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Three women sit at a table, books open before them. Two of them hold writing implements. A painting of Hermes hangs on the wall, alongside the busts of two women whose labels are illegible

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The
Female Spectator.


Vol. I.

Ill Cuſtoms, by Degrees, to Habits riſe, Ill Habits ſoon become exalted Vice. Dryden.
Emblazon of A. Cowley with flowers and banners. A. Cowley
Printed by T. Gardner

London:
Printed and publiſhed by T. Gardner, at
Cowley’s Head, oppoſite St. Clement’s Church
in the Strand, 1745MDCCXLV.

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To Her Grace the Dutchess of Leeds.

May it pleaſe Your Grace,

As the chief View in Publiſhing theſe Monthly Eſſays is to rectify ſome Errors, which, ſmall as they may ſeem at firſt, may, if indulged, grow up into greater, till they at laſt become Vices, and make all the Misfortunes of our Lives, it was neceſſary to put them under a the vi a1v the Protection of a Lady, not only of an unblemiſh’d Conduct, but alſo of an exalted Virtue, whoſe Example may enforce the Precepts they contain, and is Herſelf a ſhining Pattern for others to copy after, of all thoſe Perfections I endeavour to recommend.

It is not therefore, Madam, that You are deſcended from a Marlborough or a Godolphin, dear as thoſe Patriot Names will ever be while any Senſe of Liberty remains in Britons; nor on the Account of the high Rank You hold in the World, nor for thoſe Charms with which Nature has ſo profuſely adorn’d Your Perſon; but for thoſe innate Graces which no Anceſtry can give, no Titles can embelliſh, nor no Beauty attone for the Want of, that Your Grace has an undiſputed Right to this Offering, as the Point aim’d at by the Work itſelf gives it in ſome meaſure a Claim to Your Acceptance.

That Promiſe which the firſt Years of Life gave of a glorious Maturity, we have ſeen compleated long before Your Grace arrived at an Age, which in others is vii B1r is requiſite to ripen Wit into Wiſdom, and concile the ſparkling Ideas of the one with the correcting Judgment of the other. — We beheld with Admiration, how Reaſon outſtrip’d Nature even in the moſt minute Circumſtances and Actions; but the Crown of all, was the happy Choice of a Partner in that State which is the chief End of our Beings. — There ſhone Your Penetration, when among ſo many Admirers, You ſingled out Him who alone was worthy of You. — One, who Great as he is, is yet more Good than Great, and who has given ſuch Inſtances how much it is in the Power of Virtue to ennoble Nobility, as all muſt admire, tho’ few I fear will imitate.

Marriage, too long the Jeſt of Fools, and proſtituted to the moſt baſe and ſordid Aims, to You, Illuſtrious Pair! owes its recovered Fame, and proves its Inſtitution is indeed divine!

But this is no more than what every one is full of; and in entreating your Grace’s Protection to the following Sheets, I can only viii B1v only boaſt of being one among the Millions who pray that Length of Days and uninterrupted Health may continue that Happineſs to which nothing can be added, and that

I am, With the moſt profound Duty and Submiſſion, May it pleaſe your Grace, Your Grace’s, Moſt Humble, Most Obedient, and moſt Faithfully Devoted Servant,

The Female Spectator.

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The Female Spectator.

Book I.

It is very much, by the Choice we make of Subjects for our Entertainment, that the refined Taſte diſtinguiſhes itſelf from the vulgar and more groſs: Reading is univerſally allowed to be one of the moſt improving, as well as agreeable Amuſements; but then to render it ſo, one ſhould, among the Number of Books which are perpetually iſſuing from the Preſs, endeavour to ſingle out ſuch as promiſe to be moſt conducive to thoſe Ends. In order to be as little deceived as poſſible, I, for my own part, love to get as well acquainted as I can with an Author, before I run the riſque of loſing my Time in peruſing his Work; and as I doubt not but moſt People are of this way B2 of 4 B2v 4 of thinking, I ſhall, in imitation of my learned Brother of ever precious Memory, give ſome Account of what I am, and thoſe concerned with me in this Undertaking; and likewiſe of the chief Intent of the Lucubrations hereafter communicated, that the Reader, on caſting his Eye over the four or five firſt Pages, may judge how far the Book may, or may not be qualified to entertain him; and either accept, or throw it aſide as he thinks proper: And here I promiſe, that in the Pictures I ſhall give of myſelf and Aſſociates, I will draw no flattering Lines, aſſume no Perfection that we are not in reality poſſeſſed of, nor attempt to ſhadow over any Defect with an artificial Gloſs.

As a Proof of my Sincerity, I ſhall, in the firſt place, aſſure him, that for my own Part I never was a Beauty, and am now very far from being young; (a Confeſſion he will find few of my Sex ready to make:) I ſhall alſo acknowledge, that I have run through as many Scenes of Vanity and Folly as the greateſt Coquet of them all. — Dreſs, Equipage, and Flattery, were the Idols of my Heart. — I ſhould have thought that Day lost which did not preſent me with ſome new Opportunity of ſhewing myſelf. — My Life, for ſome Years, was a continued Round of what I then called Pleaſure, and my whole Time engroſſed by a Hurry of promiſcuous Diverſions. — But whatever Inconveniences ſuch a manner of Conduct has brought upon myſelf, I have this Conſolation, to think that the Publiclic 5 B3r 5 lic may reap ſome Benefit from it: — The Company I kept was not, indeed, always ſo well choſen as it ought to have been, for the ſake of my own Intereſt or Reputation; but then it was general, and by Conſequence furniſhed me, not only with the Knowledge of many Occurrences, which otherwiſe I had been ignorant of, but alſo enabled me, when the too great Vivacity of my Nature became tempered with Reflection, to ſee into the ſecret Springs which gave riſe to the Actions I had either heard, or been Witneſs of, — to judge of the various Paſſions of the human Mind, and diſtinguiſh thoſe imperceptible Degrees by which they become Maſters of the Heart, and attain the Dominion over Reaſon. — A thouſand odd Adventures, which at the Time they happened made ſlight Impreſſion on me, and ſeemed to dwell no longer on my Mind than the Wonder they occaſioned, now riſe freſh to my Remembrance, with this Advantage, that the Myſtery I then, for want of Attention, imagined they contained, is entirely vaniſhed, and I find it eaſy to account for the Cauſe by the Conſequence.

With this Experience, added to a Genius tolerably extenſive, and an Education more liberal than is ordinarily allowed to Perſons of my Sex, I flattered myſelf that it might be in my Power to be in ſome meaſure both uſeful and entertaining to the Public; and this Thought was ſo ſoothing to thoſe Remains of Vanity, not yet wholly extinguiſhed in me, that I 6 B3v 6 I reſolved to purſue it, and immediately began to conſider by what Method I ſhould be moſt likely to ſucceed: To confine myſelf to any one Subject, I knew, could pleaſe but one kind of Taſte, and my Ambition was to be as univerſally read as poſſible: From my Obſervations of human Nature, I found that Curioſity had, more or leſs, a Share in every Breaſt; and my Buſineſs, therefore, was to hit this reigning Humour in ſuch a manner, as that the Gratification it ſhould receive from being made acquainted with other People’s Affairs, ſhould at the ſame time teach every one to regulate their own.

Having agreed within myſelf on this important Point, I commenced Author, by ſetting down many Things, which, being pleaſing to myſelf, I imagined would be ſo to others; but on examining them the next Day, I found an infinite Deficiency both in Matter and Stile, and that there was an abſolute Neceſſity for me to call in to my Aſſiſtance ſuch of my Acquaintance as were qualified for that Purpoſe. — The firſt that occured to me, I ſhall diſtinguiſh by the Name of Mira, a Lady deſcended from a Family to which Wit ſeems hereditary, married to a Gentleman every way worthy of ſo excellent a Wife, and with whom ſhe lives in ſo perfect a Harmony, that having nothing to ruffle the Compoſure of her Soul, or diſturb thoſe ſparkling Ideas ſhe received from Nature and Education, left me no room to doubt if what ſhe favoured me with would be acceptable to the Public. 7 B4r 7 Public. — The next is a Widow of Quality, who not having buried her Vivacity in the Tomb of her Lord, continues to makes one in all the modiſh Diverſions of the Times, ſo far, I mean, as ſhe finds them conſiſtent with Innocence and Honour; and as ſhe is far from having the leaſt Auſterity in her Behaviour, nor is rigid to the Failings ſhe is wholly free from herſelf, thoſe of her Acquaintance, who had been leſs circumſpect, ſcruple not to make her the Confidante of Secrets they conceal from all the World beſide. — The third is the Daughter of a wealthy Merchant, charming as an Angel, but endued with ſo many Accompliſhments, that to thoſe who know her truly, her Beauty is the leaſt diſtinguiſhed Part of her. — This fine young Creature I ſhall call Euphroſine, ſince ſhe has all the Chearfulneſs and Sweetneſs aſcribed to that Goddeſs.

Thesethree approved my Deſign, aſſured me of all the Help they could afford, and ſoon gave a Proof of it in bringing their ſeveral Eſſays; but as the Reader, provided the Entertainment be agreeable, will not be intereſted from which Quarter it comes, whatever Productions I ſhall be favoured with from theſe Ladies, or any others I may hereafter correſpond with, will be exhibited under the general Title of The Female Spectator; and how many Contributors ſoever there may happen to be to the Work, they are to be conſidered only as ſeveral Members 8 B4v 8 Members of one Body, of which I am the Mouth.

It is alſo highly proper I ſhould acquaint the Town, that to ſecure an eternal Fund of Intelligence, Spies are placed not only in all the Places of Reſort in and about this great Metropolis, but at Bath, Tunbridge, and the Spaw, and Means found out to extend my Speculations even as far as France, Rome, Germany, and other foreign Parts, ſo that nothing curious or worthy of Remark can eſcape me; and this I look upon to be a more effectual way of penetrating into the Myſteries of the Alcove, the Cabinet, or Field, than if I had the Power of Inviſibility, or could with a Wiſh tranſport myſelf wherever I pleaſed, ſince with the Aid of thoſe ſupernatural Gifts, I could ſtill be in no more than one Place at a Time; whereas now, by tumbling over a few Papers from my Emiſſaries, I have all the Secrets of Europe, at leaſt ſuch of them as are proper for my Purpoſe, laid open at one View.

I would, by no means, however, have what I ſay be conſtrued into a Deſign of gratifying a vicious Propenſity of propagating Scandal: — Whoever ſits down to read me with this View, will find themſelves miſtaken; for tho’ I ſhall bring real Facts on the Stage, I ſhall conceal the Actors Names under ſuch as will be conformable to their Characters; my Intention being only to 9 C1r 9 to expoſe the Vice, not the Perſon. — Nor ſhall I confine myſelf to modern Tranſactions: — Whenever I find any Example among the Antients which may ſerve to illuſtrate the Topic I ſhall happen to be upon, I ſhall make no ſcruple to inſert it. — An Inſtance of ſhining Virtue in any Age, can never be too often propoſed as a Pattern, nor the Fatality of Miſconduct too much impreſſed on the Minds of our Youth of both Sexes; and as the ſole Aim of the following Pages is to reform the Faulty, and give an innocent Amuſement to thoſe who are not ſo, all poſſible Care will be taken to avoid every thing that might ſerve as Food for the Venom of Malice and Ill-nature. Whoever, therefore, ſhall pretend to fix on any particular Perſon the Blame of Actions they may happen to find recorded here, or make what they call a Key to theſe Lucubrations, muſt expect to ſee themſelves treated in the next Publication with all the Severity ſo unfair a Proceeding merits.

And now having ſaid as much as I think needful of this Undertaking, I ſhall, without being either too greatly confident, or too anxious for the Succeſs, ſubmit it to the Publick Cenſure. Of all the Paſſions giv’n us from Above,The nobleſt, ſofteſt, and the beſt is Love, Says a juſtly celebrated Poet; and I readily agree that Love in itſelf, when under the Direction of C Reaſon, 10 C1v 10 Reaſon, harmonizes the Soul, and gives it a gentle, generous Turn; but I can by no means approve of ſuch Definitions of that Paſſion as we generally find in Romances, Novels, and Plays: In moſt of thoſe Writings, the Authors ſeem to lay out all their Art in rendering that Character moſt intereſting, which moſt ſets at Defiance all the Obligations, by the ſtrict Obſervance of which Love can alone become a Virtue. — They dreſs their Cupid up in Roſes, call him the God of ſoft Deſires, and ever-ſpringing Joys, yet at the ſame time give him the vindictive Fury, and the Rage of Mars. — Shew him impatient of Controul, and trampling over all the Ties of Duty, Friendſhip, or natural Affection, yet make the Motive ſanctify the Crime. — How fatal, how pernicious to a young and unexperienced Mind muſt be ſuch Maxims, eſpecially when dreſſed up in all the Pomp of Words! The Beauty of the Expreſſion ſteals upon the Senſes, and every Miſchief, every Woe that Love occaſions, appears a Charm. — Thoſe who feel the Paſſion are ſo far from endeavouring to repel its Force, or being aſhamed of their Attachment, however oppoſite to Reaſon, that they indulge and take a Pride in turning into Ridicule the Remonſtrances of their more diſcerning Friends. But what is yet more prepoſterous, and more evidently ſhews the ill Effects of writing in this manner is, that we often ſee Girls too young, either to be addreſſed to on the Score of Love, or even to know what is meant by the Paſſion, affect the Languiſhment they 11 C2r 11 they read of, — roll their Eyes, ſigh, fold their Arms, neglect every uſeful Learning, and attend to nothing but acquiring the Reputation of being enough a Woman to know all the Pains and Delicacies of Love.

Miss Tenderilla is one of thoſe I have deſcribed: She was the other Day invited to a Concert, and as ſoon as the Muſic began to ſtrrike up, cried out in a kind of dying Tone, yet loud enough to be heard by a great Part of the Aſſembly, If Muſic be the Food of Love, play on. A young Lady happened to be near her, who is ſuppoſed to be very near entering into the Marriage-State, but contents herſelf with diſcovering what Sentiments ſhe is poſſeſſed of in favour of her intended Bridegroom only to thoſe intereſted in them. — She bluſhed extremely at the Extravagance of her Companion, and the more ſo, as ſhe found the Eyes of every one turned upon her, and by their Smiles and Whiſpers to each other, ſhewed that they imagined Miſs had burſt into this Exclamation merely on her Account. A ſmart Gentleman, on the next Bench to them, took this Opportunity of rallying her very wittily, as he thought, on the Diſcovery the young Confidante had made; and the poor Lady was in the utmoſt Confuſion, ’till ſhe who had occaſioned it being vexed to find what ſhe had ſaid ſo much miſtaken, and that no Notice was taken C2 of 12 C2v 12 of herſelf, behaved in ſuch a manner as left no room to doubt which of them was the proper Object for Ridicule.

How eaſy were it now for a deſigning Fortune-Hunter to make a Prey of this Bib-and- Apron Heroine! — The leſs qualified he was to render her Choice of him approved, and the more averſe her Friends appeared to ſuch a Match, the more would ſhe glory in a noble Obſtinacy of contemning their Advice, and ſacrificing her Perſon and Fortune to an imaginary Paſſion for him; and one has no need of being a very great Prophet to foretel, that if ſhe is not ſpeedily removed from thoſe who at preſent have the Care of her, and ſome other Methods taken than ſuch as hitherto have been made uſe of, to give her a more rational way of thinking, that Wealth her frugal Parents hoarded up, in order to purchaſe for her a laſting Happineſs, will only prove the Bait for her Deſtruction.

I am ſorry to obſerve, that of late Years this Humour has been ſtrangely prevalent among our young Ladies, ſome of whom are ſcarce entered into their Teens before they grow impatient for Admiration, and to be diſtinguiſhed in Love- Songs and Verſes, expect to have a great Buſtle made about them, and he that firſt attempts to perſwade them he is a Lover, bids very fair for carrying his Point. — The Eagerneſs of their Wiſhes to be addreſſed, gives Charms to the Addreſs itſelf, which otherwiſe it would not have; 13 C3r 13 have; and hence it follows, that when a young Creature has ſuffered herſelf to fall a Victim to the Artifices of her pretended Lover, and her own giddy Whim, and is afterwards convinced of her Error, ſhe looks back with no leſs Wonder than Shame on her paſt Conduct, deteſts the Object of her former imaginary Paſſion, and wiſhes nothing more than to be eternally rid of the Preſence of him ſhe once with ſo much Eagerneſs purſued.

It is not, therefore, from that Inconſtancy of Nature which the Men charge upon our Sex, but from that romantic Vein which makes us ſometimes imagine ourſelves Lovers before we are ſo, that we frequently run ſuch Lengths to ſhake off a Yoke we have ſo precipitately put on. — When once we truly love, we rarely change: We bear the Frowns of Fortune with Fortitude and Patience: — We repent not of the Choice we have made, whatever we ſuffered by it; and nothing but a long continued Series of Slights and ill Uſage from the Object of our Affection can render him leſs dear.

To be well convinced of the Sincerity of the Man they are about to marry, is a Maxim, with great Juſtice, always recommended to a young Lady; but I ſay it is no leſs material for her future Happineſs, as well as that of her intended Partner, that ſhe ſhould be well aſſured of her own Heart, and examine, with the utmoſt Care, whether it be real Tenderneſs, or a bare Liking ſhe 14 C3v 14 ſhe at preſent feels for him; and as this is not to be done all at once, I cannot approve of haſty Marriages, or before Perſons are of ſufficient Years to be ſuppoſed capable of knowing their own Minds.

Could fourteen have the Power of judging of itſelf, or for itſelf, who that knew the beautiful Marteſia at that Age, but would have depended on her Conduct! — Marteſia, deſcended of the moſt illuſtrious Race, poſſeſſed of all that Dignity of Sentiment befitting her high Birth, endued by Nature with a ſurprizing Wit, Judgment, and Penetration, and improved by every Aid of Education. — Marteſia, the Wonder and Delight of all who ſaw or heard her, gave the admiring World the greateſt Expectations that ſhe would one Day be no leſs celebrated for all thoſe Virtues which render amiable the conjugal State, than ſhe at that Time was for every other Perfection that do Honour to the Sex.

Yet how, alas, did all theſe charming Hopes vaniſh into Air! Many noble Youths, her Equals in Birth and Fortune, watched her Increaſe of Years for declaring a Paſſion, which they feared as yet would be rejected by thoſe who had the Diſpoſal of her; but what their Reſpect and Timidity forbad them to attempt, a more daring and unſuſpected Rival ventured at, and ſucceeded in. — Her unexperienced Heart approved his Perſon, and was pleaſed with the Proteſtations he made her of it. — In fine, the Novelty 15 C4r 15 Novelty of being addreſſed in that manner, gave a double Grace to all he ſaid, and ſhe never thought herſelf ſo happy as in his Converſation. His frequent Viſits at length were taken notice of; he was denied the Privilege of ſeeing her, and ſhe was no longer permitted to go out without being accompanied by ſome Perſon who was to be a Spy upon her Actions. — She had a great Spirit, impatient of Controul, and this Reſtraint ſerved only to heighten the Inclination ſhe before had to favour him: — She indulged the moſt romantic Ideas of his Merit and his Love: — Her own flowing Fancy invented a thouſand melancholly and tender Soliloquies, and ſet them down as made by him in this Separation: It is not, indeed, to be doubted, but that he was very much mortified at the Impediment he found in the Proſecution of his Courtſhip; but whether he took this Method of diſburthening his Affliction, neither ſhe nor any body elſe could be aſſured. It cannot, however, be denied, but that he purſued Means much more efficacious for the Attainment of his Wiſhes. By Bribes, Promiſes, and Entreaties, he prevailed on a Perſon who came frequently to the Houſe to convey his Letters to her, and bring back her Anſwers. — This Correſpondence was, perhaps, of greater Service to him, than had the Freedom of their Interviews not been prevented: — She conſented to be his, and to make good her Word, ventured her Life, by deſcending from a two Pair of Stairs Window, by the Help of Quilt, Blankets, and other Things faſtened to it, at the Dead of Night. 16 C4v 16 Night. — His Coach and Six waited to receive her at the End of the Street, and conveyed her to his Country Seat, which reaching ſoon after Break of Day, his Chaplain made them too faſt for any Authority to ſeparate.

As he was of an antient honourable Family, and his Eſtate very conſiderable, her Friends in a ſhort time were reconciled to what was now irremedible, and they were looked upon as an extreme happy Pair. — But ſoon, too ſoon the fleeting Pleaſures fled, and in their room Anguiſh and Bitterneſs of Heart ſucceeded.

Martesia, in a Viſit ſhe made to a Lady of her intimate Acquaintance, unfortunately happened to meet the young Clitander; he was juſt returned from his Travels, had a handſome Perſon, an Infinity of Gaiety, and a certain Something in his Air and Deportment which had been deſtructive to the Peace and Reputation of many of our Sex. — He was naturally of an amorous Diſpoſition, and being ſo, felt all the Force of Charms, which had ſome Effect even on the moſt Cold and Temperate. — Emboldened by former Succeſſes, the Knowledge Marteſia was another’s, did not hinder him from declaring to her the Paſſion ſhe had inſpired him with. — She found a ſecret Satisfaction in hearing him, which ſhe was yet too young to conſider the Dangers of, and therefore endeavoured not to ſuppreſs ’till it became too powerful for her to have done ſo, even had ſhe attempted it with all her Might; but 17 D1r 17 but the Truth is, ſhe now experienced in reality a Flame ſhe had but imagined herſelf poſſeſſed of for him who was now her Huſband, and was too much averſe to the giving herſelf Pain to combat with an Inclination which ſeemed to her fraught only with Delights.

The Houſe where their Acquaintance firſt began, was now the Scene of their future Meetings: — The Miſtreſs of it was too great a Friend to Gallantry herſelf to be any Interruption to the Happineſs they enjoyed in entertaining each other without Witneſſes. — How weak is Virtue when Love and Opportunity combine! — Tho’ no Woman could have more refined and delicate Notions than Marteſia, yet all were ineffectual againſt the Sollicitations of her adored Clitander. — One fatal Moment deſtroyed at once all her own exalted Ideas of Honour and Reputation, and the Principles early inſtilled into her Mind by her virtuous Preceptors.

The Conſequence of this Amour was a total Neglect of Huſband, Houſe, and Family. — Herſelf abandoned, all other Duties were ſo too. — So manifeſt a Change was viſible to all that knew her, but moſt to her Huſband, as moſt intereſted in it. — He truly loved, and had believed himſelf truly beloved by her. — Loth he was to think his Misfortune real, and endeavoured to find ſome other Motive for the Averſion ſhe now expreſſed for ſtaying at Home, or going to any of thoſe Places where they had been accuſtomed D to 18 D1v 18 to viſit together; but ſhe either knew not how to diſſemble, or took ſo little Pains to do it, that he was, in ſpite of himſelf, convinced all that Affection ſhe ſo lately had profeſſed, and given him Teſtimonies of, was now no more. — He examined all his Actions, and could find nothing in any of them that could give occaſion for ſo ſad a Reverſe. — He complained to her one Day, in the tendereſt Terms, of the ſmall Portion ſhe had of late allowed him of her Converſation: — Entreated, that if by any Inadvertency he had offended her, ſhe would acquaint him with his Fault, which he aſſured her he would take care never to repeat. — Aſked if there was any thing in her Settlement or Jointure ſhe could wiſh to have altered, and aſſured her ſhe need but let him know her Commands to be inſtantly obeyed,

To all this ſhe replied with the moſt ſtabbing Indifference. — That ſhe knew not what he meant. — That as ſhe had accuſed him with nothing, he had no Reaſon to think ſhe was diſſatiſfied. — But that People could not be always in the ſame Humour, and deſired he would not give himſelf nor her the Trouble of making any farther Interrogatories.

He muſt have been as inſenſible, as he is known to be the contrary, had ſuch a Behaviour not opened his Eyes; he no longer doubted of his Fate, and reſolving, if poſſible, to find out the Author of it, he cauſed her Chair to be watched 19 D2r 19 watched wherever ſhe went, and took ſuch effectual Methods, as ſoon informed him of the Truth.

In his firſt Emotions of his Rage he was for ſending a Challenge to this Deſtroyer of his Happineſs; but in his cooler Moments he rejected that Deſign as too injurious to the Reputation of Marteſia, who was ſtill dear to him, and whom he flattered himſelf with being able one Day to reclaim.

It is certain he put in Practice every tender Stratagem that Love and Wit could furniſh him with for that Purpoſe; but ſhe appearing ſo far from being moved at any thing he either ſaid or did, that, on the contrary, her Behaviour was every Day more cold; he at laſt began to expoſtulate with her, gave ſome Hints that her late Conduct was not unknown to him, and that tho’ he was willing to forgive what was paſt, yet as a Huſband, it was not conſiſtent with his Character to bear any future Inſults of that nature. This put her beyond all Patience. — She reproached him in the bittereſt Terms for daring to harbour the leaſt Suſpicion of her Virtue, and cenſuring her innocent Amuſements as Crimes; and perhaps was glad of this Opportunity of teſtifying her Remorſe for having ever liſtened to his Vows, and curſing before his Face the Hour that joined their Hands.

They now lived ſo ill a Life together, that not having ſufficient Proofs for a Divorce, he D2 parted 20 D2v 20 parted Beds, and tho’ they continued in one Houſe, behaved to each other as Strangers: never eat at the ſame Table but when Company was there, and then only to avoid the Queſtions that would naturally have been aſked had it been otherwiſe; neither of them being deſirous the World ſhould know any thing of their Diſagreement.

But while they continued to treat each other in a manner ſo little conformable to their firſt Hopes, or their Vows pledged at the Holy Altar, Marteſia became pregnant: This gave the firſt Alarm to that Indolence of Nature ſhe hitherto had teſtified; her Huſband would now have it in his Power to ſue out a Divorce; and tho’ ſhe would have rejoiced to have been ſeparated from him on any other Terms, yet ſhe could not ſupport the Thoughts of being totally deprived of all Reputation in the World. — She was not ignorant of the Cenſures ſhe incurr’d, but had Pride and Spirit enough to enable her to deſpiſe whatever was ſaid of her, while it was not backed by Proof; but the glaring one ſhe was now about to give ſtruck Shame and Confuſion to her Soul. — She left no Means untried to procure an Abortion; but failing in that, ſhe had no other Reſource than to that Friend who was the ſole Confidante of her unhappy Paſſion, who comforted her as well as ſhe could, and aſſured her, that when the Hour approached ſhe need have no more to do than to come directly to her Houſe, where every thing 21 D3r 21 thing ſhould be prepared for the Reception of a Woman in her Condition.

To conceal the Alteration in her Shape, ſhe pretended Indiſpoſition, ſaw little Company, and wore only looſe Gowns. — At length the ſo much dreaded Moment came upon her at the dead of Night; and in the midſt of all that Rack of Nature, made yet more horrible by the Agonies of her Mind, ſhe roſe, rung for her Woman, and telling her ſhe had a frightful Dream concerning that Lady, whom ſhe knew ſhe had the greateſt Value for of any Perſon upon Earth, ordered her to get a Chair, for ſhe could not be eaſy unleſs ſhe went and ſaw her herſelf. The Woman was ſtrangely ſurprized, but her Lady was always abſolute in her Commands. — A Chair was brought, and without any other Company or Attendance than her own diſtracted Thoughts, ſhe was conveyed to the only Aſylum where ſhe thought her Shame might find a Shelter.

A Midwife being prepared before, ſhe was ſafely delivered of a Daughter, who expired almoſt as ſoon as born; and to prevent as much as poſſible all Suſpicion of the Truth, ſhe made herſelf be carried Home the next Morning, where ſhe went to Bed, and lay ſeveral Days under Pretence of having ſprained her Ancle.

But not all the Precautions ſhe had taken were effectual enough to prevent ſome People from 22 D3v 22 from gueſſing and whiſpering what had happened. — Thoſe whoſe Nearneſs in Blood gave them a Privilege of ſpeaking their Minds, ſpared not to tell her all that was ſaid of her; and thoſe who dared not take that Liberty, ſhewed by their diſtant Looks and reſerved Behaviour, whenever ſhe came in Preſence, how little they approved her Conduct. — She was too diſcerning not to ſee into their Thoughts, nor was her innate Pride of any Service to keep up her Spirits on this Occaſion. — To add to her Diſcontents, Clitander grew every Day more cool in his Reſpects, and ſhe ſoon after learned he was on the Point of Marriage with one far inferior to herſelf in every Charm both of Mind and Perſon. — In ſhort, finding herſelf deſerted by her Relations, and the greateſt Part of her Acquaintance, without Love, without Reſpect, and reduced to the Pity of thoſe, who, perhaps, had nothing but a greater Share of Circumſpection to boaſt of, ſhe took a Reſolution to quit England for ever, and having ſettled her Affairs with her Huſband, who by this Time had entered into other Amuſements, and, it is probable, was very well ſatisfied to be eaſed of the Conſtraint her Preſence gave him, readily agreed to remit her the Sum agreed between them, to be paid yearly to whatever Part of the World ſhe choſe to reſide in, ſhe then took leave of a Country of which ſhe had been the Idol, and which now ſeemed to her as too unjuſt in not being blind to what ſhe deſired ſhould be concealed.

Behold 23 D4r 23

Behold her now in a voluntary Baniſhment from Friends and Country, and roaming round the World in fruitleſs Search of that Tranquillity ſhe could not have failed enjoying at Home in the Boſom of a Conſort equally beloved as loving. — Unhappy charming Lady, born and endued with every Quality to attract univerſal Love and Admiration, yet by one inadvertent Step undone and loſt to every thing the World holds dear, and only more conſpicuouſly wretched by having been conſpicuouſly amiable.

But methinks it would be hard to charge the Blame of indiſcreet Marriages on the young Ladies themſelves: — Parents are ſometimes, by an over Caution, guilty of forcing them into Things, which otherwiſe would be far diſtant from their Thoughts. I am very certain it is not becauſe the Italian, Spaniſh, or Portugueſe Women are ſo much warmer in their Conſtitutions than thoſe of other Nations, but becauſe they are ſo cruelly debarred from all Converſation with the Men, that makes them ſo readily accept the firſt Offer that preſents itſelf. — Where Opportunities are ſcarce, they are glad to ſpeak their Minds at once, and fear to deny leſt it ſhould not be in their Power afterward to grant. Even in Turkey, where our Travellers boaſt of having had ſuch Succeſs among the Women, I have known ſeveral that were married to Engliſh Gentlemen, and permitted to live after the Cuſtom of our Country, who have made very excellent Wives. — In France, the People are, queſtionleſs, 24 D4v 24 queſtionleſs, the gayeſt and moſt alert in the World, and allow the greateſt Liberties to their Women; yet to hear of a clandeſtine Marriage among them is a kind of Prodigy, and tho’ no Place affords Scenes of Gallantry equal to it in any Degree of Proportion, yet I believe there is none where fewer falſe Steps are made, or Huſbands have leſs Reaſon to complain of the want of Chaſtity in their Wives. Nature in all Ages is abhorrent of Reſtraint, but in Youth eſpecially, as more headſtrong and impetuous, it will hazard every thing to break through Laws it had no Hand in making. It therefore betrays a want of Policy, as well as an unjuſt Auſterity, to ſeclude a young Lady, and ſhut her up from all Intercourſe with the Men, for fear ſhe ſhould find one among them who might happen to pleaſe her too well. — Chance may in a Moment deſtroy all that the utmoſt Care can do; and I ſay a Woman is in far leſs Danger of loſing her Heart, when every Day ſurrounded with a Variety of gay Objects, than when by ſome Accident ſhe falls into the Converſation of a ſingle one. — A Girl, who is continually hearing fine Things ſaid to her, regards them but as Words of courſe; they may be flattering to her Vanity for the preſent, but will leave no Impreſſion behind them on their Mind: But ſhe, who is a Stranger to the gallant Manner with which polite Perſons treat our Sex, greedily ſwallows the firſt civil thing ſaid to her, takes what perhaps is meant as a mere Compliment for a Declaration of Love, and replies to it in Terms which either expoſe 25 E1r 25 expoſe her to the Deſigns of him who ſpeaks, if he happens to have any in reality, or if he has not, to his Ridicule in all Company he comes into.

For this Reaſon the Country-bred Ladies, who are never ſuffered to come to Town for fear their Faces ſhould be ſpoiled by the Small-Pox, or their Reputations ruined by the Beaux, become an eaſier Prey to the Artifices of Mankind, than thoſe who have had an Education more at large: As they rarely ſtir beyond their Father’s Pales, except to Church, the Parſon, if he be a forward Man, and has Courage to throw a Love Song, or Copy of Verſes to Miſs over the Wall, or ſlip it into her Hand in a Viſit he pays the Family, has a rare Opportunity of making his Fortune; and it is well when it happens no worſe; many a ’Squire’s Daughter has clambered over Hedge and Stile, to give a rampant Jump into the Arms of a young jolly Haymaker or Ploughman.

Our London Ladies are indeed very rarely laid under ſuch Reſtrictions; but whenever it happens to be the Caſe, as Nature is the ſame in all, the Conſequence will be ſo too. — Would Miſs Eagaretta have ever condeſcended to marry the greaſy Footman that run before her Chair, had he not been the only Man her over-careful Father permitted her to ſpeak to? — Or would Armonia have found any Charms in a Mouſetrap or LeathernE thern 26 E1v 26 thern Apron, had ſhe been indulged the Converſation of a White Staff?

Seomanthe, to her Misfortune, was brought up under the Tuition of her Aunt Negratia, a Woman extremely ſour by Nature, but rendered yet more ſo by Age and Infirmity: Paſt all the Joys of Life herſelf, ſhe looked with a malicious Eye on every one who partook of them; cenſured the moſt innocent Diverſions in the ſevereſt manner, and the leaſt Complaiſance between Perſons of different Sexes was, with her, ſcandalous to the laſt Degree. — Her Character was ſo well known, that none but Prudes, whoſe Deformity was an Antidote to Deſire, — worn-out ſuperannuated Rakes, who had out-lived all Senſe of Pleaſure, — and canting Zealots, whoſe Bread depended on their Hypocriſy, frequented her Houſe: — To this ſort of Company was the young, beautiful, and naturally gay Seomanthe condemned. — She heard nothing but railing againſt that way of Life ſhe knew was enjoyed by others of equal Rank and Fortune with herſelf, and which ſhe had too much good Senſe to look on as criminal: — She thought People might be perfectly innocent, yet indulge themſelves in ſometimes going to a Play or Opera; nor could be brought to believe the Court ſuch a Bugbear as ſhe was told it was: — A laced Coat and a Tupee Wig had double Charms for her, as they were every Day ſo much preached againſt, and ſhe never ſaw a Coach paſs by wherein were Gentlemen 27 E2r 27 Gentlemen and Ladies, but ſhe wiſhed to be among them, or a well-dreſs’d Beau, that ſhe did not languiſh to be acquainted with.

At length her Deſires were fulfilled: Cloſe as ſhe was kept, the Report that Negratia had a young Lady in the Houſe, who was Miſtreſs of a large Fortune on the Day of Marriage, reached the Ears of one of thoſe Harpies who purchaſe to themſelves a wretched Suſtenance, by decoying the Unwary into everlaſting Ruin. — This Creature, who had been employed by one ſo far a Gentleman as to be bred to no Buſineſs, and whoſe whole Eſtate was laid out on his Back, in hopes of appearing charming in the Eyes of ſome money’d Woman, too truly gueſs’d ſhe had found in Seomanthe what ſhe ſought. — She came to the Houſe under the Pretence of offering ſome Lace, Holland, and fine Tea, extraordinary cheap: Negratia being a good Houſewife, and a great Lover of Bargains, readily admitted her; and while ſhe was examining ſome of the Goods at a Window ſome Diſtance off, the artful Woman put a Letter into Seomanthe’s Hand, telling her it came from the fineſt Gentleman in the World, who ſhe was ſure would die if ſhe did not favour him with an Anſwer. The young Lady took it, bluſhed, and put it in her Boſom, but had not Time to make any Reply to the Woman, Negratia that Inſtant coming toward them. As nobody underſtood her Buſineſs better, ſhe managed it ſo that ſhe was ordered to come again the next Day, when ſhe ſaid ſhe E2 ſhould 28 E2v 28 ſhould have greater Variety to ſhew their Ladyſhips. While ſhe was packing up her Bundles, ſhe winked on Seomanthe, and at the ſame time gave her the moſt beſeeching Look; the Meaning of which, young and unexperienced as ſhe was, the deſtined Victim but too well comprehended, and was, perhaps, no leſs impatient for the Succeſs of an Adventure, the Beginning of which afforded her an infinite Satisfaction.

She ran immediately to her Chamber, ſhut herſelf in, and broke open her Billet, which ſhe found ſtuffed with Flames, Darts, Wounds, Love, and Death: — The higheſt Encomiums on her Beauty, and the moſt vehement Imprecations of not outliving his Hope of obtaining her Favour. — Expreſſions which would have excited only the Laughter of a Woman who knew the World, but drew Tears into the Eyes of the innocent Seomanthe. — She imagined he had ſeen her either at Church, or looking out of the Window, for ſhe was permitted to ſhew herſelf in no other Place; and doubted not but all he had wrote to her of his Love and Deſpair, was no leſs true than what ſhe heard delivered from the Pulpit. She looked on herſelf as too much obliged by the Paſſion he had for her, not to write an Anſwer full of Complaiſance, and very dexterouſly gave it to the Woman on her coming the next Day.

On the enſuing Sunday ſhe ſaw a ſtrange Gentleman in the next Pew to her, and by the Glances 29 E3r 29 Glances he ſtole at her every Time he could do it without being taken Notice of, ſhe fancied him the Perſon who had declared himſelf her Lover, and was convinced her Conjecture had not deceiv’d her, when being kneel’d down at her Devotions, he found Means, while every one had their Fans before their Faces, to drop a Letter on the Bench ſhe lean’d upon; ſhe was not ſo much taken up with the Buſineſs ſhe was employed about as not to ſee it immediately, and throwing her Handkerchief over it, clap’d it into her Pocket. — The Looks that paſt between them afterwards, during the Time of Divine Service, confirm’d her in the Opinion, that he was no leſs charm’d with her than he ſaid he was; and him, that the Sight of him had not deſtroy’d the Impreſſion his Letter by the old Woman had made on her.

