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No. 127 [from The Spectator]
by [?]

Should this Fashion get among the ordinary People our publick Ways would be so crowded that we should want Street-room. Several Congregations of the best Fashion find themselves already very much streightened, and if the Mode encrease I wish it may not drive many ordinary Women into Meetings and Conventicles. Should our Sex at the same time take it into their Heads to wear Trunk Breeches (as who knows what their Indignation at this Female Treatment may drive them to) a Man and his Wife would fill a whole Pew.

You know, Sir, it is recorded of Alexander the Great, [2] that in his Indian Expedition he buried several Suits of Armour, which by his Direction were made much too big for any of his Soldiers, in order to give Posterity an extraordinary Idea of him, and make them believe he had commanded an Army of Giants. I am persuaded that if one of the present Petticoats happen to be hung up in any Repository of Curiosities, it will lead into the same Error the Generations that lie some Removes from us: unless we can believe our Posterity will think so disrespectfully of their Great Grand-Mothers, that they made themselves Monstrous to appear Amiable.

When I survey this new-fashioned Rotonda in all its Parts, I cannot but think of the old Philosopher, who after having entered into an Egyptian Temple, and looked about for the Idol of the Place, at length discovered a little Black Monkey Enshrined in the midst of it, upon which he could not forbear crying out, (to the great Scandal of the Worshippers) What a magnificent Palace is here for such a Ridiculous Inhabitant!

Though you have taken a Resolution, in one of your Papers, to avoid descending to Particularities of Dress, I believe you will not think it below you, on so extraordinary an Occasion, to Unhoop the Fair Sex, and cure this fashionable Tympany that is got among them. I am apt to think the Petticoat will shrink of its own accord at your first coming to Town; at least a Touch of your Pen will make it contract it self, like the sensitive Plant, and by that means oblige several who are either terrified or astonished at this portentous Novelty, and among the rest,

Your humble Servant, etc.


[Footnote 1: ‘Love in a Tub’, Act iv, sc, 6.]

[Footnote 2: In Plutarch’s ‘Life’ of him.]