I receive many letters from the husbands of the women who belong to my vast group of lady friends. In these letters, I am very often asked for advice on one special matter, a matter that also happens directly to affect their wives, my friends, especially those wives who are known for their natural pertness and their uncontrollable wit. Many of these gentlemen complain to me about these wives having very sharp tongues and vile habits of finger-snapping when discomposed; or the wives have saucy tempers which they excuse by claiming to be speaking truth. In other words, the gentleman is married to an Anna Howe, not to the glorious Clarissa Harlowe. And he is afraid that he shall be thought tame, not manly enough.
My advice to these gentleman is simple, that they must resign to their hard fates. For a separation is much too despicable for a real gentleman to bear. And in any case, I comfort them by allegorizing that they cannot have the convenience without the inconvenience. What workman, I tell them, loves not a sharp tool to work with? What workman will throw away a sharp tool, because it may cut his fingers? For wit may be likened to a sharpened tool. And there is something very pretty in wit let me tell you. And who, after all, can say that they are so blessed as to be married to a Clarissa, who is the finest of her sex.
Indeed there is something pretty in wit, and I often smile when a saucy wit-cracker prevails upon me with her arch turns; for I've been known to take some pleasure in the company of such hearty wenches. Yet I would not marry them at any cost, not even those with the highest fortunes. Nevertheless, is there any vision in the world more delightful than that of two such skittish creatures a-frolicking in bedtogether, or giving sponge baths to each other, or breakfasting in dishabille together. They often have a great deal of very lively, finger-snapping conversation upon such occasions. And how those conversations glisten, how their firm breasts provoke, and how my eyes do sparkle a-peeping on them through the key-hole.
If any two such wenches read this scribble, they are most welcome to respond with a joint scribbling---and then, ladies, be so pleased as to give me intelligence concerning the size of your chemise and and an account of your thigh measurements, as well as a picture of you straddling a bicycle in a state of dishabille. Depend upon it, it shall be most appreciated.