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"Prater, once an eminent practitioner in the law, and
of Letitia Tattle, a family well known in all parts of this kingdom, having been reduced by misfortunes ' to wait on several great persons, and for some time ' to be teacher at a boarding-school of young ladies,
giveth notice to the public, that she hath lately ta' ken a house near Bloomsbury-Square, commodious' ly situated next the fields in a good air; where she ' teaches all sorts of birds of the loquacious kinds, as
parrots, starlings, magpies, and others, to imitate
human voices in greater perfection than ever yet ' was practised. They are not only instructed to
pronounce words distinctly, and in a proper tone and accent, but to speak the language with great purity • and volubility of tongue, together with all the fashi' onable phrases and compliments now in use either
at tea-tables or visiting-days. Those that have good 'voices may be taught to sing the newest opera-airs, ' and, if required, to speak either Italian or French,
paying something extraordinary above the common ' rates. They whose friends are not able to pay the
full prices, may be taken as half-boarders. She ' teaches such as are designed for the diversion of the
public, and to act in enchanted woods on the theatres, .by the great. As she has often observed with much
concern how indecent an education is usually given · these innocent creatures, which in some measure is ' owing to their being placed in rooms next the street, . where, to the great offence of chaste and tender ears, " they learn ribaldry, obscene songs, and immodest
expressions from passengers, and idle people, as also to cry fish, and card-matches, with other useless
parts of learning to birds who have rich friends; she 'has fitted up proper and neat apartments for them ' in the back part of her said house; where she suf
fers none, to approach them but herself, and a servant-maid who is deaf and dumb, and whom she
« provided on purpose to prepare their food and • cleanse their cages; having found by long experi"ence how hard a thing it is for those to keep silence ( who have the use of speech, and the dangers her • scholars are exposed to by the strong impressions $ that are made by harsh sounds and vulgar dialects.
In short, if they are birds of any parts or capacity, • she will undertake to render them so accomplished ' in the compass of a twelvemonth, that they shall be 6 fit conversation for such ladies as love to choose 6 their friends and companions out of this species.'
No. XXXVII. THURSDAY, APRIL 12.
.........Non illa colo calathisve Minerva Fæmineas assueta manus
Unbred to spinning, in the loom unskilld. DRYDEN.
SOME months ago, my friend Sir Roger, being in the country, enclosed a letter to me, directed to a certain lady whom I shall here call by the name of Leonora, and as it contained matters of consequence, desired me to deliver it to her with my own hand. Accordingly I waited upon her ladyship pretty early in the morning, and was desired by her woman to walk into her lady's library, till such time as she was in a readiness to receive me. The very sound of a lady's library gave me a great curiosity to see it; and as it was some time before the lady came, I had an opportunity of turning over a great many of her books, which were ranged together in a beautiful order. At the end of the folios, which were finely bound and gilt, were great jars of China, placed one above ano. ther in a very noble piece of architecture. The Quartos, were separated from the Octavos, by a pile of smaller vessels, which rose in a delightful pyramid. The Octavos were bounded by tea-dishes of all shapes, colours and sizes, which were so disposed on a wooden frame, that they looked like one continued pillar indented with the finest strokes of sculpture, and stained with the greatest variety of dyes. That part of the library which was designed for the reception of plays and pampllets, and other loose papers, was inclosed in a kind of square, consisting of one of the prettiest grotesque works that ever I saw, and made up of scaramouches, lions, monkies, mandarines, trees, shells, and a thousand other odd figures in ChinaWare. In the midst of the room was a little Japann'd table, with a quire of gilt paper upon it, and on the paper a silver snuff-box made in the shape of a little book. I found there were several other counterfeit books upon the upper shelves, which were carved in wood, and served only to fill up the number like faggots in the muster of a regiment. I was wonderfully pleased with such a mixed kind of furniture, as seemed very suitable both to the lady and the scholar, and did not know at first whether I should fancy myself in a grotto, or in a library.
Upon my looking into the books, I found there were some few which the lady had bought for her own use, but that most of them had been got together either because she had heard them praised, or because she had seen the authors of them. Among several that I examined, I very well remember these that follow :
The Grand Cyrus; with a pin stuck in one of the middle leaves.
Locke on Human Understanding; with a paper of patches in it.
A Spelling Book.
Father Malebranche's Search after Truth, trans, lated into English.
A Book of Novels.
Tales in Verse, by Mr. Durfey: bound in red leather, gilt on the back, and doubled down in several places.
All the Classic Authors in wood.
Clelia: which opened of itself in the place that de scribes two lovers in a bower.
A Prayer Book; with a bottle of Hungary water by the side of it.
Dr. Sacheverell's Speech.
I was taking a catalogue in my pocket-book of those, and several other authors, when Leonora entered, and upon my presenting her with the letter from the knight, told me, with an unspeakable grace, that she hoped Sir Roger was in good health : I answered, Yes, for I hate long speeches, and after a bow or two retired.
Leonora was formerly a celebrated beauty, and is still a very lovely woman. She has been a widow for two or three years, and being unfortunate in her first marriage, has taken a resolution never to venture upon a second. She has no children to take care of, and leaves the management of her estate to my good friend Sir Roger. But as the mind naturally sinks into a kind of lethargy, and falls asleep, that is not agitated by some favourite pleasures and pursuits, Leonora has turned all the passions of her sex into a love of books and retirement. She converses chiefly with men, as she has often said herself, but it is only in their writings; and admits of very few male visi. tants, except my friend Sir Roger, whom she hears with great pleasure, and without scandal. As her reading has lain very much among romances, it has given her a very particular turn of thinking, and discovers itself even in her house, her gardens, and her furniture. Sir Roger has entertained me an hour together with a description of her country-seat, which is situated in a kind of wilderness, about an hundred miles distant from London, and looks like a little enchanted palace. The rocks about her are shaped into artificial grottoes covered with wood-bines and jessamines. The woods are cut into shady walks, twisted into bowers, and filled with cages of túrtles. The springs are made to run among pebbles, and by that means taught to murmur very agreeably. They are likewise collected into a beautiful lake, that is inhaa bited by a couple of swans, and empties itself by a