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• they woulil, but purposely avoid it, that they may not - be made to work. I have hitherto gained a livelihood by holding my tongue, but shall now open my mouth in order to fill it. If I appear a little word-bound in my • first solutions and responses, I hope it will not be iin
puted to any want of foresight, but to the long disuse of • speech. I doubt not by this invention to have all my
former customers over again ; for if I hare prcnised any • of them lovers or husbands, riches or good luck, it is my design to confirm to them viva voce, what I have already given them under my lanci. If
will honour me with a visit, I will compliment you with the first o. pening of my mouth, and if you please you may make . an entertaining dialogue out of the conversation of two
Excuse this trouble, werthy Sir, from one s who has been a long time
Your filent admirer,
• dumb men.
I have received the following letter, or rather billetdoux, from a pert young baggage, who congratulates with me upon the same occasion.
- Diar Mr PRATE-1-P1CE,
Fure 23. 1714. Am a member of a female society who call ourselves
the chit-chat club, and am ordered by the whole • listerhood to congratulate yo: upon the use of your
tongue. We have all of us a mighty mind to hear you talk, and if
you will take your place among us for an evening, we have unanimously agreed to allow you onc c minute in ten without interruption.
I am, SIR,
" P.S. You may find us at my lady Betty Clack's, of who will leave orders with her porter, that if an elder“ ly gentleman, with a short face, inquires for her, he " Thall be admitted, and no questions asked.”
As this particular paper shall consist wholly of what I have received from my correspondents, I thall fill up the remaining part of it with other congratulatory letters of the same nature.
Oxforil, June 25. 1714. 7 E are here wonderfully pleased with the opening
of your mouth, and very frequently open ours • in approbation of your delign; especially tince we find
you are resolved to preserve your taciturnity as to all party-matters. We do not question but you are as great
an orator as Sir Hudibras, of whom the poet fwectly • fings,
--He could not ope
* If you will send us down the half dozen well-turned
periods, that produced such dismal effects in your muscles, we will depolite them near an old manuscript of Tully's orations, among the archives of the university; for we all agree with you, that there is not a more re• markable accident recorded in history, since that which happened to the son of Cræfils, nay, I believe you might have gone higher, and have added Balaani’s ass. We are impatient to see more of your productions, and expect what words will next fall from you, with as much • attention as those who were set to watch the speaking "head, which frier Bacon formerly erected in this place.
mag We are,
B. R. T. D. doc.'
Middle-Temple, fune 24. Am very glad to hear that thou beginnet to prate;
and find, by thy yesterday's vision, that thou art so * used to it, that thou canst not for bear talking in thy
Пleep. . 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 callest 'Vol. VIII,
• them in thy second paper. Hast thou a mind to pass for a Bartomite, or to make us all Quakers? i do assure
thec, dear Sper, I am not polished out of my veracity, e when I subscribe myself
Thy conftunt admirer,
and humble fervant,
Wednesday, June 30.
-Palatini abolire Sicheruin Incipit, et vic's tentat priocertere amore Jampridem refide: animos defuetaque corda.
Virg. Æn. I. v.724.
AM a tall, broad-shouldered, impudent, black fel.
low, and, as I thought, every way qualified for a rich widow: but, after having tried my fortune for a« bove three years together, I have not been able to get i one single relict in the mind. My first attacks were ge
nerally successful, but always broke off as soon as they « came to the word settlement. Though I have not im· proved my fortune this way, I have my experience, and share learned several secrets which may be of use to those
unhappy gentlemen, who are commonly distinguished by s the name of widowu-hunters, and who do not know that
this tribe of women are, generally speaking, as much • upon the catch as themselves. I shall here communi« cate to you the mysteries of a certain female cabal of < this order, who call themselves the widow-club. This « club consists of nine experienced dames, who take their * places once a week round a large oval table.
'1. Mrs President is a person who has disposed ot 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 Snap, who has four jointures, by four dit• ferent bedfellows, of four different shires. She is at
presunt upon the point of marriage with a Middlesex • man, and is said to have an ambition of extending her
possessions through all the counties in England, on this • side the Trent.
“III. MRs Iedlar, who, after two husbands and a gallant, 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 fortnight after the death of her lait husband. Her weeds have • served her thrice, and are still as good as new.
«V. LADY Catharine Swallow. She was a widow at eighteen ; and has since buried a second husband and two coachmen.
• VI. The lady Tadille. She was married in the 15th year of her age to Sir Simon Waddle, Knt. aged three• score and twelve, by whom she had twins nine months
after his decease. In the 55th year of her age she was * married to James Spindle, Efq; a youth of one and twenty, who did not outlive the honey-moon.
• VII. Deborah Conquest. The case of this lady is • something particular. She is the relict of Sir Sampfore • Conquest, sometime justice of the quorum, Sir Samp'fon 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 s terrified the whole sex, who none of them durst venture on Sir Sampson. At length Mrs Deborah undertook
gare 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 have . added Sir Sampson's thrce victories to hers, and give
• her the merit of a fourth widowhood; and she takes her place accordingly.
• VIII. The widow Il'ildfire, reli&t of Mr John Wild• fire, fos-hunter, who broke his neck over a six-bar gate. « She took his death so much to heart, that it was thought • it would have put an end to her life, had she not divertsed her forrows by receiving the addresses of a gentle• man in the ncighbourhood, who made love to her in the
second month of her widowhood. This gentleman was « discarded in a fortnight for the sake of a young templar,
who had the possession of her for fix weeks after, till "he was beaten out by a broken officer, who likewise
gave up his place to a gentleman at court. The cours tier was as short-lived a favourite as his predecessors, • but had the pleasure to see himself succeeded by a long • series of lovers, who followed the widow Wildfire to 'the 37th year of her age, at which time 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 sixteen, at which
time fne was entered of the club, but soon after left it upon account of a second, whom she made so quick a
dispatch of, that she returned to her fcat 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, resolved to give the pictures of their deceased husbands to the clubroom; but two of them bringing in their dead at full length, they covered all the walls : upon which they came to a second resolution, that every matron should give her own picture, and set it round with her huf5 bands in miniature.
As they have most of them the misfortune to be trou* bled with the colic, 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
But ask them which of their husbands they con• dole, they are not able to tell you, and discover plainly