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she has writ to you also,) she had nothing left for it but to fall in å fit. I had the honour to read the paper to her, and have a pretty good command of my countenance and temper on such occasions; and soon found my historical name to be Tom Meggot in your writings, but concealed myself till I saw how it affected Mrs. Freeman. She looked frequently at her husband, as often at me; and she did not tremble as she filled tea till she came to the circumstance of Armstrong's writing out a piece of Tully for an opera tune: then she burst out, she was exposed, she was deceived, she was wronged, and abused. The tea-cup was thrown into the fire; and without taking vengeance on her spouse, she said to me, that I was a pretending coxcomb, a meddler, that knew not what it was to interpose in so nice an affair as between a man and his wife. To which Mr. Free
-“ Madam, were I less fond of you than I am, I should not have taken this way of writing to the Spectator, to inform a woman whom God and nature has placed under my direction, with what I request of her; but since you are so indiscreet as not to take the hint which I
in that paper, 1 must tell you, madam, in so many words, that you have for a long and tedious space of time acted a part unsuitable to the sense you ought to have of the subordination in which you are placed. And I must acquaint you once for all, that the fellow without, ha, Tom! (and here the footman entered and answered-madam) Sirrah, do you not know my voice? Look upon me when I speak to you: I say, madam, this fellow here is to know of me myself, whether I am at leisure to see company or not. I am, from this
hour, master of this house; and my business in it, and every where e.se, is to behave myself in such a manner as it shall be hereafter an honour to you to bear my name; and your pride, that the delight, the darling, and ornament of a man of honour, useful and esteemed by his friends; and I no longer one that has buried some merit in the world, in compliance to a froward humour which has grown upon an agreeable woman by his indulgence.” Mr. Freeman ended this with a tenderness in his aspect and a downcast eye, which showed he was extremely moved at the anguish he saw her in; for she sat swelling with passion, and her eyes firmly fixed on the fire; when I, fearing he would lose all again, took upon me to provoke her out of that amiable sorrow she was in, to fall upon me: upon which I said, very seasonably for my friend, that indeed Mr. Freeman was become the common talk of the town: and that nothing was so much a jest, as when it was said in company, Mr. Freeman has promised to come to such a place. Upon which the good lady turned her softness into downright rage, and threw the scalding tea-kettle upon your humble servant; flew into the middle of the room, and cried out she was the unfortunatest of all women: others kept family dissatisfactions for hours of privacy and retirement; no apology was to be made to her, no expedient to be found, no previous manner of breaking what was amiss in her; but all the world was to be acquainted with her errors, without the least admonition. Mr. Freeman was going to make a softening speech, but I interposed. "Look you, madam, I have nothing to say to this matter, but you ought to consider you are now past a chicken: this humour, which was well enough in a girl, is insufferable in one of your motherly character.' With that she lost all patience, and flew directly at her husband's periwig. I got her in my arms, and defended my friend: he making signs at the same time that was too much: I beckoning, nodding, and frowning over her shoulder, that he was lost if he did not persist. In this manner she flew round and round the room in a moment, till the lady I spoke of above, and servants entered; upon which she fell on a couch as breathless. I still kept up my friend: but he, with a very silly air, bid them bring the coach to the door, and we went off, 1 being forced to bid the coachman drive on. We were no sooner come to my lodgings, but all his wife's relations came to inquire after him: and Mrs. Freeman's mother writ a note, wherein she thought never to have seen this day, and so forth.
In a word, sir, I am afraid we are upon a thing we have no talents for; and I can observe already my friend looks upon me rather as a man that knows a weakness of him, that he is ashamed of, than one who has rescued him from slavery. Mr. Spectator, I am but a young fellow, and if Mr. Freeman submits, I shall be looked upon as an incendiary, and never get a wife as long as I breathe. He has indeed sent word home he shall lie at Hampstead to night: but I believe, fear of the first onset after this rupture has too great a place in this resolution. Mrs. Freeman has a very pretty sister; suppose I deliver him up, and article with the mother for her for bringing him home. If he has not courage to stand it (you are a great casuist,) is it such an ill thing to bring myself off as well as I can? What makes me doubt my man is, that I find he thinks it reasonable to expostulaté at least with her; and Captain Sentry will tell you, if you let your orders be disputed, you are no longer a commander. could advise me how to get clear of this business handsomely. Yours,
I wish you
No. 217. THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8.
Tunc foemina simpler,
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 can not 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 public a very diverting account of se veral 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 public 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 or headdresses, flounces, furbelows, garters, and worked aprons.- I had forgot to tell you at first, that besides the coaches we come in ourselves, 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 member's chamber, where every one is to pick out what belonged to her from the confused bundle of silks, stuffs, laces, and ribands. I have hitherto given you an account of our diversion on ordinary clubnights; but must acquaint you further, 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 month's 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