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my Lord, for taking this Occafion of telling all the World how ardently I Love and Honour You; and that I am, with the utmost Gratitude for all Your Favours,
moft Obedient, and
moft Humble Servant,
N° 81. Saturday, June 2. 1711.
Qualis ubi audito venantum murmure Tigris
BOUT the Middle of laft Winter I went to see an Opera at the Theatre in the HayMarket, where I could not but take Notice of two Parties of very fine Women, that had placed themfelves in the oppofite SideBoxes, and feemed drawn up in a kind of Battle-Array one against another. After a fhort Survey of them, I found they were Patched differently; the Faces on one Hand, being spotted on the right Side of the Forehead, and thofe upon the other on the Left. I quickly perGeived that they caft hoftile Glances upon one another; and that their Patches were placed in those different Situations, as Party-Signals to diftinguish Friends from Foes. In the Middle-Boxes, between these two oppofite Bodies, were feveral Ladies who Patched indifferently on both Sides of their Faces, and feemed to fit there with no other Intention but to fee the Opera, Upon Enquiry I found, that the Body of Amazons on my right Hand were Whigs, and A 4
thofe on my left, Tories: And that those who had pla ced themselves in the Middle-Boxes were a Neutral Party, whofe Faces had not yet declared themselves. These laft, however, as I afterwards found, diminished daily, and Took their Party with one Side or the other; infomuch that I obferved in feveral of them, the Patches, which were before difperfed equally, are now all gone over to the Whig or Tory Side of the Face. The Cenforious fay, That the Men whofe Hearts are aimed at, are very often the Occafions that one Part of the Face is thus difhonoured, and lies under a kind of Difgrace, while the other is fo much fet off and adorned by the Owner; 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 fantaftical Coquets, who do not Patch for the publick Good fo much as for their own private Advantage, it is certain, that there are feveral Women of Honour who patch out of Principle, and with an Eye to the Intereft of their Country. Nay, I am informed that fome of them adhere fo ftedfaftly to their Party, and are fo far from facrificing their Zeal for the Publick to their Paffion for any particular Perfon, that in a late Draught of Marriage- Articles a Lady has ftipulated with her Husband, That, whatever his Opinions are, fhe fhall be at Liberty to patch on which Side fhe pleases.
I muft here take notice, that Rofalinda, a famous Whig Partizan, has most unfortunately a very beautiful Mole on the Tory Part of her Forehead; which being very confpicuous, has occafioned many Mistakes, and given an Handle to her Enemies to mifreprefent her Face, as tho' it had revolted from the Whig Intereft. But, whatever this natural Patch may feem to intimate, it is well known' that her Notions of Government are ftill the fame. This unlucky Mole, however, has mif-led feveral Coxcombs; and like the hanging out of falfe Colours, made fome of them converfe with Rofalinda in what they thought the Spirit of her Party, when on a fudden the has given them an un xpected Fire, that has funk them all at once. If Rofalinda 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 à 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 Tygrefs, that feveral Spots rife in her Skin when fhe is angry, or as Mr. Cowley has imitated the Verfes that ftand as the Motto of this Paper,
She fwells with angry Pride,
And calls forth all her Spots on ev'ry Side.
WHEN I was in the Theatre the Time above-men tioned, I had the Curiofity to count the Patches on both Sides, and found the Tory Patches to be about Twenty ftronger than the Whig; but to make Amends for this fmall Inequality, I the next Morning found the whole Puppet-fhew filled with Faces fpotted 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 fo great a Body to the Opera, that they out-numbered the Enemy.
THIS Account of Party-Patches will, I am afraid, appear improbable to thofe who live at a Distance from the fashionable World: but as it is a Diftinction of a very fingular Nature, and what perhaps may never meet with a Parallel, I think I fhould not have difcharged the Office of a faithful SPECTATOR, had I not recorded it.
I have, in former Papers, endeavoured to expofe this Party-Rage in Women, as it only ferves to aggravate the Hatreds and Animofities that reign among Men, and in a great measure deprives the Fair Sex of those peculiar Charms with which Nature has endowed them.
WHEN the Romans and Sabines were at War, and' juft upon the Point of giving Battel, the Women, who were allied to both of them, interpofed with fo many Tears and Intreaties, that they prevented the mutual Slaughter which threatned both Parties, and united them together in a firm and lafting Peace.
I would recommend this noble Example to our British Ladies, at a Time when their Country is torn with so many unnatural Diyifions, that if they continue, it will A 5
be a Misfortune to be born in it. The Greeks thought it fo improper for Women to intereft themselves in Čompetitions and Contentions, that for this Reason, among others, they forbad them, under Pain of Death, to be prefent at the Olympick Games, notwithstanding these were the publick Diversions of all Greece.
AS our English Women excel thofe of all Nations in Beauty, they fhould endeavour to outfhine them in all other Accomplishments proper to the Sex, and to distinguifh themselves as tender Mothers, and faithful Wives, rather than as furious Partizans. Female Virtues are of a Domestick Turn. The Family is the proper Province for private Women to fhine in. If they must be fhewing their Zeal for the Publick, let it not be against those who are perhaps of the fame Family, or at least of the fame Religion or Nation, but against those who are the open, profeffed, undoubted Enemies of their Faith, Liberty, and Country. When the Romans were preffed with a Foreign Enemy, the Ladies voluntarily contribu ted all their Rings and Jewels to affift the Government: under a publick Exigence, which appeared fo laudable an Action in the Eyes of their Countrymen, that from thence forth it was, permitted by a Law to pronounce publick Orations at the Funeral of a Woman in Praise of the deceafed Perfon, which till that Time was peculiar to Men.. Would our English Ladies, inftead of ticking on a Patch against thofe of their own Country, fhew themselves fa truly publick-fpirited as to facrifice every one her Neck Jace against the Common Enemy, what Decrees ought not to be made in Favour of them?
SINCE I am recollecting upon this Subje&t fuch Paf fages as occur to my Memory out of ancient Authors, L cannot omit a Sentence in the celebrated Funeral Ora, tion of Pericles, which he made in Honour of those brave Athenians that were flain in a Fight with the Lacedemonjans. After having addreffed himself to the feveral Ranks and Orders of his Countrymen, and fhewn them how they fhould behave themselves in the Publick Cause, he turns to the Female Part of his Audience; · And as for you (fays he) I fhall advife you in very few Words » Afpire only to those Virtues that are peculiar to your Sex follow your natural Modefty, and think it your