Both thought they had Reaſon to be highly ſatisfy’d with this Interview, but poor Seomanthe was up to the Head and Ears in Love. — The Perſon of the Man was agreeable enough, and, compared to thoſe Negratia had ſuffer’d her to converſe with, angelick. — The Prepoſſeſſion ſhe had for him, at leaſt, render’d him ſo in her Eyes, and ſhe thought every Moment an Age ’till ſhe got home to read this ſecond Billet; the Contents of which were of the ſame Nature with the former, only a Poſtſcript added, entreating ſhe would contrive ſome Means to let him entertain her with his Paſſion by Word of Mouth. — He men- 30 E3v 30 mention’d the Woman who ſold the Things, and by whoſe Means he had firſt made a Diſcovery of it, and gave the Directions where ſhe lived, beg’d a Meeting there, if poſſible; at leaſt an Anſwer, whether he might be ſo happy or not, which he told her he would wait for himſelf early the next Morning under her Window, if ſhe would be ſo good to throw it out.

She ſigh’d at reading it, thought her Fate very hard that it was not in her Power to comply with the firſt Part of his Requeſt, but heſitated not in the leaſt if ſhe ought to grant the other. — She ſnatch’d the firſt Opportunity ſhe could lay hold on to prepare a Letter, in which ſhe let him know how impoſſible it was for her to come out, but expreſs’d a Regret for not being able to do ſo, as ſhew’d it would be no difficult Matter to prevail on her to run the greateſt Lengths.

By the Help of his old Adviſer, he carried on a Correſpondence with her, which ended in her conſenting to quit Negratia for ever, and put herſelf under his Protection: In fine, ſhe pack’d up all her Cloaths and Jewels, threw the former from the Window to the Woman, who ſtood ready to receive them on an appointed Night, and having put the other into her Pocket, exchang’d one Scene of Hypocriſy for another, and flew from a Life irkſome for the preſent, to enter into one of laſting Miſery. Early 31 E4r 31 Early in the Morning they were married, and ’tis poſſible paſs’d ſome Days in the uſual Tranſports of a Bridal State; but when their Place of Abode was diſcover’d by the Friends and Kindred of Seomanthe, who, diſtracted at her Elopement, had ſearch’d the whole Town, in how wretched a Condition was ſhe found! — The Villain had drawn her whole Fortune out of the Bank, and robb’d her of all her Jewels, and the beſt of her Apparel, had ſhipp’d every thing off, and was himſelf embark’d ſhe knew not to what Place. — The People of the Houſe where they lodg’d, perceiving him whom they expected to have been their Paymaſter gone, ſeiz’d on the few Trifles he had left behind, as Satisfaction for their Rent, and were going to turn the unfortunate Seomanthe out of Doors.

Not the Sight of her Diſtreſs, nor the Lamentations ſhe made, which were pitiful enough to have ſoften’d the moſt rugged Hearts, had any Effect on that of Negratia, who thought no Puniſhment too ſevere for a Perſon who had deceiv’d her Caution; but ſome others were of a more compaſſionate Diſpoſition, they took her home with them, and comforted her as well as they were able. — She ſtill lives with them a Dependant on their Courteſy, which ſhe is oblig’d to purchaſe the Continuance of by rendering herſelf ſubſervient to all their Humours. — No News is yet arriv’d what Courſe her wicked Huſband took; but it is ſuppos’d he is retired either to France or Holland, being almoſt as much 32 E4v 32 much in Debt here, as all he wrong’d Seomanthe of would diſcharge; ſo that there is little Probability of his ever returning, or if he did, that it would be at all to the Satisfaction of his unhappy Wife.

I was going on to recite ſome other Inſtances of the Miſchiefs, which, for the moſt part, are the Conſequence of laying young People under too great a Reſtraint, when Mira came in, and ſeeing what I was about, took the Pen out of my Hand, and told me I had already ſaid enough; if I proceeded to expatiate any farther on that Head, I ſhould be in Danger of being underſtood to countenance an Extreme on the other Side, which was much more frequently fatal to our Sex.

I yielded to her ſuperior Judgment, and needed but few Arguments to be convinced, that if unbridled Youth were indulg’d in all the Liberties it would take, we ſhould ſcarce ſee any thing but unhappy Objects before Maturity arrived.

The great Encouragement theſe later Times afford to Luxury of every kind, can never be too much guarded againſt by thoſe who are charged with the firſt forming of the Mind. Nature is in itſelf abhorrent of Vice; but the ingenious Contrivers of ſome of our modiſh Entertainments have found ſuch ways to take off the Deformity, that there requires a more ſtrong 33 F1r 33 ſtrong Diſcernment than Youth will ordinarily admit of, to diſtinguiſh it from Innocence. — The Glitter with which it is adorn’d ſtrikes the Eye at a Diſtance, and you perceive not the Serpent within, ’till, by too near an Approach, you are in Danger of being infected with its Venom. It was not in Diverſions, ſuch as our modern Maſquerades in Winter, and Ridottoes al Freſco in Summer, that our Anceſtors paſs’d their Evenings; both which, agreeable as they may ſeem for the preſent to the Senſes, have often given Source to the moſt bitter Agonies in the reflecting Mind. — They appear to me as a daring Attempt to invert the very Order of Nature, eſpecially the former, which begins at thoſe Hours when Recreations ought to ceaſe, and encroaches on the Time we ſhould be preparing for that Repoſe the Mind and Body ſtand in need of. — Thoſe who eſcape the beſt, are ſure to loſe one Day from Life after every Maſquerade; but others more delicate in their Conſtitution contract Colds, and various Diſorders, which hang upon them a long while, and ſometimes are never got rid of. — Yet how ſeverely treated would our young Gentlemen and Ladies think themſelves, were they to be deprived of this elegant Entertainment, as they term it! — What can be more innocent, (ſay they) than to ſee ſuch a Number of People together, all dreſs’d in different Habits, ſome talking, ſome dancing, ſome gaming, and the Muſick all the Time ſweetly playing.――Then the Repartees among us ſo whet the Wit!――

F It 34 F1v 34

It is certain, indeed, that ſome great Families, who continue the whole Winter in the Country, frequently have what they call a Maſquerade at their Houſes, to which all the neighbouring Gentry are invited, and nothing can be more agreeable than thoſe kind of Entertainments. — Where a ſelect Company are diſguiſed ſo as not to be known for a Time to each other, a Round of Wit is perpetually played off, and affords Matter, by the pleaſant Miſtakes ſometimes made, for Converſation afterwards; for where every one is obliged to pluck off his Maſk, and own himſelf for what he is, as ſoon as the Ball is over, nothing will be ſaid or done improper or indecent: But here it is quite otherwiſe; in theſe mercenary Entertainments, the moſt abandon’d Rake, or low-bred Fellow, who has wherewithal to purchaſe a Ticket, may take the Liberty of uttering the groſſeſt Things in the chaſteſt Ear, and ſafe in his Diſguiſe go off without incurring either the Shame or Puniſhment his Behaviour deſerves. But, beſides being ſubjected to the Inſults of every pert Coxcomb, who imagines himſelf moſt witty when he is moſt ſhocking to Modeſty, I wonder Ladies can reflect what Creatures of their own Sex they vouchſafe to blend with in theſe promiſcuous Aſſemblies, without bluſhing to Death.

A witty Gentleman of my Acquaintance, but ſomewhat wild, told me, he never was ſo much diverted in his Life as one Night, when he ſaw the greateſt Prude in the Nation, after having been 35 F2r 35 been accoſted with ſome very odd Expreſſions by one, who, doubtleſs, miſtook her for another, run, as if to ſhield herſelf from his Importunities, to a certain Fille de Joy, to whom he had given a Ticket, and cry out, O, Madam, did you hear the filthy Creature?

I could not forbear acknowledging the Ridicule this Lady incurred, was a juſt Puniſhment for her appearing in a Place ſo little conformable to the Auſterity ſhe profeſſed in other Things, but at the ſame time took this Opportunity of telling him, that I thought Women of Honour had little Obligations to him, or to any of thoſe Gentlemen, who by making Preſents of Tickets to ſuch looſe Creatures, introduced them into Company they otherwiſe would never have the Aſſurance to approach. — I added, that in my Opinion, a greater Affront could not be put upon the Sex; and that it was alſo ſtrangely impolitick to bring their Miſtreſſes into an Aſſembly, where Chance might poſſibly engage them in Converſation with their own Wives or Siſters.

To theſe laſt Words he anſwered with a kind of malicious Smile, No, Madam, we never give Maſquerade Tickets to them. Intimating, that it was not with the Approbation of the Men, that the Ladies of their own Family ſhould frequent ſuch Places; and therefore, if they happened to be affronted there, they muſt condemn themſelves.

F2 This 36 F2v 36

This put me in Mind of an Acquaintance of mine, who is accounted a very good Huſband, and in effect is ſo, tho’ he took ſomewhat an extraordinary Method to cure his Wife of a too great Paſſion ſhe had expreſſed, on their firſt Marriage, for going to theſe nocturnal Revels. Notice was no ſooner given of a Maſquerade, than her Eyes ſparkled with Joy, the Habit- Maker was immediately ſent for, and nothing was either talked or thought on, but the Dreſs ſhe ſhould wear on the approaching happy Night. Not but he was convinced her Intentions were perfectly innocent, as ſhe never deſired to go without him, and even teſtified an Eagerneſs that he would participate of a Pleaſure which had ſo many Charms for herſelf; but he was a Man who knew the Town, and the Dangers to which many Women had been expoſed in theſe Aſſemblies; beſides, the Expence was what he could by no means reliſh, and fearing to draw on himſelf the Character of a churliſh, or a jealous Huſband, if he gave either of theſe Reaſons for reſtraining her, he bethought himſelf of a Stratagem, which ſhould render her avoiding going for the future entirely her own Act and Deed.

He cauſed, unknown to her, one of his intimate Friends to put on a Habit ſo exactly the ſame with what he wore himſelf, that being of a pretty equal Stature, they could not be diſtinguiſhed from each other when the Maſks were on. This Gentleman, in the midſt of a Dance, ſlip’d into 37 F3r 37 into the Huſband’s Place, who immediately withdrew, and abſconded till the Ball was over. The poor Lady, little ſuſpecting the Deception, kept cloſe to her ſuppoſed Spouſe the whole Time, and when the Company broke up, was put by him into a Hackney Coach, which had Orders to drive to a Tavern in Pall-Mall. She was a little ſurprized at finding where ſhe was; but thinking it a Whim of him, whom it was her Duty to comply with, ſuffered herſelf to be conducted into a Room, where he, plucking off his Maſk, the Sight of his Face, and his deſiring ſhe would do the ſame, with ſome Expreſſions not very becoming the Perſon ſhe had taken him for, ſo alarmed and terrified her, that ſhe gave a great Shriek. — The Huſband, who had followed them in another Coach, came in that Moment, and found her ringing the Bell, calling for the People of the Houſe, and for a Chair, that ſhe might be carried Home, the Gentleman ſtruggling with her, and endeavouring all he could to prevail on her to unmaſk. — He ſo well acted his Part, that the Perſon who employed him was highly diverted, and had ſuffered the Farce to go on ſome time longer, had not the exceſſive Fright his Wife was in obliged him to put an End to it, which he did, by plucking off his Vizard, and taking her in his Arms, conjured her to compoſe herſelf: This Accident, ſaid he, might have proved of ill Conſequence indeed, had it not happened with my particular Friend: — I ſaw, and followed you with a Reſolution to revenge the Affront I imagined offered to me; but I am now 38 F3v 38 now convinced it was all a Miſtake on his Side, as well as your’s. — See here, continued he, taking off his Wife’s Maſk, who it is you have gallanted, and were about to be ſo free with.

The Gentleman affected to ſtart, and be very much amazed and aſhamed of what he had done, begg’d his Friend’s Pardon, and the Lady’s, who he ſaid he had accoſted, as thinking her a fine Woman, and meeting with no manner of Repulſe, but on the contrary, that ſhe was very deſirous of keeping as near him as poſſible, and ſhunning all other Converſation, he had all the Reaſon in the World to flatter himſelf, ſhe would be no leſs ſatisfied with his Company in another Place. — But, ſaid he, I now perceive it was the Likeneſs of Habits deceived her, and that while I imagined I was gaining a Miſtreſs, ſhe doubted not but ſhe was following a Huſband.

This adventure occaſioned a good deal of Merriment among them, but it had all the Effect my Friend wiſhed it ſhould have on his Wife. — The imagin’d Danger ſhe had been in, and the real Terror it had given her, dwelt ſo much upon her Mind, that ſhe reſolved never more to ſet her Foot within a Place where Virtue and Reputation were liable to ſuch Hazards. — He had the Diſcretion, however, to maintain inviolably the Secret of the Trick he had put upon her, which had it been ſo much as gueſſed at by her, might, perhaps, have occaſioned a Reſentment more to the 39 F4r 39 the Prejudice of his Peace, than the Continuance of that immoderate Love of an Amuſement he did not approve could have been.

But what this Gentleman contrived the Appearance of, has not been without its Parallel in reality. — Two noble Families owe the Ruin of their Peace, as well as an Enmity with each other, which there is little Likelihood will eaſily ceaſe, to a fatal Miſtake, occaſioned by the unfortunate Similitude of Habits at one of theſe Maſquerades.

Alcales and Palmyra were married young, the Match was made by the Kindred on both Sides, and their Hearts not conſulted in the Affair: — They lived together, notwithſtanding, in very good Harmony, neither of them having any Attachment elſewhere; and tho’ no more than a calm Indifference ſeemed to ſubſiſt between them, yet either through Chance or Caution, nothing happened for a long Time that could give the leaſt Umbrage to the one, or the other. — His favourite Amuſements were reading, walking, and the Play-houſes. — Her’s were giving and receiving Viſits, and going to Opera’s and Maſquerades. — He never examined into what Company ſhe went, nor did ſhe ever give herſelf the Trouble to enquire in what manner he paſſed his Time. — She was infinitely gay and free in Converſation, but behaved ſo equally to all the Men of her Acquaintance, that Malice had found no room to cenſure her, as guilty of a particular Regard 40 F4v 40 Regard for any one. — The Conduct of Alcales was much the ſame; he did Juſtice to the Charms of every Lady, but ſeemed affected by none; ſo that Jealouſy was a Paſſion which this happy inſenſible Pair as yet had never known. With how much Tranquillity might Life have glided on, till both had dropp’d into Eternity, and left the faireſt Reputation on their Tomb, had they continued as they were a few Years longer? But their ill Fate ordained it otherwiſe, and all the Unity between them was neareſt to a Diſſolution when moſt it ſeemed eſtabliſhed and confirmed.

Palmyra, as ſhe never miſſed a Maſquerade, was there one Night, when Alcales, after ſhe was gone, was alſo dragg’d thither by ſome Friends, who would not be denied. — Tho’ he had not the leaſt Reliſh for that Diverſion, yet being there, he thought he ſhould be laugh’d at not to behave in the ſame Faſhion he ſaw others did, and preſently ſingled out a Lady, who he found had ſome Wit and Addreſs, for his Partner. — A Lady, who had accompanied Palmyra, and happened to ſtand near, diſcovered him by his Voice, which he did not attempt to conceal. She ran immediately with the News to his Wife, who at firſt did not believe it; but the other made ſo many Proteſtations, that he was not only there, but was alſo ſo deeply engaged with his Partner, that ſhe was ſure there was an Intrigue between them, that Palmyra, at laſt, reſolved to be convinced, and went to that Part of the Room where her officious Informer had told her he was, and where 41 G1r 41 where ſhe found him, ſtill entertaining the Lady. — A Paſſion ſhe had never before experienced, now took Poſſeſſion of her Heart. — She knew ſhe was not deceived, ſhe heard the Voice of her Huſband diſtinctly, and to find him in a Place he had always pretended an Averſion to, made her look upon him as a Diſſembler, and that he but feigned a Diſlike, in order to come with the greater Privacy, and carry on his Amours. — In fine, ſhe had now the moſt diſadvantagious Ideas of him, that a Wife, imagining herſelf not only injured, but impoſed upon, could entertain. — She had, ſometimes, an Inclination to ſpeak to him, and let him ſee he was detected, but her ill Genius prevented her from doing any thing that might have cleared up this Affair, and repreſented to her, that to ſhew her Reſentment in that publick Place, would draw on her the Ridicule of her Acquaintance, and that it would be more prudent to obſerve his Behaviour during the Ball, and afterwards follow him, and in caſe he went not Home, purſue him to the very Place of his Rendezvous.

Accordingly ſhe kept her Eye upon him wherever he turned, as much as it was poſſible for her to do, amidſt the Throng which happened to be there that Night, and at length ſaw him, as ſhe thought, quit the Room before the Aſſembly broke up. — As ſhe had before loſt Sight of the Lady he had been talking to, ſhe doubted not but that there was an Aſſignation between them, and finding he ſtep’d into a G Chair, 42 G1v 42 Chair, ſhe took another, and followed till ſhe found he entered into a Houſe near Covent-Garden. — She conſidered but a Moment what ſhe ſhould do before ſhe ordered the Chairman to knock at the Door, which being opened, ſhe deſired the Servant to ſhew her to the Gentleman who was juſt come in. The Fellow, not doubting but his Maſter expected this fair Viſitor, conducted her up Stairs, where ſhe waited not long before a very handſome Gentleman, habited exactly in the ſame manner as ſhe had ſeen her Huſband, but now without a Maſk, came to her, and in the moſt complaiſant Terms begged to know her Commands.

Vexed and confuſed without Meaſure at the Diſappointment, ſhe replied abruptly, that ſhe had miſtaken him for another, and turned haſtily away, in order to go down Stairs, but he ſeized her by the Garment, and told her, he ſhould ill deſerve the Bounty Fortune had thrown in his Way, if he ſuffered her to depart without letting her know, ſhe could come in Search of no Man who would ſet a greater Value on any Condeſcenſion ſhe ſhould be pleaſed to grant him.

In ſpite of the ill Humour ſhe was in, there was ſomewhat in the Perſon and Addreſs of this Stranger that pleaſed her, and it juſt then entring into her Head, that there was a Poſſibility he might have changed Habits with Alcales, as People ſometimes do at a Maſquerade, either out of a Frolick, or the better to carry on an Intrigue, ſhe 43 G2r 43 ſhe aſked him, if he had worn that Habit the whole Evening; to which he anſwering in the Affirmative, ſhe grew more and more perplexed, but was certain ſhe had not been deceived in the Voice ſhe had heard, which was that of her Huſband, and very different from his who now ſpoke to her. — She then aſked farther, if he had not taken Notice of a Gentleman in the ſame Habit with himſelf? To which he ſaid, that he had obſerved ſuch a one, and that the Perſon ſhe meant was very much taken up with a fair Lady; but, added he, with a Smile, that Lady was not ſhe, who now does him the Honour to appear ſo much concerned about him.

These Words pique’d Palmyra to the Soul, and flattering herſelf that ſhe might learn ſomething farther, by entering into a Converſation with him, ſuffered herſelf to be prevailed on to ſit down, and having told him ſhe was the Wife of the Perſon ſhe enquired for, plucked off her Maſk, in order to ſhew, that her Face was not ſuch as might juſtify the Slight he had put upon her, and conjured him not to conceal any thing he knew of the Perfidy of her Huſband.

This Gentleman, whom I ſhall call Lyſimon, aſſured her, with a great deal of Truth, that the Perſon who happened to be in the ſame Dreſs with himſelf, and which made him take the greater Notice of him, was utterly unknown to him; but ſo exaggerated the Compliments he had heard him make to the Lady, that Palmyra was G2 quite 44 G2v 44 quite loſt in Spite and jealous Rage, which he perceiving, artfully blended his Praiſes of her Beauty, with his Exclamations on the Ingratitude of a Huſband, who having ſuch a Wife, could have Eyes for any other Charms, ’till Vanity on the one Side, and Revenge on the other, rendered her in a fit Diſpoſition to liſten to the Pleas of a new Flame; which he ſo ſucceſsfully purſued, that before Morning he not only gained the entire Poſſeſſion of her Perſon, but of a Heart, which, ’till now, had been inſenſible either of the Pains or Joys of Love.

It was ſome Hours paſt Day-break when ſhe came Home; Alcales had not got rid of the Company, who had carried him Abroad, ’till pretty near the ſame Time, ſo was return’d but juſt before her, and not yet in Bed. He ſeem’d not, however, the leaſt ſurpriz’d at her ſtaying ſo much beyond the Time ſhe was accuſtom’d to come from the Maſquerade, nor aſk’d any Queſtions concerning it; and ſhe was too much engroſs’d by the Thoughts of Lyſimon, to take any Notice that ſhe knew he had been there, and all, perhaps, had paſſed over, if the Siſter of Alcales, whoſe Houſe was directly oppoſite to that where Lyſimon lodg’d, had not unluckily ſeen her at his Window, adjuſting her Dreſs, before ſhe took her Leave. This Lady had ſecretly a Paſſion for him, and had taken all Opportunities to throw herſelf in his Way, in hope of engaging him; but he having either not underſtood, or neglected the Advances ſhe made, the 45 G3r 45 the Sight of Palmyra made her not doubt, but it was for her ſake he had appear’d ſo ſtupid and ungrateful. — Fired with all the Rage of Jealouſy, Revenge, and Diſappointment, ſhe came the next Day to the Houſe of Alcales, and, before his Face, flew on Palmyra, as a Woman that had brought Diſhonour on their Family, and was unworthy of ſo good a Huſband; — repeated all ſhe knew of her having been with Lyſimon, and ſaid ſhe would bring her Woman and a Man-Servant, whom ſhe had call’d to ſee her at his Window, to be Witneſs to the Truth of what ſhe ſaid. — So home a Charge, and given by his Siſter, rous’d Alcales from that Indolence of Temper he had hitherto behav’d with. — His Cheeks glow’d, but his Heart was yet more inflam’d. — Palmyra, at firſt, deny’d the Accuſation, but finding the Proofs were too plain againſt her, ſhe turned the whole Blame of this cruel Cenſure on her Huſband. — Confeſs’d, that Jealouſy and Grief at ſeeing his Engagement at the Maſquerade, had made her follow a Perſon whom ſhe miſtook for him, but that as to having any Acquaintance with that Gentleman, on whoſe Score ſhe was reproach’d, ſhe utterly denied it, or even that ſhe knew his Name.

Alcales liſten’d to all ſhe ſaid, without offering to give her the leaſt Interruption, but perceiving ſhe had done, reply’d, with a Smile that had ſomething in it which denoted a mingled Malice and Diſdain, — ’Tis wondrous ſtrange, Madam, ſince your exceſſive Love for me, and the Terror 46 G3v 46 Terror you were in of a Rival’s ſupplanting you in my Affections, had carry’d you ſuch Lengths, how you could immediately, and without being convinc’d your Suſpicions were groundleſs, aſſume ſuch a Compoſedneſs in your Behaviour; you muſt, certainly, have a more than ordinary Command over your Paſſions, never ſo much as to mention what gave you ſo much Pain.

Palmyra had little to alledge againſt ſo critical an Obſervation, but what ſhe wanted in Argument, ſhe made up with Railing, endeavouring, as is common in ſuch Caſes, to conceal her own Faults by exaggerating thoſe of her Huſband. — At laſt the Quarrel arrived to ſuch a Height, that ſhe flew to her Chamber, pack’d up her Jewels, and went to her Brother’s Houſe, where ſhe complain’d loudly of the Injuſtice ſhe had receiv’d, and made bitter Imprecations never to return to Alcales again.

In the mean time, he was fully convinc’d of the Injury that had been done him, and, in the Heat of his Reſentment, ſent a Challenge to Lyſimon, who was too brave not to anſwer it. — They fought, and were both of them dangerouſly wounded. — The whole Time that Alcales was confin’d to his Bed, neither Palmyra, nor any of her Friends, once ſent to enquire after his Health; this Want of even common Complaiſance, neither himſelf, nor Relations, have ever forgiven, eſpecially as they heard Lyſimon was treated by them with more Reſpect. — Nothing could 47 G4r 47 could be more inveterate than the Hatred which has from that Time been between the two Families. Palmyra kept her Word, and never ſaw her Husband after; the only thing, perhaps, ſhe could have oblig’d him in. — Aſſur’d as he was of her Infidelity, Proofs were wanting for a Divorce; therefore it was agreed, by Lawyers appointed by each Party, that ſhe ſhould have the Intereſt of her Fortune to live upon, in what Manner was moſt agreeable to her. They parted with the ſame Indifference, tho’ with leſs Tranquillity, than they met. — He retired to his Country Seat, where he ſtill drags on a ſolitary, gloomy Life. — She went to France, where her beloved Lyſimon was gone, ſoon after the Recovery of his Wounds; but whether ſhe continues to find in his Converſation ſufficient to attone for her Loſs of Innocence and Reputation, is very much to be queſtion’d.

But of all who ever ſuffer’d by their Curioſity or Attachment to this dangerous Diverſion, the Caſe of the innocent Erminia was moſt truly pityable.

This young Lady, and her Brother, were the only Iſſue of a very happy Marriage, and both ſhar’d equally the Tenderneſs of their indulgent Parents. — They were educated in the ſtricteſt Rudiments of Piety and Virtue, and had ſomething ſo innately good in their Diſpoſitions, as made the Practice of thoſe Duties, which to others ſeem moſt ſevere, to them a Pleaſure. — The 48 G4v 48 The Family lived in the Country, and came not to London but once in two or three Years, and then ſtay’d but a ſhort Time, ’till the young Gentleman having finiſh’d his Studies at Cambridge, it was thought proper he ſhould ſee more of the World, than he could poſſibly do in that retir’d Part. But, fearing he ſhould fall into the Vices of the Age, in caſe he were left too much to himſelf, they reſolv’d on removing to Town, in order to have him ſtill under their own Eye.

Accordingly a Houſe was taken in a certain Square, and the whole Family came up, and, not to ſeem particular, were oblig’d to live after the Manner People do in Town: Erminia was not now above Sixteen, and (as all new Faces are, if tolerably handſome,) was extremely taken Notice of, yet was not her young Heart puff’d up with the leaſt Pride or Vanity; and tho’ ſhe had all that Chearfulneſs which is the inſeparable Companion of Innocence and Good-nature, yet did it never tranſport her ſo far as to take, or permit, any of thoſe Liberties, which ſhe ſaw ſome of her new Acquaintance make no Scruple of.

Soon after their Arrival Winter came on, and wherever either ſhe or her Brother went, nothing was talk’d on but the Maſquerade; neither of them had ever ſeen one, and the Eagerneſs they obſerved in others, excited a Curioſity in them. — Their Parents would not oppoſe the 49 H1r 49 the Inclination they expreſs’d, and conſented they ſhould go together, but gave their Son a ſtrict Charge to be watchful over his Siſter, and never to quit Sight of her ’till he brought her home to them again. — Tho’ this was an Entertainment unknown in England in their gay Time of Life, and, conſequently, they were Strangers to the Methods practiſed at it, yet having heard ſomewhat of the Dangers, they repeated over and over the ſame Injunction to the young Gentleman, who aſſured them, he would take the ſame Care as if themſelves were preſent.

Alas! he little knew how impracticable it was to keep his Promiſe: They were no ſooner enter’d, than both were bewilder’d amidſt the promiſcuous Aſſembly; — the ſtrange Habits, — the Hurry, — the Confuſion quite diſtracted their Attention. — They kept cloſe to each other, indeed, for ſome Time, but were ſoon ſeparated by a Crowd that came ruſhing between them, ſome accoſting the Brother, others the Siſter. — Thoſe who talk’d to them eaſily found they were Strangers to the Converſation of the Place, and whiſpering it about, our young Country Gentry ſerv’d as Butts for the Company to level all the Arrows of their Wit againſt.

Erminia had loſt her Brother for a conſiderable Time, and was encompaſſed by Perſons of both Sexes, whoſe Mode of Speech was neither pleaſing to her, nor did ſhe know how to anſwer; at laſt, the Sight of a Blue Domine, H which 50 H1v 50 which was the Habit he went in, revived her, and ſhe ran to the Perſon who wore it, and catching faſt hold of him, Dear Brother, (cry’d ſhe) let us go home, I have been frighted to Death by thoſe noiſy People yonder. — I wonder what Pleaſure any body can take in being here.

The Perſon ſhe accoſted made no Reply; but taking her under the Arm, conducted her out as ſhe had deſired, and went with her into a Hackney Coach. Little ſuſpecting the Accident that had befallen her, ſhe attended not to what Orders he gave the Coachman; and, glad to find herſelf out of a Place which for her had ſo few Charms, entertain’d her ſuppos’d Brother with a Repetition of what had been ſaid to her, ’till the Coach ſtopp’d at the Door of a great Houſe: As it was not yet light, ſhe diſtinguiſh’d it not from their own, and innocently jump’d out, and was within the Entry before ſhe diſcover’d her Miſtake; but as ſoon as ſhe did, Bleſs me, (cry’d ſhe) where have you brought me, Brother? She followed him, however, up Stairs, where he, pulling off his Vizard, diſcover’d a Face ſhe had never ſeen before.

Never was Surprize and Terror greater than that which now ſeiz’d the Heart of this unfortunate young Lady: — She wept, ſhe pray’d, ſhe conjur’d him by every thing that is called ſacred or worthy of Veneration, to ſuffer her to depart; but he was one, to whom, had ſhe been leſs beautiful, her Innocence was a ſufficient Charm. 51 H2r 51 Charm.— The more averſe and ſhock’d ſhe ſeem’d at the rude Behaviour with which he immediately began to treat her, the more were his Deſires inflam’d, and having her in his Power, and in a Houſe where all her Shrieks and Cries were as unavailing as her Tears and Entreaties, he ſatiated, by the moſt barbarous Force, his baſe Inclinations, and for a Moment’s Joy to himſelf, was the eternal Ruin of a poor Creature, whoſe Ignorance of the World, and of the Artifices of Mankind, alone had betray’d him.

The cruel Conqueſt gain’d, he was at a Loſs how to diſpoſe of his Prey; a thouſand times ſhe begg’d he would compleat the Villany he had begun, and kill the Wretch he had made; but this was what neither his Safety, nor perhaps his Principle, wicked as he was, would permit him to do. — He eaſily found ſhe was a Girl of Condition, and doubted not but ſhe had Friends who would revenge the Injury he had done her, could they, by any Means, diſcover the Author; he therefore, after having in vain endeavour’d to pacify her, and prevail on her to comply with his Deſires of holding a ſecret Correſpondence with him, compell’d her to let him bind a Handkerchief over her Eyes, that ſhe might not be able to deſcribe either the Houſe or Street where ſhe had been abuſed; then put her into a Hackney Coach, which he order’d to drive into an obſcure dirty Lane in the Strand, near the Water Side, where he made her be ſet H2 down, 52 H2v 52 down, and immediately drove away with all the Speed the Horſes could make.

She no ſooner found herſelf at Liberty, than ſhe pluck’d the Bandage from her Eyes, — ſhe caſt a diſconſolate Look about, — ſhe knew not where ſhe was; but the Sight of the Water at ſome little Diſtance from her, tempted her more than once, as ſhe has ſince confeſs’d, to throw herſelf into it. — The Precepts of Religion, however, reſtrain’d her, and ſhe wander’d backwards and forwards for ſome Time, uncertain what to do; at length ſhe came to a more populous Place, and ſeeing a Chair, made herſelf be carried home, tho’ with what Agonies of Shame and Grief is eaſier to imagine than deſcribe.

The young Gentleman, her Brother, had all this Time been in the utmoſt Diſtraction; he no ſooner miſs’d, than he went in ſearch of her round and round the Room, and through all the little Avenues that led to it, deſcrib’d her Habit to the Servants, and aſk’d if they had ſeen ſuch a Lady; but all his Endeavours being fruitleſs, he ran home, flattering himſelf, that miſſing him, ſhe was gone before. — Not finding her there, he flew back again to the Haymarket, — made a ſecond Search, a ſecond Enquiry, and that being ineffectual as the firſt, his Grief and his Deſpair was beyond all Bounds. — He truly lov’d his Siſter, and doubted not but ſome very unhappy Accident had befallen her; but what involved him in greater Horrors, was how he 53 H3r 53 he ſhould anſwer to his Parents his ſo ill acquitting himſelf of the Charge they laid on him concerning her. — Dreading their Reproaches, and even yet more the Agonies they would feel at ſeeing him return without her, he flew about the Streets like one totally deprived of Reaſon, ’till Day being far advanc’d, and every body he met ſtaring at him as a Perſon whom Drink or Madneſs had render’d an Object of Deriſion, Shame, at laſt, got the better of his Vexations, and he ventur’d to encounter what was more dreadful to him than Death itſelf.

The anxious Parents could not think of going to their Repoſe ’till their dear Children were return’d in Safety; they had Apprehenſions which they could not account for, none having dared to inform them that Erminia was miſſing, or that her Brother, many Hours before, had called at the Door to aſk if ſhe was come, but when they now ſaw him enter with that confus’d and dejected Air, and found their Daughter was not with him, they both at once cry’d out, in a Tranſport of mingled Rage and Grief, — Where is your Siſter? — What is become of Erminia? — Dare you approach us without her?

The Condition this poor Youth was in, would be very difficult to expreſs: — He trembled, hung down his Head, and his flowing Eyes let fall a Shower of Tears upon his Breaſt, but had not Power to ſpeak, ’till his Father, impatient of knowing even the worſt that could befal, 54 H3v 54 befal, commanded him either to repeat what had happen’d, or that Inſtant leave his Sight for ever. O Sir, (then cry’d he) What can I ſay! — My Siſter is gone, — all my Care in obeying your Commands was vain, and I am wholly ignorant how this Misfortune happened.

Scarce had he ſpoke theſe Words, when the ruin’d Maid appear’d.— Father, Mother, Brother, all ran at once to catch her in their Arms; but the Shock of returning to them as ſhe now was render’d, work’d too powerfully on the Weakneſs of her Spirits, to leave her in a Condition to receive their Embraces, and ſhe fell into a Swoon, in which ſhe continu’d a long Time, tho’ they immediately undreſs’d, put her to Bed, and uſed all poſſible Means for her Recovery.

On the Return of her Senſes, ſhe fell into the moſt lamentable Complaints, but could not be prevail’d upon, while her Father and Brother were in the Room, to reveal any thing of the Occaſion. Her Mother obſerving their Preſence was a Reſtraint, deſir’d them to withdraw; after which, partly by Commands, and partly by Intreaties, but more by mentioning all the Evils that her Imagination could ſuggeſt, at laſt the whole ſad Secret was reveal’d.

Never was ſo diſconſolate a Family, and the more ſo, as they could by no Means diſcover the brutal Author of their Misfortune; the Precautionscautions 55 H4r 55 cautions he had taken render’d all their Search in vain; and when ſome Days after they prevail’d on Erminia to go with them in a Coach almoſt throughout all London, yet could ſhe not point out either the Houſe or Street where her Raviſher had carried her.

To fill the Meaſure of her Woes, a young Gentleman arriv’d in Town who long had lov’d, and had the Approbation of her Friends, and for whom ſhe alſo felt all of that Paſſion that can inſpire a virtuous Mind; he had by ſome Buſineſs been prevented from accompanying the Family in their Removal, but was now come full of the Hopes of having his Deſires compleated, by a happy Marriage with the ſweet Erminia.

Melancholy Reverſe of Fate! inſtead of being receiv’d with open Arms, and that chearful Welcome he had been accuſtom’d to, and had Reaſon to expect, the moſt heavy Gloom appear’d on all the Faces of thoſe he was permitted to ſee; but Erminia no ſooner heard of his Arrival, than ſhe ſhut herſelf up in her Chamber, and would, by no means, be prevail’d upon to appear before him. — To excuſe her Abſence they told him ſhe was indiſpos’d; but this ſeem’d all Pretence, becauſe the Freedom with which they had always liv’d together, might very well have allow’d him the Privilege of viſiting her in her Chamber.— He complain’d of this Alteration in their Behaviour, and doubted not, at firſt, but it was occaſion’d by the Preferenceference 56 H4v 56 ference they gave to ſome new Rival. — The true Reaſon, however, could not be kept ſo much a Secret, but that it was whiſper’d about, and he ſoon got a Hint of it. — How ſenſible a Shock it muſt give him may eaſily be conceiv’d; but he got the better of it, and after a very little Reflection, went to her Father, told him the afflicting News he had heard, but withal aſſur’d him, that as his Love for Erminia was chiefly founded on her Virtue, an Act of Force could not be eſteem’d any Breach of it, and was ſtill ready to marry her, if ſhe would conſent.

This Generoſity charm’d the whole Family, but Erminia could not think of accepting the Offer; — the more ſhe found him worthy of her Affection in her State of Innocence, the leſs could ſhe ſupport the Shame of being his, in the Condition ſhe now was. — She told her Parents, that ſhe had taken a firm Reſolution never to marry, and begg’d their Permiſſion to retire to an Aunt, who was married to an old Clergyman, and lived in one of the moſt remote Counties in England. Dear as her Preſence was, they found ſomething ſo truly noble in her way of Thinking, that they would not oppoſe it; and even her Lover, in ſpite of himſelf, could not forbear applauding what gave a thouſand Daggers to his Heart.

Erminia in a ſhort time departed for her Country Reſidence; nothing was ever more mournful than the Leave ſhe took of her Parents and 57 I1r 57 and Brother; but not all the Intreaties of her Lover, by Meſſages and Letters, could gain ſo far upon her Modeſty, as to prevail on her to ſee him; ſhe ſent him, however, a Letter, full of the moſt tender Acknowledgments of his Love and Generoſity, and with this he was oblig’d to be content.

It is not every Woman would have reſented ſuch an Injury in the ſame manner with Erminia; and it muſt be confeſs’d, that her Notions of Honour and Virtue had ſomewhat ſuperlatively delicate in them. — What a Loſs then to the World to be depriv’d of ſo amiable an Example, as ſhe would have doubtleſs prov’d, of conjugal Truth, Tenderneſs, and a ſtrict Obſervance of every Duty the Men ſo much deſire to find in her they make a Partner for Life! How can her brutal Raviſher reflect, as it is impoſſible but he ſometimes muſt, on the Miſchiefs he has occaſion’d, without Horrors, ſuch as muſt render Life a Burthen! — Tho’ he yet is hid in Darkneſs, and left no Traces by which the Publick may point the Villain out, and treat him with the Abhorrence he deſerves, his own Thoughts muſt ſurely be the Avengers of his Crime, and make him more truly wretched than any exterior Puniſhment could do.

’Tis true, that Accidents of this dreadful Nature but rarely happen, and Heaven forbid they ſhould ever be more frequent! Yet I am I afraid 58 I1v 58 afraid they are much more ſo than is publickly known. Methinks, therefore, Youth and Innocence cannot be too much upon its Guard, even againſt Dangers that ſeem moſt remote: The Snares laid for it are ſometimes ſo well conceal’d, that the moſt penetrating Eye cannot diſcover them; and ſhe who boaſts the greateſt Diſcernment, is often entangled in them the ſooneſt. The Inadvertent and Unwary are, indeed, to be pitied; but thoſe who run wilfully, and in Defiance, as it were, of all Temptations, even tho’ they ſhould eſcape, merit little Thanks from their own Sex, becauſe they ſet an ill Precedent for others, who, perhaps, may be leſs fortunate.

