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in the nature of a lioness. I am in the whole secret of their
Sir, this being a new proposal, I hope you will not let me lose the benefit of it: but that you will first hear me roar, before you treat with anybody else. As a sample of my intended services, I give you this timely notice of an improvement you will shortly see in the exposing of the female chest, which in defiance of your gravity is going to be uncovered yet more and more; so that to tell you truly, Mr. Ironside, I am in some fear lest my profession should, in a little, become wholly unnecessary. I must here explain to you a small covering, if I may call it so, or rather an ornament, for the neck, which you have not yet taken notice of. This consists of a narrow lace, or a small skirt of fine ruffled linen, which runs along the upper part of the stays before, and crosses the breasts, without rising to the shoulders; and being, as it were, a part of the tucker, yet kept in use, is, therefore, by a particular name, called the modesty-piece. Now, sir, what I have to communicate to you at present is, that at a late meeting of the stripping ladies, in which were present several eminent toasts and beauties, it was resolved for the future to lay the modesty-piece wholly aside. It is intended, at the same time, to lower the stays considerably before, and nothing but the unsettled weather has hindered this design from being already put in execution. Some few, indeed, objected to this last improvement, but were overruled by the rest, who alleged it was their intention, as they ingeniously expressed it, to level their breast-works entirely, and to trust to no defence but their own virtue.
"I am, SIR,
(if you please,) your secret servant,
As by name, and duty bound, I yesterday brought in way a prey of paper for my patron's dinner; but, by the forwardness of his paws, he seemed ready to put it into his own mouth, which does not enough resemble its prototypes,
whose throats are open sepulchres. I assure you, sir, unless he gapes wider, he will sooner be felt than heard. Witness my hand,
To Nestor Ironside, Esq.
Lions being esteemed by naturalists the most generous of beasts, the noble and majestic appearance they make in poetry, wherein they so often represent the hero himself, made me always think that name very ill applied to a profligate set of men, at present going about seeking whom to devour; and though I cannot but acquiesce in your account of the derivation of that title to them, it is with great satisfaction I hear you are about to restore them to their former dignity, by producing one of that species so publicspirited, as to roar for reformation of manners. I will roar
(says the clown in Shakspeare) that it will do any man's heart good to hear me; I will roar, that I will make the duke say, Let him roar again, let him roar again. Such success and such applause I do not question but your lion will meet with, whilst, like that of Samson, his strength shall bring forth sweetness, and his entrails abound with honey.
"At the same time that I congratulate with the republic of beasts upon this honour done to their king, I must condole with us poor mortals, who, by distance of place, are rendered incapable of paying our respects to him, with the same assiduity as those who are ushered into his presence by the discreet Mr. Button. Upon this account, Mr. Ironside, I am become a suitor to you, to constitute an out-riding lion; or if you please, a jackall or two, to receive and remit our homage in a more particular manner than is hitherto provided. As it is, our tenders of duty every now and then miscarry by the way, at least the natural self-love that makes us unwilling to think anything that comes from us worthy of contempt, inclines us to believe so. Methinks it were likewise necessary to specify, by what means a present from a fair hand may reach his brindled majesty, the place of his residence being very unfit for a lady's personal appearance. "I am your most constant reader and admirer,
It is a well-known proverb, in a certain part of this kingdom, Love me, love my dog;' and I hope you will take it as a mark of my respect for your person, that I here bring a bit for
What follows being secret history, it will be printed in other papers; wherein the lion will publish his private intelligence.
No. 120. WEDNESDAY, JULY 29.
-Nothing lovelier can be found
In woman, than to study household good,
And good works in her husband to promote. MILTON.
A Bit for the Lion.
