Thy Friend as hereafter thou dost demean
[Footnote 1: [an unkind]]
* * * * *
No. 277. Thursday, January 17, 1712. Budgell.
—fas est et ab hoste doceri.
I presume I need not inform the Polite Part of my Readers, that before our Correspondence with France was unhappily interrupted by the War, our Ladies had all their Fashions from thence; which the Milliners took care to furnish them with by means of a Jointed Baby, that came regularly over, once a Month, habited after the manner of the most Eminent Toasts in Paris.
I am credibly informed, that even in the hottest time of the War, the Sex made several Efforts, and raised large Contributions towards the Importation of this Wooden Madamoiselle.
Whether the Vessel they set out was lost or taken, or whether its Cargo was seized on by the Officers of the Custom-house, as a piece of Contraband Goods, I have not yet been able to learn; it is, however, certain their first Attempts were without Success, to the no small Disappointment of our whole Female World; but as their Constancy and Application, in a matter of so great Importance, can never be sufficiently commended, I am glad to find that in Spight of all Opposition, they have at length carried their Point, of which I received Advice by the two following Letters.
Mr. SPECTATOR, I am so great a Lover of whatever is French, that I lately discarded an humble Admirer, because he neither spoke that Tongue, nor drank Claret. I have long bewailed, in secret, the Calamities of my Sex during the War, in all which time we have laboured under the insupportable Inventions of English Tire-Women, who, tho they sometimes copy indifferently well, can never compose with that Gout they do in France.
I was almost in Despair of ever more seeing a Model from that dear Country, when last Sunday I over-heard a Lady, in the next Pew to me, whisper another, that at the Seven Stars in King-street Covent-garden, there was a Madamoiselle compleatly dressed just come from Paris.
I was in the utmost Impatience during the remaining part of the Service, and as soon as ever it was over, having learnt the Millener’s Addresse, I went directly to her House in King-street, but was told that the French Lady was at a Person of Quality’s in Pall-mall, and would not be back again till very late that Night.