I cannot ſay our Summer Evenings publick Entertainments, of which I think Vaux-Hall not only the moſt pleaſant, but alſo moſt frequented by the great World, are liable to ſuch unlucky Accidents: — Every one there appears with the ſame Face which Nature gave him, and if Intrigues are carried on, it muſt, at leaſt, be with the Conſent of both Parties; yet here are dangerous Excitements, — Muſick, Flattery, delightful Groves, and ſweet Receſſes to lull aſleep the Guardians of Honour. — A certain wellknown Gentleman, whoſe Acquaintance Bodes no Good to the Young and Beautiful of our Sex, has often boaſted, that Vaux-Hall was the Temple of Flora, of which he has long been conſtituted High-Prieſt. — I wiſh there may not be too much Truth in what he ſays; but for the Vindicationcation 59 I2r 59 cation of ſome Ladies who have been Lovers of a Ramble croſs the Water, I muſt recite one Inſtance of a Diſappointment he met with, much to his Mortification, and which, for ſome Time, brought him under Diſgrace with the moſt illuſtrious of all his Patrons.

As his chief Employment is the Search of Beauty, in which our modern fine Gentlemen allow him to have an exquiſite Taſte, he one Night ſingled out a young Girl, who ſeem’d to have compriz’d in her every thing that could inſpire an amorous Inclination. Flavia, for ſo I ſhall call her, had two Companions with her of her own Sex. — He artfully introduc’d himſelf into their Converſation, and found, that ſhe whom he had pitch’d upon had no leſs Wit and Addreſs, than ſhe had Beauty. — This, he thought to himſelf, was a Conqueſt worth obtaining, and reſolv’d to ſpare no Pains in the Attempt; being certain, that if he was ſo happy to ſucceed in it, his Reward would be proportionate to the Service.

The modeſt and grave Deportment, with which he behaved towards her and her Friends, made them, as they had no Male Acquaintance with them, glad of his Protection to ſee them into a Boat when the Company broke up; and the great Crowd and Hurry which there always is, rendered him, indeed, ſo very uſeful, that they could not, without being guilty of too prudiſh a Reſerve, refuſe permitting him a PaſſageI2 ſage 60 I2v 60 ſage with them to the other Side; by this Means he got Knowledge where they all liv’d, for his Complaiſance would needs extend itſelf ſo far as to ſee each to her reſpective Habitation.

Flavia being the only Perſon on whom he had a Deſign, he went to wait on her the next Day, under Pretence of enquiring after her Health, the Evening happening to be more cool than ordinary, he ſaid he fear’d might have had ſome ill Effect on a Conſtitution ſo delicate as her’s. Flavia, who ſuſpected not the Serpent that lay hid under ſuch fair Behaviour, receiv’d him with the utmoſt Civility, but her Mother with infinitely more; ſhe had been a Woman of Gallantry in her Youth, and did not think herſelf yet paſt it, ſo was very ready to encourage the Viſits of any Perſon who made a good Appearance. She thank’d him a thouſand times over for the Care he had taken of her Daughter, and when encourag’d by her manner of treating him, he aſk’d Permiſſion to wait on them ſometimes at Tea-drinking; ſhe aſſur’d him, nothing could do her more Honour and Pleaſure, than to cultivate an Acquaintance with a Gentleman of his Merit.

He now look’d on half his Work as done, and by the Diſpoſition of the Mother, judg’d he ſhould find little Difficulty in his Deſigns on the Daughter, eſpecially, as on an Enquiry into their Circumſtances, he found they were very low; that the Father of Flavia, at his Death, had 61 I3r 61 had left a numerous Family unprovided for, and that the other Children were diſpers’d, ſome with one Relation, and ſome with another, the Mother being able to ſupport no more than this one. In this Confidence he went immediately to the illuſtrious Rinaldo, and, after magnifying his own Zeal and Induſtry to ſerve his Pleaſures, told him he had diſcover’d a Treaſure of Charms, fit only for his Poſſeſſion, and with ſuch luſcious Phraſes painted to him every Grace the beautiful Flavia was Miſtreſs of, that Rinaldo was all on Fire to ſee her. If I find her ſuch as you deſcribe, (ſaid he) and I enjoy her by your Means, I will deny you nothing you can aſk. The other bow’d, and aſſur’d him he would bring her into the Mall the next Day, where his own Eyes ſhould convince him of the Truth.

This being agreed to, he went to the Mother of Flavia, and entreated they would favour him with their Company to the Park, for he would not hazard a Refuſal, by aſking the one without the other; and, beſides, thought it would be imprudent to give them any room to ſuſpect his Intentions, ’till he ſhould know Rinaldo’s Sentiments.

They now look’d on him as one of their Acquaintance, and were not at all diſpleas’d to be gallanted by a Perſon who made the Figure he did. — In fine, they went; Rinaldo was there, met them at ſeveral Turns, and found nothing in Flavia but what attracted his Admiration. — The 62 I3v 62 The laſt Time he paſſed by them, You are a happy Man, (ſaid he, calling him by his Name,) to have the Conduct of ſo much Beauty.

This Purveyor for the Vices of other Men was highly pleas’d to find the Choice he had made approv’d. — Flavia bluſh’d, but her Mother was tranſported to ſee by whom they were taken notice of. — All the Time they continu’d walking afterwards, they were entertain’d with nothing but the Praiſes of Rinaldo, — his fine Shape, his genteel Air, but above all his Goodnature, Generoſity, and Liberality to the Ladies, were expatiated on with all the Pomp that Words could give them.

He proceeded no farther at that Time, but the next Day, when he waited on Rinaldo to know his Commands, he found him all Impatience for the Poſſeſſion of Flavia; on which he went directly to her, and made no Scruple of acquainting both herſelf and Mother with the Paſſion that illuſtrious Perſon was inſpired with, and at the ſame time made them the moſt formal Compliments of Congratulation on their good Fortune.

The Mother liſten’d to him with the moſt raptur’d Attention. — She already fancy’d herſelf in her Coach and Six, and a thouſand wild Ideas of Grandeur, Homage, and Magnificence ran through her Head in an Inſtant. — She told him, that ſhe knew her Duty better than to oppoſepoſe 63 I4r 63 poſe any thing the great Rinaldo wiſh’d, and ſhe hop’d her Daughter would alſo receive the Honour he did her with a becoming Obedience.

Flavia all this Time ſpoke not a Word: the Surprize of ſuch an Offer at firſt, and the Shock it gave her to hear her Mother’s Reply afterwards, kept her ſilent: But the Bluſhes, which, in reality, were excited by her Diſdain, were taken only as the Effect of her Modeſty. — Both of them urg’d her to ſpeak, and the Emiſſary of Rinaldo entreated to know from her own Mouth, what Anſwer he ſhould give his Patron; at laſt, Sir, (ſaid he) I am utterly unworthy of any Regard from ſo great a Perſon, and equally ignorant how to repay it any otherwiſe than by my Prayers and good Wiſhes. — This is all I can ſay as to Rinaldo; by as to yourſelf, from whom I little expected ſuch a Propoſal, be aſſur’d I am, and will be virtuous.

With theſe Words ſhe flung out of the Room, leaving the Perſon ſhe addreſs’d them to in a good deal of Conſternation: But her Mother ſoon brought him into a better Humour; ſhe told him the Girl had got ſome romantick Notions in her Head, but ſhe ſhould eaſily bring her to a more juſt Senſe of her Duty, when ſhe talk’d to her in private; and therefore beg’d he would not mention her fooliſh Behaviour to Rinaldo, for ſhe would undertake to prepare her to receive his Commands whenever he pleas’d.

It 64 I4v 64

It was then concluded between them, that ſhe ſhould remove with her Daughter to a ſmall but pleaſant Houſe they had on the Banks of the River, and which, indeed, was their uſual Habitation, they having only Lodgings in Town for the preſent, on Account of a Law-ſuit the Mother of Flavia came to ſollicit. — That ſhe would have two or three Days, in order to bring her into ſuch a Diſpoſition as they wiſh’d; and that when every thing was ready, ſhe ſhould let him know by a Letter, after which Rinaldo might come privately to their Houſe by Water.

Our modern Pandarus was no ſooner gone, than ſhe flew to her Daughter’s Chamber, where ſhe found her in Tears. — She call’d her a thouſand Fools, — What! (cry’d ſhe) do you grieve for what any other than yourſelf would rejoice in! — Do you conſider who Rinaldo is? — What he will hereafter be? And what your Sons, if you have any by him, will be?

To this Flavia reply’d as became a Maid devoted to Virtue, — beg’d ſhe would inſiſt no farther on a Thing ſhe was determin’d never to conſent to; and concluded with aſſuring her, that ſhe ſhould prefer the loweſt State in Life, to all the Grandeur in the World, if purchaſed at the Expence of her Innocence.

The old Lady’s Vexation was inexpreſſible at finding her ſo refractory to her Deſires, but reſolute not to loſe the Advantages ſhe promiſed to 65 K1r 65 to herſelf and Family by this Propoſal, ſhe left no means untry’d to bend, or perſwade her to Compliance.

When they got to their little Country-Seat, ſhe ſet before her Eyes the Misfortunes they were at preſent involved in, and endeavour’d to convince her, that the Paſſion Rinaldo had for her, ſeem’d a peculiar Mark of Divine Providence in their Favour; and that what would be a Crime to grant to any other Man, was entirely ſanctify’d by his Degree, and would be approved on both by Heaven and Earth. But finding theſe Arguments of no Weight, and that all the Sophiſtry ſhe made uſe of was in vain, ſhe proceeded to Threats, and even to Blows, nay, deny’d her neceſſary Food, and uſ’d her with a Cruelty ſcarce to be parallel’d in a Mother. This Method alſo failing, and the virtuous Maid remaining fix’d in her Reſolution, ſhe again had recourſe to Perſwaſion, ’till Flavia, quite tir’d out with hearing the ſame Things ſo often repeated, at laſt left off making any Reply, but was all the Time meditating how ſhe ſhould avoid the Ruin intended her.

The Mother now look’d on her Silence as a kind of Conſent, and that it was only owing to an Obſtinacy of Nature, that ſhe did not give it in plain Words. — In this Opinion, ſhe ſet her Houſe in the greateſt Order, and wrote to her good Friend, as ſhe term’d him, intimating that K her 66 K1v 66 her Daughter ſeem’d now to have repented of her Folly, and was in a Diſpoſition to receive the Honour of a Viſit from Rinaldo whenever he pleas’d. To this ſhe had a ſpeedy Anſwer, and a Day appointed for the coming of that great Perſon.

Flavia was ſoon appriz’d of it by the Preparations making in the Houſe, and the Orders given her to dreſs, and to appear in the beſt manner ſhe was able. — Who am I then to ſee, Madam? demanded ſhe, in a dejected Tone; her Mother then told her, that her illuſtrious Lover intended them the Honour of a Viſit; but, (continu’d ſhe) I will leave it to yourſelf how to behave towards him, and hope you have Diſcretion enough to manage him ſo, as that the Friendſhip he now vouchſafes to have for us, may not be wholly loſt.

This artful Woman had two Reaſons for now ſpeaking to her in theſe mild Terms; the one was, that if ſhe made uſe of the Authority of a Mother, it might ruffle her Features, and conſequently render her leſs amiable in the Eyes of Rinaldo; and the other, that by pretending every thing would be left to her own Choice, ſhe would be leſs averſe to entertaining him, which was all ſhe wanted, firmly believing a Girl of her Years would not dare to refuſe a Perſon like him any thing he ſhould aſk, tho’ ſhe might have Courage to do it to thoſe employ’d by him.

The 67 K2r 67

The poor young Creature, in the mean time, labor’d under the greateſt Diſtraction of Mind how to avoid an Interview, in which ſhe could not be aſſur’d of not loſing, by Force, that which ſhe was always determin’d never to yield. — She had no Friend on whom ſhe could enough depend to reveal the Secret. — At laſt it came into her Head to apply to a certain Clergyman, who lived about two Miles diſtant from their Houſe. — He was a Man pretty far advanced in Years, and had the Reputation of all the Purity of Manners befitting his ſacred Function: She thought there could not be a more proper Perſon for one in her Circumſtances to conſult, or better able to adviſe her how to ſhun the Toils laid for her Innocence.

Accordingly ſhe roſe extremely early, and before any of the Family were awake, ſtole out of her Mother’s Houſe, and made the beſt of her way to that of this Reverend Guide, to whom, after ſome Tears and Sighs, and with a ſad Compulſion of being oblig’d to reveal the Shame of one ſo near to her in Blood, ſhe related the whole Pity-moving Story; and concluded with begging his Protection, ’till ſhe could find ſome Means of getting her Bread, either in Service, or by working with her Needle.

The good Doctor, who, indeed, anſwer’d the Character given of him, heard her with Amazement and Admiration; and after he had paus’d ſome Time, told her, that conſidering K2 who 68 K2v 68 who were her Seducers, he queſtioned whether ever any Age could afford an Example of the like Virtue; but, (ſaid he) how can I protect you againſt the Authority of a Mother, ſeconded by the Power of Rinaldo? There is (continued he) but one way, and that is, by making you my Wife. — I know the Diſparity of our Years, and that ſuch an Union may be as irkſome to your Inclinations, as the other is to your Virtue. — I will not, therefore, urge it; but fear, that all the Endeavours I can make will be unavailing, without that Tie, which even Rinaldo himſelf will not preſume to violate.

Flavia was too much aſtoniſh’d to be able to make any immediate Reply, yet teſtify’d nothing in her Countenance that could give him room to think ſhe was averſe to his Propoſal; nor had ſhe, in reality, any Reaſon to be ſo. He had a good Benefice, a ſmall Eſtate in Land, no Children, and a very graceful Perſon, tho’ his Face was ſomewhat furrow’d by Time. But what weigh’d more with her than all other Conſiderations was, that a Marriage with him would be a ſure Defence from all Attacks upon her Honour, and deliver her from the Power of a Mother, who, ſhe had too much Reaſon to believe, would, one time or other, give her up to Infamy.

But, not to be longer in relating this Affair, than they were in agreeing on it, ſhe neither had, nor affected any Scruples; and the Coach that Morning 69 L1r 69 Morning ſetting out for London, they took their Paſſage in it, and were married the next Day.

The Diſtraction which the Mother of Flavia was in when ſhe was not to be found, may eaſily be gueſs’d; but when Rinaldo came, and receiv’d ſuch a Baulk to his Expectations, he was extremely incenſed at firſt againſt the Perſon who had ſo much aſſur’d him of a Reception anſwerable to his warmeſt Wiſhes. The Negotiator had little to ſay in his Defence, but that the Girl was certainly run mad, that he had never thought himſelf more ſecure, and begg’d Pardon in the moſt ſervile manner. — That great Perſon too much deſpis’d him to take any other Revenge on him, than reporting how much he had prov’d unfit for the Employment he valued himſelf upon: This was, however, a very ſevere Puniſhment; for whenever he attempted any thing of the like nature, he was always reproach’d with Flavia, and all he could do was inſufficient to retrieve his Credit for a long time.

The Virtue of Flavia has its Reward in the greateſt Bleſſing Heaven can give, a Mind perfectly content. — She lives pleas’d and happy in her Lot, and by her Behaviour juſtifies her Huſband’s Choice, and puts to Shame all thoſe who at firſt pretended to cenſure ſo unequal a Match.

It is certain the Ideas that ariſe in our Minds when we reflect on Temptations we have had the Power to ſhun, are, beyond all Deſcription, ſweet. 70 L1v 70 ſweet. — There is a laudable Pride in triumphing over the Artifices of thoſe that would ſeduce us, which diffuſes the higheſt Satisfaction to the Soul; but yet we ought to beware how we court Dangers in the Aſſurance of overcoming them. — We may flatter ourſelves too far; there is nothing more frequently deceives us than our own Hearts; and it is, methinks, venturing too far to ſtake that innate, ſettled Peace, which conſcious Innocence, tho’ untry’d, unmagnify’d, affords, againſt the precarious Hope of purchaſing a publick Fame, which, however juſt, is yet in Danger of being blaſted by Envy and Detraction.

End of the First Book.

71 L2r

The Female Spectator.

Book II.

When firſt myſelf and Aſſiſtants ſet about this Undertaking, we agreed to lay down certain Rules to be obſerved among us, in order to preſerve that Harmony, which it is neceſſary ſhould exiſt in all Societies, whether compoſed of a great or ſmall Number. — One of the moſt material of which is to devote two Evenings in every Week to the Buſineſs we have engaged in. — In the firſt of theſe Meetings we communicate to each other what Intelligence we receive, and conſider on what Topicks we ſhall proceed. — In the ſecond, we lay our ſeveral Productions on the Table, which being read over, every one has the Liberty of exceptingL2 ing 72 L2v 72 ing againſt, or cenſuring whatever ſhe diſapproves; nothing being to be exhibited to the Publick, without the joint Concurrence of all. — The Rendezvous is kept at my Lodgings, and I give ſtrict Orders, that no Perſon whatever ſhall be admitted to interrupt our Conſultations; but you may as well attempt to exclude the Lightning, as the Impertinence of ſome People. — I dare ſay, there are few of my Readers who have not, ſome Time or other in their Lives, been plagu’d with a buzzing, fluttering kind of Animal, whoſe Love, for the Time it laſts, is more troubleſome, than the Hate of any other created Being that I know of. — I mean a Race of Mortals, who will tell you all their own Secrets in two Hours Acquaintance, and from thence imagine, they have a Right to expect you ſhould be as communicative to them. — They will ſee one, whether one will or not; — there is no ſhutting one’s ſelf from them; — they burſt in upon one at all Hours, and purſue one wherever one goes; — they come galloping to repeat every thing they ſee or hear of; and one muſt either be wholly rude, or baniſh all Thoughts of one’s own, however agreeable or neceſſary, to liſten to the vociferous Trifle they are big with; — and the only Conſolation one has, is the Certainty of getting rid of them the next new Acquaintance they make.

It was lately my Misfortune to be faſten’d upon by one of thoſe Tempo-Amyarians, (if I may venture to call them ſo, without offending the 73 L3r 73 the Criticks) and during the Zenith of her Fondneſs of me, had not a Moment I could call my own. — She came one of thoſe Evenings we had ſet apart for the Entertainment of the Publick, and in ſpite of the Charge I had given, forced her Paſſage through my Servants, and flew directly to the Room where we were ſitting. — As ſhe enter’d without Ceremony, ſo ſhe made no Apology for the Abruptneſs, tho’ ſhe found I had Company, and might eaſily have ſeen by my Countenance, how little I was pleas’d with her Viſit, if ſhe had not been too tenacious of a Welcome for the News ſhe brought, which ſhe told me, was of ſo much Conſequence, that ſhe could not have ſlept all Night, without making me Partaker of it.

As it was not from a Lady of her degree of Underſtanding, that I expected any Intelligence fit for my Purpoſe, and was very much out of Humour at her Preſence, I return’d no Anſwer to the Compliment ſhe made me; but ſhe ſeem’d to take no Notice of my Indolence in this Point, and without waiting to ſee whether I ſhould grow more inquiſitive or not, began immediately to unlade herſelf of the Fardle ſhe had brought with her.

She inform’d us ſhe had been at Court that Day, had ſeen the fine Lady Bloometta, it being the firſt Time of her Appearance there ſince her Marriage, — deſcrib’d every Article of her Dreſs, — told us how charming ſhe look’d, — how all the 74 L3v 74 the young Peers envy’d the Happineſs of old Pompilius, yet at the ſame Time ſneer’d at the unequal Match, and ſeem’d to promiſe themſelves ſome agreeable Conſequences from it. — How ſome, as he led her to the Preſence, cry’d out — May and December! — others, Fire and Froſt! and a thouſand ſuch like petty Reflections, which the new-wedded Pair could not but expect, and any one might be aſſur’d would be made, without being an Ear-witneſs of.

After having ſaid all ſhe could on this Affair, ſhe ſtarted up, and with a Promiſe, neither wiſh’d nor requeſted by me, of calling upon me early the next Morning, took her Leave with as little Ceremony as ſhe had come in, and left us the Liberty of purſuing our own Diſcourſe.

However, as Good ſprings ſometimes out of Evil, this very Interruption occaſion’d the Converſation to turn on a Subject, which never can be too much attended to, and the too great Neglect of which is the Source of almoſt all the Evils we either feel, or are witneſs of in private Life.

I believe I ſhall eaſily be underſtood to mean Marriage, ſince there is no one Thing, on which the Happineſs of Mankind ſo much depends; it is indeed the Fountain-Head of all the Comforts we can enjoy ourſelves, and of thoſe we tranſmit to our Poſterity. — It is the Band which 75 L4r 75 which unites not only two Perſons, but whole Families in one common inſeparable Intereſt. — It is that which prevents thoſe numberleſs Irregularities and Confuſions, that would elſe overthrow all Order, and deſtroy Society; but then not to pervert the Intention of ſo neceſſary and glorious an Inſtitution, and rob it of every Bleſſing it is full of, lies only in ourſelves. — No violated Vows, before pledg’d to another, — no clandeſtine Agreements made up by haſty and ungovern’d Paſſion, — no ſordid Bargains, where Wealth, not Merit, is the chief Inducement, — no notorious Diſparity of Years, of Family, or Humours, can ever be productive of a laſting Concord, either between the Principals themſelves, or thoſe in Alliance with them. Dirges, rather than Epithalamiums, ſhould be ſung at Nuptials ſuch as theſe, and their Friends pity, not congratulate their Lot.

Pompilius had lived in very good Harmony with his former Lady, and none would have condemned him for paying his Vows a ſecond Time at the Altar of Hymen, provided he had made Choice of a Partner more agreeable to his preſent Years. — His Inclinations might not, indeed, have been gratify’d to ſo exquiſite a Degree, but then his Judgment had not been arraigned, nor had he forfeited in Age, that Reputation of good Senſe he had acquired in Youth. How great a Pity is it then, that he ſhould give way to the Dictates of a Paſſion, the Gratifications of which can afford him but a ſhort-liv’d Joy 76 L4v 76 Joy — muſt be injurious to his own Character, and doubly ſo to the Object of his Affections.

What, if the charming Bloometta had been diſappointed in her firſt Wiſhes — What if the too inſenſible Palemon had preferr’d a little ſordid Droſs to the Poſſeſſion of the fineſt Woman upon Earth, and her Reſentment at the Indignity offer’d to her Youth and Beauty, joined with the Ambition of her Parents, had ſet the Pretentions of Pompilius in an advantageous Light, a Moment’s Reflection might have ſerved to convince him of the Motives, and if he truly loved, have made him chuſe to recommend ſome noble Youth of his own Family, whoſe Merits might have obliterated whatever Sentiments ſhe had been poſſeſs’d of in Favour of Palemon: This indeed would have been a Proof of the moſt generous Affection, and at the ſame Time of that Command over himſelf, which is expected from Perſons in his Station.

But how much ſoever the united Joys of Love and Wine, may be able to lull all Thoughts of Remorſe in a Heart, which ſeems intent only on indulging its own Deſires, be they ever ſo extravagant, that of the ſweet Bloometta muſt endure Pangs, which every Day will become more ſevere, by the Efforts of her Prudence to conceal them; — what Conflicts between Sincerity and Duty muſt rend her gentle Breaſt, when her doating Lord exacts from her a Return of his Endearments! — How muſt ſhe regret the ſad Neceſſity 77 M1r 77 Neceſſity of being oblig’d to feign what Nature will not grant! — Thoſe tender Languiſhments, which when mutual, afford mutual Tranſport, ſeem awkward and nauſeous in the Man we do not love; and inſtead of more endearing him to us, turn the Indifference we before had to him, into Averſion and Contempt. — In fine, there are no Words to expreſs the Miſeries of a loath’d Embrace; and ſhe who ſacrifices to Pride or Pique the Pleaſures of her Youth, by marrying with the Man ſhe hates, will ſoon, tho’ too late to repair the irremedable Miſchief, repent in the utmoſt Bitterneſs of Soul what ſhe has done.

Methinks it is with great Injuſtice that the Generality of the World condemn Ariſtobulus of Ingratitude, Perfidiouſneſs, and Cruelty; he is indeed an Inſtance, that Love is not in our Power, and tho’ his Lady’s Fate is much to be commiſerated, his own is, in reality, no leſs deſerving our Compaſſion. This Nobleman, who, for the Graces of his Perſon had few Equals, made many Conqueſts, without the Artillery of one ſingle Sigh or Proteſtation: — Celinda, to his great Miſfortune, was among the Number — Celinda, of illuſtrious Race, Heireſs to vaſt Poſſeſſions, and endu’d with many Perfections of Mind and Body; yet Celinda, whose Love has been the Bane of all his Happineſs — long did ſhe conceal the Secret of her Paſſion from the whole World, as well as from him who was the Object of it; yet indulging the Pleaſure of ſeeing him as much as poſſible, frequented M all 78 M1v 78 all Places where there was a Probability of meeting him, ’till finding that he paid her no other Civilities, than what her Rank demanded, thoſe ſoft Emotions, which in the Beginning afforded only delightful Images, now degenerated into Horrors, as they approached nearer to Deſpair. — She fell ſick, — the Phyſicians ſoon perceiv’d her Diſorder was of the Mind, and perſwaded thoſe about her, to uſe their utmoſt Endeavours for diſcovering the Cauſe. — In vain were all the Intreaties of her Friends, in vain the Commands of the moſt tender Father; her Modeſty reſiſted all, and it was not ’till ſhe was judg’d by every one that ſaw her, as well as by herſelf, to be at the Point of Death, that ſhe was prevail’d upon to confeſs, that she deſired Life only to behold Ariſtobulus.

Her Father, who had before ſuſpected the Diſeaſe, tho’ not the Perſon from whom the Infection came, was rejoiced to find, that her Inclinations had not diſgraced his Dignity; and aſſured her, that if to ſee Ariſtobulus was of ſo much Conſequence, ſhe ſhould not only ſee, but live with him, ’till Death ſhould put a Period to that Happineſs.

He made this Promiſe, in Confidence that the Father of Ariſtobulus would gladly accede to the Union of their Families; nor was he deceiv’d in his Conjecture; the Propoſal he made was receiv’d with the utmost Satisfaction, and the Marriage Writings were drawn between them, before 79 M2r 79 before the young Lord, who happen’d at that Time to be on a Party of Pleaſure in the Country, knew that any ſuch Thing was in Agitation.

Celinda was immediately made acquainted with this Agreement, and from that Moment the long abſent Roſes reſumed their Places in her Cheeks, her wonted Strength and Vivacity return’d, and ſhe was again the Joy of all who knew her.

But a far different Effect, alas! had the News of this Affair on him, who was with ſo much Vehemence beloved by her. — A ſpecial Meſſenger being diſpatch’d to bring him up to London, he no ſooner was inform’d of the Occasion, than he was ſeiz’d with the moſt mortal Anguiſh; — he threw himſelf at his Father’s Feet, and with all the moving Rhetorick of dutiful Affection, conjur’d him by that paternal Tenderneſs he had ever treated him with, and which he had never been guilty of doing any thing to forfeit, not to inſiſt on his fulfilling an Engagement, than which Death could not be more terrible.

Never was Surprize greater than that of the Father of Ariſtobulus, to hear him ſpeak in this manner; but it yet received a conſiderable Increaſe, when on demanding the Reaſons of his Refuſal, and what Objections he had to make againſt becoming the Huſband of ſo well M2 deſcended, 80 M2v 80 deſcended, ſo rich, ſo virtuous, and ſo young a Lady, he had none to offer, but that he was not inclined to marry, or if he were, had ſomething in his Nature, which oppos’d any Inclination in her Favour.

The Match was too advantageous to their Family, for the old Peer to be put off with what ſeem’d to him ſo trifling a Motive, as mere want of Love; he therefore reſolved, that his Son ſhould comply with his Commands, and to that End enforced them by the moſt terrible Menaces of never ſeeing him more, and of cutting him off from all his Inheritance, excepting what was entail’d upon the Title, which was very ſmall, and little able to ſupport it.

This was a very great Shock to one, who had the higheſt Notions of Grandeur, and a Reliſh for all the expenſive Pleaſures of the Young and Gay. — He knew his Father rigid, and obſtinate to be obey’d by all who had any Dependance on him; and doubted not, but his Reſentment would ſway him to do as he ſaid: he therefore repented he had irritated him ſo far, and began to feign a leſs Averſion to the Marriage; — he begg’d to be forgiven, and promiſed to viſit Celinda, in the Hope, he ſaid, that he ſhould diſcover more Charms in her Conversation, than he yet had been ſenſible of. His Father ſeem’d ſomewhat pacify’d with this Aſſurance, and bid him go and offer her a Heart 81 M3r 81 Heart ſhe well deſerved, and he had too long delayed beſtowing.

He did not, it is certain, deceive his Father in this Point; — he went, but went with a View very different from what any one could have imagin’d he would ever have conceiv’d: — In the room of entertaining her with ſoft Profeſſions, which, perhaps, are ſometimes made by thoſe, who mean them as little as himſelf could have done, he frankly confeſs’d, he had an Averſion to the married State; that it was not in his Power to make a Huſband, ſuch as ſhe had Reaſon to expect; and entreated that ſhe would order it ſo, that the Nuptials, which his Father ſeem’d ſo bent on compleating, might be broke off on her Side.

How alarming ſuch a Requeſt muſt be to one who loved as ſhe did, any one may judge; but the Exceſs of her Tenderneſs over-ruled all that Pride and Spirit, which is ſo natural to Women on ſuch Occaſions; — ſhe paus’d a while, probably to ſuppreſs the riſing Sighs, but at length told him, that what he deſired was the only thing ſhe could refuſe him; — that her Father was no leſs zealous than his own for an Alliance, and that ſhe had been too much accuſtom’d to Obedience, to dare to diſpute his Will in a Thing he ſeem’d ſo bent upon.

As nothing but his eternal Peace could have enforc’d him to have acted in this manner, with a 82 M3v 82 a Lady of her Birth and Fortune, and whoſe Accompliſhments, in ſpite of the little Effect they had upon him, he could not but acknowledge, he was aſtoniſhed at the Calmneſs with which ſhe bore it; and judging by that, her Affection could not be leſs tender than he had been told, he left no Arguments untry’d to make that very Affection ſubſervient to his Aim, of being freed from all Engagement with her; — but ſhe ſtill pleading the Duty ſhe owed to him who gave her Being, he grew quite deſperate, and throwing off that Complaiſance he had hitherto behaved with, told her, that if for the Preſervation of his Birthright he were compell’d to marry her, he neither could, nor would even endeavour to love her as a Wife; — that ſhe muſt expect only uncomfortable Days, and lonely widow’d Nights; — and that it was not in the Power of the Ceremony, nor in either of their Fathers, to convert an utter Diſlike into Inclination.

To this cruel Declaration ſhe reply’d coldly, that as they were deſtin’d for each other, by thoſe who had the ſole Power of diſpoſing their Hands, it was a very great Misfortune their Hearts could not comply with the Injunction; but as for her Part, ſhe was determined to follow Duty, tho’ ſhe fell a Martyr to it.

Tho’ under the Obedience of a Daughter, ſhe had the Opportunity of veiling the Fondneſs of a Lover, the Honour of our Sex greatly ſuffered 83 M4r 83 ſuffered by ſuch a Behaviour; but, poor Lady, the Exceſs of her Paſſion hinder’d her from ſeeing into the Meanneſs of it, and at the ſame Time flatter’d her with the Belief, that in ſpite of the Averſion he now expreſſed, her Treatment of him, and the Tenderneſs ſhe ſhould make no Scruple of revealing to him in all its Force, when ſhe became his Wife, would make an entire Change in his Sentiments, and it would not be in his Power to avoid recompenſing, with ſome degree of Affection, ſo pure, ſo conſtant, and ſo violent a Flame, as he would then be convinced ſhe long had felt for him.

Aristobolus, after he had left her, again eſſay’d to work upon his Father’s Mind; but all he could urge being ineffectual, he yielded to be a Huſband, rather than ſuffer himſelf to be cut off from being an Heir. — A Day was appointed for the Celebration of their Nuptials, and they were married with a Pomp more befitting their Quality, than the Condition of their Mindſ. — At Night they were put to Bed, with the uſual Ceremonies; but the Moment the Company withdrew, he roſe, and choſe rather to paſs the Hours ’till Morning on a Couch alone, than in the Embraces of a Woman, who had indeed Perfections ſufficient to have made any Man happy, who had not that Antipathy in Nature, which there is no accounting for, nor getting rid of.

It 84 M4v 84

It is not to be doubted but Celinda, not only that Night, but for a long Time afterward, continued to put in Practice every tender Stratagem, and uſed every Argument that her Love, and the Circumſtances they now were in, could inſpire, but all were equally in vain, as the Poet ſays, Love ſcorns all Ties but thoſe that are his own.

Aristobolus remain’d inflexible, and obſtinately bent, never to be more of a Huſband than the Name: — Neither Time, nor her patient enduring the Indignity put upon her, have wrought the leaſt Alteration in her Favour. — They live together in one Houſe, but lie not in the ſame Bed; eat not at the ſame Table, rarely ſee each other, and their very Servants appear as if of different Families. — Years after Years have rolled on in this Manner, yet ſhe continues ſtill a Virgin Bride; while he, regardleſs of her Love or Grief, endeavours to loſe in the Arms of other Women, the Diſcontent which a forced Marriage has involved him in.

Few Men, indeed, have acted with that early Sincerity, and openly declared their Hatred, like Ariſtobulus, before Marriage; but too many have done it afterwards, and prov’d by their Behaviour, that they look’d upon the ſacred Ceremony but as a Thing neceſſary to be done, either for the ſake of propagating their Families, or 85 N1r 85 or for clearing their Eſtates from Mortgages, or for the Payment of younger Children’s Fortunes. Theſe, and various other Motives might be aſſigned for the Alliances daily on Foot; but to hear of one that promiſes an Accompliſhment of all the Ends propoſed by the firſt Intention of this Inſtitution, is a kind of Prodigy, and to ſay, there goes a truly happy Pair, after the firſt Month, would call the Speaker’s Veracity in Queſtion.

Fame either ſwells the Number beyond its juſt Extent, or there are now no leſs than Twenty-three Treaties of Marriage either concluded, or on the Carpet, between Perſons of Condition, of which ſcarce the odd Three afford the leaſt Proſpect of Felicity to the Parties concern’d.

Can Mrs. Tulip, in the Autumn of her Age, tho’ in her Dreſs gaudy as the Flower whoſe Name ſhe bears, imagine her antiquated Charms will be able to reclaim the wild, the roving Heart of young Briſkcommon? Not but that Gentleman has Senſe, Honour, and Good-nature, Qualities which could not fail of making him know what was due to the Merits of Claribella, had the Condition of his Fortune permitted him to marry her. — But his intended Bride muſt become more contemptible in his Eyes, than even her grey Hairs could make her, when he reflects on the Vanity which infatuates her ſo far, as to deprive her lovely Neice of what might have N made 86 N1v 86 made the Happineſs of her Life, only to purchaſe to herſelf the Name of Wife, to one young enough to be her Son.

Who ſees Philimont and Daria together, without perceiving that nothing can be more adored by Philimont, than Daria; — nothing more dear to Daria than Philimont? — Do not the equally enamour’d Pair ſeem to ſhoot their very Souls to each other at every Glance? — Is Daria ever at the Opera, the Park, the Play, without her Philimont? — Or does Philimont think any Company entertaining, if Daria is abſent? — Yet Philimont is on the Point of Marriage with Emilia, and Daria has been long betroth’d to Belmour: — Strange Chequer-work of Love and Deſtiny!

What Reaſon has Sabina to boaſt of Charms ſuperior to the reſt of her Sex, or flatter herſelf with being always the Object of Theomenes’ s Wiſhes? — Have not his Vows been proſtituted to half the fine Women in Town, and if he perſiſted in thoſe he made to her ſo far as Marriage, is it not becauſe her Fortune is larger than theirs, and more enables him to diſcharge thoſe Debts his Extravagancies had contracted!

How bitterly does Dalinda repent her giving way to an inconſiderate Paſſion, which hurried her to throw herſelf into the Arms of the meanborn, but meaner-ſoul’d, ill-natur’d Macro. — She imagin’d, as ſhe has ſince confeſs’d, that by 87 N2r 87 by marrying one ſo infinitely beneath her, ſhe would have been ſole Miſtreſs of herſelf and Fortune; that he would never dare to take any Privileges with the one, without her Permiſſion, nor pretend to have the leaſt Command over the other; and that inſtead of being under the Authority of a Huſband, ſhe ſhould have found in him an obſequious Slave: — But, poor miſtaken Woman! Macro no ſooner was poſſeſs’d of the Power, than he made her ſee a ſad Reverſe to all her Expectations: — He was ſo far from regulating the Affairs of her Eſtate and Family according to her Pleaſure, or as ſhe had been accuſtom’d to do, that he plainly ſhew’d he took a Pride in contradicting her; — he conſulted her Inclinations in nothing, and even before her Face gave Commands, which he knew would be the moſt diſagreeable to her, and which if ſhe offer’d to oppoſe, told her in the rudeſt manner, that he was Maſter, and as ſuch would be obey’d. — At firſt ſhe rav’d, reproach’d him with Ingratitude, and vow’d Revenge; — but what, alas! could ſhe do! — ſhe had taken no Care that proper Settlements, in caſe of Accidents, ſhould be made, and was aſham’d to have recourſe to any of her Kindred, whom ſhe had diſgraced and diſobliged, by ſo unworthy a Match. — The Reſentment ſhe teſtify’d therefore only ſerved to render her Condition worſe, and add new Weight to the galling Yoke ſhe had ſo precipitately put on; — he retrench’d her Equipage and Table; ſet Limits even to her Dreſs; — would ſuffer her neither to viſit, nor be viſited, N2 but 88 N2v 88 but by thoſe he approved, which were all Creatures or Relations of his own, and ſuch as ſhe had been little uſed to converſe with; — deny’d her even Pocket-Money; — took every Meaſure he could invent to break her Spirit, and make her wholly ſubſervient to his Will, ’till at laſt his Tyranny got the better, and has now reduced her to the moſt abject Slavery.

Tremble Mariana, leſt your Father’s Clerk should prove another Macro, and rather endure the ſhort-liv’d Pangs of combating an unhappy Inclination, than by yielding to it, run the Hazard of Miſeries, which Death alone can put a Period to.

A few Days hence, ’tis ſaid, will crown the mutual Wiſhes of Myrtano, and the amiable Cleora. — The Friends on both Sides are conſenting; — the Marriage Articles are ſign’d; — the ſumptuous Equipage prepar’d; — the Country Seat new beautify’d; — the bridal Bed adorn’d, and every thing compleated, that induſtrious Oſtentation can invent, to make the Ceremony, affected to be called private, as pompous and magnificent as poſſible: — Yet, how can Cleora aſſure herſelf of being always happy in the Conſtancy of her Myrtano, when ſhe is not inſenſible a Lady equal to herſelf in Birth and Fortune, and no Way her Inferior in the Perfections either of Mind or Perſon, is a melancholly Inſtance of an unfortunate Mutability in his Nature. Did he not once purſue Brilliante with all thoſe dying 89 N3r 89 dying Ardors he has lately done Cleora? — Was not the whole Town witneſs of the Adoration with which he treated her? — Nay, did he not for her Sake commit ſome Extravagancies, which as nothing but the moſt violent and real Paſſion could occaſion, ſo could be excuſed by nothing leſs? — Yet did he not, without even a Pretence for it, all at once forſake, renounce, ſeem to forget he had ever lov’d this Brilliante, and declare himſelf the Votary of Cleora?

Ah Cleora! you triumph now, ’tis true, and may you ever triumph, ſince the divine Rites of Marriage make it criminal to wiſh otherwiſe; — yet much is to be fear’d, and very little to be hop’d. — Nothing is more uncertain than Inclination, and a Heart that once has varied, without being able to aſſign any Motive for its Change, may poſſibly do the like again; and a Time arrive, in which yourſelf may ſtand in need of that Commiſeration, your Vanity and Joy now hinders you from beſtowing on a luckleſs, tho’ not undeſerving Rival; while ſhe, cured of her abuſed and ill-requited Tenderneſs, may fill the Arms of a more conſtant Man, and taſte the Felicities of mutual Truth, with higher Reliſh, by having been once deceiv’d.

Bellair is a very accompliſh’d Gentleman, has a large Eſtate, and lives up to his Income, without going beyond it; — is charitable to the Poor; — liberal to Merit, eſpecially in Diſtreſs; — hoſpitable and generous to his Friends; — punctual 90 N3v 90 — punctual in the Payment of his Tradeſmen; — keeps a handſome Equipage, and a yet better Table; — is a Lover of Pleaſure, but a Hater of Vice; and, in a Word, has nothing in his Character that might not make a prudent, and good-natur’d Woman happy in a Huſband: — He had many oblique Hints given him to that Purpoſe, but he liſten’d to none for a long Time, nor ſeem’d inclined to alter his Condition, ’till he ſaw Miſeria. He had the Pleaſure, I cannot ſay the Happineſs, to meet this young Lady at a Ball; ſhe was tall, well-ſhap’d, had ſomething extremely graceful in her Air in Dancing; a Face, tho’ not exquiſitely beautiful, yet very agreeable, and the moſt winning Softneſs in her Converſation and Manner. — Such as ſhe is, however, the Heart of Bellair gave her the Preference to all he had ever ſeen before, and having made ſome ſlight Enquiry into her Character and Fortune, deſired her Father’s Permiſſion to viſit her in Quality of a Lover; — the Offer was too advantageous to be refuſed; — the old Gentleman heſitated not to give his Conſent, and Miſeria receiv’d her new Adorer with as much Complaiſance, as the Modeſty of her Sex admitted.

A few Weeks compleated the Courtſhip, Bellair married, and after ſome Days, carried her Home; — but, good God! what a Change did ſhe immediately cauſe in his Houſe! a Bill of Fare being by her Orders brought to her every Morning, ſhe ſtruck out three Parts in four of the 91 N4r 91 the Articles; and when Bellair, on finding his Table thus retrench’d, remonſtrated gently to her, that there was not ſufficient for the Servants, ſhe told him, that ſhe would therefore have the Number of them diminiſhed; — that ſhe thought it a Sin to keep ſo many idle Fellows, who might ſerve their Country either Abroad in the Wars, or in Huſbandry at Home; and as for the Maid-Servants, inſtead of Five, ſhe was determin’d to keep no more than two. — She even took the Liberty to deſire he would make leſs frequent Invitations to his Friends and Kindred; and as for the Poor, they were preſently driven from the Gate, nor dare appear in Sight of it again, for fear of being ſent to the Houſe of Correction.

This kind of Behaviour makes him extremely uneaſy; his Diſcontent increaſes every Day, as none paſs over without affording him ſome freſh Occaſion. — His Reaſon and his Love are continually at War; but the former has ſo much the Advantage, that tho’ he is loth to do any thing which may give Offence to a Wife ſo dear to him, yet he is ſtill more loth to become the Jeſt of his Acquaintance, for bearing farther with her Failings than becomes a Man of Senſe and Spirit. — He begins of late to exert the Authority of a Huſband, and in ſpite even of her Tears, has re-taken ſome of thoſe Servants ſhe had diſplaced, and put many Things relating to the Oeconomy of his Family nearer to their former Footing. — As for Miſeria, ſhe frets inceſſantly;ceſſantly; 92 N4v 92 ceſſantly; — all that Softneſs in her Eyes, which once was ſo enchanting, is now converted to a ſullen Gloom; — her Voice, her Manner is quite changed; ſhe either ſits in his Company obſtinately ſilent, or ſpeaks in ſuch a Faſhion, as it would better become her to be mute. — The little Satisfaction he finds at Home, drives him to ſeek it Abroad, and every Thing between them ſeems drawing towards a mutual Diſlike. — And if that ſhould happen, what Conſequences may poſſibly enſue — reciprocal Revilings on the ſacred Ceremony which united them! — Every Act of Reſentment againſt each other! — Remorſe! — Hatred! — Separation! — Ruin, and eternal Loſs of Peace to both!

A Simpathy of Humours is therefore no leſs to be conſulted, than a Sympathy of Inclination, and indeed I think more ſo; for I have known ſeveral married People, who have come together, without any thing of what we call the Paſſion of Love; who by happening to think the ſame Way, have afterwards become extremely dear to each other: whereas, on the contrary, ſome who have met all Fire and Flame, have afterwards, through an unhappy Diſagreement even in the very Trifles, become all Froſt and Snow. There is a Vanity in human Nature which flatters us that we always judge right, and by Conſequence, creates in us an Eſteem for thoſe, who are wiſe enough to be of the ſame Opinion we are: In a word, a Parity of Sentiment is the Cement of that laſting Friendſhip, as well as mutual 93 O1r 93 mutual Confidence, in which the Comforts of a married State chiefly conſiſt.

But tho’ daily Experience might convince us how neceſſary an Ingredient this is to Happineſs, and that without it all the others are ineffectual, yet is it the leaſt of any thing examin’d into; as if the Attainment of a preſent Satisfaction was the ſole Intent of Marriage, and it matter’d not what Conſequences enſu’d.

It cannot indeed be in an Acquaintance of a Week or a Month that one can be able to judge of the Diſpoſition of a Perſon; — Parents, therefore, are highly to blame when they condemn their Children to the Arms of thoſe, whom perhaps they have never ſeen ’till a few Days before the Ceremony paſſes, which is to unite them for ever.

What I have ſaid on this Score, may poſſibly be look’d upon as urg’d in Defence of a late Wedding, which gives juſt Matter for Aſtoniſhment to all the World; ſince it certainly could have been brought about by nothing (will they ſay) but a perfect Knowledge of that mutual Sympathy of Humour, which I have been recommending as ſo great an Eſſential to the Felicity of the Marriage State. It muſt be confeſs’d, the artful Vulpone prevail’d on the charming Lindamira to think as he did in one Point; but that is what no more than Thouſands have done, or they could never have been united to the O Object 94 O1v 94 Object of their Wiſhes, and is the Conſequence only of that Paſſion which ariſes from a Liking of the Perſon.

This, therefore, I am far from taking to be the Caſe; and I believe the Reader will be of my Opinion, when I relate the Progreſs of theſe myſterious Nuptials, as it was communicated to me by a Sylph, whoſe Buſineſs it is to attend every Motion of thoſe, whom Nature has diſtinguiſh’d by ſuperior Beauty.

Lindamira from her very Infancy gave a Promiſe of Charms, which, as ſhe drew nearer to Maturity, ripen’d into the utmoſt Perfection; — deſcended by her Father’s Side from a Prince, who, while he lived, was juſtly the Darling of his People; and by her Mother’s, from a Hero, whoſe Name will ever be remember’d with Honour; — bred up in the ſtricteſt Principles of Virtue, and never from under the Eye of Parents diſtinguiſh’d for every ſhining Quality befitting their high Dignity, but for nothing more than conjugal Affection.

Vulpone has no Family to boaſt of, being no more than what one may call of the modern Gentry, of which Heaven knows theſe latter Ages have been very fertile in producing; but to do Juſtice to him, he is no leſs indebted to his own Merit, than to Favour, for the Promotions he has attain’d; — what he wants in Birth is made up in Education, and Envy cannot deny 95 O2r 95 deny him the Character of an accompliſh’d Gentleman.

He had frequently the Honour of viſiting the illuſtrious Parents of Lindamira, and was treated by them with that Civility, which they thought his good Qualities deſerved; — little, alas! did they foreſee the Conſequence, or that their Complaiſance would embolden him to lift his Eyes to the Poſſeſſion of their lovely Daughter, much leſs that a young Lady ſcarce Eighteen, the Idol of the Court, and Object of univerſal Admiration, ſhould ever condeſcend to entertain the leaſt tender Emotions for a Man, by ſome Years paſt the Meridian of his Age, and in every other reſpect ſo infinitely her inferior, that the Diſtance between them would admit no degree of Compariſon.

Yet ſo it happen’d — the God of ſoft Deſires gave a Proof how much his Power can do in overturning what has ever been look’d upon as even an Antetheſis in Nature, and made this blooming Charmer, who daily ſaw unmov’d the lovelieſt, nobleſt, and moſt accompliſh’d Youths die at her Feet, unable to reſiſt the Sollicitations of an Adorer older than her Father!

Few were the Opportunities he had of addreſſing her, but thoſe he ſo well improv’d, that before one could well imagine ſhe had forgiven his Preſumption in declaring the Paſſion he had for her, he prevail’d on her to reward it, by an O2 Aſſurance, 96 O2v 96 Aſſurance, ſhe would never conſent to give her Hand to another.

It is not to be doubted, but the Correſpondence they held together was carried on with the extremeſt Circumſpection; but Love, like Fire, is difficult to be conceal’d, not all the Caution in the World can hinder it from breaking out in one place or another; — ſome of the Family, before whom ’tis poſſible they might be leſs upon their Guard, as not thinking them of Capacities to penetrate into the Secret, took Notice of ſome Paſſages, which ſeem’d to them as derogatory to the Dignity of their young Lady, and immediately diſcover’d it to her Mother, who that Moment acquainted her Lord with what ſhe had been told; — after conſulting together, tho’ the Thing appear’d incredible, yet they judg’d it improper to admit any future Viſits from a Perſon of his Station, after having even been ſuſpected of daring to hold an Intelligence of that Nature with their Daughter. Vulpone was therefore in very civil Terms, tho’ without acquainting him with the Motives of this Change of Behaviour, deſired to refrain coming to their Houſe, and a ſtrict Watch at the ſame Time ſet over every Motion of Lindamira.

They gave her not the leaſt room however to gueſs they had any Doubts as to her Conduct, as believing, that if there was any Truth in the Information had been given them, ſhe would be leſs cautious, by not thinking herſelf ſuſpected, and 97 O3r 97 and conſequently they ſhould arrive at the Certainty much eaſier, than by a formal Accuſation.

It muſt be acknowledg’d, indeed, that this manner of acting was extremely prudent, but Lindamira had alſo her Intelligence; — thoſe very Servants who made the Diſcovery to her Mother, could not help ſpeaking of it among themſelves; her Woman over-heard what they ſaid, and acquainted her Lady, who by that Means knew ſo well how to diſguiſe her Sentiments, and affect an Unconcern at what ſecretly wrung her very Heart-ſtrings, that her careful Parents were deceiv’d by it, and in Time perfectly aſſured in their own Minds, that there was not the leaſt Grounds for what they had been told, while the Lovers had this Conſolation, in Abſence, to converſe by Letters, which were ſecretly convey’d to each other by the Means of a Confidante.

Three whole Months paſs’d over in this manner, in all which Time Vulpone fed not his famiſh’d Eyes with one Sight of his adorable Lindamira; that artful young Lady, the better to lull all Suſpicion, enjoining him never to come to any publick Place when ſhe was to be there, which ſhe always took care to inform him; becauſe as ſhe ſeldom went but with her Mother, or ſome Perſon who might probably be a Spy on her Actions, and could not anſwer how far either her own Countenance, or that of her 98 O3v 98 her Lover might betray what ſhe ſo much deſired to conceal, ſhe reſolved to leave nothing to Chance, or give even the leaſt Shadow of an Excuſe for being ſent, as otherwiſe ’tis likely ſhe would have been, to ſome Place, where it might have been impoſſible for her either to give or receive the Satisfaction she now enjoy’d of writing to her dear Vulpone, and receiving from him every Day freſh Proteſtations of his Love and Conſtancy.

At length an Opportunity long languiſh’d for arriv’d; her Mother had beſpoke a front Row in the Stage-Box at the Play-houſe, but happening to be a little indiſpos’d that Day, or not in a Humour for the Entertainment, Lindamira could not be excus’d from going, a young Lady, for whom the Family had a great Regard, having been engag’d to accompany them. — She immediately apprized Vulpone of it, and alſo, that they might ſpeak to each other with all the Freedom they could wiſh, as the Perſon who would be with her was wholly unacquainted with him.

Accordingly, they had not been in the Box three Minutes before he came in, and the Houſe not being very full that Night, there was nobody in the Box but themſelves, so that they were not in Danger of having any thing they ſaid over-heard, the Lady who came with Lindamira being wholly intent on the Play.

How- 99 O4r 99

However it was, what he whiſper’d in her Ear that Night had the Efficacy to draw from her a Promiſe of running all Hazards, and marrying him the next Morning. Accordingly, under Pretence of taking the Air, ſhe went out early, and a Place being appointed for their Meeting, the indiſſoluble Knot was ty’d; after which ſhe return’d Home, and all that Day paſs’d over without the leaſt Suſpicion of what was done.

On the next, ſome Perſon, either through Deſign or Accident, acquainted her Mother, that ſhe had been obſerv’d in very cloſe Conference with Vulpone in the Box, and that they ſeem’d ſo much taken up with each other, that they regarded neither the Play, nor the Audience; that excellent Lady was a little alarm’d at the Intelligence, yet not knowing but that it might be of a Piece with that which ſhe had formerly receiv’d, and ſaw no Proof of it’s being true, reſolv’d not to give any Credit to this ’till ſhe had more Certainty; which ſhe thought ſhe might eaſily procure, by examining the Lady who went with her to the Play-houſe.

But how greatly did her Fears and her Aſtoniſhment increaſe, when ſitting at her Toilette undreſſing herſelf for Bed, her illuſtrious Conſort came into the Room, and with a Countenance more troubled than ſhe had ever ſeen him wear, commanded her Woman to quit the Room, then aſk’d in a kind of confus’d and haſty 100 O4v 100 haſty Voice, where Lindamira was? To which ſhe replying, that ſhe had lately left her, and was retired to her own Apartment, he rejoined with a Sigh, that he doubted much if any Apartment in his Houſe was her Choice at preſent; then proceeded to tell her, that he was well aſſured, by thoſe whoſe own Eyes had convinc’d them of the Truth, that Lindamira had been with Vulpone the Morning before; — that they were together in a Hackney-Coach, and drove very faſt towards the City. From which he could not but conclude they were either already married, or too far engag’d for her Honour and Reputation to break off. He had doubtleſs ſaid more in the Extremity of Rage and Diſcontent his Soul was then inflam’d with, had not the Tenderneſs he had for his Lady, and the Diſorder which was viſible in all her Looks and Geſtures, reſtrained him.

After the firſt Emotions were a little over, the Servants were one by one call’d up, and ſtrict Enquiry made concerning the Delivery of any Letters or Meſſages to Lindamira, but all were either really ignorant, or pretended to be ſo, and no Light could be got from them into this Affair, but that ſhe had gone out early the Morning before, attended only by one Footman, whom ſhe left at the Park Gate, and he ſaw her no more, ’till ſhe return’d Home in a Hackney-Coach.

The 101 P1r 101

The whole Night was paſs’d in examining and debating in what manner they ſhould proceed to come at the Truth; — the Paſſion they both were in would not ſuffer them to ſee her with any degree of Moderation; — ſo it was at laſt determin’d, that her Father ſhould write to her, which he did in theſe Terms:

Lindamira,

I Hear ſtrange Things of you; if conſcious of having done nothing to offend Parents, to whom you have been ſo dear, nor to degrade the Dignity of your Birth, delay not to juſtify yourſelf, and convince us you have carried on no clandeſtine Correſpondence with Vulpone, or any other Man; but if guilty, beware how you attempt to deceive us, leſt a ſecond Fault ſhould render the firſt even leſs to be forgiven; — you have been educated in the Love of Truth, prove at leaſt that you have not ſwerved from all the Virtues inculcated into you by your careful Inſtructors.

This he ſent to her by her Woman, who, in a ſmall Space of Time, return’d with this Reply, ſeal’d as the other had been.

Moſt ever honour’d Parents,

It is poſſible ſome buſy Perſon may have inform’d you of what I neither can nor will deny, tho’ by acknowledging I have no other Merit than my Sincerity to plead my P Par- 102 P1v 102 Pardon. — I confeſs, then, I have ventur’d to diſpoſe of myſelf without your Permiſſion, which be aſſur’d I never would have done, could I have entertain’d the leaſt Hope of obtaining it; or if any thing leſs than the Ruin of my eternal Peace threaten’d me in being depriv’d of him who is now my Husband. Pity, therefore, I beſeech you, the ſad Extreme which enforc’d this Action in her, who in every other Thing will always be obedient.

Lindamira Vulpone.

Suspence now ceas’d; — this illuſtrious Pair now knew all that their Care would have prevented, was irrevocably paſs’d; — how greatly they were troubled, none but Parents in the like Circumſtances can conceive; yet did their Anger ſurmount even their Grief; — the Anſwer ſhe ſent ſeem’d to them ſomewhat too bold, and tho’ they had commanded her to declare the Truth, they thought ſhe might have done it in more ſubmiſſive Terms; and looking on her as one that had abuſed their Indulgence, affronted their Authority, diſgrac’d their Family, and in a manner, renounc’d all Pretenſions to their Favour, they ſent an immediate Order to her to quit the Houſe that Inſtant, and never preſume to ſee them more.

Lindamira, on receiving this Command, ſent repeated Meſſages, imploring their Pardon 103 P2r 103 Pardon and Bleſſing, but they were deaf to all Entreaties on that Score, and ſhe was oblig’d to depart; after which they retir’d to their Country Seat to give a looſe to their Diſquiet, and avoid hearing any thing on ſo diſagreeable a Subject. Vulpone alſo carried his amiable Bride into a ſweet Receſs he had prepared for her, in caſe any Accident ſhould diſcover their Marriage before they intended it.

The Town abounds with various Conjectures on what the Event will be; but I am of Opinion it cannot but be happy, provided that Lindamira continues to find in Vulpone the ſame Charms as firſt induced her to make Choice of him, and her noble Parents vouchſafe to give a Sanction to their Love.

Great Preparations are now making for the Nuptials of Beau Belfont and Miſs Tittup: — As they are both of the ſame way of thinking, and too much in Love with their own dear ſelves to be in much Concern about each other, they may agree well enough while they continue as they are; but if a Reformation ſhould happen on one Side without the other, then what in any different Circumſtance would be the greateſt Bleſſing to the Party chang’d, would prove a Curſe to both; ſince it is only by perſiſting in Follies of our own, we can be able to endure them in thoſe we are oblig’d to live with; — the beſt Wiſh can be given them, therefore, as a mutual Converſion is not to be expected, is, that they may both be P2 always 104 P2v 104 always the ſame vain, fluttering, thoughtleſs Creatures they have ever been; ſo will they paſs their Days with Eaſe and Peace at Home, and only be ridiculous Abroad.

The Caſe of Altizeera is extremely unhappy, who, endu’d with an excellent Underſtanding herſelf, was compell’d, by the arbitrary Will of her Father, to become the Bride of the veryeſt Fop in Town, a Fool by Nature, and render’d yet more ſo by a wrong Education; he thinks he muſt have a Judgment ſuperior to his Wife, becauſe he is a Man, and that it becomes him to contradict every thing ſhe ſays and does, becauſe he is a Huſband. Her good Senſe makes her ſubmit to him as ſuch; but ſhe fears to open her Mouth in any Company if he is preſent, leſt he ſhould expoſe his Folly, by attempting to ſhew his Wit in finding Fault with what ſhe utters. — I know not how ſhe may forgive him in her own Mind, but I am ſure her Acquaintance neither can nor ought to do it, for depriving them of the Pleaſure they might receive in her Converſation, by his Stupidity and Arrogance.

I remember, that ſome Years ago I heard a Lady ſay, ſhe imagin’d it was owing to our long Peace, that every publick Place abounded ſo much with Coxcombs and Finikins; and that if we once came to have a War again, a more manly Air and Dreſs would be ſo much the Faſhion, that thoſe Gentlemen who ſtay’d at Home would naturally affect it, and exchange their 105 P3r 105 their foreign Silk Brocades for downright Engliſh Cloth. — Some Accidents in Life have ſince that Time broke off our Acquaintance, it would elſe have given me ſome Pleaſure to rally her Miſtake. — We are now engag’d in three Wars — threaten’d with Invaſions — Popiſh Pretenders — Plots, and what not; — great Fleets are equipping; — huge Armaments getting ready; — preſſing for Land and Sea Service; — our Fields are cover’d with Tents; — our Streets ſwarm with Soldiers; — in every Quarter we hear Drums beating — Trumpets ſounding — nothing but military Preparations going forward; yet in my Opinion, our fine Gentlemen appear every whit as clean, as calm and unconcern’d as ever, except when they labour under the Want of any of thoſe Commodities, the Interruption of our Commerce prevents from being imported; and then indeed they complain bitterly againſt the Times. — One who can endure no Cloaths that are not of the French Cut, cries, he is made a Monſter by a Dunce of an Engliſh Taylor. — Another is poiſon’d with ill Scents, and dies for ſome freſh Orangerie and Bergamot; — a Third ſays, Pax on the Spaniſh War, and thoſe that forced our late Miniſter into it; there is not a Bit of right Vermillion Paſte now to be had!

How long this Over-Delicacy will continue, Heaven knows; but it is yet far from being extirpated; — even among the military Gentlemen, there are ſome, who being infected with it before they became ſo, find it an inſuperable Difficulty 106 P3v 106 Difficulty to bring themſelves to that Hardineſs and Neglect of perſonal Ornaments, which ſuits with the Life of a Soldier.

A Person who has had great Dealings with the Beau Monde, and has lately been oblig’d to deliver up her Books, on Account of a Statute of Bankruptcy awarded againſt her, one of the Aſſignees, who happens to be a particular Acquaintance of mine, took the Pains to tranſcribe, as a great Curioſity, the Copy of a Bill owing to her from a Gentleman now in the Army, and made me a Preſent of it; — as I am convinc’d all the Items in it are genuine, it afforded me a good deal of Diverſion, and I believe will not be unacceptable to the Publick.

Cornet Lovely Debtor to Rebecca Facemend, 1743-06-06June 6, 1743.

  • For a Riding Maſk to prevent Sunburn 1 1 0
  • For a Night Maſk to take away Freckles 1 1 0
  • For 6 Pounds of Jeſſamin Butter for the Hair 6 6 0
  • For 12 Pots of cold Cream 1 10 0
  • For 4 Bottles of Benjamin Water 1 0 0
  • For 30 Pounds of perfum’d Powder 1 10 0
  • For 3 Boxes of Tooth-Powder 0 15 0
  • For a Sponge Tooth-Bruſh 0 2 6
  • For a Hair Tooth-Bruſh 0 1 0
  • For 6 Bottles of perfum’d Mouth-water 1 4 0
  • 14 10 6 For 107 P4r 107 Brought over 14 10 6
  • For a Silver Comb for the Eye-brows 0 5 0
  • For 2 Ounces of Jet Powder for ditto 0 18 0
  • For 4 Boxes of fine Lip-ſalve 1 0 0
  • For an Ounce of beſt Carmine 3 0 0
  • For 6 Bottles of Orange Flower-Water 1 10 0
  • For 12 Pounds of Almond Paſte 6 6 0
  • For 2 Pounds of Bergamot Snuff 8 0 0
  • For 3 Bottles of Eſſence ditto 1 10 0
  • For 6 Pair of Dog-ſkin Gloves 1 10 0
  • Total 38 9 6

Such was the Ammunition this doughty Hero; it ſeems, took with him; the Loſs of which, had it happen’d to have fallen into the Enemy’s Hands, would probably have given him more Concern than the routing of the whole Army, provided his own dear Perſon had eſcaped without a Scar.

Frequent Campaigns, however, ’tis to be hop’d, will wear this Effeminacy off, and the Example of others teach ſuch new-fledg’d Warriors, that if they would ſoar to Glory, they muſt entirely throw aſide all the ſoftening Luxuries of their ſilken Youth.

Not that there is any Neceſſity that a Man muſt be a Sloven, becauſe he is a Soldier, and neglect all the Decencies of Life to prove his Attachment to his Vocation; — there is an Affectation in this alſo, as well as the other; and I 108 P4v 108 I ſhould ſay that Officer, who, when he might have a good Tent to defend him from the Weather, choſe to lie on the bare Earth, expoſed to all the Inclemencies of the Air, had an equal Share of Vanity with him who had his Pavilion hung with Velvet and Embroidery; — to endure all the Toils and Hardſhips of the Field with Patience and Intrepidity, — to be fearleſs of Dangers, when the Duties of his Poſt commands, is highly laudable and emulative; but to run into them without a Call, and when Bravery can be of no Service, is altogether idle; and Courage in ſuch a one, like all other Virtues, degenerates into a Vice, by being carried to an Extreme.

But I am moſt of all concern’d when I hear a Man, having done a gallant Action in the Field, is ſo far puff’d up with it, that he looks upon himſelf as a little Deity, and that he may, in Conſideration of having been able to fulfil his Duty in one Point, diſpenſe with all other Obligations.

Some Time before the opening of the laſt Campaign, Amaranthus, a brave young Officer, made his Addreſſes to Aminta; — his Paſſion had all the Effect he wiſh’d it ſhould have on her tender Heart; — ſhe either had too much Confidence in his Honour, or too little Artifice to conceal the Sentiments he had inſpired her with; — He was raviſh’d at the Diſcovery, — ſwore never to be but her’s, — and there paſs’d between them 109 Q1r 109 them a ſolemn Promiſe of Marriage on his Return from Germany, for which Place it was expected his Regiment would have Orders ſpeedily to embark.

Each Day ſeem’d to bring with it an Increaſe of mutual Tenderneſs, and ſcarce ever was there a Pair, whoſe Love in its Beginning promiſed more laſting Felicity. — Amaranthus, in every Action, teſtify’d he had no Will but that of his Aminta; and Aminta, by all her Behaviour proved, that whatever ſhe commanded or entreated of her Amaranthus, was only what ſhe knew he wiſh’d ſhe ſhould do.

At length the fatal Hour of Separation arriv’d, accompanied with all thoſe Agonies, which none but thoſe who love are able to conceive; — Glory, which ’till now had been the darling Idol of Amaranthus’s Soul, loſt all its Charms, ſince it tore him from the Society of Aminta; and Aminta, in being about to be deprived of the Preſence of Amaranthus, ſeem’d to have no Life but for Complaints.

The cruel Neceſſity, however, muſt be ſubmitted to; — Tears, Sighs, Embraces, and mutual Proteſtations of everlaſting Conſtancy compleated the tender, but melancholly Farewel; — none that had ſeen them part could have well diſtinguiſh’d which felt the deepeſt Anguiſh; but if we conſider the Nature of the Circumſtance, we ſhall find the Difference muſt be wide. Q — Ama 110 Q1v 110Amaranthus, doubtleſs, loved with the utmoſt Paſſion at that Time, and was going to loſe, he knew not for how long, the Sight of her who was the Object of his Flame; but then that Abſence was the ſole Misfortune he had to ſtruggle with; whereas, Aminta had not only the ſame in an equal Degree, but attended with others of a more dreadful Kind: — the Dangers to which a Life, far dearer to her than her own, muſt inevitably be expoſed, fill’d her with Apprehenſions which ſhe was ſcarce able to ſupport. — After his Departure, ſhe paſs’d the greateſt Part of her Time at the Foot of the Altar, offering up her Vows and Prayers for his Protection, nor could the Entreaties of her deareſt Friends and Companions prevail on her to partake with them any of thoſe Diverſions and Entertainments her Youth had formerly delighted in; — all the Converſation ſhe coveted, was ſuch as inform’d her concerning the Army; — ſhe was continually aſking Queſtions on that Head; — was only pleas’d or ſad according as ſhe heard they were near, or at a Diſtance from the Enemy; — the Arrival of every Courier gave a Palpitation to her Heart, ’till the Receipt of a Letter from Amaranthus convinced her, that her Terrors as yet had been without Foundation.

He wrote to her ſeveral times before the Battle of Dettingen, in the laſt of which he acquainted her, that they were on the Point of leaving Aſchaffenburgh, in order to join the Forces at Hanau, from which the Place ſhe might expect 111 Q2r 111 expect to hear from him again. Welcome as all his Letters were, this afforded her a double Portion of Satisfaction, becauſe, in caſe of an Engagement with the French, the Number of the Combin’d Armies would give her leſs to fear for him who took up all her Care.

But what became of her, when inſtead of receiving the joyful Intelligence ſhe hop’d, of having made the Enemy fly before them without a Blow, ſhe heard there had been a terrible Rencounter; — that great Numbers of brave Men had fallen on both Sides, and that Amaranthus was among the Number of the Slain!

It would be in vain to go about to deſcribe what ’twas ſhe felt; — her Grief and her Deſpair were above all Repreſentation, as they were beyond all Bounds, ſo I ſhall only ſay, that both were too violent to endure long Continuance, but muſt have found a Period with her Life, had ſhe not been relieved by different and more comfortable News.

The Wounds which had occaſion’d the Report of his Death, were dangerous indeed, but not mortal; and his Friends had greater Reaſon to congratulate than condole them, ſince the Manner in which they were received, purchaſed him immortal Honour.

’Tis certain he behaved with the utmoſt Intrepidity, and was ſo far from being daunted by Q2 the 112 Q2v 112 the Fall of others, that he ſeem’d rather animated with freſh Courage to revenge their Fate; and tho’ the Regiment he was in ſuffer’d greatly, and he was himſelf wounded in many Places, yet he would not be prevail’d upon to quit the Field, ’till an unlucky Blow upon the Head quite ſtunn’d him, and he fell, in all Appearance, dead.

As his Valour had gain’d him Friends, even among thoſe who were ’till now the leaſt acquainted with his Perſon, he was immediately taken up, but for ſome Hours diſcover’d no Symptoms of Breath; ſo that it was not ſtrange, in the Confuſion every one was after the Battle, that in the Accounts tranſmitted of it, this young Hero’s Name ſhould be inſerted in the Liſt of thoſe who were kill’d.

Aminta heard of his Recovery, and the Praiſes which every one gave to his Merit, with a Pleaſure conformable to the Love ſhe had for him; but could not help being a little alarm’d when ſhe found he had wrote to others, and ſhe, who flatter’d herſelf with being the firſt to whom he would employ his Pen, had received not the leaſt Line from him ſince the Battle: But it is not without great Difficulty we bring ourſelves to have an ill Opinion of thoſe we love; — her Tenderneſs invented Excuſes for him, which, ’tis poſſible, he would not have had Artifice to invent for himſelf, and choſe to impute his Silence to any Cauſe, rather than Neglect; — the Diſtance between 113 Q3r 113 between them was great; — Couriers might not have Opportunity to wait his writing; — the Poſt might miſcarry, or he might poſſibly be detach’d to ſome Place, whence neither Courier nor Poſt could paſs, and what Letters he ſent might paſs through Hands, which he did not judge proper to entruſt with the Secret of his Correſpondence with her.

In this manner did ſhe beguile Deſpair ’till his Return; and tho’ ſhe reſolved to accuſe him, doubted not but he would give ſuch Reaſons for his ſeeming Unkindneſs, that ſhe would be oblig’d to aſk his Pardon for having been unjuſt enough to ſuſpect him.

Far was ſhe from being truly unhappy, ’till after ſhe was inform’d of his Arrival, and ſeveral Days paſs’d over without either ſeeing or receiving any Meſſage from him: — This was, indeed, what all her Love and Tenderneſs wanted Ingenuity to account for, and ſhe was now compell’d, even in ſpite of herſelf, to think him ungrateful and perfidious. Amazement, and ſome little Share of Pride, which never fails to exert itſelf in Love abuſed, prevented her ſome Time from ſending to him; at laſt ſhe wrote, reproach’d him with the Alteration in his Behaviour, yet mingled her Upbraidings with ſo much Sweetneſs, as ſhew’d her ready to forgive whenever he came to entreat it.

To this he return’d an Anſwer extremely com- 114 Q3v 114 complaiſant, but far from any thing that expreſs’d the Ardours of a Lover; — excuſed himſelf by the Hurry of his Affairs, for having not yet been able to wait upon her; but aſſur’d her he would not fail of paying his Reſpects the firſt leiſure Hour; concluded with telling her, that nobody could have a greater Regard for her than himſelf, and that he ſhould be proud of any Opportunity to convince her of it, and ſubſcribed himſelf, not as he was accuſtom’d, her eternal Adorer, but her moſt humble and obedient Servant.

She muſt have been the dulleſt and moſt infatuated of her Sex, had ſhe not now ſeen ſhe had entirely loſt a Heart ſhe thought herſelf ſo ſecure of, and had ſo much gloried in; — Rage and Grief had alternately the Poſſeſſion of her Soul, yet Love ſtill retain’d a Part, and was ſo blended with them both, that it would not ſuffer the one to grow into Diſdain, nor the other to deſtroy ſome little Remains of Hope, that ſhe ſhould one Day be able to reclaim him.

She was apt to imagine, that if once ſhe ſaw him, he could not behold thoſe Eyes, which he a thouſand times had ſworn were the Lights of his Life, now drown’d in Tears, of which he was the Cauſe, without reſuming thoſe Emotions they had formerly inſpir’d him with; but having waited his expected Viſit longer indeed than is ordinarily conſiſtent with the Impatience of a Lover, and finding he came not, ſhe wrote a ſecond 115 Q4r 115 ſecond time, conjuring him not to let her languiſh in this Uncertainty, and told him, that ſhe only begg’d to know, from his own Mouth, her Fate, and after that would never aſk to ſee him more.

This preſſing Mandate he comply’d with; the Faſhion in which ſhe receiv’d him may eaſily be gueſs’d at, by what has been ſaid of the Violence of her Affection; but the exceſſive Coldneſs, and diſtant Air of his Replies to all ſhe ſaid, could not be expreſs’d even by her, who was the Witneſs of it; but the Sum of what he gave her to underſtand was, that he was convinc’d a tender Intercourſe with the Ladies took up too much of a Soldier’s Mind, and that he had made a Reſolution to employ all his in the Duties of his Function; — he told her, that were he in any other Situation, or could think it compatible with that Purſuit of Fame he was engaged in, to continue an amorous Correſpondence, Aminta ſhould have the Preference of all her Sex; but as he was circumſtanc’d, he flatter’d himſelf her good Senſe would induce her to pardon this Change of Temper in him, ſince his Zeal for the Service of his King and Country was the only Rival which had occaſion’d it.

It muſt be acknowledg’d he deceiv’d her not in this laſt Article, for in fact, the Promotion he had acquir’d — the Applauſe of the whole Army — the Praiſe beſtow’d on him by the General, and the Compliments made him by Ladies 116 Q4v 116 Ladies of the firſt Quality at his Return, on Account of his Behaviour at Dettingen, have ſo much elated him, that he is no longer the ſame Perſon; — his once ſoft beſeeching Air is now converted into one all reſerved and haughty; — a ſcornful Toſs of the Head, a careleſs Fling of the Arms; — Eyes that ſeem intent rather on Things within himſelf, than any thing he can find without; — in fine, there appears ſo thorough a Change in his whole Manner, that if the Geſtures of the Body may be look’d upon as any Indication of the Affections of the Mind, as queſtionleſs they may, his are full of Self-ſufficiency; he ſeems to think what he has done commands, as his Due, the Love and Reſpect of all who ſee him, and that it is beneath him even to regard, much leſs imagine himſelf oblig’d by it.

Aminta had, therefore, the leſs to mortify her, as it was not becauſe the ſuperior Beauty of any other had ſupplanted her in his Affections, but becauſe he in reality now thought no Woman worthy of the ſerious Paſſion of a Man like himſelf.

She was, notwithſtanding, utterly unable to ſupport the Shock, and no ſooner found his Heart was irrecoverable, than deſpiſing all other Conqueſts, tho’ ſhe has Youth, Beauty and Fortune enough to make many, retired to a lone Country Houſe, where ſhe endeavours among rural Pleaſures to forget thoſe of the great World, and 117 R1r 117 and in the Melody of the ſweet Inhabitants of the Woods and Groves, loſe the Memory of that Voice by which ſhe was undone.

However ſome People may approve this Action in Amaranthus, I cannot help thinking there is more of the ſavage than the true Hero in it; and I am certain we muſt give the Lye to our Senſes, and many modern great Examples, as well as to Numbers in Antiquity, if we ſhould ſay, that Love and Glory are Things incompatible, or that a wiſe and prudent Wife, be her Paſſion never ſo violent, will not always be too tender of her Huſband’s Intereſt and Reputation, to deſire, that to prove his Regard to her, he ſhould neglect any Part of what he owes to them.

That Fiction of the Poets concerning the Loves of Mars and Venus, ſeems built on a very juſt Foundation; Women, in general, are obſerv’d to be moſt fond of military Gentlemen— and wherefore is it ſo? — ſurely not becauſe they wear red Coats? — that many others do, who ſometimes ſit behind a Counter, and what is worſe, have not the Heart to draw a Sword, or fire a Piſtol; but it is becauſe a Soldier is ſuppoſed, at leaſt, to have Courage to defend, in any Exigence, all who are under his Protection; and alſo, becauſe the Character of a brave Man is, of all other, moſt eſteem’d in the World, as that of a Coward is the moſt contemn’d: — Will a Woman, therefore, by Artifice or Perſwaſion, R either 118 R1v 118 either directly or indirectly, attempt to make the Man ſhe loves guilty of any thing that might ſully the Luſtre of that Character for which ſhe loves him? — Would ſhe not rather puſh him on to Actions, which may juſtify the Choice ſhe made of him? And whatever ſhe may ſuffer in Abſence for him, or from the Fears her Tenderneſs ſuggeſt as to the Dangers he encounters, will ſhe not value herſelf on ſurmounting them, and take a laudable Pride in proving how worthy ſhe is of her gallant Huſband’s Affection, by the Regard ſhe has for his Fame?

