to us by the sort of People I have above spoken of, and the utter Negligence which others have for us, the Conversation of us young Women of Condition is no other than what must expose us to Ignorance and Vanity, if not Vice. All this is humbly submitted to your Spectatorial Wisdom, by,
SIR, Your humble Servant, Sharlot Wealthy.
'Pray, Sir, it will serve to fill up a Paper, if you put in this; which is only to ask, whether that Copy of Verses, which is a Paraphrase of Isaiah, in one of your Speculations, is not written by Mr. Pope? Then you get on another Line, by putting in, with proper Distances, as at the end of a Letter,
I am, Sir, Your humble Servant, Abraham Dapperwit.
I am glad to get another Line forward, by saying that excellent Piece is Mr. Pope's; and so, with proper Distances,
I am, Sir, Your humble Servant, S--r.
I was a wealthy Grocer in the City, and as fortunate as diligent; but I was a single Man, and you know there are Women. One in particular came to my Shop, who I wished might, but was afraid never would, make a Grocer's Wife. I thought, however, to take an effectual Way of Courting, and sold to her at less Price than I bought, that I might buy at less Price than I sold. She, you may be sure, often came, and helped me to many Customers at the same Rate, fancying I was obliged to her. You must needs think this was a good living Trade, and my Riches must be vastly improved. In fine, I was nigh being declared Bankrupt, when I declared my self her Lover, and she herself married. I was just in a Condition to support my self, and am now in Hopes of growing rich by losing my Customers.
I am in the Condition of the Idol you was once pleased to mention, and Bar-keeper of a Coffee-house. I believe it is needless to tell you the Opportunities I must give, and the Importunities I suffer. But there is one Gentleman who besieges me as close as the French did Bouchain. His Gravity makes him work cautious, and his regular Approaches denote a good Engineer. You need not doubt of his Oratory, as he is a Lawyer; and especially since he has had so little Use of it at Westminster, he may spare the more for me.
What then can weak Woman do? I am willing to surrender, but he would have it at Discretion, and I with Discretion. In the mean time, whilst we parly, our several Interests are neglected. As his Siege grows stronger, my Tea grows weaker; and while he pleads at my Bar, none come to him for Counsel but in Forma Pauperis. Dear Mr. SPECTATOR, advise him not to insist upon hard Articles, nor by his irregular Desires contradict the well-meaning Lines of his Countenance. If we were agreed we might settle to something, as soon as we could determine where we should get most, by the Law, at the Coffee-house, or at Westminster.
Your humble Servant,
A Minuit from Mr. John Sly.
The World is pretty regular for about forty Rod East, and ten West of the Observatory of the said Mr. Sly; but he is credibly informed, that when they are got beyond the Pass into the Strand, or those who move City-ward are got within Temple-Bar, they are just as they were before. It is there-fore humbly proposed that Moving-Centries may be appointed all the busy Hours of the Day between the Exchange and Westminster, and report what passes to your Honour, or your subordinate Officers, from Time to Time.
That Mr. Sly name the said Officers, provided he will answer for their Principles and Morals.
T.Translation of motto: