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No. 561.

Wednesday, June 30.

-Paulatim abolere Sichæum

Incipit, & vivo tentat prævertere amore
Fampridem refides animos defuetaque corda.

SIR,

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Virg.

A M a tall, broad-shoulder'd, impudent, black Fellow, and, as I thought, every way qualified for a rich Widow: But, after having tried my Fortune for above three Years together, I have not been able to get one fingle Relict in the Mind. My first Attacks were generally fuccefful, but always broke off as foon as they came to the Word Settlement. Though I have not improved my Fortune this way, "I have my Experience, and have learnt feveral Secrets which may be of Ufe to thofe unhappy Gentlemen, who are commonly diftinguifhed by the Name of Widow-hunters, and who do not know that this • Tribe of Women are, generally speaking, as much upon the Catch as themfelves. I fhall here communicate to you the Mysteries of a certain female Cabal of this Order, who call themselves the Widow-club. This Club confifts of nine experienced Dames, who take ⚫ their Places once a Week round a large oval Table.

I. Mrs. Prefident is a Perfon who has difpofed of fix Husbands, and is now determined to take a feventh; being of Opinion that there is as much Virtue in the Touch of a seventh Husband as of a feventh Son Her Comrades are as follow,

II Mrs. Snapp, who has four Jointures by four different Bed-fellows, of four different Shires. She is at present upon the Point of Marriage with a MiddleSex Man, and is faid to have an Ambition of extend⚫ing her Poffeffions through all the Counties in England, on this Side the Trent.

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III. Mrs. Medlar, who after two Husbands and a Gallant, is now wedded to an old Gentleman of

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Sixty.

Sixty. Upon her making her Report to the Club after a Week's Cohabitation, fhe is ftill allowed to fit. as a Widow, and accordingly takes her Place at the • Board.

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IV. The Widow Quick married within a Fortnight: after the Death of her laft Hufband. Her Weeds have ⚫ ferved her thrice, and are ftill as good as new.

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V. Lady Catherine Swallow. She was a Widow at eighteen, and has fince buried a fecond Husband and two Coachmen.

VI. The Lady Waddle. She was married in the 1 15th • Year of her Age to Sir Simon Waddle, Knight, aged threefcore and twelve, by whom he had Twins nine Months after his decease. In the 55th Year of her Age fhe was married to James Spindle, Efq; a Youth of one and twenty, who did not out-live the Honey-moon.

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• VIII. Deborah Conqueft. The Cafe of this Lady is fomething particular. She is the Relict of Sir Sampfon Conqueft, fome time Juftice of the Quorum. Sir Samplon was feven Foot high, and two Foot in Breadth from the Tip of one Shoulder to the other. He had married three Wives, who all of them died in Child-bed. This terrified the whole Sex, who none of them durft venture on Sir Sampson.

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length Mrs. Deborah undertook him, and gave fo good an Account of him, that in three Years Time The very fairly laid him out, and measured his Length upon the Ground. This Exploit has gained her fo great a Reputation in the Club, that they have added Sir Sampson's three Victories to hers, and give her 'the Merit of a fourth Widowhood; and fhe takes her Place accordingly.

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VIII. The Widow Wildfire, Relict of Mr. John • Wildfire, Fox-hunter, who broke his Neck over a fix Bar Gate. She took his Death fo much to Heart, that it was thought it would have put an End to her Life, had fhe not diverted her Sorrows by receiving. the Addreffes of a Gentleman in the Neighbourhood, who made Love to her in the fecond Month of her Widowhood. This Gentleman was discarded in a Fortnight for the Sake of a young Templer, who had the • Poffeffion

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• Poffeffion of her for fix Weeks after, till he was beaten out by a broken Officer, who likewife gave up his Place to a Gentleman at Court. The Courtier was as fhort-liv'd a Favourite as his Predeceffors, but had the Pleasure to see himself fucceeded by a long Series of Lovers, who followed the Widow Wildfire to the 37th Year of her Age, at which Time there enfued a Ceffation of ten Years, when John Felt, Haberdasher, took it in his Head to be in love with her, and it is thought will very fuddenly carry her off. IX. The laft is pretty Mrs. Runnet, who broke her firft Husband's Heart before fhe was Sixteen, at which • Time she was entered of the Club, but foon after left it, upon Account of a Second, whom the made fo quick a Difpatch of, that the returned to her Seat in lefs than a Twelvemonth. This young Matron is looked upon as the most rising Member of the Society, and will probably be in the Prefident's Chair before the dies.