I remember to have been one Night at the Play, when the Wife and two Sons of a great Admiral came into the Box; — ſome who knew them whiſper’d it to others, ’till a general Murmur ran throughout the Houſe; — all Eyes — all Tongues — all Hands were immediately employ’d to ſhew the Love and Gratitude the Aſſembly had for that illuſtrious Hero to his Family; — the Voice of the People is the beſt Trump of Fame; it is not by fulſome Panegyricks, or by the Praiſes of an intereſted few, or by Rewards, often partially beſtow’d, that true Merit is diſtinguiſhed, but by the unſought, unbias’d Prayers and Bleſſings of the whole; — the Acclamations beſtow’d on him ſprang from the Heart; — his excellent Lady ſaw and felt an inward Satisfaction at it, which diffus’d itſelf through all her Features, and gave an additional Luſtre to her Eyes; — and yet, no doubt, ſhe mourn’d his tedious Abſence, languiſh’d for his Return, had 119 R2r 119 had often wept in private, and given a Looſe to all the tender Anxiety the Knowledge of thoſe numberleſs and imminent Dangers, with which he was at that Time ſurrounded, muſt involve her in; — yet his Glory, dearer to her than all the Satisfaction his Preſence could have beſtow’d, dearer to her than even his Life, ſince it was ſo to him, enabled her to take a Pleaſure even in the Sufferings by which he purchaſed it.

Many ſuch Examples, which I have either heard or read of, I could produce for the Honour of my Sex in this Point; but what the Eye is Witneſs of ſtrikes the moſt, and makes the moſt deep and laſting Impreſſion; — I choſe, therefore, rather to mention this Lady, becauſe I doubt not but many of my Readers were Spectators, as well as myſelf, of her amiable Behaviour on this Occaſion, and perhaps alſo on many others, when I was not ſo happy to be preſent.

Some Women, I know, have not Strength of Spirits to ſupport the parting from a beloved and loving Huſband, without ſuch Agonies as might ſtagger the Reſolution of the boldeſt Man, render him ſcarce able to tear himſelf away, and when he does, compell’d by cruel Duty, ſeem as if he had left half his Soul behind him; and yet thoſe very Ladies may be far from thinking the Softneſs of their Sex ought to be comply’d with, or would think that Huſband more worthy their Affection, who, to the PrejudiceR2 judice 120 R2v 120 judice of his Honour, ſhould humour their Foible.

But in ſuch Caſes I would recommend the Wife of a late General as an Example; — never Woman loved a Huſband to a greater Degree of Fondneſs, nor received a more grateful Return of Tenderneſs and Affection; — ſhe was one of thoſe who could not bear the Shock of parting without thoſe Emotions I have been deſcribing; and perceiving the Sight of her Diſorders had a greater Effect on him than ſhe wiſh’d them to have, entreated, that for the future, whenever they were oblig’d to ſeparate, he would take no Leave of her: — He ſeem’d ſurpriz’d that a Greatneſs of Soul, ſuch as ſhe teſtify’d in making this Requeſt, could not enable her to endure, with equal Firmneſs, a Misfortune which was irremedible in the Station he was, and would fain have refuſed what ſhe deſired; — How unkind, ſaid he, and how unjuſt to your Merits muſt I appear, if I ſhould do as you would have me! — and how ſhall I flatter myſelf you will ſuffer leſs when the News of my Departure is brought to you, than if you actually ſaw me on Horſeback! No Matter, reply’d ſhe, what I ſhall ſuffer, ſince the fooliſh Timidity of my Nature will not permit me to govern myſelf as becomes a Perſon who has the Honour to be your Wife, it will be more for my Reputation, and your Eaſe, that the Looſe I give my Griefs may be in private.

With 121 R3r 121

With theſe kind of Arguments ſhe prevail’d on him, and Orders ſoon after arriving, that he muſt repair to the Army, every thing was got ready for his Departure with all the Secrecy imaginable; not the leaſt mention made of it in the Family, nor by any one who came to the Houſe, and on a Time prefix’d, his Equipage attended him at the City Gates, and he went forth with no other Ceremony, than he was accuſtom’d to uſe when he was to return the ſame Day.

All the tender Adieus he had to make, were ſent to her by Letter, and how much ſoever ſhe endured, none but her Woman was a Witneſs; — ſhe could command her Pen, tho’ not her Eyes, and return’d him Anſwers, ſuch as convinc’d him nothing was ſo much deſired by her as new Additions to that Reputation he had in ſo many Battles, and amidſt ſo many Dangers acquired.

The parting of Friends and Lovers, is like the parting of the Soul and Body, always moſt eaſy when leaſt warn’d of it; — the Preparations are more terrible than the Thing itſelf, and as Reaſon is oftentimes too weak to overcome a natural Timidity, ’tis infinitely beſt to be wholly ignorant of the Shock we are to ſuſtain, ’till it arrives.

I wish, however, there were more Occaſion than there ſeems to be for this Caution; — it is my 122 R3v 122 my Buſineſs, as a Spectator, to let as little as poſſible eſcape me, and I am ſorry to obſerve, that my Reſearches preſent me with few Inſtances of that conjugal Tenderneſs, which require ſuch a Command over themſelves, as the abovemention’d Lady endeavour’d to attain.

The Farewels married People ordinarily take of each other, ſeem little more than meer Matters of Form; and ſome there are, who, after the Moment of Separation, appear like a Priſoner juſt got rid of his Fetters; they friſk and ſkip about, as if they knew not how enough to repair, by a preſent Jollity, the Anxiety of their late Confinement.

Melinda no ſooner finds herſelf freed from the Preſence of Romero, than ſhe hurries from Aſſembly to Aſſembly; — gallants it with every pretty Fellow ſhe comes in Company with; — drives from one End of the Town to the other; — ſends for Gentlemen out of Chocolate Houſes, and is the veryeſt Rattle in Nature.

Silax pretends the Town is full of Diſtempers, and perſwades his Wife to go to their Country Seat for the Benefit of the Air; but the Coach which carries her is ſcarcely out of Sight, before he ſends for half a Dozen Friends of his own Way of thinking, as many Ladies of Pleaſure to entertain them, converts every Room in his Houſe into a Brothel, — nothing but Feaſting, Drinking, Dancing, and Rioting is to be ſeen 123 R4r 123 ſeen; ’till tir’d with Debauchery, and not ’till then, he retires to his Wife, and lives regular by Way of Penance.

Lelia adored Macrobius while preſent with her, but the Service of his Country no ſooner oblig’d him to quit her Arms, than ſhe ſought Conſolation in the Embraces of his own Brother; yet Macrobius had married her without a Fortune, and ſtill continues to love her too well for his Repoſe.

Doriman had made a Figure little to be envy’d by his Neighbours, had he not been fortunate enough to appear agreeable in the Eyes of the young, rich, and beautiful Clotilda; — in ſpite of all the Diſſwaſions of her Friends, ſhe married him, makes him the moſt obſequious and tender Wife; yet the ungrateful Dorimon, quite inſenſible of the Obligations he has to her, as well as of the Charms which could not fail to bind any other Man, is continually finding Pretences to be abſent from her, and paſſes the greateſt Part of his Time with a looſe Creature, whom Chance brought him acquainted with at a Houſe of ill Fame.

Can any one believe that Souls like theſe were ever pair’d in Heaven! — Might one not rather be tempted to imagine, that ſome Dæmon, Enemy to Mankind, had been permitted to diſpoſe them! — Thoſe who ſeem moſt form’d for each other, and ſuited for mutual Happineſs, are very 124 R4v 124 very rarely ſuffer’d to give any Teſtimonies here below of that divine and pre-exiſting Union ſo much talk’d on, but ſtill by ſome croſs intervening Accident, ſever’d and doom’d to Lots of different kind.

Who can reflect on the ſtrange Circumſtance which parted Panthea from her dear and betroth’d Fidelio, without being ſeiz’d with the utmoſt Amazement! But as there is ſomewhat very remarkable in the Story of this young Lady, and few have been able to attain a perfect Knowledge of the Truth, I think I ſhould not fill the Province I have undertaken, if I omitted giving the Publick a full Account of the Particulars; and to do that, I muſt trace her Misfortunes to their Fountain Head, which, indeed, was from the firſt Moment of her Being.

Miletta, her Mother, was Miſtreſs to the ſubtle and opulent Lacroon, many Years before the Death of his Lady, but had the Artifice to engage him in a Covenant, that if he ever happened to be a Widower, he ſhould either marry her, or forfeit to her a very large Sum of Money therein ſpecified. — Fate ſeem’d to favour her Wiſhes; — he became in a Condition for her to demand either the one or the other. — He knew himſelf bound, and heſitated not long before he conſented to be the Huſband of one, for whom his Paſſion was then greatly abated, rather than ſuffer ſo much Money to go out of his Family. Panthea was at that Time about eleven or twelve Years 125 S1r 125 Years old, but had been bred in the moſt private Manner, and utterly ignorant of her Parents; a Perſon, who had been Servant to Miletta, being intruſted with the Care of her, whatever ſhe received was tranſmitted through her Hands, to whom ſhe imagin’d herſelf ſome diſtant Relation.

Miletta, who had always preſerved ſome Senſe of Reputation, was now more averſe than ever to acknowledging her, and the poor Girl was not at all the happier for her Mother’s Grandeur.

A strange Caprice in ſome Women! they are aſham’d of the Fruits of their Sin, tho’ not of the Sin itſelf: Every body knew ſhe was kept by Lacroon, for the Gratification of his looſer Hours, nor was ſhe ſo weak as to imagine it a Secret; yet could ſhe not ſupport the Thoughts of being call’d a Mother, without being a Wife; or, that even after ſhe was ſo, that ſo glaring a Proof ſhould appear of her former Tranſgreſſion.

But it was for a very ſhort Time ſhe enjoy’d the Title ſhe had ſo much deſired; — ſcarce had ſhe ſhewn herſelf in her Splendor, before ſhe was ſeiz’d with a Diſtemper which puzzled the Phyſicians Art to give a Name to; — ſuch as it was, however, it affected both her Mind and Body; — ſhe became delirious, and at ſome Times had ſuch violent Fits of Frenzy, that they were S oblig’d 126 S1v 126 oblig’d to tye her in her Bed; yet was all this without any Symptoms of a Fever; an inward waſting at the ſame Time prey’d on her Vitals, and ſo decay’d her whole Frame, that in a few Weeks ſhe grew the moſt pity-moving Object that ever was beheld, and dy’d little lamented by any, except thoſe who reap’d the Advantage of her Secrets.

After her Death, Lacroon took it into his Head to call Panthea Home, acquainted her with her Birth, and not only own’d her as his Daughter in the Face of the World, but treated her with all the Marks of a paternal Care and Affection.

A Change of Fortune ſo undream’d of, ſo prodigious, could not but be tranſporting to a young Heart; — ſhe had now a Crowd of Servants, all obſequious, and flying to obey her leaſt Commands; — her Perſon was adorn’d with Jewels, and the moſt ſkilful Maſters in their ſeveral Profeſſions attended her every Morning, to perfect her in all the Accompliſhments of her Sex, and the Station to which ſhe now was rais’d; yet was ſhe not elated ſo far as to give herſelf any unbecoming Airs; and all this ſerv’d only to make her pleas’d, not vain, or arrogant.

Envy muſt allow, that tho’ ſhe is far from being a Beauty, there is ſomewhat of a Sweetneſs in all her Air and Features that is very attractive,tractive 127 S2r 127 tractive, and thoſe who were the leaſt inclinable to converſe with her on the Score of her Birth, if by chance they happen’d into her Company, were inſenſibly engaged not only to continue in it, but alſo to wiſh the Pleaſure they took in being with her, might be renew’d.

She had ſcarce reach’d fifteen before her youthful Charms were taken Notice of by many worthy Perſons of the other Sex, but the moſt powerful Effect they had to boaſt was on the Heart of the noble and accompliſh’d Fidelio. — The Paſſion he had for her made him overlook all the Scruples others rais’d on the Account of her Mother’s Character, and indeed on that of her Father alſo, who, for many Reaſons, was little eſteem’d by the Generality of Mankind.

Lacroon was highly pleaſed with his Addreſſes on the Score of his Quality; but Panthea for that of his Perſon and Converſation. — She loved him long before her Modeſty would permit her to confeſs it; but at length her Paſſion broke through all Reſtraints, and ſhe repaid the Pains ſhe had given him by acknowledging ſhe felt an equal Share. After this Declaration they engaged themſelves by a ſolemn Vow to live only for each other. — Alaſs, little did either of them think they err’d in doing ſo, Fidelio was entirely at his own Diſpoſal, and Panthea had received her Father’s poſitive Commands to omit nothing in her Power for the better confirming his Affections.

S2 The 128 S2v 128

The Conſent, however, was to be aſk’d in Form; which Fidelio did not fail to do in the moſt ſubmiſſive Terms; and Lacroon, tho’ he at firſt, to diſguiſe his Satisfaction, affected to delay the Ceremony on account of Panthea’s extreme Youth, was eaſily prevailed upon to fix the Day, which was no longer than was requiſite to prepare for it in a Manner befitting the Quality of the one, and the Riches of the other.

But ſee the Uncertainty of all human Events! This equally-enamour’d Pair, when they thought themſelves moſt ſecure, and near being join’d to each other, were on the Point of being ſeperated eternally; and that too by a Way the moſt ſevere and ſhocking to them both, that the extremeſt Malice of their Fate could have invented.

Lacroon, to acquire the Wealth he now is in Poſſeſſion of, has done ſuch Things as perhaps no Man before him ever did with Impunity. — Not but he has frequently been call’d to Account by thoſe whom he had injur’d, but his Cunning and the Corruption of the Times ſtill got him off; and thoſe frequent Eſcapes having render’d him more bold in Vice, he at length arrived at that Height as to add Inſults to Injuſtice, which ſo provoked ſome Perſons of greater Credit than any who had yet appear’d againſt him, that they reſolv’d to undertake the Cauſe, and either ſink themſelves, or procure that Puniſhment on him his Crimes deſerved.

This 129 S3r 129

This happen’d ſome few Days before that which was aſſign’d for the Nuptials of Fidelio and Panthea. — The Lovers were wholly ignorant of this Misfortune, and paſs’d their Hours in all the Joys which mutual Affection, join’d with Innocence, affords; while Lacroon was calling all his Invention to his aid for Means to remedy the ſo much dreaded Evil. He had no Hope but in Imperio, whoſe Power was unconteſtable, and had on many leſs Occaſions ſtood his Friend; but how to aſſure himſelf that he wou’d exert it in this, he was for ſome Time at a Loſs. — At laſt the Titular Dæmon, who had hitherto never left him without ſome Subterfuge, inſpired him with one, if poſſible, more black and horrid than ever yet he had been Maſter of.

He remember’d to have heard Imperio praiſe the innocent Charms of Panthea, and reſolv’d to make no Scruple to offer her up a Sacrifice to Shame, if by her Proſtitution he could be preſerved from the juſt Proſecution of his Enemies. — In fine, he went directly to that great Perſon, and entreated he would interpoſe between him and thoſe who ſought his Ruin, and ſlyly inſinuated that Panthea would think herſelf bleſt to be the Slave of him who was the Deliverer of her Father.

Imperio, juſt in his own Nature, had not that ill Opinion of Lacroon which he deſerved, and doubtleſs would have done all he could for him in his Exigence, without this Offer; but being one of the moſt amorous Men on Earth, could 130 S3v 130 could not refuſe ſo ſweet a Bribe as the Poſſeſſion of a young Virgin, whom he had frequently look’d upon with deſiring Eyes. He therefore took Lacroon at his Word, and promiſed in Return to uſe all the Influence he had to make up Matters between him and thoſe Antagoniſts from whom he had moſt to fear.

Lacroon return’d Home with a joyful Heart, as being certain thoſe who had the greateſt Malice to him, lov’d and reſpected Imperio too much to diſoblige him; but when he broke the Matter to Panthea, and told her, that inſtead of being the Bride of Fidelio, ſhe muſt prepare herſelf to be the Miſtreſs of Imperio, he found Difficulties which he expected not from one ſo young, and ſo entirely a Dependant on him. — She had even the Courage to tell him, ſhe would die rather than forfeit her Virtue; to which he ſcornfully reply’d, If your Mother had been a Girl of ſuch ſqueamiſh Principles, you had not come into the World to contradict my Will.

This cruel Reproach on her Birth, and coming from a Father, join’d with the Part he acted in this Affair, ſtruck her to the Heart; — ſhe burſt into Tears, was unable to ſpeak another Word, and was ready to ſink on the Floor. — He then repented what he had ſaid, and finding the Softneſs of her Nature would be more eaſily prevail’d upon by gentle Means, — Be comforted, my Child, reſum’d he, your Mother was the more dear to me, as I found her the more ready to 131 S4r 131 to recompence my Love; — I meant not what I ſaid ſhould give you Pain; — you know I have the greateſt Tenderneſs for you; — I have proved it, and hope you have Gratitude enough to be obedient, eſpecially in a Thing where my whole Fortune, nay, even my Life’s concern’d.

He then proceeded to let her know he had many Enemies, and had no Friend capable of ſerving him but Imperio; — made uſe by turns of Perſwaſions and Menaces, ’till at length her Virtue had not Strength to reſiſt their united Force, and ſhe yielded to do what in reality her Soul abhor’d, rather than, by refuſing, be the Occaſion of her Father’s Ruin, and, at the ſame Time, be driven out to Miſery herſelf.

His Point thus gain’d, Lacroon conducted her himſelf to the Houſe of Imperio, where ſh e ſtill reſides; but whether any better reconcil’d to her Fate, none but her own Heart can determine.

As for Fidelio, it would be utterly impoſſible to expreſs the Force of his Grief and Rage, when he found his tender Expectations of a laſting Happineſs thus vaniſh’d into Air: — As his Paſſion for Panthea had made him think her the moſt perfect of her Sex, to find her falſe has given him an Antipathy to all Woman-kind; — he ſhuns all Converſation, but ſuch as join with him in Invectives againſt Love and Marriage; — yet ſometimes, when he thinks himſelf alone, cries out 132 S4v 132 out, O Panthea! lovely, bewitching Maid! — wherefore did Heaven join ſo fair a Face with ſo unchaſte and perfidious a Heart.

In hope to cure the Diſorders of his Mind, ſome Friends prevail’d on him to quit the Town; but this Change of Place has wrought no other Change in him, than to convert the Wildneſs of his Behaviour into a profound Melancholly, which, ’tis fear’d, will be laſting.

I must confeſs the Fate of this young Gentleman is greatly to be lamented; but, methinks, the World is too ſevere on poor Panthea; her Youth, and the Authority of a Father, than whom ſhe had no other Friend, may plead ſome Excuſe for her Want of that Fortitude and Reſolution, which alone could have preſerv’d her Virtue: — ’Tis on Lacroon alone that the juſt Cenſures of her Fall ſhould light: — Lacroon, guilty of Crimes unnumber’d, yet of none more unnatural, more deteſtable than this of ſeparating two Hearts, which ſeem’d by Heaven united, and ſeducing and betraying his own Child to Infamy and Perdition.

End of the Second Book.

133 T1r

The Female Spectator.

Book III.

Methinks it is with great Impropriety that People, when they ſee an unſocial Perſon, cry out, How ill-natur’d ſuch a one is!—Nature in itſelf delights in Harmony, is loving, grateful, benevolent, pleaſed in itſelf, and pleaſed to ſee others ſo. — Every one is born with Qualities ſuited to Society; and when they deviate, it is not the Effect of Nature, but of the Influence of thoſe vicious Paſſions which by their ill Conditions corrupt Nature, and render it no longer what it was: — Avarice, Ambition, Rage, Envy, and Jealouſy are the Weeds that grow up in the Soul; and, if indulged, will by degrees choak all the nobler Principles. — How beautiful is Nature in Infancy, before thoſe turbulentlent 134 T1v 134 lent Paſſions gather Strength! and how beautiful would ſhe alſo be in Maturity, could thoſe Paſſions be always under the Government of Reaſon!

Some may perhaps object, that I pretend to divide what Heaven in our Compoſition has thought fit to blend: — That Paſſions are in reality a Part of Nature, and that none are born without ſome Share of them. — They may ſay, that in Childhood we are no leſs affected for ſuch Trifles as are conformable to our Years than at a riper Age we are for what we then look on as more ſubſtantial Benefits. — They will quote againſt me this Line of one of the moſt excellent of our English Poets, Men are but Children of a larger Growth.

To all this I readily agree; but then the Paſſions of Childhood are too weak to hurry us to any thing that can be called a Vice, unleſs ſtrongly indulg’d indeed by thoſe who have the Care of us; and as they increaſe in Strength, our own Reaſon, which is given us for a Guide, increaſes in proportion alſo; ſo that it is the undoubted Buſineſs of our Parents and Governors to keep all dangerous Propenſities in us under the greateſt Subjection, and preſerve Nature in its Purity while we are young; and our own to do it afterwards, ſince the infallible Conſequences of any Neglect on this ſcore are no leſs than 135 T2r 135 than to render us obnoxious to the World, and irkſome to our ſelves.

I would not here be thought to mean that the Reſerved, the Sullen, the Peeviſh, or even the Moroſe, are always under the Dominion of vicious Paſſions.—A continued Series of Diſappointments, Calamities, Ill-uſage, (which, I am ſorry to ſay, is the ſure Attendant on Misfortune) or a long Fit of Sickneſs, may in time make ſour the ſweeteſt Temper; but then the Gloom which they occaſion will not render the Perſon, ſo affected, cruel, baſe, covetous, perfidious, or in fine any way wicked: — Such a one may be tireſome, and look’d upon as a dead Weight in Company, but will never be found dangerous, and the only Miſchief he does is to himſelf.

But where Avarice prevails, all that is injurious to Mankind may be expected: I think under this Head almoſt whatever is pernicious to Society may be ranged, ſince where it does not find other bad Qualities, it certainly creates them. — It indeed deſtroys the very End of our Being. — A mean Diſtruſt, Envy, Hatred, and Malice, will neither ſuffer us to enjoy a Moment’s Peace ourſelves, nor allow it to others, when but ſuſpected of a bare Poſſibility of ſtanding between us and our darling Intereſt. — Concord, that univerſal Good, is entirely aboliſh’d by it;—every publick Virtue, every private Obligation of Duty, Gratitude, and natural Affection, are ſacrificed to particular Views, which center all in Self, and to attain, neitherther 136 T2v 136 ther ſecret Fraud nor open Violence are ſpared. How many Wars have been render’d unſucceſsful! — how many well-laid Schemes diſconcerted! — how many Communities broken and diſſolved! — how many once-flouriſhing Families reduced to Beggary, meerly by the Avarice of one Perſon, who found his Intereſt in the Ruin of the whole.—Nothing is more known than this Truth, and we often ſee that thoſe of the ſame Blood, nay who have ſuck’d the ſame Milk, have proved the moſt cruel and inveterate Enemies to each other. — Shocking Reflection!—let us quit it and turn our eyes on the Contraſt.

The worthy Family, of which Euphroſine is a Part, has in a very late Inſtance given us a moſt amiable one, and will, I hope, be an Example for many others to imitate.

This beautiful young Lady was addreſs’d by a Gentleman immenſely rich, but of more than twice her Age, and beſides had nothing either in his Perſon or Converſation capable of rendering him agreeable to a delicate and refin’d Taſte, ſuch as her’s. He made his Court to her Father before he mentioned any thing of his Paſſion to herſelf, and at the ſame Time accompanied his Declaration with Offers of a nature few Parents but would have readily accepted. — But he referr’d him to his Daughter’s Inclinations, only aſſuring him that he would lay his Commands on her to receive his Viſits; and that if ſhe conſented, he for his Part ſhould be extremely proud of his Alliance.

With 137 T3r 137

With this the old Lover was oblig’d to be content; and ſince he found it muſt be by his Rhetoric his Point was to be gain’d, endeavour’d to prove his Paſſion, and inſpire one in her by thoſe Ways he thought moſt likely to ſucceed: — He entertain’d her with all the amorous Speeches he could remember out of Plays; — brought her all the favourite Airs in the Opera for her Spinet, — carryed her to Vaux-Hall-Gardens and Ruckholt, — and told her, that wherever ſhe came ſhe was the Venus of the Place.

Euphrosine, who is all Obedience, knowing her Father authorized his Suit, durſt neither repulſe nor make a Jeſt of it, but accepted his fine Speeches, Treats, and Preſents, as coming from a Man, who, in all probability, ſhe was deſtined for:—The Contempt ſhe had for him ſhe kept as an inviolable Secret; and never ſpoke of him to her deareſt Companions, nor even her Brothers and Siſters, but with all imaginable Reſpect. The Conſtraint ſhe put on herſelf by this Behaviour, however, took away great Part of that Chearfulneſs and Vivacity which had uſed to ſparkle in her Eyes; — ſhe grew much more reſerved in Company than ſhe had been, and was often ſurprized with Tears running down her Cheeks, when ſhe had thought herſelf alone.

She was too dear to all belonging to her for ſo viſible a Change not to be taken notice of, yet none mentioned the leaſt Word to her concerning it; and the Courtſhip continued for near a Month, when the Impatience of the Lover, emboldened 138 T3v 138 emboldened by his Miſtreſs’s obliging Reception, made him very preſſing for a Day being fixed to conſummate his Happineſs: — The Anſwers ſhe gave him on that Head were, that ſhe was entirely at her Father’s Diſpoſal, and that it would not be becoming in her either to anticipate or delay his Pleaſure. — When he talked to her Father, he told him, that he had not yet examined his Daughter’s Heart; but when he had done ſo, he would either haſten or prolong the Time, according as he found her in a Diſpoſition for it: — always concluding with reminding him, that to render them both happy, it was neceſſary nothing ſhould have the leaſt Air of Conſtraint on either Side.

This did not ſatisfy the other; for, as Lovers naturally flatter themſelves, he took all the Civilities paid him by Euphroſine, in Obedience to her Father, for ſo many Proofs of her liking of his Perſon; and as he doubted not but ſhe was no leſs deſirous than himſelf for a Concluſion of this Affair, ſeemed to reſent theſe Delays, as much as he durſt, to him who had the ſole Diſpoſal of his Miſtreſs: He became however ſo urgent, that the Father of Euphroſine at length promiſed him to ſound her Inclinations the next Day, and that he ſhould then know his Reſolution.

Accordingly he ſent for her to his Cloſet, and having made her ſit down by him, told her how impatient her Lover was for the Completion of his Wiſhes, and the Promiſe he had 139 U1r 139 had given him of a definitive Anſwer, — ſet forth the Paſſion he had for her in much better Terms than he had ever done for himſelf, and added, that he was ſo far from deſiring any Portion with her, that on the firſt Declaration he had made to him of his Love, he had proteſted he would accept of nothing from him but his Conſent.

This Euphroſine, continued he, is the State of the Caſe, and ſuch the diſintereſted Kindneſs he has for you: — You know that I have ſeveral Children, and that Part of my Fortune, which I ſhould give with you to a Man who required it, will be a conſiderable Addition to their Portions: — You may believe alſo, that there are not many Fathers who would conſult your Inclination in this Point; but, my dear Child, I am not one of thoſe: — I am ſenſible that true Felicity does not conſiſt in Wealth alone, and think it both unjuſt and cruel to make thoſe wretched to whom I have given Being: — Tell me, therefore, without Reſerve, or Fears of offending me, what your Thoughts of this Gentleman are, and whether you can love him, as it will be your Duty to do if you become his Wife?

The virtuous Maid hung down her Head at theſe Words, and faintly replied, that the Education ſhe had received would always inſtruct her to fulfil her Duty.

Her Father on this told her, there were two ways of fulfilling a Duty; — the one merely becauſeU cauſe 140 U1v 140 cauſe it was ſo; and the other, becauſe it afforded a Pleaſure to oneſelf: — and, reſumed he, I ſhould be ſorry to ſee you ſacrifice your Peace to the former. — The Melancholly I have obſerved in you ever ſince this Gentleman has had my Permiſſion to viſit you as a Lover, makes me think that the Propoſal is far from being agreeable; but as I may poſſibly be miſtaken, I would be convinced by your laying open your whole Heart to me on this Occaſion:

Emboldened by ſo much Goodneſs, ſhe at laſt ventured to declare, that if ſhe never happened to ſee a Man more agreeable, ſhe would chuſe always to live ſingle: However, Sir, continued ſhe as the Match affords ſome Conveniency to you, and you approve it, I reſolved from the firſt Moment to offer nothing in Oppoſition to your Will, but to endeavour to merit, in ſome meaſure, the Indulgence you have treated me with by an implicit Obedience.

No, no, my dear Child, replied this excellent Father, you well deſerve to be left to the Freedom of your Choice, by your Readineſs to reſign it. — You ſhall no more be troubled with the Sollicitations of a Perſon whom I never expected you could regard in the manner his Vanity has made him hope. — This Day ſhall put an End to all your Diſquiets on that ſcore.

Euphrosine was about to thank him, as the Conſideration he had of her Peace deſervedſerved 141 U2r 141 ſerved from her, when the ſudden Entrance of her two Brothers and three Siſters obliged her to delay it. — They had heard of the Propoſal her Lover had made of relinquiſhing her Portion; and finding ſhe was now ſent for by their Father, and ſhut up with him, doubted not but it was in order to enforce her, by his Command, to make a Choice it was eaſy for them to perceive was utterly againſt her Inclinations. Urged by the Neceſſity they thought there was of their Interpoſition, they came together in a Body, and all at once falling at their Father’s Feet, conjured him not to ſuffer any Conſiderations of Intereſt to them to prevail on him to render a Siſter, ſo juſtly dear to them, unhappy, by a Match which they were well convinced, tho’ never from herſelf, could not be agreeable to her. — Some hung about his Feet, ſome kiſſed his Hands, and all lifted up their Eyes, ſtreaming with Tears, as dreading the Anſwer he ſhould give to this Requeſt.

The tender Father liſtened to ſo uncommon a Teſtimony of fraternal Affection with a Tranſport mixed with Aſtoniſhment; but unwilling to indulge the Pleaſure he took in ſeeing them thus, at the Expence of the Pain Suſpence inflicted on them; — Riſe! — Riſe, my dear, my worthy Children! cried he, embracing them one after another, your Suit is granted before you thought of aſking it: — Neither Euphroſine, nor any one of you, ſhall ever be compelled by my Authority, as a Father, to give your Hands where your Hearts do not firſt lead the way.

U2 Nothing 142 U2v 142

Nothing could equal the Joy they felt at hearing him ſpeak in this manner, except the Satisfaction their mutual Tenderneſs to each other afforded him. — Euphroſine, on her Part, knew not how to expreſs her Gratitude and Love either to the one or the other. — In fine, there was nothing to be ſeen among this endearing Family, but Embraces, Kiſſes, and all the Demonſtrations of the moſt fond, unfeigned Affection, flowing from Minds perfectly at Eaſe and ſatisfied with each other.

Oh! what could the greateſt Acquiſitions of Fortune beſtow, in any degree of Competition with thoſe pure and unmixed Raptures, which ariſe from the diſintereſted Love and Friendſhip between Perſons of the ſame Blood! — It is ſure a Pleaſure which no Words can paint; — no Heart unfeeling it conceive! — A Pleaſure inſpired by Nature, confirmed by Reaſon, heavenly in itſelf, and laudable before God and Man.

But beſides this Satisfaction we feel within ourſelves, and the Eſteem we acquire in the World by living with our Kindred in Concord, there is a Policy in it, even as to the Gratification of our moſt ſordid Views, which I wonder any body can be ſo blind as not to ſee, I mean that of fulfilling the old Proverb, — Laying up againſt a rainy Day. — There are few Families ſo unfortunate as to have none among them proſper; and when all are governed by one common Intereſt 143 U3r 143 Intereſt, will not the Succeſs of one be the Advantage of the other? — Life is an uncertain Ocean, numberleſs, nameleſs Dangers lurk beneath the faireſt Surface: — None, at his firſt Embarkation, can promiſe to himſelf he ſhall go through his Voyage unruffled with the Storms which from above, below, and every where impend. — Who then would not be glad to ſecure ſome friendly Bark at hand, whoſe kind Aſſiſtance, in caſe of a Wreck, might ſave him and the Remnants of his ſcattered Fortune!

How well known, yet how little attended to, is that excellent Story of him, who having many Children, and finding the Hour of his Diſſolution approaching, ſent for them all to come to his Bed’s Side; then ordered a Bundle of Sticks well tied up to be brought, and giving it into the Hands of the eldeſt, commanded him to break it; which having vainly eſſayed to do, the ſecond Brother took it; then the third, and ſo on, till they had all tried their ſeveral Strengths with equal Succeſs.—The Thing is impracticable, ſaid one of them, unleſs we cut the Bandage; — ſingly we may eaſily break them. True, replied the Father; and ſo my Sons will it be impoſſible to hurt any of you, while you continue in the Bandage of Love and Unity; but if that ſhould be once diſſolved, your Strength is loſt, and you are in danger of becoming a Prey to every Artifice of deſigning Men.

Love and Friendſhip, they ſay, will admit no 144 U3v 144 no Sharers in the Heart; — where either are ſincere and without Reſerve, it muſt be between two Perſons; — when a third comes in for any Part, that Intereſt which ought to be entire is divided, weakened, and perhaps, by different Views, thrown into Confuſion: The Maxim queſtionleſs is juſt as to the general, but has nothing to do with the Union which ought to ſubſiſt among thoſe of the ſame Family, who, like ſo many young Branches of the ſame Tree, if cloſely knit together, are beſt defended from the Inclemency of the Weather for being numerous.

It is odd, methinks, that even Pride of Blood ſhould not influence thoſe deſcended from an illuſtrious Houſe, to ſupport, in ſome meaſure anſwerable to the Dignity of their Birth, thoſe of their own Kindred who may have happened to fall into Misfortunes: — Are they not ſenſible that all the Contempt they are treated with by mean-ſoul’d Creatures, points obliquely at themſelves? And can they know the miſerable Shifts to which they are frequently reduced to for Bread, without reflecting that the Grandeur of the whole Family ſuffers in theſe unhappy Branches?

Strange Infatuation! To what can be aſcribed ſo total a Neglect of that which we owe to Heaven, ourſelves, and thoſe belonging to us? — Where is the fatal Spell that ſtops up all the Avenues of the Soul, and ſuffers neither the Dictates of Religion, the Pleas of ſoft Compaſſion, nor the more powerful Impulſes of Nature to our own 145 U4r 145 own Fleſh and Blood, to gain the leaſt Admittance? — Where but in Luxury, and a falſe Pride of being able to outvye each other in thoſe expenſive Vices former Ages would have bluſhed to be found guilty of?

Did not the once diſcreet and virtuous Lucillia refuſe ſo poor a Gift as half a Guinea to a very near Relation, who once had been her Equal in Fortune, but now in the extremeſt Exigence took the Liberty of petitioning her, yet went the ſame Evening to an Aſſembly, where ſhe loſt a thouſand Piſtoles at Play!

Wonderful are the Changes which Difference of Times create! A few Years ſince, a Gameſter was the moſt deſpicable Character in Life; — now whoſe Society more coveted than People of that Profeſſion! — All who had any Reputation to loſe, or deſired to be thought well of by their Neighbours, took care, whenever they indulged themſelves in that Diverſion, to do it with as much Privacy as poſſible. — But now, not to love Play is to be unpolite: — Cards were then made uſe of only as the Amuſement of a tedious Winter’s Evening: — Now all Seaſons are alike, they are the Employment of the Year; and at ſome of our great Chocolate-Houſes, many thouſand Acres are often ſwallowed up before Dinner. — Perſons, who were obſerved to have ſuperior Skill in Play, were then diſtinguiſhed by the odious Name of Sharpers, and as ſuch avoided by all Men of Senſe: — Now they are 146 U4v 146 are complimented with the Title of great Connoiſeurs, applauded for their Underſtanding in all the Niceties of the Game, and that is looked upon as the moſt uſeful kind of Learning, which teaches how to circumvent an Adverſary at the important Buſineſs of Whiſt.

This Vice of Gaming, originally deſcended from the worſt of Paſſions, is certainly the moſt pernicious of any to Society. — How great a Misfortune is it therefore that it ſhould become the Mode, and by being encouraged by Perſons of Figure and Condition, render the lower Claſs of People (who are always fond of imitating their Superiors) ambitious, as it were, of being undone in ſuch good Company.

To this unhappy Propenſity is greatly owing that ſo many Shops lately well ſtock’d and flouriſhing, are now ſhut up even in the Heart of the City, and their Owners either Bankrupts or miſerable Refugees in foreign Parts: — Nor is it to be wondered at, when the honeſt Profit that might be made of Trade is neglected, for the precarious Hopes of getting more by Play; the Citizen will have but little Share with the Courtier, and, to add to his Mortification, will find that the Misfortunes which attend this going out of his own Sphere, ſerves only as a Matter of Ridicule to thoſe very Perſons who reap the Advantage of his Folly.

We may date this extravagant Itch of Gaming,ing 147 X1r 147 ing, which, like the Plague, has ſpread its Contagion through all Degrees of People, from the fatal Year 17201720. The alluring Proſpect of making a great Fortune at once, and without any Labour or Trouble, ſo infatuated the Minds of all the Ambitious, the Avaricious, and the Indolent, that for a Time there ſeemed an entire Stagnation of all Buſineſs but what was tranſacted by the Brokers in Change-Alley. — Then it was that Sharping began to flouriſh in the Nation, and has ever ſince continued under various Shapes. — The great Bubble of the South Sea diſſipated, a thouſand leſſer ones, tho’ equally deſtructive to honeſt Induſtry, ſprung up: — New Modes of Ruin were every Day invented: Lotteries on Lotteries were continually drawing, in which few beſide thoſe who ſet them up had any thing but Blanks. — Theſe the Wiſdom of the Legiſlature thought fit to put to a Stop to, but had not Power to extirpate the unhappy Influence which a long Inattention to Buſineſs had gained. — The People had been too much accuſtomed to Idleneſs to return with any Spirit to their former Avocations: — They wanted the golden Fruit to drop into their Laps, and freſh Opportunities of renewing thoſe chimerical Expectations, by which already three Parts in four of the middling Claſs had been undone. — Chance was the Idol of their Souls, and when any of their more ſober Friends remonſtrated to them the Madneſs of quitting a certain ſettled way of getting a moderate Living; for the fleeting viſionary Schemes of a luxurious one, — they all returned this common cant Anſwer,X ſwer 148 X1v 148 ſwer, that they were willing to put themſelves in Fortune’s Way, — and, that they might poſſibly be as lucky as ſome others, who, being very poor before, had now ſet up great Equipages, and made a fine Figure in the World.

