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vers his razor to the midwife, and she her swaddlingclothes to the barber. Accordingly Thales Milesius (who, like the rest of his countrymen, borrowed his learning from the Egyptians) after having computed the time of this famous conjunction, "then," says he, "shall men and women mutually exchange the pangs "of shaving and childbearing."
Anaximander modestly describes this metamorphosis in mathematical terms, "then," says he, "shall "the negative quantity of the women be turned into positive, their into + (i. e.) their minus into "plus."
Plato not only speaks of this great scribes all the preparations toward it. "the bodily transformation (says he)
change, but de
"Long before nature shall be
gin the most difficult part of her work, by changing "the ideas and inclinations of the two sexes: men "shall turn effeminate, and women manly; wives "shall domineer, and husbands obey; ladies shall "ride a horseback, dressed like cavaliers; princes "and nobles appear in nightrails and petticoats; men "shall squeak upon theatres with female voices, and "women corrupt virgins; lords shall knot and cut
paper: and even the northern people, apríva xumpiy "PvE." A phrase (which for modesty's sake I ὀρινεῖν.” forbear to translate) which denotes a vice too frequent among us.
That the ministry foresaw this great change, is plain from the calico act; whereby it is now become the occupation of the women all over England, to convert their useless female habits into beds, window-curtains, chairs, and joint-stools; undressing themselves (as it were) before their transformation. The philosophy of this transformation will not
seem surprising to people, who search into the bottom of things. Madame Bourignon, a devout French lady, has shown us, how man was at first created male and female in one individual, having the faculty of propagation within himself; a circumstance necessary to the state of innocence, wherein a man's happiness was not to depend upon the caprice of another. It was not till after he had made a faux pas, that he had his female mate. Many such transformations of individuals have been well attested; particularly one by Montaigne, and another by the late bishop of Salisbury. From all which it appears, that this system of male and female has already undergone, and may hereafter suffer, several alterations. Every smatterer in anatomy knows, that a woman is but an introverted man; a new fusion and flatus will turn the hollow bottom of a bottle into a convexity; but I forbear for the sake of my modest men-readers, who are in a few days to be virgins.
In some subjects the smallest alterations will do: some men are sufficiently spread about the hips, and contrived with that female softness, that they want only the negative quantity to make them buxom wenches; and there are women who are, as it were, already the ébauche of a good sturdy man. If nature could be puzzled, it will be how to bestow the redundant matter of the exuberant bubbies that now appear about town, or how to roll out the short dapper fellows into well-sized women.
This great conjunction will begin to operate on Saturday the 29th instant. Accordingly about eight
Sketch, rough draught, or essay.
at night, as Senezino shall begin at the opera, Si videte, he shall be observed to make an unusual motion; upon which the audience will be affected with a red suffusion over their countenance: and because a strong succussion of the muscles of the belly is necessary toward performing this great operation, both sexes will be thrown into a profuse involuntary laughter. Then, to use the modest terms of Anaximander, "shall negative quantity be turned into "positive, &c." Time never beheld, nor will it ever assemble, such a number of untouched virgins within those walls! but alas! such will be the impatience and curiosity of people to act in their new capacity, that many of them will be completed men and women that very night. To prevent the disorders that may happen upon this occasion, is the chief design of this paper.
Gentlemen have begun already to make use of this conjunction to compass their filthy purposes. They tell the ladies, forsooth, that it is only parting with a perishable commodity, hardly of so much value as a callico under-petticoat; since, like its mistress, it will be useless in the form it is now in. If the ladies have no regard to the dishonour and immorality of the action, I desire they will consider, that nature, who never destroys her own productions, will exempt bigbellied women till the time of their lying in; so that not to be transformed, will be the same as to be pregnant. If they do not think it worth while to defend a fortress, that is to be demolished in a few days, let them reflect, that it will be a melancholy thing nine months hence to be brought to bed of a bastard; a posthumous bastard, as it were, to which the quondam father can be no more than a dry nurse.
This wonderful transformation is the instrument
of nature to balance matters between the sexes. cruelty of scornful mistresses shall be returned; the slighted maid shall grow into an imperious gallant, and reward her undoer with a big belly, and a bastard.
It is hardly possible to imagine the revolutions, that this wonderful phenomenon will occasion over the face of the earth. I long impatiently to see the proceedings of the parliament of Paris, as to the title of succession to the crown; this being a case not provided for by the salique law. There will be no preventing disorders among friars and monks; for certainly vows of chastity do not bind, but under the sex in which they were made. The same will hold good with marriages, though I think it will be a scandal among protestants for husbands and wives to part, since there remains still a possibility to perform the delitum conjugale, by the husband being femme couverte. I submit it to the judgment of the gentlemen of the long robe, whether this transformation does not discharge all suits of rapes.
The pope must undergo a new groping, but the false prophet Mahomet has contrived matters well for his successors; for as the grand signior has now a great many fine women, he will then have as many fine young gentlemen, at his devotion.
These are surprising scenes; but I beg leave to affirm, that the solemn operations of nature are subjects of contemplation, not of ridicule. Therefore I make it my earnest request to the merry fellows and giggling girls about town, that they would not put themselves in a high twitter, when they go to visit a general lying in of his first child; his officers
serving as midwives, nurses, and rockers dispensing caudle; or if they behold the reverend prelates dressing the heads and airing the linen at court; I beg they will remember that these offices must be filled with people of the greatest regularity, and best characters. For the same reason I am sorry, that a certain prelate, who, notwithstanding his confinement, still preserves his healthy, cheerful countenance, cannot come in time to be a nurse at
I likewise earnestly intreat the maids of honour, (then ensigns and captains of the guards) that at their first se ting out they have some regard to their former station; and do not run wild through all the infamous houses about town: that the present grooms of the bed-chamber (then maids of honour) would not eat chalk and lime in their green-sickness: and in general, that the men would remember they are become retromingent, and not by inadvertency lift up against walls and posts.
Petticoats will not be burdensome to the clergy; but balls and assemblies will be indecent for some time.
As for you, coquettes, bawds, and chambermaids (the future ministers, plenipotentiaries, and cabinet-counsellors to the princes of the earth) manage the great intrigues that will be committed to your charge, with your usual secrecy and conduct: and the affairs of your masters will go better than
O ye exchange women! (our right worshipful representatives that are to be) be not so griping in the
In December 1722.