A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Silence Dogood essay 11
"Sir, From a natural Compassion to my Fellow-Creatures ..."

to description and overview | image navigation

[column 1]

Neque licitum interea est meam amicam visere.

To the Author of the New-England Courant.

["[No XI" appears along right side of column. This number signifies this is the eleventh Silence Dogood letter.]

SIR

FROM a natural Com-
passion to my Fellow-
Creatures, I have some-
times been betray'd into
Tears at the Sight of an
Object of Charity, who
by a bear Relation of
his Circumstances, seem'd
to demand the Assistance
of those about him.
The following Petition
represents in so lively
a Manner the forlorn
State of a Virgin well stricken in Years and Repen-
tance, that I cannot forbear publishing it at this Time,
with some Advice to the Petitioner.

To Mrs. Silence Dogood.

The Humble Petition of Margaret Aftercast,

SHEWETH,

"1. THAT your Petitioner being puff'd up in her
younger Years with a numerous Train of
Humble Servants, had the Vanity to think, that her
extraordinary Wit and Beauty would continually
recommend her to the Esteem of the Gallants; and
therefore as soon as it came to be publickly known
that any Gentleman address'd her, he was immedi-
ately discarded.

"2. THAT several of your Petitioners Humble
Servants, who upon their being rejected by her,
were, to all Appearance in a dying Condition, have
since recover'd their Health, and been several Years
married, to the great Surprize and Grief of your
Petitioner, who parted with them upon no other
Conditions, but that they should die or run di-
stracted for her, as several of them faithfully pro-
mis'd to do.

"3. That your Petitioner finding her self disap-
pointed in and neglected by her former Adorers,
and no new Offers appearing for some Years past,
she has been industriously contracting Acquaintance
with several Families in Town and Country, where
any young Gentlemen or Widowers have resided,
and endeavour'd to appear as conversable as
possible before them: She has likewise been
a strict Observer of the Fashion, and always appear'd
well dress'd. And the better to restore her decay'd
Beauty, she has consum'd above Fifty Pound's
Worth of the most approved Cosmeticks. But all
won't do.

"YOUR Petitioner therefore most humbly prays,
That you would be pleased to form a Project for
the Relief of all those penitent Mortals of the fair
Sex, that are like to be punish'd with their Virgi-
nity until old Age, for the Pride and Insolence of
their Youth.

"And your Petitioner (as in Duty bound) shall
ever pray, &c.
Margaret Aftercast.

Were I endow'd with the Faculty of Match-
making, it should be improv'd for the Benefit of
Mrs. Margaret, and others in her Condition: But
since my extream Modesty and Taciturnity, forbids an At-
tempt of this Nature, I would advise them to relieve

[column 2]

themselves in a Method of Friendly Society; and that
already publish'd for Widows, I conceive would be a
very proper Proposal for them, whereby every single
Woman, upon full Proof given of her continuing a
Virgin for the Space of Eighteen Years, (dating her
Virginity from the Age of Twelve,) should be enti-
tuled to 500 l. in ready Cash.

BUT then it will be necessary to make the follow-
ing Exceptions.

1. THAT no Woman shall be admitted into the
Society after she is Twenty Five Years old, who has
made a Practice of entertaining and discarding Hum-
ble Servants, without sufficient Reason for so doing,
until she has manifested her Repentance in Writing
under her Hand.

2. NO Member of the Society who has declar'd
before two credible Witnesses, That it is well known
she has refus'd several good Offers since the Time of her
Subscribing
, shall be entituled to the 500 l. when she
comes of Age; that is to say, Thirty Years.

3. NO Woman, who after claiming and receiving,
has had the good Fortune to marry, shall entertain a-
ny Company with Encomiums on her Husband, a-
bove the Space of one Hour at a Time, upon Pain of
returning one half the Money into the Office, for the
first Offence; and upon the second Offence to return
the Remainder.

I am, SIR,
Your Humble Servant,
SILENCE DOGOOD.

Section Viewing Options NOTE

  • 1
  • 2
Jump:
overview | large | transcription HELP