This it was that converted Gaming from an Amuſement into a Buſineſs, it being the only Matter now remaining out of which their ſo much-beloved Caſtles in the Air could be formed: — One Night’s good Run at Cards, or a lucky Caſt of the Dice, would repair all that had been loſt in other Ventures, and every one thought it worth his while to ſtake his laſt Remains.

There are always a Set of artful People who watch to take Advantage of any public Frenzy. — Theſe ſoon diſcovered the general Bent, and to humour it with Novelty, contrived various kinds of Gaming, which never had before been dreamed of; by which every one, if it ſo happened, might arrive at the End of his Deſires. Numbers, by this Stratagem, were taken in, who otherwiſe perhaps, by a conſcious Want of Skill in the old Games, would have been reſtrained, ſince it requires neither Thought nor Ingenuity to be ſucceſsful at theſe new-invented Tables.

I could name a certain Spot of Ground within the Liberties of Weſtminſter, which contains no leſs than fourteen public Gaming- Houſes in the Compaſs of two hundred Yards; all which are every Night crowded with a promiſcuousmiſcuous 149 X2r 149 miſcuous Company of the great Vulgar and the Small, as Congreve elegantly and juſtly calls all ſuch Aſſemblies.

To hurl the Tennis-Ball, or play a Match at Cricket, are certainly robuſt and manly Exerciſes; — they were originally invented to try and preſerve Strength and Activity, and to keep thoſe of our Youth, who were not born to meaner Labours, from Idleneſs and Effeminacy. — The playing at the latter alſo, County againſt County, was deſigned to inſpire a noble Emulation to excel each other in thoſe Feats which might render them more able to ſerve their King and Country, when the Defence of either required them to take up Arms. — No mercenary Views had any Share in the Inſtitution of theſe Games: — Honour was the only Excitement, — Applauſe the only End propoſed by each bold Attemptor. Theſe, alas! of later Days, are but empty Names; — a thouſand Pound has more real Charms than any are to be found in Glory: — Gain, ſordid Gain, is all that engroſſes the Heart, and adds Tranſport to Succeſs. Without that, Numbers, who throng to give Proofs of their Activity, would rather chuſe to paſs the Time away in lolling over a Lady’s Toilet while ſhe is dreſſing, or in his own Eaſy-Chair at Home, liſtening to the Muſic of his Footman’s French Horn.

Will any one ſay that this is true Nature? — No, it is the Vices which deform Nature, and only by being too general and cuſtomary, may be X2 called 150 X2v 150 called a ſecond Nature. — Would Nature ever direct us to ſearch into the Boſom of the Earth for Gold! — Or when found, to idolize the Ore our Hands had dug! — to pride ourſelves more or leſs according to the Quantity of the ſhining Pelf we are Maſters of, and to place all Honour, Virtue, and Renown in being Rich!

However, ſince the World is ſo much altered from what it was in the true State of Nature, and there is now no ſubſiſting without ſome Portion of this Gold, we muſt not affect to deſpiſe it too much: But as we ought not to liſten to the Calls of Avarice, in acquiring it by any indiſcreet or ſcandalous Means, ſo when poſſeſſed of it, we ought not to laviſh it away in Trifles we have no Occaſion for, and perhaps had better be without. — We ſhould reflect, that our Poſterity will have need of it as well as ourſelves, and look on every Extravagancy we are guilty of as a Robbery of them; that we are no more than Tenants for Life in whatever deſcends to us from our Parents; and that we ſhould leave it as entire and unembezled as we received it from them. — Nor is the Injuſtice leſs when we needleſly, and to gratify any inordinate Appetite, diſſipate thoſe Goods of Fortune we may have acquired by our own Induſtry. — Children, being Part of ourſelves, are born to ſhare in our Poſſeſſions; and nothing is more abſurd, in my Opinion, than the Saying of ſome People, that their Children may labour for themſelves as they have done. — How are ſuch Parents certain they will be able 151 X3r 151 able to do ſo? A thouſand Accidents may happen to render the utmoſt Efforts they can make of no effect; and when that is the Caſe, how hardly muſt a Son think of a Father, who, by a profuſe and riotous manner of Living, has reduced to ſtarving thoſe who derive their Being from him!

Not that I would wiſh any one to deny himſelf the Neceſſaries, nor even the Pleaſures of Life, for the ſake of his Poſterity; but in all theſe Things there is a golden Mean to be obſerved, which is indeed no other than to follow Nature, enjoy ourſelves while we live, and prudently reſerve ſomething for thoſe to enjoy who are to live after us.

It is certain that no Age, no Nation ever were equal to us in Luxury of all kinds. — The moſt private low-bred Man would be a Heliogabalus in his Table; and too many Women there are, who, like Cleopatra, would not ſcruple to ſwallow a whole Province at a Draught.

Then as to Dreſs, they ſeem to ſtudy now not what is moſt becoming, but what will coſt the moſt: — No Difference made between the young Nobleman and the City-Prentice, except that the latter is ſometimes the greater Beau: — Gold-headed Canes, Watches, Rings, Snuff- Boxes, and lac’d Waſtcoats, run away with the Fortune that should set him up in Buſineſs, and frequently tempt him to defraud his Maſter, who perhaps alſo, taken up with his own private Pleaſures,ſures 152 X3v 152 ſures, examines too little into his Shop-Affairs, and when the Till is drained, borrows a while to ſupport his darling Pride, then ſinks at once to Ruin and Contempt.

Our Sex is known to be ſo fond of appearing fine and gay, that it is no wonder the Tradeſmen’s Wives ſhould even exceed their Huſbands in the Article of Dreſs; but it is indeed prodigious that ſo many of them ſhould, merely for the ſake of being thought able to afford any thing, deſtroy the reaſonable End of Finery, and render themſelves awkward, nay prepoſterous, inſtead of genteel and agreeable. — When a Gold and Silver Stuff, enough to weigh a Woman down, ſhall be loaded yet more with heavy Trimmings, what Opinion can we have either of the Fancy or Judgment of her that wears it? — And is not her Neighbour, whom to out-ſhine, perhaps, ſhe has ſtrained her Huſband’s Purſe- Strings for this coſtly Garment, infinitely more to be liked in a plain Du Cape or Almazeen!

I am ſorry to obſerve that this falſe Delicacy in Eating, Drinking, Apparel, Furniture and Diverſions, ſo prevalent among us, has not only undone half the Nation, but rendered us extremely ridiculous to Foreigners who are Witneſſes of it. — Thus Avarice introduced Luxury, Luxury leads us to Contempt, and Beggary comes on apace.

I fear what I have ſaid on theſe Topics will be 153 X4r 153 be but ill reliſhed by a great many of my Readers; but if I have the good Fortune to find it has had an Effect on any one of them, ſo far as to cauſe them to ſee the Error they have been guilty of, I ſhall be the leſs chagrin’d at the Reſentment of the wilfully Blind. — Times like theſe require Corroſives, not Balſams to amend: — The Sore has already eaten into the very Bowels of Public Happioneſs, and they muſt tear away the infected Part, or become a Nuſance to themſelves and all about them.

I remember to have formerly heard a Story of one Adulphus, the Truth of which was ſtrongly aſſerted. — This Man, who it ſeems had an Eſtate of 300l. per Annum, lived happy and contented on it, till one Afternoon as he was ſleeping in his Garden, he dreamed a Perſon of a very venerable Aſpect came to him, and ſaid, Adulphus! your Integrity, Hoſpitality, and thoſe other Virtues you are poſſeſſed of, entitles you to a Reward from above. — This Day Twelvemonth, and at this Hour preciſely, you ſhall receive from my Hands the Sum of 30,000l.

This Dream made a ſtrong Impreſſion on him: He ſat it down in his Pocket-Book the Moment he awoke; and believing as firmly it would come to paſs, as if an Angel from Heaven had really deſcended to him with this Promiſe, he began to conſider in what manner he ſhould live, and how the Treaſure ſhould be employed. — A thouſand grand Ideas preſently came into 154 X4v 154 into his Head: — He looked on his Houſe, he found it old, decayed, and infinitely too ſmall for a Man of the Fortune he was to receive. — To loſe no Time therefore, he ſent for Workmen, and contracted with them to build it up anew after a Plan he drew up himſelf, and was extremely elegant. —

A Garden, which before was planted with all Things uſeful in a Kitchen, was now converted into a large Court-Yard in a Semi-Circle, and encompaſſed with a Wall ornamented with gilded Flower-Pots; a fine Portico raiſed with five Steps, led to a Hall one hundred and fifty Foot ſquare, lined with Cedar, and ſupported by twelve Marble-Pillars, curiouſly carved and corniſhed after the Doric and Ionic Manner: — The Ceiling was lofty, and painted with the Story of Orpheus and the Bacchanalian Dames, who, in their wild Fury, tore both the Muſician and his Lyre to Pieces. — On each Side, a little Avenue led to a Range of handſome Parlours; and ſome few Paces farther two noble Stair-Caſes, which by an eaſy Aſcent brought you, the one to the right, and the other to the left Wing of the Houſe, both which contained an equal Number of Lodging- Rooms. — Over the great Portico and Hall was a Gallery with Windows on both Sides, ſo that there was a thorough Proſpect from the great Court-Yard to the Gardens behind the Houſe, which had ſeven Deſcents all laid out in different Parterres, and embelliſhed with Statues and Fountains. — The laſt of them terminated in a Wilderneſs,derneſs 155 Y1r 155 derneſs, in which was a Fiſh-Pond, and near it ſeveral curious Grotts, where, in the Noontide Heats of Auguſt, you might feel all the Coolneſs and the Sweets of a May Morning.

A great Number of Hands being employed, the Building was ſoon finiſhed, and againſt it was ſo, Adulphus had beſpoke Furniture ſuitable to it. — He indeed ſhewed his good Taſte in every thing he did; — every body allowed nothing could be more compleat; but at the ſame time as his Income was known all about the Country, it afforded Matter of Diſcourſe by what Means he was become ſo ſuddenly rich, as to be able to erect ſuch an Edifice of ſuch Expence. — They took upon them to calculate how much it coſt, and found, that tho’ there were many Things in the old Building which might contribute, yet the whole of what he muſt infallibly lay out could not be leſs than 10,000l. — Some thought he had found hidden Treaſures; ſome, that he was privately married to a rich Wife; others, leſs inclined to judge favourably, ſaid he dealt with the Devil. — Various were the Conjectures of what he was about; but all were far diſtant from the Truth. — Alas! they knew not that he had been up in London, and deeply mortgaged his paternal Eſtate to purchaſe Marble, Cedar, and other Things which were not to be procured without; and as to the Artificers, he had ſet the Day of Payment according to his Dream; and as his Character was fair, and he had Y always 156 Y1v 156 always been accounted an honeſt frugal Man, not one of them but were perfectly ſatisfied.

He truſted not his moſt intimate Friends however with the Secret, by what Means ſo great an Acceſſion of Fortune was to befal him; but was always ſo gay and eaſy, that none doubted but he was well aſſured of it himſelf.

At length with the wiſh’d-for Day arrived, againſt which Time he had ordered a great Collation to be prepared; all his Kindred, and ſeveral of the neighbouring Gentry were invited, before whom he intended to diſcharge all his Tradeſmen’s Bills.

The Hour appointed by the Viſion was, as near as I can remember the Story, about Five; and he no ſooner heard the Clock ſtrike, than he begged the Company’s Pardon for a Moment and went into his Cloſet, not in the leaſt doubting but he ſhould return loaded with Wealth. — He ſat for ſome time in the moſt pleaſed Expectation, till the Hour elapſing, his Heart began to be invaded with ſome ſlight Palpitations: — But what became of him, when not only ſix, but ſeven o’Clock paſſed over, and no Guardian Angel, nor any Meſſage from him, arrived? —

Persons of his ſanguine Complection, however, do not eaſily give way to Deſpair. — To excuſe the Diſappointment, he flattered himſelf that this Delay had been entirely his own Fault, and 157 Y2r 157 and that as the Promiſe had been made to him while he was ſleeping, ſo he ought to have waited the Performance of it in the ſame Situation; beſides, he did not know but the Noiſe and Hurry he had in his Houſe might not be pleaſing to thoſe intellectual Beings who delight in Solitude and Privacy. Theſe were the Imaginations which enabled him to return to his Friends with a compoſed Countenance; and firmly believing that in the Night he ſhould receive what his Inadvertency in the Day had deprived him of, he told his Creditors that an Accident had poſtponed the Satisfaction he propoſed in diſcharging the Obligations he had to them till the next Morning, but that if they pleaſed to come at that Time they might depend on being paid. On this they all retired well ſatisfied, and Adulphus paſſed the Remainder of the Evening among his Gueſts, with the ſame Jollity and good Humour he had been in the whole Day.

This indeed was the laſt Night of his Tranquillity. — He went to Bed and fell aſleep, but no delightful Ideas preſented themſelves to him: He awoke, and by the Light of a Candle which he kept burning in the Chimney, looked round the Room in hopes of ſeeing the dear Money- Bags lying ready for him on the Table, but found every thing juſt as he had left it: — He then put out the Candle, ſtill flattering himſelf that Darkneſs would be more favourable. — A little Ruſtling which ſome Accident ſoon after occaſioned, made him certain that his Wiſhes were now compleated:Y2 pleated: 158 Y2v 158 pleated: — Out of Bed he jumps in Tranſport, and feels in every Corner, but found nothing of what he ſought; then lay down again, in vain endeavouring to compoſe himſelf to reſt. — At length the Morning broke, and he once more with wiſhful Eyes and akeing Heart renewed his Search, — alas! to the ſame Purpoſe as before: — All he could see were Pictures, Glaſſes, and other rich Furniture, which being unpaid for, ſerved only as ſo many Mementoes of his Misfortune. — He now began to tremble for the Conſequences of his too credulous Dependance on a Viſion; yet still unwilling to believe what gave him ſo much Horror, a new Matter of Hope ſtarted into his Head. — The Promiſe was made to him that Day Twelvemonth, which it was certain was gone without any Effect of what he had been made to expect; but then he reflected that it was not the ſame Day of the Week, and that poſſibly this might bring him better News.

He therefore ventured to tell his Creditors that tho’ a ſecond Delay had happened, they ſhould be all paid on the Morrow. — His Character, and the Aſſurance with which he ſpoke, prevented them from being uneaſy as yet; but when they came the third time, and found that, inſtead of having their Demands anſwered, Adulphus would not be ſeen by them, but had ſhut himſelf up in his Chamber, and ordered his Servants to ſay he was indiſpoſed, they began to murmur; and ſome of them who had been informed of 159 Y3r 159 of his having mortgaged his Eſtate, thought it was beſt for them to take ſome other Method of getting their Money than barely aſking for it, before all was gone.

Several Proceſſes were preſently made out againſt him, and Officers continually watching about his Houſe to take him; but he kept himſelf ſo cloſe, that all their Endeavours were in vain for a long Time. — His Friends being informed of all this, could not conceive what had induced him to act in the manner he had done, and came often to his Houſe on purpoſe to interrogate him concerning his Affairs, and offer their Aſſiſtance in making them up, in caſe there was a Poſſibility; but none of them could ever get Acceſs to him; — his Grief, his Shame, and his Deſpair at finding the Impoſition he had put upon himſelf, the Injuſtice it had made him guilty of to others, and the inevitable Ruin that stared him in the Face, would not ſuffer him to ſee even thoſe for whom he had the moſt Good-will; and nothing is more ſtrange than, that in the Agonies of his Soul he did not lay violent Hands on his own Life.

In ſpite of all his Caution he was at laſt arreſted and thrown into Priſon; and this occaſioning a thorough Enquiry into his Circumſtances, it was ſoon diſcovered that he had made every thing away; but the Motive which had induced a Man, who had all his Life, till this unhappy Infatuation, behaved with the greateſt Prudence and 160 Y3v 160 and Moderation, was ſtill a Secret; and this ſo incenſed all who had any Dealings with him, as making them think he had only a Deſign to defraud them from the Beginning, that they would liſten to no Terms of Accommodation.

The Truth is, he was become too ſenſible of his Folly to be able to declare it, till from a full Belief that he had been mad, he grew ſo in reality, and in his Ravings diſcloſed what Shame, while he had any Remains of Reflection, made him ſo carefully conceal.

His golden Dream, and the ſad Effect it had on him, were now the Talk of the whole Town; and thoſe how had been moſt exaſperated againſt him, now pitied him. — His Friends conſulted together, and the fine Houſe and Furniture were ſold, as was alſo his Eſtate, after clearing the Mortgage, to pay the Creditors as far as the Money would go, and on this he was diſcharged from Priſon, but naked, pennyleſs, and in no Condition of doing any thing for his Subſiſtence.

In this miſerable Condition, it was thought the greateſt Charity could be ſhewn to him, was to put him into Bethlem, where, as I was informed, he regained his Senſes enough to relate the whole Particulars of what before he had but by Starts imperfectly diſcovered; but the Mildneſs of his late Diſorder being ſucceeded by a deep Melancholly, he never once deſired to quit the Place and Company he was in, and after languiſhingguiſhing 161 Y4r 161 guiſhing ſome Months, died a ſad Example of indulging Proſpects which are merely ſpeculative.

I am afraid one need not give oneſelf much Trouble to find many Adulphus’s in this Kingdom; and that if all who have acted like him, on as little a Foundation, were to be accounted Lunatics, new Hoſpitals muſt be erected, for that in Moor-Fields would not contain a thouſandth Part.

It is indeed a dreadful thing when People cannot reſolve to content themſelves with the Sphere in which they are placed by Heaven and Nature. — It is this Reſtleſsneſs of the Mind that occaſions half the Miſchiefs that befal Mankind; — and yet we are all, more or leſs, apt to have ſome Share of it: — Every one wiſhes for ſomething he has not, and that hinders him from enjoying properly what he is poſſeſſed of.—We fancy we know better than him that made us, what would befit us, and accuſe Providence of Partiality in the Lot aſſigned us; and how fond ſoever we may be of the Writings of the late celebrated Mr. Pope, it is but rarely we remember this Maxim of his, and acknowledge, with him, that ――Whatever is, is right.

But this, as I ſaid before, is wholly owing to the Dominion we ſuffer ill Paſſions to get over us 162 Y4v 162 us, and not to Nature, which is eaſily ſatisfied, and never craves a Superfluity of any thing.—I have often obſerved that the Attachment of what we have purſued with the moſt Eagerneſs, has proved our greateſt Curſe; and I dare anſwer, that there are ſcarce any of my Readers but have ſome time or other, in the Courſe of their Lives, experienced this Truth.

Thousands are there in this great Metropolis, who have with the utmoſt Ardency wiſhed the Death of a Parent, an elder Brother, a Huſband or a Wife, and yet a ſmall Time after have found the Loſs of them the ſevereſt Misfortune could have befallen them.

In the Deſigns Men have upon our Sex, I appeal to themſelves, if the ſeducing a Wife or Daughter of a Friend, has not brought on them worſe Conſequences, than the Refuſal of the Gratification of their Paſſion could poſſibly have done.

Even in leſs unwarrantable Aims we often find that the Grant of what we aſk is a greater Cruelty than the Denial.—Suppoſe the partial Favour of a Prince ſhould confer any of the great Offices of State on a Perſon who had not Abilities to diſcharge his Truſt with any tolerable degree of Honour, would it not have been better for ſuch a one to have continued in a private Life, rather than, by this Exaltation, have his Ignorancerance 163 Z1r 163 rance expoſed, and become the Jeſt of a ſneering World, who rejoice in an Opportunity of ridiculing the Foibles of the Great!

In fine, there is no one Thing, let it wear ever ſo fair a Face of Happineſs, but the Poſſeſſion of may render us miſerable, either by its not being eſſentially ſo in itſelf, or by our own Want of Capacity to uſe it as we ought.

Not to be too anxious after any thing, is therefore the only ſure Means of enjoying that Tranquillity we but vainly depend upon in the Acquiſition of what our Paſſions make us look on for a Time as our greateſt Good.

O But, ſome People will cry, theſe are ſtupid Maxims: Nature, in accuſtoming itſelf to ſuch a State of Indolence and Inactivity, would fall into a Lethargy, and we ſhould be little better than walking Statues.—Paſſions were given us to invigorate the Mind, and rouſe us to noble and great Actions; and he that is born without them, or mortifies them too much, is incapable of doing any thing to ſerve his God, his Country, or himſelf.

This is undoubtedly true; and whoever underſtands what I have ſaid in a contrary Senſe, does an Injury to my Meaning.—I am for having every one endeavour to excel in whatever Station or Profeſſion he has been bred; but I am for having none attempt to go out of it, or to Z regard 164 Z1v 164 regard Promotion more than the Means by which he aims to acquire it.—He ought to have Ambition enough to do all that might make him worthy of being raiſed, but not ſo much as to make him capable of overleaping all the Barriers of Virtue to attain his End.—I would not have a Lieutenant in the Army ſhoot his Captain in the Back for the ſake of getting into his Poſt; but I would have him behave ſo as to deſerve a better.

But there is one very unfortunate Propenſity in moſt of us, for I know not whether it may be called a Paſſion, and that is the Vanity of imagining we deſerve much more than in reality we do. —This Vanity, when not gratified, makes us murmur and repine at thoſe who have it in their Power to grant what we deſire, and yet withhold it from us;—it excites in us an Envy and Hatred againſt thoſe who are in Poſſeſſion of what we think is due to us alone;—it inſpires us with a thouſand baſe Artifices to undermine and ruin all who have a fairer Proſpect than ourſelves.—When a Perſon of this Stamp happens to ſucceed in his Aim, you may know him by a haughty Strut, and contemptuous Toſs of the Head to his Inferiors, an Air of Importance to his Equals, and a ſervile Fawn on all who can any way contribute to exalting him yet higher; for there are no Bounds to the Ambition of a ſelf-ſufficient Man. What Crowds of theſe do we ſee ev’ry Day,At Park, at Opera, at Court and Play! A 165 Z2r 165 A Perſon who, on the contrary, really riſes by his Merit, is affable and mild to all beneath him, ſociable among thoſe of his own Rank, and pays that Regard to thoſe above him, which their Stations or intrinſic Worth demand, but no farther. —Such a one is rejoiced at his good Fortune, but not altered in his Humour:—He forgets not what he was, nor his former Companions, and thinks himſelf not at all the better Man for being a greater. What Pity ’tis that ſuch no more aboundWhoſe modeſt Merit Recompence has found.

That Conſideration, however, nor a thouſand Rebuffs which a virtuous Man often meets with in the Diſcharge of his Duty, or the Attainment of what he has really purchaſed by his good Behaviour, will not deter him from going on in the ſame laudable Courſe, becauſe it is pleaſing to himſelf, and renders him infinitely more at Eaſe in his own Breaſt, than he can ever feel, who, by indirect Means, arrives at the higheſt Summit of his ambitious Views.

Xeuxis, by a long Series of Hypocriſy, Treachery and Deceit, pretended Menaces on the one Side, equally falſe Friendſhips on the other, and every Artifice of wicked Policy, has at laſt forced himſelf, as it were, into a Seat which neither his Birth, his Parts, nor the moſt ſanguine Wiſhes of his beſt Friends could ever promiſe; yet how wretchedly does his new Z2 Gran- 166 Z2v 166 Grandeur ſit upon him!—Do not his ſullen Looks and contracted Brow denote a ſecret Remorſe that preys upon his Soul, when, inſtead of the Reſpect he flattered himſelf with, he meets only with Inſults, and that the Dignity, ſo unworthily conferred upon him, has ſerved but to render him the Object of all good Men’s Contempt, and the Deteſtation of the Vulgar!

From this Lump of glutted Avarice and ſwollen Ambition, let us turn our Eyes on brave Timoleon, whoſe untainted Virtue would honour the higheſt Dignities, yet is poſſeſſed of none but thoſe derived to him from his illuſtrious Anceſtors:—Uncourting, unindebted to Favour, a native Greatneſs ſhines through his whole Deportment; conſcious Worth, and innate Peace of Mind, ſmile in his Eyes, at once commanding Homage and Affection:—His Name is never mentioned but with Bleſſings; and the Love and Admiration of all Degrees of People give him that ſolid Grandeur which empty Titles, and all the Pomp of Arrogance would but in vain aſſume.

Who then would ſay it is not better to deſerve than to receive?—Who would not chuſe to be a Timoleon rather than a Xeuxis, did they well weigh the Difference of Characters before too far entered into the guilty Labyrinth to be able to retreat?

There are, indeed, a ſort of People in the World 167 Z3r 167 World who are too proud to be obliged,— who think it their Glory to refuſe Favours, even tho’ they ſtand in the greateſt need of them, and with a Cinical Surlineſs affront, inſtead of thanking, thoſe who make Offers of their Friendſhip.—This is a Diſpoſition which has nothing in it commendable; but as it ariſes only from too much Greatneſs of Mind, or what one may call Honour over-ſtrained, ſuch a Perſon can never be dangerous to Society; and how little Good ſoever he may be capable of doing to himſelf, he will be ſure to do no Hurt to others.

In an Age ſo ſelfiſh and gain-loving as this of our’s, there are but few Examples of the kind I have mentioned; I ſhall therefore preſent my Readers with one which happened very lattely, and is, I think, pretty extraordinary.

Leolin, a Gentleman deſcended from one of the beſt Families in Wales, and born to a conſiderable Eſtate, had from his very early Years been attached by the moſt tender Paſſion to a young Lady called Elmira, an Heireſs of 1,600l. a Year.—His Vows had all the Succeſs he could deſire; and if he thought that all the Charms of the whole Sex were united in his Elmira, ſhe could find nothing worthy of her Affection but her Leolin. Their Fathers, who had been long intimate Friends, approved their mutual Flame; and when Leolin arrived at his twentieth Year, and Elmira at that of ſixteen, they reſolved to join the Hands of two Perſons, whoſe Hearts 168 Z3v 168 Hearts had been united even before they knew either the Nature or the Aim of the Paſſion they were inſpired with.

Accordingly the Marriage-Articles were drawn, and great Preparations were making to ſolemnize the Nuptials, when, within two or three Days of that which was intended to compleat it, the Father of Elmira had the Misfortune to fall off his Horſe and break his Leg, which turning to a Mortification, was obliged to be cut off.—Either Want of Skill in the Surgeons, or his own Obſtinancy in not suffering the Amputation to be above the Knee, proved fatal to him, and he died in four and twenty Hours after the Operation.

This occaſioned a melancholy Delay of our Lover’s Happineſs.—The virtuous and diſcreet Elmira could not think of devoting herſelf to the Joys and Gaiety of a bridal State immediately after the Loſs of a Parent to whom ſhe had been extremely dear, and whoſe Indulgence ſhe had always repaid with the moſt ſincere filial Duty and Affection.—Leolin himſelf, who ſhared in all her Sorrows, durſt not preſume to preſs it; and his Father was too great an Obſerver of Decency, as well as too much concerned for the Death of his good old Friend, to urge the Completion of an Affair, which tho’ he very much deſired, yet he thought might be more agreeable to all the Parties concerned, when Time had a little worn off the preſent Poignancy of Grief.

The 169 Z4r 169

The firſt Mourning being over, and the white Garments accompanied with ſomewhat of a more chearful Aſpect, the paſſionate Leolin began by degrees to remind his charming Miſtreſs of her Engagement; and ſhe was half conſenting to put an End to all his Languiſhments, when a ſecond, and, in its Conſequences, more fatal Diſappointment than the former came between them and the Felicity they expected.

The Father of Leolin was ſuddenly ill: —His Indiſpoſition terminated in a violent Fever, which in a very few Days took him from the World; but even this Event, afflicting as it was to his Son, proved a ſlight Misfortune to that which immediately enſued,—The Funeral Obſequies were no ſooner over, than the Houſe of the young Gentleman was forcibly entered by Officers, who came to ſeize on all he had by vertue of a Deed of Gift made, as they ſaid, by his Father ſome Years before to his Brother’s Son. —Leolin, impetuous by Nature, oppoſed their Paſſage all he could; but the Number they brought with them by far exceeded thoſe of his Servants, and they took Poſſeſſion:—On which he went to the Houſe of a neighbouring Gentleman, who had been an intimate Acquaintance of his Father, complained to him of his Wrongs, and intreated his Advice.

Not only this Perſon, but the chief Gentlemen of the Country, perſwaded him to have recourſe to Law;—it ſeeming highly improbable that 170 Z4v 170 that any Father ſhould give away the Inheritance of an only Son, and ſuch a Son as Leolin, who had never done any thing to diſoblige him, and of whom he had always ſeemed extremely fond.

The Kinſman, however, had his Pretences, which, for the better underſtanding this myſterious Affair, I muſt not paſs over in Silence.— The Mother of Leolin, when he was not above four or five Years old, eloped from her Huſband, and took Refuge in France with a Gentleman who had formerly courted her, and whom ſhe continued to love to the eternal Ruin of all that ought to be dear to Womankind.—

So manifeſt a Proof of her Unchaſtity, it is certain, made him diſregard the young Leolin for a time, as dubious if he were really of his Blood; —and Witneſſes were produced, who ſwore they had heard him ſay, the Baſtard never ſhould inherit an Acre of his Land; and when they anſwered, that it would not be in his Power to cut him off, he rejoined, No matter, there were other Courſes to be taken.

This they depoſed that they underſtood as meant by the Deed of Gift now produced; and that tho’ ſince then he had treated Leolin as his Son, and ſeemed to uſe him well, it was only to avoid any farther Noiſe being made in the World of his Diſhonour while he lived, referring ſhewing his Reſentment to the Mother on the Son till after his Deceaſe.

In 171 Aa1r 171

In fine, after a long Proceſs, the Trial came on, and the Kinſman had ſo well concerted his Meaſures, that, in ſpite of all the Probabilities that were againſt him, he got the better of Leolin;—the Judge only in Conſideration of his having been bred a Gentleman, and in the Expectation of ſo large an Eſtate, ordering he ſhould be allowed 200l. per Annum out of ſo many Thouſands.

Few there were, however, who did not believe him greatly wronged; nor could the Jury themſelves reconcile, to their own Reaſon, the Verdict they were obliged to give on the Evidence, who ſwore ſo poſitively, and corroborated their Depoſitions with ſo many Circumſtances, that, in Law, there was no Poſſibility for the Court to act otherwiſe than it did on this Occaſion.

Leolin, who for his many good Qualities had always been highly eſteemed and beloved in the County where he was born, had many friendly Offers made him, and continual Invitations from one Houſe to another; but he would accept of none, avoided all Converſation with thoſe he was once intimate with, and ſhut himſelf up in a little Farm-Houſe, ordering the People belonging to it to ſuffer no Perſon whatever to come to him.

But his Behaviour with regard to Elmira was the moſt aſtoniſhing, and what indeed excited me to give this melancholy Detail of his Adventures. Aa — During 172 Aa1v 172 —During the Continuance of the Law-Suit, and while he had Hope of overcoming his Adverſary, he was ſcarce ever from her, and, in ſpite of the Vexation this cruel Invaſion of his Birthright had involved him in, found always a Satisfaction in her unaltered and endearing Converſation, which more than compenſated for all the Frowns of Fortune.—But the Moment he was caſt, that he was certain his Ruin was compleated, he ſhun’d her even more than all the World beſide; and tho’ her Love and the Engagements between them, made her not to look upon it as a Breach of Modeſty to write to him, to conjure him in the moſt preſſing Terms to come to her, and aſſured him the Change in his Circumſtances had wrought no change in her Affection; that her Eſtate was a ſufficient Competency for both, and that ſhe was ready to make him a Preſent of that with herſelf, yet could ſhe not prevail on him to ſee her.

In fine, from the moſt affable and obliging of Mankind, he was now become the moſt ſtern, moroſe, and ill-temper’d, according to the Poet, Great Souls grow always haughty in Diſtreſs.

In vain a Miſtreſs ſo lately loved, admired, almoſt adored, now condeſcended to ſollicit him to accept all in her Power to give:—All the Proofs ſhe gave him of her Tenderneſs, her Conſtancy, her diſintereſted Paſſion, ſerved but to add now Matter for his Diſcontent; and to get rid 173 Aa2r 173 rid of her Importunities, he at laſt ſent one Letter in anſwer to the many obliging ones he had received from her.—A Friend of mine happened to be with her when it arrived, and aſſured me it contained theſe Lines.

Madam, Ibelieve there is no Occaſion for any Aſſeverations that no Man has ever loved with greater Sincerity than I have done, or more paſſionately deſired to be united to you for ever, while there remained the leaſt Hope of being ſo without rendering both of us the Subject of Ridicule.—In fine, I have ſtill too much Regard for you to have it ſaid you bought a Huſband, and for myſelf to think of ſubmitting to the ſlaviſh Dependance on a Wife’s Fortune—Were the Balance on my Side, I ſhould not act in this manner; but as Things are now circumſtanced between us, I beg you will give neither yourſelf nor me any further Trouble on this ſcore:—The moſt prudent Step you can take for the Peace of both is to think of me no more, ſince I never can be, in the manner I once flattered myſelf with being, Yours, &c; Leolin. Aa2 P.S. 174 Aa2v 174 P.S. I quit the Place I am in this very Moment, nor ſhall make any Perſon in the World the Confidant of my Retirement, ſo that no Letters can poſſibly come to my Hands; but have ordered the honeſt Man, who has been my Hoſt for ſome time, to pay you 300l. which you may remember I borrowed of you while my unhappy Law-Affair was in Agitation, and the Intereſt due upon the Loan.—Adieu for ever: Be aſſured I wiſh you much better than you do yourſelf.

Poor Elmira read the Letter with Tears in her Eyes, and cried out, O what a Noble Mind is here perverted!—Quite changed from what it was, by an ill-judging and injurious World! But when ſhe came to the Poſtſcript, and the Man counted the Money to her on the Table, ſhe grew beyond all Patience.—How meanly muſt he think of me! ſaid ſhe.—How little does he know Elmira!—And then again, What! am I turned Uſurer then! This little Indignation, however, ſoon ſubſided, and gave way to the ſofter Dictates of her Love and Friendſhip:—She aſked the Farmer a thouſand Queſtions concerning his Behaviour;—conjured him to deal ſincerely with her, and to inform her whether he had really left his Houſe or not, and if he had, what Road he took?

To all this he replied with a great deal of Truth, 175 Aa3r 175 Truth, that he had never ſeen a Man ſo changed as to his Humour, but that he did not think his Brain was any way diſordered:—That ſome time paſt he ſent for a Money-Scrivener, and ſold the Annuity ordered him for Life for 1000l.. Part of which he had diſpoſed of in paying all the little Debts he had contracted since his Misfortune, and had taken the Remainder with him; that he went on Horſeback, but could not ſay what Road, becauſe he was forbid accompanying him even to the Lane’s End that led up to his Houſe.

In the preſent Emotions of her various Paſſions, ſhe would certainly have followed him herſelf, could ſhe have known what Rout to take, and either brought him back or died before him; but as this was impoſſible, ſhe diſpatched Men and Horſes every where ſhe could think of, to each of whom ſhe gave little Billets, beſeeching him by all he ever did or could love, to return to her, and not make them both miſerable by a fooliſh Punctilio, which the Senſe of the Injuries he had ſuſtained alone had put into his Head.

The Servants knowing their Miſtreſs’s Attachment, and beſides having a very great Reſpect for Leolin, who had been always extremely affable and liberal to them, ſpared no Pains to execute their Commiſſion.

But all their Endeavours were fruitleſs; Leolin doubtleſs ſuſpecting what would be the Conſequence of his Letter, and obſtinate in his Reſolution,lution, 176 Aa3v 176 lution, to ſuffer any thing rather than be under the leaſt Obligation even to the Woman he loved, paſſed through ſuch Bye-ways as eluded all their Search.

He came up London, where having furniſhed himſelf with all Things neceſſary for a Campaign, he went a Voluntier into the Army. —The little Regard he had for Life, joined to his natural Impetuoſity, hurried him into the thickeſt Dangers, and he fell among many other gallant Men at the Battle of Dettingen.

An old Officer, who had been an Acquaintance of his Father’s, ſaw and knew him on his firſt coming into the Camp, and having heard the Story of his Misfortunes, offered him all the Services in his Power; but Leolin rejected every thing that might afford him any Advantage, and continued determined to the laſt to be obliged to none but himſelf.

It was this Gentleman who, on the Account of his great Age, and many Wounds, returning to England after the Campaign was over, brought the Account of him, who elſe perhaps might till this Moment have been vainly ſought by the diſconſolate Elmira.

So anxious, ſo unhappy had ſhe been from the Time of his Departure, that to hear he was no more could ſcarce add to it.—The News, however, encouraged ſeveral Gentlemen to make their Addreſſes 177 Aa4r 177 Addreſſes to her, which while he was living, in any Circumſtances, they knew would have been in vain; but they found his Death of no Service to their Suite:—His Memory was ſtill a Rival, which all their Efforts were too weak to ſurmount; —to that ſhe aſſures them ſhe is wedded, and to that will to her laſt Breath continue conſtant.

What now can we ſay of this Leolin, but that he was an honeſt, brave and worthy Man?— Can we help admiring him at the ſame time that we condemn him!—And had not that unhappy Obſtinancy, to which he fell a Martyr, wounded at the ſame time the Breaſt of the generous, the ſweet Elmira, ſhould we not have greatly compaſſionated a Foible, which, if we examine to the Bottom, we ſhall find had its Riſe from a Virtue in Exceſs!

The Love of Freedom and Independency, it ſeems, was his darling Propenſity; and tho’ he had nothing in reality to fear from the Excellence of Elmira’s Nature, yet to know himſelf obliged, and that there was even a Poſſibility for her ſome time or other to think he was ſo, had ſomewhat in it which the Greatneſs of his Spirit could not ſubmit to bear.—I am apt to believe, that had ſhe been reduced in the manner he was, and he been poſſeſſed of as many Millions as he was born to Thouſands, he would with the utmoſt Pleaſure have thrown them at her Feet, and found his greateſt Felicity in her Acceptance.

