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diverted him from so cruel and unnatural an enterprise. And let those who have outlived their husbands, never forget their countrywoman Boadicea, who headed her troops in person against the invasion of a Roman army, and encouraged them with this memorable saying, ‘I, who am a woman, am resolved upon victory or death : but as for you, who are men, you may, if you please, choose life and slavery.'
But I do not propose to our British ladies, that they should turn Amazons in the service of their sovereign,nor so much as let their nails grow for the defence of their country.
The men will take the work of the field off their hands, and show the world, that English valour cannot be matched when it is animated by English beauty. I do not, however, disapprove the project which is now on foot for a 'Female Association ;' and since I hear the fair confederates cannot agree among themselves upon a form, shall presume to lay before them the following rough draft, to be corrected or improved, as they in their wisdom shall think fit.
'WE, the consorts, relicts, and spinsters, of the isle of Great Britain, whose names are under-written, being most passionately offended at the falsehood and perfidiousness of certain faithless men, and at the lukewarmth and indifference of others, have entered into a voluntary association for the good and safety of our constitution. And we do hereby engage ourselves to raise and arm our vassals for the service of his Majesty King George, and him to defend, with our tongues and hearts, our eyes, eye-lashes, favourites, lips, dimples, and every other feature, whether natural or acquired. We promise publicly and openly to avow
the loyalty of our principles in every word we shall utter, and every patch we shall stick on. We do further promise, to annoy the enemy with all the flames, darts, and arrows, with which nature has armed us; never to correspond with them by sigh, ogle, or billet-doux ; not to have any intercourse with them, either in snuff or tea; nor to accept the civility of any man's hand, who is not ready to use it in the defence of his country. We are determined, in so good a cause, to endure the greatest hardships and severities, if there should be occasion; and even to wear the manufacture of our country, rather than appear the friends of a foreign interest in the richest French brocade. And forgetting all private feuds, jealousies, and animosities, we do unanimously oblige ourselves, by this our association, to stand and fall by one another, as loyal and faithful sisters and fellowsubjects.
N. B. This association will be lodged at Mr. Motteux's, where attendance will be given to the subscribers, who are to be ranged in their respective columns, as maids, wives, and widows.
Meeting of the Association.
By our latest advices, both from town and country, it appears that the ladies of Great Britain, who are able to bear arms, that is, to smile or frown to any purpose, have already begun to commit hostilities upon the men of each opposite party. To this end we are assured, that many of them on both sides exercise before their glasses every morning ; that they have already cashiered several of their followers as mutineers, who have contradicted them in some political conversations; and that the Whig ladies in particular design very soon to have a general review of their forces at a play bespoken by one of their leaders. This set of ladies, indeed, as they daily do duty at court, are much more expert in the use of their airs and graces than their female antagonists, who are most of them bred in the country ; so that the sisterhood of loyalists, in respect of the fair malecontents, are like an army of regular forces, compared with a raw, undisciplined militia.
It is to this misfortune in their education that we may ascribe the rude and opprobrious language with which the disaffected part of the sex treat the present royal family. A little lively rustic, who hath been trained up in ignorance and prejudice, will prattle treason a whole winter's evening, and string together a parcel of silly seditious stories, that are equally void
of decency and truth. Nay, you sometimes meet with a zealous matron, who sets up for the pattern of a parish, uttering such invectives as are highly misbecoming her, both as a woman and a subject. In answer, therefore, to such disloyal termagants, I shall repeat to them a speech of the honest and blunt Duke du Sully, to an assembly of Popish ladies, who were railing very bitterly against Henry the Fourth, at his accession to the French throne ; ‘Ladies,' said he, 'you have a very good king, if you know when you are well. However, set your hearts at rest, for he is not a man to be scolded or scratched out of his kingdom.'
But as I never care to speak of the fair sex, unless I have an occasion to praise them, I shall take my leave of these ungentle damsels ; and only beg of them not to make themselves less amiable than nature designed them, by being rebels to the best of their abilities, and endeavouring to bring their country into bloodshed and confusion. Let me, therefore, recommend to them the example of those beautiful associates, whom I mentioned in my former paper, as I have received the particulars of their behaviour from the person with whom I lodged their association.
This association being written at length in a large roll of the finest vellum, with three distinct columns for the maids, wives, and widows, was opened for the subscribers near a fortnight ago. Never was a subscription for a raffling or an opera more crowded. There is scarce a celebrated beauty about town that you may not find in one of the three lists; insomuch, that if a man, who did not know the design, should read only the names of the subscribers, he would fancy every
column to be a catalogue of toasts. Mr. Motteux has been heard to say more than once, that if he had the portraits of all the associates, they would make a finer auction of pictures than he or anybody else had exhibited.
Several of these ladies, indeed, criticised upon the form of the association. One of them, after the perusal of it, wondered that among the features to be used in defence of their country, there was no mention made of teeth; upon which she smiled very charmingly, and discovered as fine a set as ever eye beheld. Another, who was a tall lovely prude, holding up her head in a most majestic manner, said, with some disdain, she thought a good neck might have done his Majesty as much service as smiles or dimples. A third looked upon the association as defective, because so necessary a word as hands was omitted; and by her manner of taking up the pen, it was easy to guess the reason of her objection.
Most of the persons who associated have done much more than by the letter of the association they were obliged to; having not only set their names to it, but subscribed their several aids and subsidies for the carrying on so good a cause. In the virgin column is one who subscribes fifteen lovers, all of them good men and true. There is another who subscribes five admirers, with one tall handsome black man, fit to be a colonel. In short, there is scarce one in this list who does not engage herself to supply a quota of brisk young fellows, many of them already equipt with hats and feathers. Among the rest, was a pretty sprightly coquette, with sparkling eyes, who subscribed two quivers of arrows.