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If the design were not too multifarious and extensive, I should wish that our painters would attempt the dissolution of the parliament by Cromwell. The point of time may be chosen when Cromwell looked round the Pandaemonium with contempt, ordered the bauble to be taken away; and Harrison laid hands on the Speaker to drag him from the chair.
The various appearances, which rage, and terror, and astonishment, and guilt, might exhibit in the faces of that hateful assembly, of whom the principal persons may be faithfully drawn from portraits or prints; the irresolute repugnance of some, the hypocritical submissions of others, the ferocious insolence of Cromwell, the rugged brutality of Harrison, and the general trepidation of fear and wickedness, would, if some proper disposition could be contrived, make a picture of unexampled variety and irresistible instruction.
I AM encouraged, by the notice you have taken of Betty Broom, to represent the miseries which I suffer from a species of tyranny which, I believe, is not very uncommon, though perhaps it may have escaped the observation of those who converse little with fine ladies, or see them only in their publick characters. To this method of venting my vexation I am the more inclined, because, if I do not complain to you, I must burst in silence; for my mistress has teased me and teased me till I can hold no longer, and yet I must not tell her of her tricks. The girls that live in common services can quarrel, and give warning, and find other places; but we that live with great ladies, if we once offend them, have nothing left but to return into the country. I am waiting-maid to a lady who keeps the best company, and is seen at every place of fashionable resort. I am envied by all the maids in the square, for few countesses leave off so many clothes as my mistress, and nobody shares with me; so that I supply two families in the country with finery for the assizes and horseraces, besides what I wear myself. The steward and housekeeper have joined against me to procure my removal, that they may advance a relation of their own; but their designs are found out by my lady, who says I need not fear them, for she will never have dowdies about her. You would think, Mr. Idler, like others, that I am very happy, and may well be contented with my lot. But I will tell you. My lady has an odd humour. She never orders any thing in direct words, for she loves a sharp girl that can take a hint. I would not have you suspect that she has any thing to hint which she is ashamed to speak at length; for none can have greater purity of sentiment, or rectitude of intention. She has nothing to hide, yet nothing will she tell. She always gives her directions oblique and allusively, by the mention of something relative or consequential, without any other purpose than to exercise my acuteness and her own. It is impossible to give a notion of this style otherwise than by examples. One night she had sat writing letters till it was time to be dressed. “Molly,” said she, “the ladies are all to be at court to-night in white aprons.” When she means that I should send to order the chair, she says, “I think the streets are clean, I may venture to walk.” When she would have something put into its place, she bids me “lay it on the floor.” If she would have me snuff the candles, she asks “whether I think her eyes are like a cat's?” If she thinks the chocolate delayed, she talks of “ the benefit of abstinence.” If any needle work is forgotten, she supposes, “that I have heard of the lady who died by pricking her finger.” She always imagines that I can recall every thing past from a single word. If she wants her head from the milliner, she only says, “ Molly, you know Mrs. Tape.” If she would have the mantua-maker sent for, she remarks “ that Mr. Taffety the mercer was here last week.” She ordered, a fortnight ago, that the first time she was abroad all day I should choose her a new set of coffee-cups at the china-shop: of this she reminded me yesterday, as she was going down stairs, by saying, “you can’t find your way now to Pall-mall.” All this would never vex me, if, by increasing my trouble, she spared her own; but, dear Mr. Idler, is it not as easy to say coffee-cups, as Pall-mall 2 and to tell me in plain words what I am to do, and when it is to be done, to torment her own head with the labour of finding hints, and mine with that of understanding them : When first I came to this lady, I had nothing like the learning that I have now ; for she has many books, and I have much time to read; so that of late I seldom have missed her meaning : but when she first took me
I was an ignorant girl; and she, who, as is very com-
nothing but “Molly, you know,” and hastened to her chariot. What I am to know is yet a secret; but if I do not know, before she comes back, what I yet have no means of discovering, she will make my dullness a pretence for a fortnight's ill humour, treat me as a creature devoid of the faculties necessary to the common duties of life, and perhaps give the next gown to the housekeeper. I am, Sir, Your humble servant, MoLLY QUICK.
I AM the unfortunate wife of a city wit, and cannot but think that my case may deserve equal compassion with any of those which have been represented in your paper.
I married my husband within three months after the expiration of his apprenticeship; we put our money together, and furnished a large and splendid shop, in which he was for five years and a half diligent and civil. The notice which curiosity or kindness commonly bestows on beginners, was continued by confidence and esteem; one customer, pleased with his treatment and his bargain, recommended another; and we were busy behind the counter from morning to