Such 178 Aa4v 178

Such a Man muſt certainly have made a very great Figure in the Senate, had he ever arrived at being a Member of it; and for the Good of my Country, I ſincerely wiſh there were five hundred of the ſame Way of Thinking:—What in private Life was his greateſt Misfortune, would in a public one have rendered him of the higheſt Service to the preſent Age, and endeared his Name to late Poſterity.—No Careſſes,—no Penſions,—no Ribbands,—no Preferments would have had any Influence over a Perſon of his Principles:—Reſolute to ſupport the native Freedom of an Engliſhman, he would have uttered his Mind without Reſerve; and the more had been offered by a Court-Paraſite for his Silence, the more warmly had he ſpoke in the Cauſe of Liberty.—Perhaps indeed he might have been too bold, and for his particular Mortification have occaſioned the Habeas Corpus Act to be ſuſpended; but what of that! it might have hurt ſome Individuals, but muſt have been of general Service, and have opened the Eyes of thoſe who, more through Indolence and Luxury, than Corruption, were made blind.

So far I blame him, in refuſing a fine Woman whom he loved, and who had an Eſtate which would have put it in his Power to be of Uſe to his Country, which, Heaven knows, and he could not have been ignorant of, ſtands in need of ſuch Supports; but as he was very young, and the Conſideration of theſe Things had not time to make the Impreſſion it ought, I cannot but 179 Bb1r 179 but pity him, and lament the Loſs which the Public have in a Friend ſo qualified to ſerve the common Intereſt

All the Young and Gay of both Sexes who are Advocates for the tender Paſſion, I know, cannot find in their Hearts to forgive him.— As to the Conſiderations I have mentioned, they will have indeed but very little Weight with them:—The Griefs of Elmira will be accounted of infinite more Conſequence, and he will be looked upon as a Man of a ſavage and barbarous Soul, who, to gratify his Pride, could forſake a Lady that ſo truly loved, and had made him ſuch Condeſcentions. I grant that there was ſomething cruel in the Effects of his Behaviour to her, yet I cannot help vindicating the Cauſe; and I think I cannot do it more effectually, than by ſetting a Character of quite oppoſite nature in the ſame Point of Light with him.—White is beſt illuſtrated by being near to Black; and the rough Diamond, which at preſent appears of ſo little Value, will riſe in a more juſt Eſtimation when placed near a common Pebble.

Cleophil is what the World calls a fine Gentleman; he is tall, well made, has a gay and lively Air, a good Fancy in Dreſs, dances to Perfection, tells a thouſand agreeable Stories, and is very entertaining in Converſation.

Belliza, the only Daughter of a late very eminent Tradeſman in the City, was the Bb Object 180 Bb1v 180 Object of his Flame; for tho’ he was the moſt gallant Man imaginable among all the Ladies he came in Company with, yet to this alone he made his Addreſſes.—It is certain, indeed, that nobody could condemn the Choice he made of her; for beſides the large Fortune it was expected would be given her by her Father, ſhe had 2000l. left by her Grandmother, which was entirely at her own Diſpoſal.—Her Wealth, however, was the leaſt Motive to that Envy with which many young Gentlemen ſaw the favourable Reception Chleophil was treated with by her. The moſt detracting of her own Sex cannot but allow her to have Beauty, Wit, Virtue, Good- nature, and all the Accompliſhments that can attract both Love and Reſpect; and as for thoſe of the other, there are few that ſee, without feeling for her ſomewhat more than bare Admiration.

Never was a more paſſionate Lover, to all Appearance, than Cleophil; he ſeemed jealous even of the Hours allowed for Repoſe, becauſe they deprived him of her Preſence, and would ſometimes encroach on them by bringing Muſicians under her Window, to ſerenade her with Songs either of his own compoſing, or which he pretended were ſo.

She was extremely young, ignorant of the Artifices and Inconſtancy of Mankind, and as the Perſon of this Adorer was agreeable to her, readily believed all he ſaid, and returned his Profeſſionsfeſſions 181 Bb2r 181 feſſions with the moſt tender and ſincere ones on her Part:—Nothing ſeemed wanting to complete their mutual Felicity but her Father’s Conſent, whom ſhe was too dutiful to diſobey, and could not yet obtain.

The old Gentleman had an Idea of Cleophil very different from what his Daughter had entertained:—He looked on him as a Man who had too much Regard for Intereſt to be ſo much in Love as he pretended:—He had a penetrating Judgment, and eaſily diſcovered a great Fund of Self-ſufficiency; and that Arrogance and Hypocriſy were hid beneath the ſpecious Shew of Honour, Generoſity and Tenderneſs; but as he found the young Belliza gave him the Preference to all who had made Offers of the nature he did, he would not ſuddenly thwart her Inclinations, but only ſeemed to delay what indeed he was very unwilling ſhould ever come to paſs:—He imagined that by repeated Prolongations of giving any definitive Anſwer, either the Patience of the Lover would be worn out, or his Daughter find ſomething in him which might give her Cauſe to alter her preſent favourable Opinion:—He wiſely conſidered that all Youth is headſtrong, and that whatever Bent it takes, Oppoſition only ſerves to render it more obſtinate and blind to Conviction; and tho’ the Temper of Belliza, in other Things, might render her an Exception to this general Rule, yet he knew not how far ſhe might be tranſported by her Paſſion to act in a Bb2 different 182 Bb2v 182 different manner from what any other Motive could have excited her to do. He therefore thought, by neither ſeeming to contradict nor approve her Deſires, to give her an Opportunity of diſcovering herſelf, what would not perhaps have gained the leaſt Credit with her from any other Perſon.

The indifferent Opinion he had of Cleophil, and his Knowledge of Human-Nature, which can ſeldom carry on a Courſe of Deceit for any long time, without elapſing into ſomething that betrays itſelf, made him not doubt but this would happen; as indeed it did, but by a way little foreſeen, or even apprehended by him.

He had at that Time two Ships of his own at Sea very richly laden, the Return of which he was daily expecting, when the melancholly News arrived that the one was wrecked; and the other taken by the Spaniards:—Several others alſo, in which he had conſiderable Shares, met with the ſame Fate, ſo that his Credit, as well as his Spirits, was very much ſunk:—Bills came thick upon him, and he ſoon became unable to diſcharge them, a Shock which in the whole Courſe of his Dealing he had never known before! Belliza, in this Exigence, entreated him to accept of her 2000l. but he refuſed it, telling her he knew not but his other Ventures Abroad might be as unſucceſsful as the laſt had been, and if ſo, the Sum ſhe was the Miſtreſs of would be incapable of doing him 183 Bb3r 183 him any real Service, and it would add to his Misfortune, to think that for a ſhort Reſpite for himſelf he had involved her in Ruin with him.

This did not ſatisfy the dutiful and tenderly affectionate Belliza; ſhe continued to preſs him with the utmoſt Ardency not to reject her Suit, till he at laſt aſſured her that the Demands on him were ſo large and numerous, that leſs than 4000l. would not preſerve his Credit till the Time in which he might reaſonably hope to hear from Hamburgh, Turky, and ſome other Places where he traffick’d.—She then propoſed to break the Matter to Cleophil, who ſhe knew had a conſiderable Sum in the Bank, and doubted not but he would be glad of ſuch an Opportunity to ſhew the Love and Reſpect he had for their Family.

The Father coolly anſwered, that ſhe might do as ſhe thought proper, and that if the young Gentleman obliged him in this Point, he ſhould take all the Care he could not to let him be a Loſer.

It was not that he imagined his Daughter would have any Succeſs in this Negotiation that he permitted her to attempt it; but becauſe he was willing ſhe ſhould put a Friendſhip ſhe had ſo much Confidence in to the Teſt.

Having obtained his Permiſſion, ſhe ſent immediately for her Lover, and in a few Words related to him the preſent Occaſion there was for her 184 Bb3v 184 her Father to be ſupplied with ſo much ready Caſh, and then added, that as ſhe was in Poſſeſſion of no more than half the Sum required, ſhe did not doubt but he would lay down the other Part.

As ſhe had no Anxiety in making this Requeſt, becauſe aſſured in her own Mind of its being granted, ſhe never thought of examining his Countenance while ſhe was ſpeaking; which if ſhe had, it would have been eaſy for her to perceive the Change that was in it.—All the Rapture with which he flew to receive her Commands was now no more, and in its Place was ſubſtituted an Air of Diſtance mixed with Surprize.—When ſhe had done ſpeaking, he told her he was extremely ſorry for her Father’s Misfortunes, but doubted not, as he was a Man very much beloved among the Perſons he dealt with, they would have Patience with him till he could hear from Abroad, and would adviſe him rather to make Trial of their Good-Nature, than put himſelf to any Straits for the Money to pay them immediately.

How, Cleophil! cried ſhe, quite thunderſtruck to hear him ſpeak in this manner, do you call it Straits to make uſe for a ſhort time of what his own Daughter, and a Perſon who has pretended he wiſhes nothing more than to be his Son, have it in their Power to furniſh him with!—Sure he has a Right to demand all we can do to ſerve him!

No 185 Bb4r 185

No Doubt he has, Madam, answered he, still more reſerved, and I ſhould rejoice in any Opportunity to oblige him, but I am under an unfortunate Engagement never to lend Money on any Account whatever:—My Father at his Death exacted an Oath from me, which there is no Poſſibility of my diſpenſing with, nor do I believe you would deſire it of me.

No, Cleophil, reſumed ſhe, almoſt burſting with inward Rage and Grief, you never ſhall be perjured at my Requeſt:—Too much already you are ſo in the falſe Vows you have made of diſintereſted and inviolable Love.

He made ſome faint Efforts to convince her of the Sincerity of his Paſſion; but ſhe eaſily ſaw they were but Words of courſe, and ſuch as no Man could well avoid ſpeaking to a Woman he had ever pretended to love, and therefore replied to them accordingly.

As he found now there was no Probability of her being Miſtreſs of that Fortune, which as it proved was the chief Motive of his Addreſſes, he was not at all concerned that his Excuſes had no greater Effect upon her, and tho’ when ſhe told him ſhe was aſhamed to remember that ſhe ever had any Confidence in him, or Regard for him, he replied, that when ſhe ceaſed to think well of him, he ſhould be the moſt miſerable of Mankind; yet his Eyes and the Accent of his Voice ſo little correſponded with his Words, that what 186 Bb4v 186 what he ſaid ſeemed rather meant in Irony than Reality.

In fine, they entirely broke off:—She obliged him to take back all the Preſents he had made her, and the Letters ſhe had received from him, and deſired he would return thoſe ſhe had ſent to him as ſoon as poſſible.—At parting, to preſerve the fine Gentleman, as he thought, he affected an Infinity of Grief, which, as ſhe eaſily ſaw through, ſhe but the more deſpiſed him for, and for his ſake almoſt the whole Sex.

Now will I appeal to thoſe who have been the leaſt willing to excuſe the Behaviour of my Welſh Hero, if the Character of Leolin is not amiable when compared with that of Cleophil.—Belliza indeed was leſs unhappy than Elmira, becauſe the Meanneſs of Soul which ſhe diſcovered in her Lover, gave an immediate Cure to the Inclination ſhe had for his Perſon; whereas the true Greatneſs of Leolin’s way of thinking preſerved a laſting Tenderneſs in his Miſtreſs, which made her partake in all his Sufferings, and even continue devoted to his Memory when himſelf was no more.—But to return:—

When the Father of Belliza thought his Affairs moſt deſperate, and there ſeemed not the leaſt Probability of his being able to retrieve himſelf, Heaven by an unexpected way ſent him Relief. —A Brother of his, who had lived a long time in the Eaſt-Indies, and by his honeſt Induſtry and Frugality 187 Cc1r 187 Frugality acquired a large Fortune, died without Iſſue, and left him the ſole Heir of all his Wealth. —The News arrived juſt as a Statute of Bankrupcy was about to be taken out againſt him, which, according to the Cuſtom of the World, made a great Change.—He might now command what Sums he pleaſed;—nobody was in haſte to have their Bills diſcharged:—all, like Timon’s Friends in the Play, endeavoured to gloſs over the Errors of their former Treatment of him, and nothing was omitted to regain that Good-will from him they had but too juſtly deſerved to loſe for ever.

Cleophil, above all, curſed his ill Stars: —What would he not now have done to reinſtate himſelf in Belliza’s Favour? Belliza, now a greater Fortune than ever, was more than ever adored by him.—He wrote;—he prevailed on ſeveral that viſited her to ſpeak in his behalf;— he pretended to fall ſick on her Account;— ordered it to be given out that he had many times ſince their Quarrel attempted to deſtroy himſelf;—tried every Stratagem;—employed every Artifice, but all alike in vain:—The Contempt ſhe had for him increaſed by the Means he took to leſſen it, and by much exceeded all the Inclination ſhe ever had for him while ſhe believed he merited it:—She bleſsed the Misfortunes which had ſhewn him to her in his proper Colours, and made a firm Reſolution never more to ſuffer herſelf to give Credit to the ProfeſſionsCc feſſions 188 Cc1v 188 feſſions of any Man, till her Father ſhould have made a ſufficient Scrutiny into his Character and Humour, to be able to judge of their Sincerity.

She found the happy Effects of the prudent Reſerve with which ſhe now behaved to all Mankind.—She was in a ſhort time addreſſed by a young Gentleman much ſuperior in Birth, Fortune, and good Senſe to Cleophil, and had as great a Share of real Affection for her as that unworthy Lover had pretended.—Her Father approved highly of him for a Son, and ſhe could not refuſe her Heart to ſo accompliſhed a Perſon, after being told, by him whoſe Judgment ſhe was determined to rely upon, that ſhe could not err in doing ſo.

They have been married ſomewhat more than a Year, in which Time he has made her Mother of a fine Son, who is the only Rival either of them has in the Tenderneſs of the other.—The old Gentleman has received all the Effects he expected from Abroad:—They all live together in the moſt perfect Harmony; and the ſhort Anxiety of Mind they had endured on the Score of his Loſſes, ſerves only to give their preſent Happineſs a higher Reliſh.

The Story of this Family, and many other ſuch like Inſtances which daily happen in the World, methinks, ſhould make whatever Misfortunes we may labour under for the preſent ſit more 189 Cc2r 189 more eaſy on us, in the Hope that while the Play of Life continues we have yet a Chance for better Scenes.

I have ſomewhere read of an antient Philoſopher, who, whenever any very ill Accident befel him, made Invitations to his Friends, entertained them in the moſt chearful Manner, and appeared extremely happy in his Mind.—And, on the contrary, on the Arrival of any thing for which other People expect Congratulations, he ſhut himſelf up in his Chamber, faſted, wept, and in his whole Deportment had all the Tokens of a Perſon under ſome inconſolable Affliction. On being aſked the Reaſon of a Behaviour ſo contradictory to that of all Mankind beſides, he replied, Thoſe who wonder to ſee me merry in Adverſity, and ſad in a more proſperous Condition, do not conſider what Fortune is, or do not rightly underſtand the Nature of that fickle Deity.—Is ſhe not ever fleeting,—ever changing, and generally from one Extreme to the other?—How then, when any Good befals me, can I avoid being under the moſt terrible Apprehenſions that an adequate Evil will immediately enſue?—And when any Miſchief has happened to me, have not I Reaſon to rejoice in the Expectation that the ſame Proportion of Happineſs is at Hand?

The Humour of this Philoſopher was very extraordinary indeed, and one may juſtly ſay he ſtrained the Point beyond what it will well bear; Cc2 yet 190 Cc2v 190 yet upon the whole there is ſomewhat of Reaſon in it, according to Mr. Dryden, Good unexpected, Evil unforeſeen,Appear by Turns as Fortune ſhifts the Scene.

But not to have Recourſe to Caprice or Fiction to enable us to ſupport the Calamities which Heaven ſometimes inflicts on us; we ought to conſider, that by well-bearing them we have the better Claim to hope an Alternative in our Favour. A deſponding Temper is, of all others, the leaſt pleaſing both to God and man; its ſhews a Diffidence in the one, and to the other a Want of that Complaiſance which is due from us to Society.

Can any thing; if we conſider rightly, be more rude than to diſturb the Chearfulneſs of whatever Converſation we come into, with the melancholly Detail of our private Misfortunes? —They are our own, and ours alone, and a Man ought no more to wiſh to infect others with his Griefs than with his Diſeaſes.

Those who imagine they find Eaſe in complaining are of a very mean and ſelfish Diſpoſition.—A great Spirit is almoſt as much aſhamed of Pity as of Contempt; and a generous one will never endure to excite that Sorrow from which Pity naturally flows.

Indeed 191 Cc3r 191

Indeed, where Proximity of Blood, or the more binding Ties of Friendſhip afford a reaſonable Expectation of Relief in any Exigence of Fortune, it would be a fooliſh Pride to withhold the Knowledge of it, and what they might juſtly ſuſpect was owing to a Want of that Confidence which is the only Cement of a true Affection, and alſo betrays ſomewhat of a Deſpondency, which it is much better to try every thing, depend on every thing, and even cheat ourſelves into a Belief of Impoſſibilities, rather than give way to.

Foreigners will have it, that there is ſomewhat in our Climate which renders this unhappy Propenſity more natural to us than to any other Nation; and I believe the frequent Changes in the Weather, and a certain Heavineſs in the Air at ſome Seaſons of the Year, may indeed contribute greatly to it; but I fear there may alſo be other Cauſes aſſigned, which it lies ſolely in ourſelves to remove, and which, if we do not ſpeedily do, the Reflections made upon us Abroad will carry a ſeverer Sting than we are yet aware of.

Our Climate, I suppoſe, is the ſame it ever was:――Our Hemiſphere is no more clouded with Vapours:—Our Winds no more variable than ſome Ages paſt:—Yet I challenge any of the foreign ones to produce half the Number of ſad Examples of Deſpondency that theſe latter ones have done.

Let 192 Cc3v 192

Let us not therefore lay the whole Blame of thoſe unhappy Actions we daily hear of, on elementary Cauſes, nor depreciate a Climate which has, and, I hope, again may be productive of the brighteſt Genius’s, and braveſt Spirits that ever any Country had to boaſt of.—It is not the ill Aſpect of the Stars, nor the unkindly Influence of the Moon has wrought this Effect on us, but our falling off from the Virtues of our Anceſtors:—The Change is in ourſelves;—and while all ſeem eager to undo, or be undone, it is not to be wondered at that the Horrors of conſcious Guilt on the one Hand, and the Contempt and Miſeries of Poverty on the other, ſhould hurry many of us to Deeds of Deſperation.

The fatal Source of all the Calamities we labour under is an Indulgence of thoſe deſtructive Paſſions, which in their Beginnings might be eaſily rooted out; but once ſuffered to get Head, not all our Reſolution will have Power to ſubdue.—Avarice, Ambition, Luxury and Pride are the very Tyrants of the Mind, they act without Council, are above all Reſtraint, and having once depoſed Reaſon from her Throne, render her even ſubſervient to their baſeſt Aims.

How then can thoſe who have the Care of Youth anſwer to themſelves the Neglect of ſo material a Point, as not inculcating early into them an Abhorrence of theſe deſtructive Vices?— This is a Duty which principally belongs to Parents, but when other no leſs indiſpenſable Avocationscations 193 Cc4r 193 cations deny them Leiſure for diſcharging it.— Sickneſs or old Age renders them unable, or Indolence unwilling, to do it; the leaſt they can do is to chuſe Perſons properly qualified for this mighty Truſt.

Few People of Condition, indeed, but take care that thoſe they ſet over their Children ſhall be ſuch as are capable of inſtructing them in all the modiſh Accompliſhments of Life; but however neceſſary that may be towards procuring them a Character of good Breeding, it ought not to come in Competition with that of good Reputation. Governors and Governeſſes, therefore, ſhould not ſo much be choſe for their Skill in Languages,—for Fencing,—Dancing,—Playing on Muſic, or having a perfect Knowledge of the Beau-Monde, as for their Sobriety, Morality and good Conduct.—Their Example ought to be ſuch as ſhould enforce their Precepts, and by ſhewing the Beauty of a regular Life in themſelves, make their Pupils fall in Love with it, and endeavour an Imitation.

It were almoſt as well, if not entirely ſo, to leave a young Gentleman to his own Management, as to put him under the Care of one who, to endear himſelf to him, ſhall flatter his Vices, becauſe it is giving him a Sanction, as it were, for all the Irregularities he may take it in his Head to commit.—Too many Inſtances of this may be found among thoſe who are at an infinite Expence in travelling for Improvement, yet bring Home 194 Cc4v 194 Home little beſides the worſt Part of the Nations where they have been.

Would People of Faſhion but give themſelves Time to reflect how great an Aſcendant the very Name of Governor has over their Children, they would certainly be more cautious on whom they conferred it. Methinks the Story of the young rich Mercator, yet recent in every one’s Memory, ſhould be a Warning not only to the Friends, but even to every Gentleman himſelf who is going to travel, to be well acquainted with the Character and Principles of him who is to attend him in the above-mentioned Quality.

He was the only Son of a wealthy foreign Merchant, who loſing both his Parents while he was yet an Infant, he was left to the Guardianſhip of two Perſons, of whose Integrity his Father had many Proofs.――Nor had the young Mercator any Reaſon to complain of their deceiving the Truſt repoſed in them.

They uſed him with the ſame Tenderneſs they could have done had he been their own Son: —They put him to the beſt Schools:—They ſaw that the Maſters did their Duty by him; and when he had finiſhed all that a Home-Education could beſtow, they thought fit to ſend him for his greater Improvement to make the Tour of Europe.

The 195 Dd1r 195

The only Care they now had upon their Hands, was to find a Perſon whoſe Abilities for a Governor were well atteſted.—It is certain they ſpared no Pains for that Purpoſe, and were at laſt recommended to one who had all the Appearance of a ſober Gentleman,—had travelled before in that Capacity, and was well acquainted both with the Languages and Cuſtoms of thoſe Places which they intended their young Charge ſhould ſee.

It gave them a very great Satisfaction to imagine they had found one who ſo well anſwered their Deſires; but Mercator much more, to be under the Direction of a Perſon who he was well convinced would not be ſevere on his Pleaſures. This young Gentleman was of an amorous Conſtitution, and had contracted an Intimacy with a Woman, who tho’ far from being handſome in her Perſon, and of a Character the moſt infamous that could be, he was nevertheleſs fond on to a very great degree. He had happened to be in Company with the Perſon who was afterwards made Choice of for his Governor, at the Lodgings of this Proſtitute, and ſome others of the ſame Profeſſion, and when he ſaw him with his Guardians, tho’ he had now aſſumed a very different Air, well remembered he was the ſame with whom he had paſſed more than one Night in Rioting and Debauchery.

In fine, they ſoon came to a perfect Underſtanding of each other; and when the Time Dd arrived 196 Dd1v 196 arrived for their Departure, the complaiſant Governor was far from oppoſing his Pupil’s taking this Fille de Joy with him.

Paris was the firſt Place at which they ſtayed at any time; and our young Traveller was ſo taken up with the Gaieties he found there, that he was in no Haſte to quit it, which his Governor perceiving thought fit to humour him in, and accordingly they took a fine Hotel, lived in the moſt voluptuous manner, and Marian, for ſo I ſhall call the Partner of the looſer Pleaſures of the unhappy Mercator, ſhared with them in all the wild Frolics they were continually inventing for the paſſing away thoſe Hours, which the careful Guardians at Home flattered themſelves were employed in a far different way.

After having waſted near a Year in this manner, Mercator was taken ſuddenly ſick; whether the Diſeaſe he laboured under was brought on him by his Exceſſes, or by any other more ſecret Cauſe, I will not take upon me to determine, nor do I hear of nay one that can be more poſitive; but this is certain, that his Diſorder lay greatly in his Head, and he was often very delirious.

It is to be ſuppoſed that in one of theſe Fits it was that the Governor wrought on him to ſend for a Prieſt and a Notary-Public at the ſame time; the one married him to Marian, and the other drew up a Teſtament, in which he bequeathed that 197 Dd2r 197 that Woman, by the Name and Title of his Wife, the Sum of 60,000l. and 40,000l. which was the whole Remainder of his Fortune, to his dear Friend and Governor, as a Recompence for the great Care he had taken both of his Soul and Body.

These were the Words of the Will, which being ſigned, ſealed, and in all Points duly executed in the Preſence of ſeveral Witneſſes, the Teſtator, as having no more to do with Life, or thoſe he was among having no more for him to do, expired, as I have been told, in the moſt intolerable Agonies.

Marian, in thoſe altered Circumſtances, ſoon after returned to England with him who ſhared in poor Mercator’s Fortune, and whom ſhe married the Moment the Decency ſhe now affected in her new Grandeur would permit.

The Guardians, and other Friends of the deceaſed Gentleman, made all imaginable Enquiry into this Buſineſs, but could only receive dark Hints, and ſuch Conjectures as were not ſufficient to commence a Proceſs upon: But with what Vexation they ſee this wicked Pair roll in their Coach and Six, and triumph in their Guilt, any one may imagine.

It will not be expected I ſhould comment on this Action, becauſe I have already ſaid the Truth of the Particulars is yet hid in Darkneſs: What Dd2 Time 198 Dd2v 198 Time may produce I know not, but at preſent every one is at Liberty to judge as they think moſt agreeable to the nature of the Thing. All I propoſe by relating it, is to remind all thoſe who have any young Gentlemen to ſend Abroad, that they cannot be too ſcrutinous into the Principles of the Perſons entruſted with the Direction of them.

End of the Third Book.

199 Ee1r

The Female Spectator.

Book IV.

How glorious a Privilege has Man beyond all other ſublunary Beings! who, tho’ indigent, unpitied, forſaken by the World, and even chain’d in a Dungeon, can, by the Aid of Divine Contemplation, enjoy all the Charms of Pomp, Reſpect, and Liberty!— Tranſport himſelf in Idea to whatever Place he wiſhes, and graſp in Theory imagin’d Empires!

Unaccountable is it, therefore, that ſo many People find an Irksomeneſs in being alone, tho’ for never ſo ſmall a Space of Time!—Guilt indeed creates Perturbations, which may well make Retirement horrible, and drive the ſelftormented Wretch into any Company to avoid Ee the 200 Ee1v 200 the Agonies of Remorſe; but I ſpeak not of thoſe who are afraid to reflect, but of thoſe who ſeem to me not to have the Power to do it.

There are ſeveral of my Acquaintance of both Sexes, who lead Lives perfectly inoffenſive, and when in Company appear to have a Fund of Vivacity capable of enlivening all the Converſation they come into; yet if you happen to meet them after half an Hour’s Solitude, are for ſome Minutes the moſt heavy lumpiſh Creatures upon Earth: Aſk them if they are indiſpos’d? they will drawl out—No, they are well enough.— If any Misfortune has befallen them? ſtill they anſwer—No, in the ſame ſtupid Tone as before, and look like Things inanimate till ſomething is ſaid or done to reinſpire them.—One would imagine they were but half awoke from a deep Sleep, and indeed their Minds, during this Lethargy, may be ſaid to have been in a more inactive State than even that of Sleep, for they have not ſo much as dream’d; but I think they may juſtly enough be compar’d to Clock-work, which has Power to do nothing of itſelf till wound up by another.

Whatever Opinion the World may have of the Wit of Perſons of this Caſt, I cannot help thinking there is a Vacuum in the Mind;—that they have no Ideas of their own, and only through Cuſtom and a genteel Education are enabled to talk agreeably on thoſe of other People.—A real fine Genius can never want Matter to 201 Ee2r 201 to entertain itſelf, and tho’ on the Top of a Mountain without Society, and without Books, or any exterior Means of Employment, will always find that within which will keep it from being idle: Memory and Recollection will bring the Tranſactions of paſt Times to View;—Obſervation and Diſcernment point out the preſent with their Cauſes; and Fancy, temper’d with Judgment, anticipate the future.—This Power of Contemplation and Reflection it is that chiefly diſtinguiſhes the Human from the Brute Creation, and proves that we have Souls which are in reality Sparks of that Divine, Omniſcient, Omnipreſent Being whence we all boaſt to be deriv’d.

The Pleaſures which an agreeable Society beſtows are indeed the moſt elegant we can taſte; but even that Company we like beſt would grow inſipid and tireſome were we to be for ever in it; and to a Perſon who knows how to think juſtly, it would certainly be as great a Mortification never to be alone, as to be always ſo.

Conversation, in effect, but furniſhes Matter for Contemplation;—it exhilerates the Mind, and fits it for Reflection afterward:— Every new thing we hear in Company raiſes in us new Ideas in the Cloſet or on the Pillow; and as there are few People but one may gather ſomething from, either to divert or improve, a good Underſtanding will, like the induſtrious Bee, ſuck out the various Sweets, and digeſt them in Retirement. But thoſe who are perpetually hurryingrying 202 Ee2v 202 rying from one Company to another, and never ſuffer themſelves to be alone but when weary Nature ſummonſes them to Repoſe, will be little amended, tho’ the Maxims of a Seneca were to be deliver’d to them in all the enchanting Eloquence of a Tully.

But not to be more improved, is not the worſt Miſchief that attends an immoderate Averſion to Solitude.—People of this Humour, rather than be alone, fly into all Company indiſcriminately, aund ſometimes fall into ſuch as they have Reaſon to repent their whole Lives of having ever ſeen; for tho’ they may not poſſibly reap any Advantage from the Good, their Reputations muſt certainly, and perhaps their Morals and Fortunes too, will ſuffer very much from the Bad; and where we do not give ourſelves Leiſure to chuſe, it is rarely we happen on the former, as they being infinitely the ſmaller Number, and alſo leſs eaſy of Acceſs to thoſe whoſe Characters they are unacquainted with.

Many young Perſons of both Sexes owe their Ruin to this one unfortunate Propenſity of loving to be always in Company; and it is the more dangerous, as nobody takes any Pains to conquer it in themſelves, but on the contrary are apt to miſtake it for a laudable Inclination, and look on thoſe who preach up the Happineſs of a more retir’d Life, as phlegmatic and vaporiſh.— I doubt not but I ſhall paſs for ſuch in the Opinion of many of my Readers, who are too volatile to conſider 203 Ee3r 203 conſider that it is not a ſullen, cynical, total avoiding of Society that I recommend, but a proper Love of Solitude at ſome Times, to enable us to reliſh with more Pleaſure, as well as to be eſſentially the better for Converſation at others, and alſo to ſelect ſuch for our Companions as may be likely to anſwer both theſe Ends.

Nor is it only where there is a Difference of Sex that I think Youth ought to be upon its Guard: —The Dangers in that Caſe are too univerſally allowed to ſtand in need of any Remonſtrances, and yet perhaps are not greater than others which both may happen to fall into among thoſe of their own.—Are not almoſt all the Extravagancies Parents with ſo much Grief behold their Children guilty of, owing to ill-choſen Company?— Great is the Privilege of Example, and ſome are ſo weak as to think they muſt do as they ſee others do.—The Fear of being laughed at has made many a young Gentleman run into Vices to which his Inclination was at firſt averſe; but, alas! by Habitude become more pleaſing to him: He has in his Turn too play’d the Tempter’s Part, and made it his Glory to ſeduce others as himſelf had been ſeduced.—It is this Love of Company, more than the Diverſions mentioned in the Bills, that makes our Ladies run galloping in Troops every Evening to Maſquerades, Balls, and Aſſemblies in Winter, and in the Summer to Vaux- Hall, Ranelagh, Cuper’s-Gardens, Mary le Bon, Sadler’s-Wells, both old and new, Goodman’s- Fields, and twenty other ſuch like Places, which, in 204 Ee3v 204 in this Age of Luxury, ſerve as Decoys to draw the Thoughtleſs and Unwary together, and, as it were, prepare the Way for other more vicious Exceſſes: For there are, and of Condition too, not a few (as I am informed by the Gnomes who preſide over Midnight Revels) that, going with no other Intention than to partake what ſeems an innocent Recreation, are prevail’d upon by the Love of Company either to remain in theſe Houſes, or adjourn to ſome other Place of Entertainment till the ſweet Harbinger of Day, Aurora, wakes, and bluſhes to behold the Order of Nature thus perverted; nor then perhaps would ſeparate, did not wearied Limbs, heavy languid Eyes, and dirty Linnen remind them of repairing to their reſpective Habitation, where having lain a while, they riſe, they dreſs, and go again in queſt of new Company and new Amuſements.

Heaven forbid, and I am far from ſuggeſting that to run ſuch Lengths as theſe ſhould be common to all who hate Retirement and Reflection: Fortune is ſometimes kinder than our Endeavours merit, and by not throwing any Temptations in our way, renders our Careleſneſs of no worſe Conſequence than being deprived of thoſe ſolid Pleaſures which flow from a Conſciouſneſs of having behaved according to the Dictates of Honour and Reaſon.

But ſuppoſe we make ſome Allowances to a few of the very Young and Gay, eſpecially the Beautiful 205 Ff1r 205 Beautiful and High-born, who, by a miſtaken Fondneſs in their Parents, from the Moment they were capable of underſtanding what was ſaid to them, heard nothing but Flattery, and are made to believe they came into the World for no other Purpoſe than to be adored and indulged, what can we ſay for thoſe who had a different Education, and are of riper Years?—How little Excuſe is there for a gadding Matron, or for a Woman who ought to have the Care of a Houſe and a Family at Heart!—How odd a Figure does the Mother of five or ſix Children make at one of theſe nocturnal Rambles; and how ridiculous is it for a Perſon in any Trade or Avocation, to be, or affect to be, above the Thought of all Œconomy, and make one in every Party of Pleaſure that preſents itſelf?— Yet ſuch as theſe are no Prodigies.—All kinds of Regulation and Management require ſome ſmall Reflection and Receſs from Company, and theſe are two Things ſo terrible to ſome People, that they will rather ſuffer every thing to be ruined than endure the Fatigue of Thought.

A young Widow of my Acquaintance, rich, beautiful and gay, had ſcarce ſully’d the Blackneſs of her Weeds, before ſhe ventur’d to take for a ſecond Huſband a Man, who, had ſhe once conſider’d on what ſhe was about to do, ſhe would have found had no one Quality that could promiſe her any Felicity with him.—He had not been married a Month before he loaded her with the moſt groſs Abuſe, turned her innocent Ff Babes 206 Ff1v 206 Babes out of Doors, and affronted all her Friends who came to reaſon with him on the Injuſtice and Cruelty of his Behaviour.—The unadviſed Step ſhe had taken indeed but little merited Compaſſion for the Event, but the Sweetneſs of Diſpoſition with which ſhe had always treated all who knew her, render’d it impoſſible not to have a Fellow-feeling of the Calamities ſhe labour’d under. A particular Friend of her’s, however, took one Day the Liberty of aſking how ſhe could throw away herſelf on a Perſon ſo every way undeſerving of her? To which ſhe made this ſhort, but ſincere Reply:—Ah! ſaid ſhe, it is a ſad thing to live alone. To this the other might have returned, that ſhe could not be ſaid to be alone who had a Mother to adviſe, and three ſweet Children to divert her moſt melancholly Hours; but this would have been only adding to her Affliction, and her Condition being now irremidable required Conſolation.

Perhaps the reading this ſhort Detail of the Misfortune her Inadvertency had brought upon her, may give her ſome Palpitations which I ſhould be ſorry to occaſion; but as ſhe is a much-lamented Inſtance of the Danger to which any one may be ſubjected through want of a due Reflection, I could not forbear mentioning it as a Warning to others.

When this immoderate Deſire of Company remains in Perſons of an advanced Age, tho’ it threatens leſs Miſchief, is more ridiculous than in the 207 Ff2r 207 the younger ſort. I know a Lady, who, by her own Confeſſion, is no leſs than ſixty-five, yet in all that long Length of Time has treaſured up nothing in her Mind wherewith ſhe can entertain herſelf two Minutes.—She has been a Widow for ſeveral Years, has a Jointure ſufficient to ſupport a handſome Equipage, is without Children, or any other Incumbrance, and might live as much reſpected by the World as ſhe is really contemned, could ſhe prevail on herſelf to reflect what ſort of Behaviour would be moſt becoming in a Woman of her Age and Circumſtances.

But inſtead of living in a regular decent manner, ſhe roams from Place to Place,—hires Lodgings at three or four different Houſes at the ſame time, lies one Night at St. James’s another at Covent-Garden, a third perhaps at Weſtminster, and a fourth in the City:—Nor does ſhe look on this as a ſufficient Variety:—She has at this Moment Apartments at Richmond,—Hammerſmith,—Kenſington and Chelſea, each of which ſhe viſits two or three times at leaſt every Month, ſo that her Time is paſs’d in a continual Whirl from one Home to another, if any can be juſtly called ſo; but it ſeems as if ſhe had an Averſion to the very Name, for the Rooms ſhe pays for, ſhe dwells in the leaſt; ſeldom eats in any of them, and forces herſelf as it were into thoſe of other People, where ſhe ſends in a Stock of Proviſion ſufficient for the whole Family, in order to purchaſe for herſelf a Welcome. But as People of any Figure in the World would Ff2 not 208 Ff2v 208 not accept of ſuch Favours, and thoſe of good Senſe not endure to be depriv’d of the Privilege of thinking their own Thoughts and entertaining their own Friends, it can be only the extremely Neceſſitous, or thoſe who have as little in their Heads as herſelf, that will ſubmit to have their Lodgings and Time taken up in this manner.

Poor Woman! How does ſhe laviſh away a handſome Income?—How forfeit all Pretenſions to good Underſtanding and good Breeding, merely for the ſake of being permitted to talk as much as ſhe pleaſes without Contradiction, and being never alone but when aſleep.— I have been told by thoſe who are to be depended upon, that the Moment ſhe is out of Bed, ſhe runs with her Stays and Petticoats into the next Neighbour’s Chamber, not being able to live without Company even till ſhe is dreſs’d.

There are People ſo uncharitable, as to believe ſome latent Crime hangs heavy on the Minds of all thoſe who take ſo much Pains to avoid being alone; but I am far from being of that Number:—It is my Opinion that neither this old Rattle I have mentioned, nor many others who act in the ſame manner, ever did a real Hurt to any one.—Thoſe who are incapable of Thinking, are certainly incapable of any premeditated Miſchief; and, as I have already ſaid, seem to me a Set of Inſenſibles, who never act of themſelves, but are acted upon by others.

Before 209 Ff3r 209

Before one paſſes ſo cruel a Cenſure, one ſhould therefore examine, I mean not the Lives and Characters, for they may deceive us, but at what Point of Time this Averſion to Solitude commenced:—If from Childhood, and ſo continued even to the extremeſt old Age, it can proceed only from a Weakneſs in the Mind, and is deſerving our Compaſſion; but if from taking that Satisfaction in Contemplation and Retirement, which every reaſonable Soul finds in it, one ſees a Perſon has turned to the reverſe,— ſtarts even while in Company at the bare mention of quitting it, and flies Solitude as a Houſe on Fire, one may very well ſuſpect ſome ſecret Crime has wrought ſo great a Tranſition, and that any Converſation, tho’ the moſt inſipid and worthleſs, ſeems preferable to that which the guilty Breaſt can furniſh to itſelf.

