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In the column of wives, the first that took pen in hand, writ her own name and one vassal, meaning her husband. Another subscribes her husband and three sons. Another, her husband and six coach-horses. Most in this catalogue paired themselves with their respective mates, answering for them as men of honest principles, and fit for the service.
N. B. There were two in this column that wore association ribbons; the first of them subscribed her husband, and her husband's friend; the second a husband and five lovers; but upon inquiry into their characters, they are both of them found to be Tories, who hung out false colours to be spies upon the association, or to insinuate to the world by their subscriptions, as if a lady of Whig principles could love any man besides her husband.
The widow's column is headed by a fine woman who calls herself Boadicea, and subscribes six hundred tenants. It was, indeed, observed that the strength of the association lay most in this column; every widow, in proportion to her jointure, having a great number of admirers, and most of them distinguished as able men. Those who have examined this list, compute that there may be three regiments raised out of it, in which there shall not be one man under six foot high.
I must not conclude this account without taking notice of the association-ribbon, by which these beautiful confederates have agreed to distinguish themselves. It is, indeed, so very pretty an ornament, that I wonder any Englishwoman will be without it. A lady of the association who bears this badge of allegiance upon her breast, naturally produces a desire in every male
beholder, of gaining a place in a heart which carries on it such a visible mark of its fidelity. When the beauties of our island are thus industrious to show their principles as well as their charms, they raise the sentiments of their countrymen, and inspire them at the same time both with loyalty and love. What numbers of proselytes may we not expect, when the most amiable of the Britons thus exhibit to their admirers the only terms upon which they are to hope for any correspondence or alliance with them! It is well known that the greatest blow the French nation ever received, was the dropping of a fine lady's garter, in the reign of King Edward the Third. The most remarkable battles which have been since gained over that nation, were fought under the auspices of a blue ribbon. As our British ladies have still the same faces, and our men the same hearts, why may we not hope for the same glorious achievements from the influence of this beautiful breast-knot?
Politics and the Fan.
IT is with great pleasure that I see a race of female patriots springing up in this island. The fairest among the daughters of Great Britain no longer confine their cares to a domestic life, but are grown anxious for the welfare of their country, and show themselves good stateswomen as well as good housewives.
Our she-confederates keep pace with us in quashing that rebellion which had begun to spread itself among part of the fair sex. If the men who are true to their king and country have taken Preston and Perth, the ladies have possessed themselves of the opera and the playhouse with as little opposition or bloodshed. The non-resisting women, like their brothers in the Highlands, think no post tenable against an army that makes so fine an appearance; and dare not look them in the face, when they are drawn up in battle-array.
As an instance of this cheerfulness in our fair fellowsubjects to oppose the designs of the Pretender, I did but suggest in one of my former papers, 'That the fan might be made use of with good success against Popery, by exhibiting the corruptions of the church of Rome in various figures;' when immediately they took the hint, and have since had frequent consultations upon several ways and methods 'to make the fan useful.' They have unanimously agreed upon the following resolutions, which are indeed very suitable
to ladies who are at the same time the most beautiful and the most loyal of their sex. To hide their faces behind the fan, when they observe a Tory gazing upon them. Never to peep through it, but in order to pick out men, whose principles make them worth the conquest. To return no other answer to a Tory's addresses, than by counting the sticks of it all the while he is talking to them. To avoid dropping it in the neighbourhood of a malecontent, that he may not have an opportunity of taking it up. To show their disbelief of any Jacobite story by a flirt of it. To fall a fanning themselves when a Tory comes into one of their assemblies, as being disordered at the sight of him.
These are the uses by which every fan may in the hands of a fine woman become serviceable to the public. But they have at present under consideration, certain fans of a Protestant make, that they may have a more extensive influence, and raise an abhorrence of Popery in a whole crowd of beholders: for they intend to let the world see what party they are of, by figures and designs upon these fans; as the knights-errant used to distinguish themselves by devices on their shields.
There are several sketches of pictures which have been already presented to the ladies for their approbation, and out of which several have made their choice. A pretty young lady will very soon appear with a fan, which has on it a nunnery of lively blackeyed vestals, who are endeavouring to creep out at the grates. Another has a fan mounted with a fine paper, on which is represented a group of people upon their knees very devoutly worshipping an old ten-penny
nail. A certain lady of great learning has chosen for her device the council of Trent; and another, who has a good satirical turn, has filled her fan with the figure of a huge tawdry woman, representing the whore of Babylon; which she is resolved to spread full in the face of any sister-disputant, whose arguments have a tendency to Popery. The following designs are already executed on several mountings. The ceremony of the holy pontiff opening the mouth of a cardinal in a full consistory. An old gentleman with a triple crown upon his head, and big with child, being the portrait of Pope Joan. Bishop Bonner purchasing great quantities of faggots and brushwood, for the conversion of heretics. A figure reaching at a sceptre with one hand, and holding a chaplet of beads in the other; with a distant view of Smithfield.
When our ladies make their zeal thus visible upon their fans, and every time they open them, display an error of the church of Rome, it cannot but have a good effect, by showing the enemies of our present establishment the folly of what they are contending for. At least, every one must allow that fans are much more innocent engines for propagating the Protestant religion, than racks, wheels, gibbets, and the like machines, which are made use of for the advancement of the Roman Catholic. Besides, as every lady will of course study her fan, she will be a perfect mistress of the controversy, at least in one point of Popery ; and as her curiosity will put her upon the perusal of every other fan that is fashionable, I doubt not but in a very little time there will be scarce a woman of quality in Great Britain, who would not be an overmatch for an Irish priest.