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Josias Shallow was indicted in the name of Dame Winifred, sole relict of Richard Dainty, Esq., for having said several times in company, and in the hearing of several persons there present, that he was extremely obliged to the widow Dainty, and that he should never be able sufficiently to express his gratitude. The prosecutor urged, that this might blast her reputation, and that it was in effect a boasting of favours which he had never received. The prisoner seemed to be much astonished at the construction which was put upon his words, and said, “That he meant nothing by them, but that the widow had befriended him in a lease, and was very kind to his younger sister.' The jury finding him a little weak in his understanding, without going out of the court, brought in their verdict, ignoramus.
Ursula Goodenough was accused by the Lady Betty Wou'dbe, for having said, that she the Lady Betty Wou'dbe was painted. The prisoner brought several persons of good credit to witness to her reputation, and proved by undeniable evidences, that she was never at the place where the words were said to have been uttered. The Censor observing the behaviour of the prosecutor, found reason to believe that she had indicted the prisoner for no other reason but to make her complexion be taken notice of, which indeed was very fresh and beautiful ; he therefore asked the offender with a very stern voice, how she could presume to spread so groundless a report? And whether she saw any colours in the Lady Wou'dbe's face that could procure credit to such a falsehood ? 'Do you see (says he) any lilies or roses in her cheeks, any bloom, any probability ? –The prosecutor, not able
to bear such language any longer, told him, that he talked like a blind old fool, and that she was ashamed to have entertained any opinion of his wisdom : but she was put to silence, and sentenced to wear her mask for five months, and not presume to show her face till the town should be empty.
Benjamin Buzzard, Esq., was indicted having told the Lady Everbloom at a public ball, that she looked very well for a woman of her years. The prisoner not denying the fact, and persisting before the court that he looked upon it as a compliment, the jury brought him in non compos mentis.
Trial of Ladies' Quarrels.
TIMOTHY TREATALL, Gent., was indicted by several ladies of his sister's acquaintance for a very rude affront offered to them at an entertainment, to which he had invited them on Tuesday the 7th of November last past, between the hours of eight and nine in the evening. The indictment set forth that the said Mr. Treatall, upon the serving up of the supper, desired the ladies to take their places according to their different age and seniority, for that it was the way always at his table to pay respect to years. The indictment added, that this produced an unspeakable confusion in the company; for that the ladies, who before had pressed together for a place at the upper end of the table, immediately crowded with the same disorder towards the end that was quite opposite; that Mrs. Frontly had the insolence to clap herself down at the very lowest place of the table ; that the widow Partlett seated herself on the right hand of Mrs. Frontly, alleging for her excuse, that no ceremony was to be used at a round table ; that Mrs Fidget and Mrs. Fescue disputed above half an hour for the same chair, and that the latter would not give up the cause till it was decided by the parish register, which happened to be kept hard by. The indictment further said, that the rest of the company who sat down did it with a reserve to their right, which they
were at liberty to assert on another occasion ; and that Mrs. Mary Pippe, an old maid, was placed by the unanimous vote of the whole company at the upper end of the table, from whence she had the con-. fusion to behold several mothers of families among her inferiors. The criminal alleged in his defence, that what he had done was to raise mirth and avoid ceremony, and that the ladies did not complain of his rudeness till the next morning, having eaten up what he had provided for them with great readiness and alacrity. The Censor, frowning upon him, told him, that he ought not to discover so much levity in matters of a serious nature, and (upon the jury's bringing him in guilty) sentenced him to treat the whole assembly of ladies over again, and to take care that he did it with the decorum which was due to persons of their quality.
Rebecca Shapely, spinster, was indicted by Mrs. Sarah Smack, for speaking many words reflecting upon her reputation, and the heels of her silk slippers, which the prisoner had maliciously suggested to be two inches higher than they really were. secutor urged, as an aggravation of her guilt, that the prisoner was herself guilty of the same kind of forgery which she had laid to the prosecutor's charge, for that she the said Rebecca Shapely did always wear a pair of steel bodice, and a false rump. The Censor ordered the slippers to be produced in open court, where the heels were adjudged to be of the statutable size. He then ordered the grand jury to search the criminal, who, after some time spent therein, acquitted her of the bodice, but found her guilty of the rump; upon which she received sentence as is usual in such cases.
William Trippitt, Esq., of the Middle Temple, brought his action against the Lady Elizabeth Prudely, for having refused him her hand as he offered to lead her to her coach from the opera. The plaintiff set forth, that he had entered himself into the list of those volunteers who officiate every night behind the boxes as gentlemen-ushers of the play-house : that he had been at a considerable charge in white gloves, periwigs, and snuff-boxes, in order to qualify himself for that employment, and in hopes of making his fortune by it. The counsel for the defendant replied, that the plaintiff had given out that he was within a month of wedding their client, and that she had refused her hand to him in ceremony lest he should interpret it as a promise that she would give it him in marriage. As soon as their pleadings on both sides were finished, the Censor ordered the plaintiff to be cashiered from his office of gentleman-usher to the play-house, since it was too plain that he had undertaken it with an ill design; and at the time ordered the defendant either to marry the said plaintiff, or to pay him half-a-crown for the new pair of gloves and coach-hire that he was at the expense of in her service.
The Lady Townly brought an action of debt against Mrs. Flambeau, for that Mrs. Flambeau had not been to see the said Lady Townly, and wish her joy, since her marriage with Sir Ralph, notwithstanding she the said Lady Townly had paid Mrs. Flambeau a visit upon her first coming to town. It was urged in the behalf of the defendant, that the plaintiff had never given her any regular notice of her being in town; that the visit she alleged had been made on a Monday, which she knew was a day on which Mrs. Flambeau