London, Nov. 1712.
’You are always ready to receive any useful Hint or Proposal, and such, I believe, you will think one that may put you in a way to employ the most idle part of the Kingdom; I mean that part of Mankind who are known by the Name of the Womens-Men or Beaus, _&c. Mr._ SPECTATOR, you are sensible these pretty Gentlemen are not made for any Manly Imployments, and for want of Business are often as much in the Vapours as the Ladies. Now what I propose is this, that since Knotting is again in fashion, which has been found a very pretty Amusement, that you would recommend it to these Gentlemen as something that may make them useful to the Ladies they admire. And since ’tis not inconsistent with any Game, or other Diversion, for it may be done in the Playhouse, in their Coaches, at the Tea-Table, and, in short, in all Places where they come for the sake of the Ladies (except at Church, be pleased to forbid it there, to prevent Mistakes) it will be easily complied with. ’Tis beside an Imployment that allows, as we see by the Fair Sex, of many Graces, which will make the Beaus more readily come into it; it shews a white Hand and Diamond Ring to great advantage; it leaves the Eyes at full liberty to be employed as before, as also the Thoughts, and the Tongue. In short, it seems in every respect so proper, that ’tis needless to urge it further, by speaking of the Satisfaction these Male-Knotters will find, when they see their Work mixed up in a Fringe, and worn by the fair Lady for whom and with whom it was done. Truly, Mr. SPECTATOR, I cannot but be pleased I have hit upon something that these Gentlemen are capable of; for ’tis sad so considerable a part of the Kingdom (I mean for Numbers) should be of no manner of use. I shall not trouble you farther at this time, but only to say, that I am always your Reader, and generally your Admirer, C. B.
P. S. ’The sooner these
fine Gentlemen are set to Work the better;
there being at this time several fine Fringes that stay only for more
I shall, in the next place, present my Reader with the Description of a Set of Men who are common enough in the World, tho’ I do not remember that I have yet taken notice of them, as they are drawn in the following Letter.
’Since you have lately, to so good purpose, enlarged upon Conjugal Love, it’s to be hoped you’ll discourage every Practice that rather proceeds from a regard to Interest, than to Happiness. Now you cannot but observe, that most of our fine young Ladies readily fall in with the Direction of the graver sort, to retain in their Service, by some small Encouragement, as great a Number as they can of supernumerary and insignificant Fellows, which they use like Whifflers, and commonly call Shoeing-Horns. These are never designed to know the length of the Foot,