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No. 081 [from The Spectator]
by [?]

… She swells with angry Pride,
And calls forth all her Spots on ev’ry Side. [1]

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 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-number’d 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 what perhaps may never meet with a Parallel, I think I should not have discharged the Office of a faithful SPECTATOR, had I not recorded it.

I have, in former Papers, endeavoured to expose this Party-Rage in Women, as it only serves to aggravate the Hatreds and Animosities that reign among Men, and in a great measure deprive the Fair Sex of those peculiar Charms with which Nature has endowed them.

When the Romans and Sabines were at War, and just upon the Point of giving Battel, the Women, who were allied to both of them, interposed with so many Tears and Intreaties, that they prevented the mutual Slaughter which threatned 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 Olympick Games, notwithstanding these were the publick Diversions of all Greece.

As our English Women excel those of all Nations in Beauty, they should endeavour to outshine them in all other Accomplishments [proper [2]] to the Sex, and to distinguish 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 shine in. If they must be shewing their Zeal for the Publick, 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 publick Exigence, which appeared so laudable an Action in the Eyes of their Countrymen, that from thenceforth it was permitted by a Law to pronounce publick Orations at the Funeral of a Woman in Praise of the deceased 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 Publick-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 [3] which he made in Honour of those brave Athenians that were slain in a fight with the Lacedaemonians. After having addressed himself to the several Ranks and Orders of his Countrymen, and shewn them how they should behave themselves in the Publick 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’.


[Footnote 1: ‘Davideis’, Bk III. But Cowley’s Tiger is a Male.]

[Footnote 2: that are proper]

[Footnote 3: Thucydides, Bk II.]