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sions. A little after, as the lady was discoursing my friend, and held her snuff-box in her hand, who should I see in the lid of it but the doctor? It was not long after this when she had occasion for her handkerchief, which upon the first opening discovered among the plaits the figure of the doctor. Upon this my friend Will, who loves raillery, told her, that if he was in Mr Truelove's place (for that was the name of her husband), he should be made as uneasy by a handkerchief as ever Othello was.
afraid,' said she, 'Mr. Honeycomb, you are a Tory; tell me 10 truly, are you a friend to the doctor or not?' Will, instead of
making her a reply, smiled in her face, (for indeed she was very pretty,) and told her that one of her patches was dropping off. She immediately adjusted it, and looking a little seriously, 'Well,' says she, ' I'll be hanged if you and your silent friend there are not against the doctor in your hearts; I suspected as much by his saying nothing.' Upon this she took her fan into her hand, and upon the opening of it again displayed to us the figure of the doctor, who was placed with great gravity among the sticks of
it. In a word, I found that the doctor had taken possession of her 20 thoughts, her discourse, and most of her furniture; but finding
myself pressed too close by her question, I winked upon my friend to take his leave, which he did accordingly.-C.
No. 81. On party Patches ; the Spectator deprecates the vehement addiction of women to politics.
Qualis ubi audito venantum murmure tigris
Horruit in maculas.-STATIUS. About the middle of last winter I went to see an opera at the theatre in the Hay Market, where I could not but take notice of two parties of very fine women, that had placed themselves in the opposite side boxes, and seemed drawn up in a kind of battle array one against another. 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. 30 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 sit 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, and those on my left Tories: and that those 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 side or the other; insomuch that I observed in
several of them, the patches, which were before dispersed equally, 10 are now all gone over to the Whig or Tory side of the face. The
censorious say that the men, whose hearts are aimed at, are very often the occasions that one part of the face is thus dishonoured, and lies under a kind of disgrace, while the other is so much set off and adorned by the owners; 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 public 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 20 eye to the interest of their country. Nay, I am informed that
some of them adhere so steadfastly to their party, and are so far from sacrificing their zeal for the public to their passion for any particular person, that in a late draught of marriage articles a lady has stipulated with her husband, that whatever his opinions are, she shall be at liberty to patch on which side she pleases.
I must here take notice, that Rosalinda, a famous Whig partizan, has most unfortunately a very beautiful mole on the Tory part of her forehead; which, being very conspicuous, has occa
sioned many mistakes, and given an handle to her enemies to mis30 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 same. This unlucky mole, however, has misled several coxcombs : and like the hanging out of false colours, made some of them converse with Rosalinda in what they thought the spirit of her party, when on a sudden she has given them an unexpected fire, that has sunk them all at once. If Rosalinda is unfortunate in her mole, Nigranilla is as unhappy in a pimple, which forces her, against her inclinations, to patch on the Whig side.
I am told that many virtuous matrons, who formerly have
been taught to believe that this artificial spotting 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, And calls forth all her spots on ev'ry side. When I was in the theatre the time above mentioned, I had the
curiosity to count the patches on both sides, and found the Tory 10 patches to be about twenty stronger than the Whig ; but to
make amends for this small inequality, I the next morning found the whole puppet-show 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 so great a body to the opera, that they out-numbered 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 singular nature, and 20 what perhaps may never meet with a parallel, 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 this party rage in women, as it only serves to aggravate the hatred and animosities that reign among men, and in a great measure deprives the fair sex of those peculiar charms with which nature has endued them.
When the Romans and Sabines were at war, and just upon the point of giving battle, the women who were allied to both of 30 them interposed with so many tears and entreaties, that they
prevented the mutual slaughter which threatened both parties, and united them together in a firm and lasting peace.
I would recommend this noble example to our British ladies at a time when their country is torn with so many unnatural divisions, that, if they continue, 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 Olympic games, notwithstanding these were the public diversions of all Greece.
As our English women excel those of all nations in beauty, they should endeavour to out-shine them in all other accomplishments proper to the sex, and to distinguish themselves as tender mothers and faithful wives, rather than as furious partizans. Female virtues are of a domestic turn. The family is the
proper province for private women to shine in. If they must be 10 shewing their zeal for the public, let it not be against those
who are perhaps of the same family, or at least of the same religion or nation, but against those who are the open, professed, 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 assist the government under a public exigence; which appeared so laudable an action in the eyes of their countrymen, that from thenceforth it was permitted by a law to pronounce public
orations at the funeral of a woman in the praise of the deceased 20 person, which till that time was peculiar to men. Would our
English ladies, instead of sticking on a patch against those of their own country, shew themselves so truly public-spirited as to sacrifice every one her necklace against the common enemy, what decrees ought not to be made in favour of them!
Since I am recollecting upon this subject such passages as occur to my memory out of ancient authors, I cannot omit a sentence in the celebrated funeral oration of Pericles, in Thucydides, which he made in honour of those brave Athenians that
were slain in a fight with the Lacedemonians. After having ad30 dressed himself to the several ranks and orders of his country
men, and shewn them how they should behave themselves in the public cause, he turns to the female part of his audience: And as for you,' says he, 'I shall advise you in very few words; aspire only to those virtues that are peculiar to your sex; follow your natural modesty, and think it your greatest commendation not to be talked of one way or other.'-C.
No. 98. On Ladies' head-dresses ; lately of extravagant height, though now moderate ; Father Connecte; good advice. Tanta est quærendi cura decoris.
Juv. Sat. vi. 500. There is not so variable a thing in nature as a lady's headdress : within my own memory I have known it rise and fall above thirty degrees. About ten years ago it shot up to a very great height, insomuch that the female part of our species were much taller than the men. The women were of such an enormous stature, that 'we appeared as grasshoppers before them.' At present the whole sex is in a manner dwarfed and shrunk into a race of beauties that seems almost another species.
I remember several ladies, who were once very near seven foot 10 high, that at present want some inches of five : How they came to
be thus curtailed I cannot learn; whether the whole sex be at present under any penance which we know nothing of, or whether they have cast their head-dresses in order to surprise us with something in that kind which shall be entirely new; or whether some of the tallest of the sex, being too cunning for the rest, have contrived this method to make themselves appear sizeable, is still a secret; though I find most are of opinion, they are at present like trees new lopped and pruned, that will
certainly sprout up and flourish with greater heads than before. 20 For my own part, as I do not love to be insulted by women
who are taller than myself, I admire the sex much more in their present humiliation, which has reduced them to their natural dimensions, than when they had extended their persons and lengthened themselves out into formidable and gigantic figures. I am not for adding to the beautiful edifices of nature, nor for raising any whimsical superstructure upon her plans: I must therefore repeat it, that I am highly pleased with the coiffure now in fashion, and think it shews the good sense which
at present very much reigns among the valuable part of the sex. 30 One may observe, that women in all ages have taken more pains
than men to adorn the outside of their heads; and indeed I very much admire that those female architects, who raise such wonderful structures out of ribbands, lace, and wire, have not been recorded for their respective inventions. It is certain there have