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THESE Ladies upon their firft Inftitution, refolved to give the Pictures of their deceafed Husbands to the Club-Room, but two of them bringing in their • Dead at full Length, they cover'd all the Walls; Upon which they came to a fecond Refolution, that every Matron fhould give her own Picture, and fet it round with her Husband's in Miniature.

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As they have most of them the Misfortune to be troubled with the Cholick, they have a noble Cellar • of Cordials and ftrong Waters. When they grow Maudlin, they are very apt to commemorate their for• mer Partners with a Tear. But ask them which of their Husbands they condole, they are not able to tell you, and difcover plainly that they do not weep fo much for the Lofs of a Husband, as for the Want of one.

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THE principal Rule by which the whole Society are to govern themfelves, is this, To cry up the Pleafures of a fingle Life upon all Occafions, in Order to ⚫ deter the rest of their Sex from Marriage, and engross the whole Male World to themfelves.

THEY are obliged, when any one makes Love to a Member of the Society, to communicate his

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Name,

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Name, at which Time the whole Affembly fit upon his Reputation, Perfon, Fortune, and good Humour: and if they find him qualified for a Sifter of the Club, they lay their Heads together how to make him fure. By this Means they are acquainted with all the Widow-hunters about Town, who often afford them great Diverfion. There is an honeft Irish Gentleman, it seems, who knows nothing of this Society, but at different Times has made Love to the whole Club.

THEIR Converfation often turns upon their former Husbands, and it is very diverting to hear them relate their several Arts and Stratagems, with which they amufed the Jealous, pacified the Cholerick, or wheedled the good-natured Man, 'till, at laft to use the Club Phrafe, They fent him out of the Houfe with bis Heels foremost.

THE Politicks, which are moft cultivated by this Society of She-Machiavils, relate chiefly to these two Points, how to treat a Lover, and how to manage an Hufband. As for the firft Set of Artificers, they are too numerous to come within the Compafs of your Paper, and fhall therefore be refolved for a fecond Letter.

THE Management of an Husband is built upon the following Doctrines, which are univerfally affented to by the whole Club. Not to give him his Head at firft. Not to allow him too great Freedoms and Familiarities. Not to be treated by him like a raw Girl, but as a Woman that knows the World. Not to leffen any Thing of her former Figure. To celebrate the Generofity, or any other Virtue, of a deceafed Hufband, which fhe would recommend to his Succeffor. To turn away all his old Friends and Servants, that he may have the dear Man to herself. To make him difinherit the undutiful Children of any former Wife. Never to be thoroughly convinced of his Affection, 'till he has made over to her all his Goods and Chattels.

AFTER fo long a Letter, I am, without more Ceremony,

Your bumble Servant, &c.

Friday,

No. 562. Friday, July 2.

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Præfens, abfens, ut fies.

Ter.

Tis a hard and nice Subject for a Man to fpeak of himfelf, fays Cowley; it grates his orun Heart to fay any thing of Difparagement, and the Reader's Ears to hear. any thing of Praife from him. Let the Tenour of his Difcourfe be what it will upon this Subject, it generally proceeds from Vanity. An oftentatious Man will rather relate a Blunder or an Abfurdity he has committed, than be debarred from talking of his own dear Perfon.

SOME very great Writers have been guilty of this Fault. It is obferved of Tully in particular, that his Works run very much in the firft Perfon, and that he takes all Occafions of doing himself Juftice. Does

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he think, fays Brutus, that his Confulthip deferves more Applaufe than by putting Cefar to Death, because I am not perpetually talking of the Ides of March, as he is of the Nones of December? I need not acquaint my learned Reader, that in the Ides of March, Brutus deftroyed Cæfar, and that Cicero quafhed the Confpiracy of Catiline in the Calends of December. How fhocking foever this great Man's talking of himfelf might have been to his Contemporaries, I muft confefs I am never better pleased than when he is on this Subject. Such Openings of the Heart give a Man a thorough Infight into his perfonal Character, and il luftrate feveral Paffages in the Hiftory of his Life; Befides, that there is fome little Pleafure in difcovering the Infirmity of a great Man, and feeing how the Opinion he has of himself agrees with what the World entertains of him.

THE Gentlemen of Port-Royal, who were more eminent for their Learning and their Humility than any other in France, banifh'd the Way of fpeaking in the firft Perfon out of all their Works, as arifing from

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