Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

that of malice. I do not in this, I hope, express myself insensible of the merit of Leodacia, who lowers her beauty to all but her husband, and never spreads her charms but to gladden him who has a right to them ; I say, I do honour to those who can be coquettes, and are not such; but I despise all who would be so, and, in despair of arriving at it themselves, hate and vilify all those who can. But be that as it will, in answer to your desire of knowing my history: one of my chief present pleasures is in country-dances; and in obedience to me, as well as the pleasure of coming up to me with a good grace, shewing themselves in their address to others in my presence, and the like opportunities, they are all proficients that way: and I had the happiness of being the other night where we made six couple, and every woman's partner a professed lover of mine. The wildest imagination cannot form to itself, on any occasion, higher

delight than I acknowledge myself to have been in all that evening. I chose out of my admirers a set of men who must love me, and gave them partners of such of my own sex who most envied me.

"My way is, when any man who is my admirer pretends to give himself airs of merit, as at this time a certain gentleman you know did, to mortify him by favouring in his presence the most insignificant creature I can find. At this ball I was led into the company by pretty Mr. Fanfly, who, you know, is the most obsequious, well-shaped, well-bred woman's man in town. I at first entrance declared him my partner if he danced at all; which put the whole assembly into a grin, as forming no terrors from such a rival. But we had not been long in the room before I overheard the meritorious gentleman above mentioned say with an oath, “There is no raillery in the thing, she certainly loves the puppy.' My gentleman, when we were dancing, took an occasion to be very soft in his oglings upon a lady he danced with, and whom he knew of all women I loved most to outshine. The contest began who should plague the other most. I, who do not care a farthing for him, had no hard task to outvex him. I made Fanfly, with a very little encouragement, cut capers coupée, and then sink with all the air and tenderness imaginable. When he performed this, I observed the gentleman you know of fall into the same way, and imitate as well as he could the despised Fanfly. I cannot well give you, who are so grave a country lady, the idea of the joy we have when we see a stubborn heart breaking, or a man of sense turning fool for our sakes; but this happened to our friend, and I expect his attendance whenever I

go

to church, to court, to the play, or the park. This is a sacrifice due to us women of genius, who have the eloquence of beauty, an easy mien. I mean by an easy mien, one which can be on occasion easily affected; for I must tell you, dear Jenny, I hold one maxim, which is an uncommon one, to wit, that our greatest charms are owing to affectation. It is to that our arms can lodge so quietly just over our hips, and the fan can play without any force or motion, but just of the wrist. It is to affectation we owe the pensive attention of Deidamia at a tragedy, the scornful approbation of Dulciamara at a comedy, and the lowly aspect of Lanquicelsa at a sermon.

“ To tell you the plain truth, I know no pleasure but in being admired, and have yet never failed of attaining the approbation of the man whose regard I had a mind to. You see all the men who make a figure in the world (as wise a look as they are pleased to put upon the matter) are moved by the same vanity as I am. What is there in ambition, but to make other people's wills depend upon yours? This indeed is not to be aimed at by one who has a genius no higher than to think of being a very good house wife in a country gentleman's family. The care of poultry and pigs are great enemies to the countenance; the vacant look of a fine lady is not to be preserved, if she admits any thing to take up her thoughts but her own dear person. But I interrupt you too long from your cares, and myself from my conquests.

I am, Madam, your most humble servant.” Give me leave, Mr. Spectator, to add her friend's answer to this epistle, who is a very discreet ingenious woman.'

“ DEAR GATTY, " I take your raillery in very good part, and am obliged to you for the free air with which you speak of your own gaieties. But this is but a barren superficial pleasure ; for, indeed, Gatty, we are made for man; and in serious sadness I must tell you, whether you yourself know it or no, all these gallantries tend to no other end but to be a wife and a mother as fast as you can.

I am, Madam, T.

Your most obedient servant.'

No 516. WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 1712.

Immortale odium, et nunquam sanabile vulnus :
Inde furor vulgo, quod numina vicinorum
Odit uterque locus; quum solos credit habendos
Esse deos, quos ipse colat.-

Juv. Sat. 15. 34.
-A grutch, time out of mind, begun,
And mutually bequeath'd from sire to son:
Religious spite and pious spleen bred first
The quarrel which so long the bigots nurst:
Each calls the other's god a senseless stock:

His own divine.-TATE. Or all the monstrous passions and opinions which have crept into the world, there is none so wonderful as that those, who profess the common name of Christians, should pursue each other with rancour and hatred for differences in their way of following the example of their Saviour. It seems so natural that all who pursue the steps of any leader should form themselves after his manners, that it is impossible to account for effects so different from what we might expect from those who profess themselves followers of the highest pattern of meekness and charity, but by ascribing such effects to the ambition and corruption of those who are so audacious, with souls full of fury, to serve at the altars of the God of Peace.

The massacres to which the church of Rome has animated the ordinary people are dreadful instances of the truth of this observation; and whoever reads the history of the Irish rebellion, and the cruelties which ensued thereupon, will be sufficiently convinced to what rage poor ignorants may be worked up by those who profess holiness, and become incendiaries, and, under the dispensation of grace, promote evils abhorrent to nature.

The subject and catastrophe, which deserve so well to be remarked by the Protestant world, will, I doubt not, be considered, by the reverend and learned prelate that preaches to-morrow before many of the descendants of those who perished on that lamentable day, in a manner suitable to the occasion, and worthy his own great virtue and eloquence.

I shall not dwell upon it any farther, but only transcribe out of a little tract, called the Christian Hero, published in 1701, what I find there in honour of the renowned hero, William III., who rescued that nation from the repetition of the same disasters. His late majesty, of glorious memory, and the most Christian king, are considered at the conclusion of that treatise as heads of the Protestant and Roman Catholic world in the following manner.

• There were not ever, before the entrance of the Christian name into the world, men who have maintained a more renowned carriage, than the two great rivals who

the full fame of the present age, and will be the theme and examination of the future. They are exactly formed by nature for those ends to which Heaven seems to have sent them amongst us. Both animated with a restless desire of glory, but pursue it by different means, and with different motives. To one it consists in an extensive undisputed empire over his subjects, to the other in their rational and voluntary obedience. One's happiness is founded in their want of power, the other's in their want of desire to oppose him. The one enjoys the summit of fortune with the luxury of a Persian, the other with the moderation of a Spartan. One is made to oppress, the other to relieve the oppressed. The one is satisfied with the pomp and ostentation of power to prefer and debase his inferiors; the other

possess

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »