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s him who
is like that sort of lantern which hides carries it, and serves only to pass through secret and gloomy paths of his own; but in the poffeffion of a man of business, it is as a torch in the hand. of one who is willing and able to shew those, who
... are bewildered, the way which leads to their profperity and welfare. A generous concern for your country, and a paflion for every thing which is truly great and noble, are what actuate all Your life and actions, and I hope You will forgive me, that I have an ambition this book may be placed in the liberary of so good a judge of what is vahiable; in that library where the choice is fuch, that it will not be a disparagement to be the meanest author in it. Forgive me, my Lord, for taking this occasion of telling all the world how ardently I love and honour You; and that I am, with the utmost gratitude for all your favours,
SPE C T A TO R.
NO 81. SATURDAY, JUNE 2, 1711.
Qualis ubi audito venantum murmure tigris
BOUT the middle of last winter I went to see an opera at the theatre in the Hay-mar
ket, where I could not but take notice of two parties of very fine women, that had placed themselves in the oposite fide-boxes, and seemed drawn up in a kind of battle-array one against ano. ther. After a short survey of them, I found they were patched differently ; the faces on one hand being spotted on the right side of the forehead, and those upon the other on the left.. I quickly perceived that they cast hostile glances upon one another; and that their patches were placed in those different situations, as party-signals to distinguish friends from foes. In the middle-boxes, between these two opposite bodies, were several ladies who patched indifferently on both sides of their faces, and seemed to fit there with no other intention but to see the opera. Upon inquiry I found, that the body of Amazons on my right hand were Whigs, VOL II,
and those on my left, Tories : And that thofe who had placed themselves in the middle boxes were a neutral party, whose faces had not yet declared themselves. These last, however, as I afterwards found, diminished daily, and took their party with one fide or the other; insomuch that I observed in several of them, the patches, which were before difpersed equally, are now all gone over to the Whig or Tory side of the face. The cenforious say, that the men whose hearts are aimed at, are very of. ten the occasions that one part of the face is thus dishonoured, and lies under a kind of disgrace, while the other is so much fet off and adorned by the owner; and that the patches turn to the right or to the left, according to the principles of the man who is most in favour. But whatever may be the motives of a few fantastical coquettes, who do not patch for the publick good so much as for their own private advantage, it is certain, that there are several women of honour who patch out of principle, and with an eye to the interest of their country. Nay, I am inforned that some of them adhere so stedfastly to their party, and are so far from facrificing their zeal for the publick to their paffion for any particular person, that in a late draught of marriage-articles a lady has stipulated with her husband, That, whatever his opinions are, the shall be at liberty to patch on which fide the pleases.
I must here take notice, that Rosalinda, a famous Whig-partizan, has moft unfortunately a very beautiful mole on the Tory-part of her forehead; which being very conspicuous, has occafioned many mif. takes, and given an handle to her enemies to mif-, represent her face, as though it had revolted from the Whig-interest. But, whatever this natural patch may seem to intimate, it is well known that her notions of government are still the fame. This unlucky mole, however, has milled several coxcombs; and like tlae hanging out of false colours, made some of them converse with Rosalinda in what they thought the fpirit of her party, when on a sudden she has given them an unexpected fire, that has funk them all at once. If Rosalinda is unfortunate ini. her mole, Nigranilla is as unhappy in a pimple, which forces her, against her inclinations, to patch on the Whig-fide.
I am told that many virtuous matrons, who formerly have been taught to believe that this artificial fpotting of the face was unlawful, are now reconciled by a zeal for their cause, to what they could not be prompted by a concern for their beauty. This way of declaring war upon one another, puts me in mind of what is reported of the tigress, that several spots rise in her skin when she is angry, or as Mr. Cowley has imitated the verses that stand as the motto
of this paper.
She swells with angry pride,
/ When I was in the theatre, the time above-mens tioned, I had the curiòlity to count the patches on both fides, and found the Tory patches to be about twenty stronger than the Whig; but to make amends for this small inequality, I the next morning found the whole puppetshow filled with faces spotted after the whiggish manner.
Whether or no the Ladies had retreated hither in order to rally their forces I cannot tell; but the next night they came in fo great a body to the opera, that they out-nuibered the enemy.
This account of party-patches will, I am afraid, appear improbable to those who live at a distance from the fashionable world; but as it is a distinction of a very fingular nature, and what perhaps may never meet with a parellel, I think I should not have discharged the office of a faithful SPECTATOR, had not I recorded it. I have, in former papers, endeavoured to expose A 2
this party-rage in women, as it only serves to ag. gravate the hatreds and animofities that reign among men, and in a great measure deprives the fair sex of those peculiar charms with which nature has endowed thein,
When the Romans and Sabines were at war, and just upon the point of giving battle, the women, who were allied to both of them, interposed with so many tears and intreaties, that they prevented the mutual slaughter which threatned boih parties, and united them together in a firin and lasting peace.
I would recommend this noble example to our Britisb ladies, at a time when their country is torn with so many unnatural divisions, that if they con, tinue, it will be a misfortune to be born in it. The Greeks thought it so improper for women to interest themselves in competitions and contentions, that for this reason, among others, they forbad them, under pain of death, to be present at the Olympick games, notwithstanding these were the publick diversions of all Greece.
As our Englisb women excel those of all nations in beauty, they should endeavour to outshine them in all other accomplishments proper to the sex, and to distinguish theinselves as tender mothers, and faithful wives, rather than as furious partizans. Female virtues are of a domestick turn. The family is the proper province for private woinen to shine in. If they must be fhewing their zeal for the publick, let it not be against those who are perhaps of the same family, or at least of the same religion or nation, but against thofe who are the open, profeffed, undoubted enemies of their faith, liberty and country. When the Romans were pressed with a foreign enemy, the ladies voluntarily contributed all their rings and jewels to aslist the government under a publick exigence, which appeared fo laudable an action in the eyes of their countrymen, that from thenceforth it was permitted by a law to