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mysterious healths, or be frugal of his candles on a rejoicing night, let her look to him, and keep him out of harm's way; or the world will be apt to say, she has a mind to be a widow before her time. She ought, in such cases, to exert the authority of the curtain lecture; and if she finds him of a rebellious disposition, to tame him, as they do birds of prey, by dinning him in the ears all night long Widows
be supposed women of too good sense not to discountenance all practices that have a tendency to the destruction of mankind. Besides, they have a greater interest in property than either maids or wives, and do not hold their jointures by the precarious tenure of portions or pin-money. So that it is as unnatural for a dowager, as a freeholder, to be an enemy to our constitution.
As nothing is more instructive than examples, I would recommend to the perusal of our British virgins, the story of Clelia, a Roman spinster, whose behaviour is represented by all their historians, as one of the chief motives that discouraged the Tarquins from prosecuting their attempt to regain the throne, from whence they had been expelled. Let the married women reflect upon the glory acquired by the wife of Coriolanus, who, when her husband, after long exile, was returning into his country with fire and sword, 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 en. gage 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
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 fellow-subjects.”
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.
No. 9. FRIDAY, JANUARY 20.
Consilia qui dant prava cautis hominibus,
Et perdunt operam, et deridentur turpiter. PHAEDR. THOUGH I have already seen, in “ The Town-talk," a letter from a celebrated Englishman to the Pretender, which is, indeed, an excellent answer to his declaration, the title of this paper obliges me to publish the following piece, which considers it in different lights.
The Declaration of the Freeholders of Great Britain, in
answer to that of the Pretender. WE, by the mercy of God, freeholders of Great Britain, to the Popish Pretender, who styles himself King of Scotland and England, and defender of our faith, DEFIANCE. Having seen a libel, which you have lately published against the king and people of these realms, under the title of a DECLARATION, we, in justice to the sentiments of our own hearts, have thought fit to return you the following answer; wherein we shall endeavour to reduce to method the several particulars, which you have contrived to throw together with much malice, and no less confusion. We believe
sincere in the first part of your declaration, where you own it would be a great satisfaction to you, to be placed upon the throne by our endeavours; but you discourage us from making use of them, by declaring it to be your right, “both by the laws of God and man.” As for the laws of God, we should think ourselves great transgressors of them, should we, for your sake; rebel against a prince, who, under God, is the most powerful defender of that religion which we think the most pleasing to him : and as for the laws of man, we conceive those to be of that kind which have been enacted from time to time, for near thirty years past, against you and your pretensions, by the legislature of this kingdom.
You afterwards proceed to invectives against the royal family; which, we do assure you, is a very unpopular topic, except to your few deluded friends among the rabble.
You call them “aliens to our country,” not considering that King George has lived above a year longer in England than ever you did. You say they are distant in blood,” whereas nobody ever doubted that King George is greatgrandson to King James the First, though many believe that you are not son to King James the Second. Besides, all the world acknowledges he is the nearest to our crown of the Protestant blood, of which you cannot have one drop in your veins, unless you derive it from such parents as you do not care for owning. Your next argument against the royal family is, that they
strangers to our language :" but they must be strangers to the British court who told you so. However, you must know, that we plain men should prefer a king who was a
stranger to our language, before one who is a stranger to our laws and religion: for we could never endure French sentiments, though delivered in our native dialect; and should abhor an arbitrary prince, though he tyrannized over us in the finest English that ever was spoken. For these reasons, sir, we cannot bear the thought of hearing a man, that has been bred up in the politics of Louis the Fourteenth, talk intelligibly from the British throne ; especially when we consider, however he may boast of his speaking English, he says his prayers in an unknown tongue.
We come now to the grievances for which, in your opinion, we ought to take up arms against our present sovereign. The greatest you seem to insist upon, and which is most in the mouths of your party, is the union of the two kingdoms; for which his Majesty ought most certainly to be deposed, because it was made under the reign of her, whom you call your “ dear sister of glorious memory." Other grievances which you hint at under his Majesty's administration, are, the murder of King Charles the First, who was beheaded before King George was born; and the sufferings of King Charles the Second, which, perhaps, his present Majesty cannot wholly clear himself of, because he came into the world a day before his restoration.
As on the one side you arraign his present Majesty by this most extraordinary retrospect, on the other hand, you condemn his government by what we may call the spirit of second sight. You are not content to draw into his reign those mischiefs that were done a hundred years ago, unless we anticipate those that may happen a hundred years hence. So that the keenest of your arrows either fall short of him, or fly over bis head. We take it for a certain sign that you are at a loss for present grievances, when you are thus forced to have recourse to your future prospects and future miseries.” sir, you must know, that we freeholders have a natural aversion to hanging, and do not know how to answer it to our wives and families, if we should venture our necks upon
the truth of your prophecies. In our ordinary way of judging, we guess at the king's future conduct by what we have seen already; and therefore beg you will excuse us, if, for the present, we defer entering into a rebellion, to which you so graciously invite us. When we have as bad a prospect of our King George's reign, as we should have of yours, then will
your time to date another declaration from your court at Commerci; which, if we may be allowed to prophesy in our turn, cannot possibly happen before the hundred and fiftieth year of your reign.
Having considered the past and future grievances mentioned in your declaration, we come now to the present; all of which are founded upon this supposition, that whatever is done by his Majesty or his ministers to keep you out of the British throne, is a grievance. These, sir, may be grievances to
you, but they are none to us. On the contrary, we look upon them as the greatest instances of his Majesty's care and tenderness for his people. To take them in order : the first relates to the ministry, who are chosen, as you observe very rightly, out of the worst, and not the best of your” subjects. Now, sir, can you in conscience think us to be such fools as to rebel against the king, for having employed those who are his most eminent friends, and were the greatest sufferers in his cause,
before he came to the crown; and for having removed a general, who is now actually in arms against him, and two secretaries of state, both of whom have listed themselves in your service; or because he chose to substitute in their places such men who had distinguished themselves by their zeal against you, in the most famous battles, negotiations, and debates
The second grievance you mention is, that the glory of the late queen has suffered, who, you insinuate, “had secured to you the enjoyment of that inheritance, out of which you had been so long kept.” This may, indeed, be a reason why her memory should be precious with you;
you may be sure we shall think never the better of her, for her having your good word. For the same reason it makes us stare, when we hear it objected to his present Majesty," that he is not kind to her faithful servants;" since, if we can believe what you yourself say, it is impossible they should be “his faithful servants.” And by the way, many of your private friends here wish you would forbear babbling at that rate; for to tell you a secret, we are very apt to suspect that any Englishman who deserves your praise deserves to be hanged.
The next grievance, which you have a mighty mind to redress among us, is the parliament of Great Britain, against whom you bring a stale accusation, which has been used by