As soon as you have set up your unicorn, there is no question but the ladies will make him push very furiously at the men; for which reason I think it is good to be beforehand with them, and make the lion roar aloud at female irregularities. Among these, I wonder how their Gaming has so long escaped your notice. You who converse with the sober family of the Lizards, are, perhaps, a stranger to these viragos; but what would you say, should you see a Sparkler shaking her elbow for a whole night together, and thumping the table with a dice-box? Or, how would you like to hear the good widow-lady herself returning to her house at midnight, and alarming the whole street with a most enormous rap, after having sat up until that time at crimp or ombre? Sir, I am the husband of one of the female gamesters, and a great loser by it, both in my rest and my pocket. As my wife reads your papers, one upon this subject might be of use both to her, and
"Your humble servant."
I should ill deserve the name of GUARDIAN, did I not caution all my fair wards against a practice, which, when it runs to excess, is the most shameful but one that the female world can fall into. The ill consequences of it are more than can be contained in this paper. However, that I may pro
ceed in method, I shall consider them, first as they relate to the mind; secondly, as they relate to the body.
Could we look into the mind of a female gamester, we should see it full of nothing but trumps and mattadores. Her slumbers are haunted with kings, queens, and knaves. The day lies heavy upon her, until the play-season returns, when, for half a dozen hours together, all her faculties are employed in shuffling, cutting, dealing, and sorting out a pack of cards, and no ideas to be discovered, in a soul which calls itself rational, excepting little square figures of painted and spotted paper. Was the understanding, that divine part in our composition, given for such an use? Is it thus we improve the greatest talent human nature is endowed with ? What would a superior being think, were he shown this intellectual faculty in a female gamester, and, at the same time, told that it was by this she was distinguished from brutes, and allied to angels?
When our women thus fill their imaginations with pips
afe and counters, I cannot wonder at the story I have lately
heard of a new-born child that was marked with the five of clubs.
Their passions suffer no less by this practice than their understandings and imaginations. What hope and fear, joy and anger, sorrow and discontent, break out all at once in a fair assembly, upon so noble an occasion as that of turning up a card! Who can consider, without a secret indignation, that all those affections of the mind which should be consecrated to their children, husbands, and parents, are thus vilely prostituted and thrown away upon a hand at loo? For my own part, I cannot but be grieved, when I see a fine woman fretting and bleeding inwardly from such trivial motives; when I behold the face of an angel agitated and discomposed by the heart of a fury.
Our minds are of such a make, that they naturally give themselves up to every diversion which they are much accustomed to, and we always find that play, when followed with assiduity, engrosses the whole woman. She quickly grows uneasy in her own family, takes but little pleasure in all the domestic innocent endearments of life, and grows more fond of Pam than of her husband. My friend Theophrastus, the best of husbands and of fathers, has often complained to me, with tears in his eyes, of the late hours he is
forced to keep if he would enjoy his wife's conversation.
I come, in the next place, to consider the ill consequences which gaming has on the bodies of our female adventurers. It is so ordered, that almost everything which corrupts the soul, decays the body. The beauties of the face and mind are generally destroyed by the same means. This consideration should have a particular weight with the female world, who were designed to please the eye, and attract the regards of the other half of the species. Now there is nothing that wears out a fine face like the vigils of the card-table, and those cutting passions which naturally attend them. Hollow eyes, haggard looks, and pale complexions, are the natural indications of a female gamester. Her morning sleeps are not able to repair her midnight watchings. I have known a woman carried off half dead from bassette, and have many a time grieved to see a person of quality gliding by me in her chair at two o'clock in the morning, and looking like a spectre amidst a glare of flambeaux. In short, I never knew a thorough-paced female gamester hold her beauty two winters together.
But there is still another case in which the body is more endangered than in the former. All play-debts must be paid in specie, or by an equivalent. The man that plays beyond his income pawns his estate; the woman must find out something else to mortgage when her pin-money is gone: the husband has his lands to dispose of, the wife her person. Now, when the female body is once dipped,2 if the creditor 1 Decays the body.] Decay is a verb neuter, and cannot be used transitively. He should have said—" makes the body decay."
2 Dipped.] A cant term, to express the demands which one has on the