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Besides, there is not a woman creature within twenty miles of the place, that is fit company for my house-keeper; and yet I must be intimate with them all. Lady B** indeed is very near us; but though we are very well acquainted in town, we must not be seen to speak to each other here, because her lord is in the opposition. Poor Thomas got a sad drubbing at her house, when I innocently sent him at my first coming into the country with a how d'ye to her ladyship. The greatest female acquaintance I have here, are Mrs. Mayoress, a taylor's wife, and Mrs. Alderman Gascoigne, who sells pins and needles on 'one side of the shop, while her husband works at his pestle and mortar on the other. These ordinary wretches are constant attendants on my tea-table: I am obliged to take them and their brats out an airing in my coach every evening; and am afterwards doomed to sit down to whist and swabbers, or one and thirty bone-ace for farthings. Mrs. Mayoress is a very violent party-woman; and she has two pug-dogs; one of which she calls Sir John, and the other Colonel, in compliment you must know to my husband and his brother candidate.
We had a ball the other day; and I opened it with Sir Humphry Chase, who danced in his boots, and hobbled along for all the world like the dancing bears, which I have seen in the streets at London. A terrible mistake happened about precedence, which I fear will lose Sir John a good many votes. An attorney's wife was very angry, that her daughter, a little pert chit just come from the boarding school, was not called out to dance before Miss Norton the brewer's daughter, when every body knew (she said) that her girl was a gentlewoman bred and born.
I wish, my dear, you were to see my dressingfoom; you would think it was a ribband-shop. Lettice and I have been busy all this week in making up knots and favours; and yesterday no milliner's pren
tice could work harder than I did, in tying them on the sweaty hats of country bumkins. And is it not very hard upon me? I must not even dress as I please; but am obliged to wear blue, though you know it does not suit my complexion, and makes me look as horrid as the witches in Macbeth.
But what is worse than all, Sir John tells me, the election expences have run so high, that he must shorten my allowance of pin-money. He talks of turning off half his servants; nay, he has even hinted to me, that I shall not come to town all the winter. Barbarous creature !....But if he dares serve me so, he shall positively lose his election next time; I will raise such a spirit of opposition in all the wives and daughters in the country against him.
I am your affectionate friend, &c.
This lady's case is, indeed, very much to be pitied: but as Sir John has had the good luck to gain his point after a strong opposition, he will doubtless be sensible of the great share his lady had in his success. For my own part, when I consider the vast influence which the fair sex must naturally have over my fellow-countrymen, I cannot help looking on their interesting themselves in these matters as a very serious affair. What success must a fine lady meet with on her canvass! No gentleman to be sure could be so rude or cruel, as to refuse such a pretty beggar any thing she should ask; and an honest country farmer, who could with-stand any other arguments, might be coaxed and wheedled, or bribed with a smile, into voting against his conscience. Many instances have been found, during the late elections, of husbands who have been forced to poll as their wives would have them; and I know a young fellow, that was brought over to give a vote against his inclination by his sweetheart, who refused to receive his addresses, if he did not change his party
It may not perhaps be too bold an assertion, that half the members in the present parliament owe their seats to the direct or indirect influence of the other sex. It would therefore be highly proper for the legislature to provide against this evil for the future; and I hope, before the next general election, to see among the votes the following resolution.
That it is an high infringement of the liberties and privileges of the Commons of Great Britain, for any peeress, or any other lady, to concern themselves in the election of Members to serve for the Commons in parliament.
No. XXI. THURSDAY, JUNE 20.
...Studeo, bullatis ut mihi nugis
Pagina turgescat, dare pondus idonea fumo.
A tale in sounding phrase I strive to tell,
TQUASSOUW, the son of Kqvussomo, was Konquer or chief captain over the sixteen nations of Caffraria. He was descended from N'oh and Hingn'oh, who dropped from the moon; and his power extended over all the Kraals of the Hottentots.
This prince was remarkable for his prowess and activity: his speed was like the torrent, that rushes down the precipice; and he would overtake the wild ass in her flight: his arrows brought down the eagle
from the clouds; the lion fell before him, and his launce drank the blood of the rhinoceros. He fathomed the waters of the deep, and buffetted the billows in the tempest: he drew the rock-fish from their lurking-holes, and rifled the beds of coral. Trained from his infancy in the exercise of war, to wield the Hassagay with dexterity, and break the wild bulls to battle, he was a stranger to the soft dalliance of love; and beheld with indifference the thick-lipped damsels of Gongeman, and the flat-nosed beauties of Hauteniqua.
As Tquassouw was one day giving instructions for spreading toils for the elk, and digging pitfals for the elephant, he received information that a tyger prowl ing for prey was committing ravages on the Kraals of the Chamtouers. He snatched up his bow of olivewood, and bounded, like the roe-buck on the mountains, to their assistance. He arrived just at the instant, when the enraged animal was about to fasten on a virgin, and aiming a poisoned arrow at his heart, laid him dead at her feet. The virgin threw herself on the ground, and covered her head with dust, to thank her deliverer. But when she rose, the prince was dazzled with her charms. He was struck with the glossy hue of her complexion, which shone like the jetty down on the black hogs of Hessaqua: He was ravished with the prest gristle of her nose; and his eyes dwelt with admiration on the flaccid beauties of her breasts, which descended to her navel.
Knonmquaiha, (for that was the virgin's name) was daughter to the Kouquequa or leader of the Kraal, who bred her up with all the delicacy of her sex..... She was fed with the entrails of goats, she sucked the eggs of the ostrich, and her drink was the milk of ewes. After gazing for some time upon her charms, the prince in great transport embraced the soles of her feet: then ripping the beast he had just killed, took out the caul, and hung it about her neck,
in token of his affection. He afterwards stripped the tyger of his skin, and sending it to the Kouquequa her father, demanded the damsel in marriage.
The eve of the full moon was appointed for the celebration of the nuptials of Tquassouw and Knonmquaiba. When the day arrived, the magnificence, in which the bridegroom was arrayed, amazed all Caffraria. Over his shoulders was cast a Kroffe, or mantle of wild cat-skins: he cut sandals for his feet from the raw hide of an elephant; he had hunted down a leopard, and of the spotted fur formed a superb cap for his head; he girded his loins with the intestines, and the bladder of the beast he blew up, and fastened to his hair.
Nor had Knonmquaiha been less employed in adorning her person. She made a varnish with the fat of goats mixed with soot, with which she anointed her whole body, as she stood beneath the rays of the sun: her locks were clotted with melted grease, and powdered with the yellow dust of Buchu: her face, which shone like the polished ebony, was beautifully varied with spots of red earth, and appeared like the sable curtain of the night bespangled with stars: she sprinkled her limbs with wood-ashes, and perfumed them with the dung of the Stinkbingsem. Her arms and legs were entwined with the shining entrails of an heifer from her neck there hung a pouch composed of the stomach of a kid : the wings of an ostrich overshadowed the fleshy promontories behind; and before she wore an apron formed of the shaggy ears of a lion.
The chiefs of the several Kraals, who were summoned to assist at their nuptials, formed a circle on the ground, sitting upon their heels, and bowing their heads between their knees in token of reverence. In the centre the illustrious prince with his sable bride reposed upon soft cushions of cow-dung. Then the Surri or chief priest approached them, and in a deep