I am well aware that there is another Motive beſides either a Want of Power to think, or a Conſciouſneſs of having done what renders Thought a Pain, that induces many People to avoid being alone as much as poſſible; and that is, when the Mind is oppreſs’d with any very ſevere Affliction.—To be able to reflect on our Misfortunes, goes a great way towards bearing them with that Fortitude which is becoming the Dignity of human Nature; but all have not Courage to do it, and thoſe who have not would ſink beneath the Weight of Grief, were they to indulge the Memory of what occaſion’d it.

This 210 Ff3v 210

This I am ſenſible is the Caſe of many who paſs for Perſons of very good Underſtanding, and the Excuſe is allowed by the Generality of the World as a reaſonable one; but yet I muſt beg their Pardon when I ſay, that whatſoever Share of fine Senſe they may ſhew in other Things, they betray a very great Deficiency in this:—The Relaxation which Noiſe and Hurry may afford is but ſhort-liv’d, and are ſo far from removing that Burthen which the Spirit labours under, that they afterward make it felt with double Weight.

Some are ſo madly ſtupid as to attempt to loſe the Thoughts of one Evil by running into others of perhaps worſe Conſequence,—I mean that of Drinking, and ſome other Exceſſes equally pernicious both to Fortune and Conſtitution; but how falſe a Relief this gives I need only appeal to thoſe who have made the Trial.

Would ſuch People be prevail’d upon to make a little Reflection before it is too late, they would certainly have Recourſe to more ſolid Conſolations:—Would not the Works of ſome of our celebrated Poets divert a melancholly Hour much more than all the Rhodomontades of a vague idle Converſation!—Would not the Precepts of Philoſophy, of which ſo many excellent Treatiſes have been wrote, give them more true Courage than all the Bottle can inſpire!— And above all, would not the Duties of an entire Submiſſion and Reſignation to the Almighty Diſpoſer 211 Ff4r 211 Diſpoſer of all Things, ſo often and ſo ſtrenuouſly recommended, be infinitely more efficacious to quiet all Perturbations of the Mind than any vain Amuſements of what kind ſoever!

It is not that I would perſwade any one to a continual poreing over Books, too much Reading, tho’ of the beſt Authors, is apt to dull the Spirits, and deſtroy that Attention which alone can render this Employment profitable.—A few good Maxims, well digeſted by Reflection, dwell upon the Memory, and are not only a Remedy for preſent Ills, but alſo a kind of Antidote againſt any future ones that Fate may have in Store.

But it may be ſaid that this Advice can only be complied with by Perſons of Condition; and as for the meaner Part, it cannot be imagined that they have either Time or Capacities to enable them to ſquare themſelves by ſuch Rules:— This indeed muſt be allowed; but then it muſt alſo be allowed, that they can the leaſt afford to waſte what Time the have in ſuch fruitleſs Attempts as they generally make uſe of for forgetting their Cares; and as to their Capacities, we are to ſuppoſe that every one underſtands the Trade or Buſineſs to which he has been bred, and in my Opinion, nothing is more plain than that an induſtrious Application to that would be his beſt Relief for any Vexation he is involved in, as well as the ſureſt Means of avoiding falling into others.

Upon 212 Ff4v 212

Upon the whole, it denotes a Meanneſs of Soul, not to be forgiven even in the loweſt Rank of People, much leſs in thoſe of a more refined Education, when to ſhun the Remembrance of perhaps a trifling Affliction, they ruſh into Irregularities, each of which their Reaſon might inform them would be productive of greater Ills than any they had yet to lament; and is ſo far from affording any Relief, that it ſerves only to give new Additions to their former Diſquiets, according to the Poet, juſtly deſcribing this Fever of the Mind, Reſtleſs they toſs, and turn about their feavoriſh Will,When all their Eaſe muſt come by lying ſtill. But what can be more amazing, than that Perſons, who have no one thing on Earth to incommode them, ſhould not be able to take any Pleaſure in contemplating on the Tranquility of their Situation!—Yet ſo it is: There are thoſe in the World, and in the great World too, who being poſſeſſed of every thing they can wiſh, and frequently much more than either they deſerve or could ever expect, ſeem altogether inſenſible of the Benefits they receive from Heaven, or any Obligations they may have to Man.—This, methinks, is an Indolence of Nature which can never be too much guarded againſt, becauſe whoever is guilty of it becomes ungrateful and unjuſt without knowing he is ſo, and incurs the Cenſure of all who are acquainted with him for Omiſſions 213 Gg1r 213 Omiſſions which himſelf is wholly ignorant of, and if he were not ſo, would perhaps be very far from meriting.

The beautiful and noble Widow, who is ſo good never to fail making one in our little Society, was inclinable to impute this thoughtleſs Behaviour in many People to the Negligence of thoſe who, having the Care of their Education, did not inſpire them with proper Notions of the Neceſſity there is for every body to enter ſometimes into themſelves: But we were all againſt her in this Point, and ſhe was eaſily convinced that tho’ this was certainly a Duty incumbent on all who had the Government of Youth, yet without ſome Share of a natural Bent that way, no Leſſons would be effectual; and that where the Spirits were too volatile, any Confinement, tho’ for never ſo ſhort a Space of Time, would rather mope than render them profitably ſerious.

But after all that has, or can be ſaid, the World is more inclinable to excuſe this Defect than any other I know of:—A Perſon who loves to be always in Company, and accept of any ſort rather than be alone, is accounted a good-natur’d harmleſs Creature; and tho’ it is impoſſible they can be magnified for any extraordinary Virtues or Qualifications, what they loſe in Reſpect is for the moſt Part made up with Love.—They have rarely any Enemies, and the Reaſon is plain, they are generally merry, never contradict whatever is ſaid or done, nor refuſe any thing that is aſked of them: Gg 214 Gg1v 214 them:—People of a middling Underſtanding like their Converſation;—the moſt Weak are in no Awe of them; and the Wiſeſt will ſometimes ſuffer themſelves to be diverted by them.—In fine, every body is eaſy with them, and how eaſy they are to themſelves in all Events there are innumerable Inſtances.

Belinda is deſcended of a good Family among the Gentry;—agreeable without being a Beauty, and has ſomewhat of a Sparkle in her Converſation which with many People paſſes for Wit; for as ſhe never gives herſelf the Trouble to think what ſhe is about to ſay, but ſpeaks all that comes into her Head, ſome very ſmart Things frequently fall from her, which being reported afterwards in other Companies, ſerve, in this undiſtinguiſhing Age, to eſtabliſh her Character.—She came very early into the great World, and her Youth and a new Face were ſufficient to make her be taken notice of by Rinaldo, as his Quality was to make her pleaſed and vain of his Addreſſes; but that great Perſon looks upon it as derogatory to his Dignity to attach himſelf to any particular Miſtreſs, ſo that the Amour between them continued no longer than juſt to ſay there had been one.

Some Women would have been inconſolable to find themſelves no ſooner gained than abandoned; their Pride, if not their Love, would have made them regret the Loſs of ſo illuſtrious an Adorer; but Belinda was just the ſame laughing, rallying, 215 Gg2r 215 rallying, romping Creature as before; ſhe ſeem’d no more affected by this Change, than ſhe had been at the Reproofs given to her by her Friends on the firſt Rumour of her Intimacy with Rinaldo; and Lavallie, a Man of no leſs Gallantry and Inconſtancy, ſucceeded to her Affection, (if that kind of Liking, which ſerves only to amuſe an idle Hour, is worthy to be called ſo.)

EqualIly gay, inconſiderate, and regardleſs of the Cenſure of the World, this Intrigue was manag’d with ſo little Circumſpection, that it ſoon reached the Ears of Manella, the Wife of Lavallie, a Lady infinitely fond of her Huſband, and ſo tenacious of the Rights of Love, that even a tender Glance to any other Woman ſeemed the moſt unpardonable Injury to her.— But tho’ ſhe had been enough accuſtomed to Vexations of that kind, to have inur’d a Perſon leſs vehement in her Paſſions to have borne them with more Patience, and the little Advantage ſhe gained over him, by publiſhing all the Diſcoveries ſhe made of his Amours, might have made her ſee that it would have been greater Prudence in her to be ſilent; yet the Greatneſs of her Spirit would not ſuffer her to ſit tamely down under the leaſt Indignity offered to her Love or Beauty. —She reproach’d him on the Score of Belinda with a Bitterneſs, which perhaps to revenge he perſiſted in his Intrigue with that Lady much longer than his Inclination, without having been thus provoked, would have prompted him to; and the Rage ſhe was in ſerved (being reported Gg2 to 216 Gg2v 216 to Belinda) to make that thoughtleſs Creature triumph in the Power of her own Charms, and, inſtead of giving her the leaſt Share of Shame or Remorſe, afforded her Matter of Merriment and Ridicule.

Manella finding all ſhe could ſay to her Huſband was far from working the Effect ſhe deſir’d, was reſolv’d to fly to any Extremities to break off the Intercourſe between him and this hated Rival:—She knew very well that Ri naldo had once a Liking to that young Lady, and tho’ he ſeem’d at preſent entirely diveſted of his former Inclinations, yet ſhe imagin’d it might pique him to be told that one he had honour’d with his Addreſſes ſhould condeſcend to receive thoſe of a Perſon ſo much his Inferior; and therefore flattered herſelf that he would not fail to lay his Commands on Lavallie to deſiſt his Viſits to her, eſpecially when he had ſo plauſible a Pretence for it as the Complaints of a Wife.

She therefore threw herſelf at his Feet, inform’d him of every thing ſhe had heard, and with a Shower of Tears beſeech’d him to exert the Authority he had over her perfidious Huſband to oblige him to return to his firſt Vows, and not entirely break the Heart of a Woman who had married him more for Love than Intereſt, and had never ſwerv’d even in Thought from the Duties of her Place. The 217 Gg3r 217 The noble Rinaldo eaſily ſaw into the thing, but would not ſeem to do ſo; and would fain have perſwaded Manella there was no Foundation for her Suſpicions, but ſhe was not to be ſo eaſily put off—She renew’d her Intreaties;—ſhe repeated the Reaſons which convinc’d her of the Injuſtice done her, and became ſo importunate, that he at laſt promiſed to ſpeak to Lavallie to be at leaſt more circumſpect in his Behaviour.

Whether this great Perſon thought any farther on it is uncertain, but Chance and the Inadvertency of the Parties concerned gave the jealous Manella a ſufficient Opportunity to vent all her enraged Soul was full of on the Perſons who had wronged her.

She happen’d one Day to go to a Milliner’s where ſhe was accuſtom’d to buy ſome Trifles belonging to her Dreſs, and finding the Miſtreſs of the Houſe not in the Shop, ran directly up Stairs where was kept a kind of Lace-Chamber. —Tho’ ſhe had been often there, and was perfectly acquainted with the Room, by Accident ſhe puſhed open the Door of another, which being but juſt thrown too, without being lock’d, eaſily gave her Admittance, and afforded a Proſpect ſhe little expected;—her Huſband and Belinda in a Poſture, ſuch as might have aſſured her of their Guilt had ſhe not been ſo before.

Astonishment at finding them in that Place for ſome Moments kept her ſilent, as Shame 218 Gg3v 218 Shame and Vexation to be thus caught did them; but the Milliner, who hearing ſhe was come up Stairs, and fearing the Conſequence, came running into the Room, and was beginning to make ſome awkward Excuſes,—ſuch as crying to Lavallie and Belinda, — Good Heaven, how came you here!—And you, Madam! to Manella;—Bleſs me! ſure you have all miſtaken the Apartments! nobody ever comes into this Room but forBut for private Purpoſes, infamous Woman! cried Manella, in a Voice quite hoarſe with Paſſion, which roſe with ſo much Vehemence in her Throat, as to render what ſhe ſaid ſcarce intelligible,—then flew at her, at Belinda, and her Huſband, railing, ſhrieking, ſcratching, and throwing promiſcuouſly the Patch, Powder-Boxes, and every thing that ſtood upon the Toilette;—till Lavallie, recover’d from the Confuſion which the Surprize of her firſt Entrance had thrown him in, ran to her, held her Hands, and told her, if ſhe did not behave with more Moderation, he would oblige her to it by worſe Usage.

This Menace only ſerved to give freſh Addition to her Fury, and that increaſing her Strength, ſhe broke from him, and flying to the Window, where ſhe perceiv’d he had laid his Sword, inſtantly drew it, and made at Belinda with that Precipitation, that it was as much as Lavalllie could do to ſave his Miſtreſs from feeling a fatal Effect of her Deſperation.

By ſuperior Force, however, he diſarm’d this enrag’d 219 Gg4r 219 enrag’d Amazon, tho’ not without cutting his own Hands in the Struggle.—All this Time there was ſuch a mingled Sound of Curſes, Shrieks, Cries of Murder, and ſtamping on the Floor, as muſt by very alarming to thoſe who heard it.

As this Milliner got infinitely more by her private Cuſtomers than her publick, and kept a Houſe chiefly for the Meeting of Perſons of Condition, Rinaldo, who at that Time had a new Flame, and was come to gratify it with the beloved Object, heard this Diſturbance from an adjacent Chamber; and wholly unable to gueſs the Occaſion, ran with his Sword in his Hand to inform himſelf of the Truth where the Noiſe directed.

He came into the Room juſt as Lavallie had wrenched from his Wife’s Hand that Weapon of Deſtruction, and ſeeing who was there, was no longer at a Loſs to know what had happen’d: His Preſence, however, obliged every one to more Moderation, and Belinda took this Opportunity of running away, which before ſhe could no way do, the furious Manella being between her and the Door. The Milliner now began to account for this Accident in a more plauſible manner than ſhe had done before:—She ſaid that Belinda being taken with ſudden Faintneſs, ſhe had deſired to lye down on her Bed in order to recover herſelf, and that ſhe being afterwards buſy with Cuſtomers had not ſeen Lavallie enter,ter, 220 Gg4v 220 ter, but imagin’d that being but little acquainted with the Houſe, he had gone into that Room by Miſtake.

Lavallie took the Hint ſhe had given, and proteſted, that being directed up to the Lace-Chamber, he had open’d this Door as being the firſt he came to, and ſeeing a Lady lie on the Bed, he had the Curioſity to approach, in order to ſee if he knew her, and to rally her for truſting herſelf in that Poſture in an unlock’d Chamber. As I drew near, continu’d he, I found it was Belinda, and alſo by ſome Groans that ſhe was indiſpoſed.—Good Manners, as well as Good-nature, oblig’d me to enquire how ſhe did, and as I was ſtooping toward the Bed, that ſhe might hear what I had to ſay with the more Eaſe, Manella came into the Room with a Rage little becoming her Character, and loaded that innocent Lady and myſelf with the moſt opprobrious Reflections Malice could invent.

All the Time he was ſpeaking, Manella ſhook her Head, and bit her Lips till they even bled with inward Vexation; but the Preſence of Rinaldo forbidding her to continue her Reproaches in the ſame Manner ſhe had done before his Entrance, ſhe only ſaid, that Heaven, who knew how greatly ſhe was injur’d, would, one Time or other, revenge her Cauſe.

The Milliner, who knew Rinaldo had Reaſons to be of her Side, began now in her Turn to reſentſent 221 Hh1r 221 ſent the Aſperſion Manella endeavour’d to caſt upon her Houſe, and ſaid in plain Terms, that no Reputation could be ſafe from the idle Whims of a jealous Wife. Lavallie affected to beg her Pardon for the Injuſtice his Wife was guilty of to her, and curſed himſelf for the unhappy Miſtake which had occaſion’d all this Confuſion.

Rinaldo was highly diverted at this Scene in his own Mind, but would not add to Manella’s Affliction, by letting her ſee how little he regarded it; ſhe had, however, too much Penetration not to perceive that neither Complaints nor Reſentment would be of much Service to her in that Place, and being almoſt ready to burſt with Spite and Rage, went out of the Room giving a Look at Lavallie and the Woman of the Houſe, which teſtified how ill ſhe was ſatisfied with the ſhallow Excuſes they had made, and was indeed ſo diſtracted in her Thoughts, that she had almost paſs’d the Door before ſhe recovered Preſence enough of Mind to pay to Rinaldo the Reſpects his Dignity demanded.

Her Abſence put an End to all the Conſtraint they had been in; Lavallie was obliged to endure a good deal of Raillery on the Occaſion from Rinaldo, and afterward to double the Preſent he always made to the Milliner, on Account of the Confuſion his Wife had cauſed in her Houſe.

Whether this Adventure put an End to Hh the 222 Hh1v 222 the Amour he had with Belinda is uncertain; but if it continued it was with ſo much Caution, that the Interviews between them were never afterwards diſcovered.

Manella finding ſhe could no other way be revenged, took care to render this Affair as publick as poſſible; ſo that Belinda met with the moſt ſevere Reproofs from all her Friends for her ill Conduct: Yet ſo inſenſible was this unthinking Lady either of Shame or the Prejudice it might be to her Intereſt to forfeit the Love and Eſteem of her Family, that tho’ ſhe heard their Admonitions with her ſenſual Ears, thoſe of her Mind ſeemed wholly deaf, nor could all that was ſaid to her make the leaſt Alteration in her Deportment, or prevail on her to give herſelf one Moment’s Reflection.

Thus with the ſame unmoved, unſhaken Indolence ſhe had ever behaved did ſhe go on, laughing, ſinging, dancing, coquetting among the gay World for near two Years, in which Time no material Incident happen’d to her:—The Truth is, indeed, whatever was reported of her, ſo little concerned her, that her Careleſsneſs blunted the Edge of Scandal, and had the ſame Effect as not to deſerve it would have had:—People grew weary of talking of what every one knew, and was made no Secret of by the Perſon whoſe Intereſt it chiefly was to have kept it ſo.

In a long Courſe of unregarded Follies might ſhe 223 Hh2r 223 ſhe have continued till Age and Wrinkles had enforced that Solitude her own Prudence was too weak to make Choice of, had not Count Loyter profeſs’d a Paſſion of a different Nature for her than any before him had pretended.

So greatly did he ſeem enamour’d with her, that he never was two Hours abſent from her; and his Quality and Attachment obliged all who were look’d upon as her former Admirers to keep a greater Diſtance.—Her Kindred and Friends were tranſported to hear with what Reſpect and Tenderneſs the Addreſſes he made to her were accompanied; but their rejoicing was very much abated, when on examining her on this Account, they could not find that he had ever once mention’d Marriage to her; and tho’ he ſwore ten thouſand Oaths that he was utterly unable to live without poſſeſſing her, he had not made one that it was his Intention to poſſeſs her by thoſe ways which alone could do Honour to their Family.— As there ſeemed ſome Reaſon, however, to believe the Regard he had for her was infinitely more ſincere than any who before had called themſelves her Lovers, they adviſed, nay conjured her to omit nothing in her Power for improving it, and converting the Deſigns he had upon her into honourable ones, if they were not ſo already: All this ſhe promiſed them to do, but thought no more of what they had ſaid than the Time they were ſpeaking, and being herſelf quite eaſy in the Matter made her Lover ſo too, Hh2 by 224 Hh2v 224 by leaving him to do as Inclination ſhould direct him.

This Behaviour was an infinite Trouble to all who wiſhed to ſee her retrieve, by a happy Marriage, the Errors of her paſt Life; but one more ſanguine than the reſt for her Intereſt, reſolved to do that for her which he found there was no Poſſibility of prevailing on her to do for herſelf, and took an Opportunity of diſcourſing with the Count on this Affair. He at firſt would have evaded all Talk of it, and made ſeveral Efforts to give a Turn to the Converſation; but finding himſelf too cloſely preſſed, he at laſt replied, that as Belinda and himſelf were the chief Perſons concerned, and were perfectly ſatisfied with each other’s Intentions, he thought all interfering between them was wholly unneceſſary.

These Words were a little reſented by the Friend of Belinda, and gave Riſe to ſome Expreſſions on both Sides, which if neither of them demanded not that Satisfaction for of the other, which is usual in ſuch Caſes between Gentlemen, there wanted but little of it.—From this Time, however, their former Intimacy was broke off:—Belinda’s Kinsman reproached her for that Levity which had like to have proved fatal to him; and Count Loyter, to ſhew how little he regarded the Diſpleaſure of any of her Family, prevailed on that thoughtleſs Lady to come and live publickly at his Houſe.

All 225 Hh3r 225

All the World now looked upon her as his Miſtreſs; and indeed how could it be otherwiſe: —She had an Apartment ſo near his own, that they could with Eaſe paſs to each other without being known to do ſo by any of the Family:— She went Abroad with him to all Publick Places: —She had the entire Command of all his Servants:—She did the Honours of his Table whatever Company was there, yet was there not the leaſt Mention of any Marriage between them.— But in ſpite of all theſe Circumſtances it is poſſible they might be innocent.

After having lived together in this manner till the Talk of it (which never continues long on one Subject) began to ſubſide, the Count all at once declared his Intention of making her his Wife.—New Equipage and new Habits were prepar’d,—Invitations ſent to the Friends on both Sides, and they were really married at a Time when it was leaſt to be hoped or expected.

It muſt be own’d that there was ſomething ſpirituous, and at the ſame time truly honourable in the Behaviour of Count Loyter on this Occaſion:—He would not be compelled to give any definitive Anſwer as to his Deſigns on a Woman of Belinda’s Character; but when he found himſelf free from the Perſecutions of her Friends, and that they had entirely given her over for loſt, then did he ſhow the Sincerity of his Paſſion, and entirely wipe off all the Aſperſions that had been caſt on her upon his Account.

I 226 Hh3v 226

I should be glad there was a Poſſibility of excuſing Belinda alſo; but, alas! ſhe conſented to live in his Houſe without any Certainty, or even a Promiſe of ever being his Wife, and was perhaps not the leaſt ſurprized of any that heard it, that ſhe was made ſo.

Her Change of Fortune has wrought no Change in her Humour or Conduct; and as ſhe would be commended for being no way elated with the Grandeur ſhe poſſeſſes, ſo muſt ſhe alſo be highly blamed for not remembering her Honour is now the Property of her Lord, and that every light unbecoming Action ſhe is guilty of, is a Reflection upon him.

I believe it wou’d be very difficult to prove that ſhe has ever wrong’d him in Fact; but it is the Duty of every married Woman to behave ſo as not even to be ſuſpected.—This Belinda has Senſe enough to know, but not enough to remember that ſhe knows.

Adonius, no leſs amorous and inconſtant than his Brother Rinaldo, and much more endued with thoſe Perfections which charm Womankind, has found in the new Counteſs Loyter Graces, which, till after ſhe was another’s, had not been diſcover’d by him.—The Admiration he expreſſes to have for her, and the Pleaſure his Converſation affords, are of too much Conſequence to her Happineſs not to be indulg’d.— She forgets the Obligations ſhe has to her Lord, and 227 Hh4r 227 and wholly taken up with this new and illuſtrious Lover, is ſcarce ever at home, but when he vouchſafes to viſit there.—’Tis certain, that in the Parties of Pleaſure ſhe makes with him, her Huſband frequently is one; yet does not his being ſeen with them ſometimes take off the Cenſure which their being together without him at others too juſtly incurs.

As yet the Count is under no Uneaſineſs on this ſcore;—he looks on the fine things ſaid in his Preſence by Adonius to his Wife, as proceeding only from an Exceſs of Complaiſance, and imputes the Satisfaction ſhe takes in hearing them, meerly to the little Vanity of her Sex:—The Rambles they take together, to the Levity of both their Humours, and, inſtead of being angry, often laughs at the Recital.

Not ſo the young, the beautiful, the tender Amadea ſupports the being deprived of the Society of her adored Adonius;—ſhe pines in secret, without daring to complain, and now too late regrets her eaſy Faith, which flatter’d her with the Hopes of ſecuring to herſelf ſo mutable a Heart.

Rumour will have it that not two Moons ſince, deaf to all Conſiderations but thoſe of gratifying their mutual Paſſion, he ran the Riſque of ruining himſelf for ever with thoſe on whom he depends, and who had betroth’d him to another; and ſhe of being ſhamefully repudiated by that 228 Hh4v 228 that Authority whence there is no Appeal; they both ventur’d every thing that might enſue, to be united to each other by a clandeſtine and unlicens’d Marriage: If so, how great a Change!— The ſacred Ceremony has no Power to bind Adonius;—he thinks himſelf under no Obligations to continue conſtant to a Wife ſo much beneath him, and where ſhall ſhe apply for Juſtice againſt a Huſband, whom to acknowledge as ſuch, would only incur the Diſpleaſure of thoſe ſhe would oblige.

What ſad Effects do giving way to any Paſſion, tho’ of the moſt tender Kind, produce, eſpecially in our Sex! If Amadea thinks ſhe has ſatisfied her Virtue, in granting nothing to her Lover till the Sanction of Marriage has converted Inclination into Duty; what will ſuch a Marriage avail, when ſhe durſt not avow it?—When the very Prieſt that join’d their Hands, ſhall be oblig’d to diſown his ever having perform’d that Ceremony between them; and when Adonius, whoſe Perſeverance in Love, and Patience in enduring all could be inflicted on him, could alone obtain Forgiveneſs; and a Sanction for ratifying what he had done, ſhall be ſo far from taking any ſuch Meaſures, that he ſhall teſtify a Joy in having it made void.—What Woe, what Miſery, what Deſpair wou’d then be the Lot of ſo every-way an abandon’d Wife!

Already has ſhe a Taſte of what ſhe may 229 Ii1r 229 may juſtly apprehend will infallibly arrive in his preſent Attachment to Belinda;—already does ſhe feel the cruel Stings of Jealouſy and Diſappointment, and reflects, with Agonies, not to be expreſs’d, on the approaching Ills, which, following the Dictates of a blind heedleſs Inclination, and perhaps ſome Mixture of ill-judg’d Ambition, muſt involve her in.

’Tis certain ſhe is far from being that vain, wild, unthinking Creature that Belinda is; yet had ſhe thought juſtly, ſhe would never have conſented to marry a Perſon, where the Character of Wife muſt lay her under greater Inconviences, than even that of Miſtreſs.

As the principal Deſign of theſe Speculations is, therefore, to correct thoſe Errors in the Mind which are moſt imperceptible, and for that Reaſon the moſt dangerous, ſuch Examples are not ſet down but with a View of ſhewing how the Want of a proper Way of Thinking in our Youth involves our whole future Lives in Misfortunes, which frequently no Reflection can afterwards retrieve. The Anatomiſts, indeed, will tell you, that where there is a Defect in the Texture of the Brain, this Incapacity of Reflection is mechanical, and conſequently irremedible; but by this Way of Reaſoning they may alſo pretend, (as ’tis certain many do) that all Vices are conſtitutional, which I never can be brought to allow, becauſe ſuch an Opinion would be imputing an Error to the Author of our Formation, wholly Ii de- 230 Ii1v 230 deſtroying the Doctrine of Free-Will, and, in fine, levelling Human Nature with the Brutal, which acts meerly by Inſtinct. I grant that by the Structure of our Parts we may have a more or leſs Propenſity to Good or Evil, and alſo that the Soul has greater Power of exerting itſelf, in what we call Reaſon, through the Organs of ſome People than it has in others; yet this is in a great Meaſure to be help’d, if thoſe who have the Care of us when young begin the Work, and we ourſelves carry it on afterward with that Vigour and Application which it requires.

Socrates the Philoſopher was an Inſtance of this Truth, who being addicted to all Manner of Intemperance, gain’d the Victory by his Reaſon and Reſolution over each inordinate Paſſion, and was the Pattern of Virtue and Abſtemiouſneſs.

To know ourſelves, is agreed by all to be the moſt uſeful Learning; the firſt Leſſons, therefore, given us ought to be on that Subject.— The Parents or Governors of Children can never anſwer to themſelves a Neglect in this Point.— Youth ſhould be try’d and ſifted, and when the favourite Propenſity is once found out, it will be eaſy either to eradicate or improve it, according as it tends to Vice or Virtue.

I must confeſs, that where there is a kind of heavy Stupidity, or what they call too much Mercury in the Diſpoſition, the one requires a great 231 Ii2r 231 great deal of Art to enliven, and the other no leſs to fix; and as they are direct Contraries, ſo contrary Methods ſhould be made uſe of.—But this is a Duty which ought not to be diſpens’d with on account of its Difficulty, nor is perhaps ſo hard a Matter as it ſeems, if we conſider, that to give Spirit and Vivacity to the Dull, nothing but chearful Objects ſhould be preſented; and to the too Wild and Giddy, thoſe of the moſt ſerious and affecting Nature.

Where an Exceſs of Gaiety and the Love of Pleaſure is predominant, the Mind ſhould be early ſeaſon’d with the Knowledge of the many Diſappointments, Diſaſters, and Calamities which are the Portion of the greateſt Part of Mankind. —Pity for the Woes of others, and the Certainty, that no Condition or Degree can aſſure itſelf with being defended from the Frowns of Fate, will give a more ſerious Turn to our Ideas, and ſerve very much to abate that Impetuoſity which ariſes from a too great Redundancy of Fire or Air in Perſons of that Diſpoſition.

Few are ſo happy as to be compos’d of equal Elements, therefore, what is deficient in the Conſtitution ought to be ſupplied by Judgment.— The Earthy Stupid, and the Watry Phlegmatic, are to be rais’d by Exerciſe, Muſic, Dancing, and all ſprightly Amuſements; as the Fiery Choleric, and the Airy Giddy, are to be temper’d with their Contraries.

Ii2 But, 232 Ii2v 232

But, as I have already taken Notice, this Method, tho’ it muſt not be omitted by the Tutors, will fail of Succeſs, if not ſeconded by the Endeavours of the Pupils, when left to the Management of themſelves; but where there is a good Foundation laid by thoſe who have had the Care of inſtructing us in our Youth, it will be intirely our own Fault, if we afterward fall into any very groſs Irregularities.

Reflection, therefore, and Recollection are as neceſſary for the Mind as Food is for the Body; a little Examination into the Affections of the Heart can be of no Prejudice to the moſt melancholly Conſtitution, and will be of infinite Service to the too ſanguine.—The Unhappy may, poſſibly, by indulging Thought, hit on ſome lucky Stratagem for the Relief of his Misfortunes, and the Happy may be infinitely more ſo by contemplating on his Condition.

So great a Pleaſure do many People find in retiring ſometimes into themſelves, that they would not be denied that Privilege for any other Enjoyment whatſoever.

I once knew a Gentleman who had a Wife of whom he was infinitely fond, and whoſe Society he preferr’d to all others in the World, at thoſe Times when he was diſpoſed for Converſation;—yet if ſhe offer’d to diſturb his Meditations, would grow quite peeviſh with her.—So valuable to him was the Freedom of his Thoughts that 233 Ii3r 233 that he could not bear an Interruption, even tho’ he knew it to be a Proof of Love from her who was by ſo much the deareſt Part of himſelf.—I remember I was one Day at his Houſe, when his Lady thinking he had been too long alone, had, with a gentle Force, dragg’d him from his Cloſet.—I wonder’d to ſee him more than ordinarily grave, and on enquiring into the Cauſe, was anſwer’d by him in theſe Terms. This dear Creature, ſaid he, robs me of half the Pleaſure of her Love, by not permitting me to contemplate on the Bleſſings I poſſeſs in her.

How then happens it, that ſuch Numbers deny themſelves the greateſt Satisfaction a reaſonable Being can enjoy, and which is alſo of ſuch high Importance in every Accident in Life, that without it we have no Power either to attain any Good, or defend ourſelves from any Evil!

But ſome People are ſo ignorant as to imagine, or ſo wicked as to inſinuate, that thoſe who think much, and are Lovers of Solitude, ſeclude themſelves, not from the World, but with a View of doing ſome Miſchief to it.—According to the Stations they are in, they are judg’d capable of ruminating on greater or leſſer Evils to Mankind. They will have a ſedentary Stateſman to be plotting Treaſon either againſt his Prince or Country.—A Steward ſtudying new Methods to enlarge his Bills.—A Tradeſman to impoſe upon his Cuſtomers, and ſo on from the higheſt to the loweſt Degree.

A 234 Ii3v 234

A Few Examples have, alas, but too much authoriz’d this Opinion. We have ſeen great Thinkers who have thought only to aggrandize themſelves on the Ruins of thoſe they pretended to ſerve.—Great Profeſſors who have ſpar’d no Pains to gain Confidence, for no other Purpoſe than to betray.—Great Advocates for Liberty only to enſlave, and great Preachers up of Juſtice only to purchaſe Security for the worſt of Criminals.

So groſs an Abuſe of the Faculty of Thinking is, indeed, turning the Arms of Heaven againſt itſelf, and forcing that ſacred Reaſon, which was given to us for a Guide to Virtue, to accompany us in the Paths of Vice.—To think to ſuch Purpoſes, I muſt confeſs, is infinitely worſe than not to think at all, becauſe the one tends to injure and oppreſs Mankind in general, the other is for the moſt part hurtful only to the Perſons themſelves.

Hypocrisy is deteſtable both to God and Man;—we are told from an unerring Mouth, that thoſe found guilty of it ſhall have the loweſt Place in Hell, and ſure on Earth they merit the moſt contemptible Treatment from their Fellow- Creatures.—When once the Mask of Benevolence and Sincerity is pluck’d off from the Face of the ſeeming Angel, and the grim treacherous Fiend appears in his native Uglineſs, by ſo much the more as our Admiration before was of him, will be our Abhorrence of him afterwards.—We ſhall 235 Ii4r 235 ſhall hate and fly him, as we once lov’d and follow’d him.—Everybody will be ready to catch up a Stone to throw at him, and no Opportunities of inſulting him will be omitted.

Proteus by ſad Experience is convinc’d that all his Arts are ineffectual to retrieve any Part of that Eſteem he once was happy in from all Degrees of People.—The Beguiler can beguile no more.—By miſtaken Meaſures, vainly aiming at greater Homage, like Lucifer, the Pride-ſwoll’n Bubble fell, at once into the Gulph of endleſs Infamy and Contempt, whence he can never hope to riſe.

Even the very Ladies take a Pleaſure in giving him all the Mortification in their Power; and as our Sex has the Privilege of ſaying whatever we have a Mind to, without any Danger of Reſentment from the Men, he often meets with the ſevereſt Sarcaſms from thoſe who have Wit enough to make them.

He was one Day at Cards with ſome Perſons of Condition, when being ſeized with a ſudden violent Pain in his Side, after diſtorting his Face into ſeveral diſagreeable Poſitions, he could not forbear at laſt crying out, Oh my Side!— my Side!—On which Tartilla, who was one of the Company, with a malicious Sneer rejoin’d, Your Side, Proteus! I thought you had no Side now. Theſe Words, which plainly alluded to his being abandon’d by both Parties, gave him, perhaps, 236 Ii4v 236 perhaps, an Agony more poignant than that he complained of, and both together render’d him ſo peeviſh, that he reply’d haſtily, and in a Tone which was far from his accuſtom’d Politeneſs,— Yes, Madam, and a Backſide too. This Anſwer, groſs as it was, gave not Tartilla the leaſt Confuſion; and without any Heſitation, I don’t know that, ſaid ſhe, but all the World knows your Wife has one.

All the Company burſt into a loud Laughter at this Repartee, as the Character of Proteus’s Wife made it no leſs juſt than ſmart, and he having nothing to return to a Piece of Satire which had ſo much Truth in it, went out of the Room ready to burſt between Shame and unavailing Spite, leaving his fair Antagoniſt to receive all the Praiſes her ready Wit and Preſence of Mind deſerv’d.

When People of ſuch Conſideration in the World are guilty of any notorious, indirect, or ridiculous Actions, they can expect no leſs than to become the Theme of every ſatyric Genius; but I think the Jeer which old Pompilius met with from his own Son, on account of his being lately married to a Lady young enough to be his Grand-Daughter, was no leſs ſtinging, than that I have been relating.

Some little Time after theſe prepoſterous Nuptials were conſummated, the Father and Son were together at an Aſſembly:—Several who had not 237 Kk1r 237 not before that Time ſeen old Pompilius ſince the Ceremony, congratulated him upon it in the Phraſes common on ſuch Occaſions; and this turning the Converſation on the Happineſs of the Conjugal State, one of the Company happened to aſk the young Gentleman when he intended to marry?—Really, Sir, anſwer’d he, it is a Thing I have not yet given myſelf any Trouble about; for, added he with a ſarcaſtick Look, the only Lady I wiſh to have for a Wife is the Siſter of my Mother-in-Law; and the only Inducement I have to that, is becauſe I might have the Honour of being called Brother by my Father.

Not even thoſe whoſe Intereſt it was to preſerve the Good-Will of Pompilius, had Guard enough over themſelves to reſtrain ſmiling at ſo unexpected and ſo ſevere a Reply from his Son before his Face; but thoſe who regarded neither his Favour nor Reſentment, laughed outright; and the old Bridegroom finding what he had done thus Publickly ſcoffed at by his own Blood, was in no leſs Confuſion and Incapacity of making any Return than he had once before been in, when employed to give an Account of a Battle while the dreadful Roar of the Cannons were ſtill in his Ears, and all the Terrors of Death before his Eyes, nor could now, as then, recover himſelf from it till more than half a Dozen Bottles of Burgundy (his uſual Stint) had given him freſh Spirits.

It is certain that of late Years the Family of Kk the 238 Kk1v 238 the Wrongheads have increaſed to a prodigious Number.—We have ſeen with our Eyes ſuch Things as the Report of would in former Times have been treated as mere Fictions, and indeed all the Tales that Romance can furniſh us with comes infinitely ſhort of many preſent Characters.—We have Knight-Adventurers who, like Don Quixot when he ſpur’d Roſinante to encounter with the Wind-Mill, by attempting to ſurmount imaginary Dangers, run into real ones:— We have Hypocrites and Self-ſavers, of whom Sir Hudibras, in laying the whipping Taſk on the Back of his poor ’Squire, is but an imperfect Model:—We have our Thirſites, our Pandarus’s, our Demagorus’s too, in a much higher Degree than ever Poet or Hiſtorian painted them.—Difficult is it to ſay whether Wickedneſs or Folly moſt abounds among us, and whether there are more People who purchaſe what they call Happineſs at the Expence of their Virtue, or who forfeit all Pretenſions to it by their Madneſs; for there is nothing more common than to ſee thoſe who in Court, in Camp, in Town and Country, take as much Pains to be undone as others to undo.

In fine, when one looks into the World and conſiders the preſent Times and Humours of Mankind, one cannot help crying out with the Poet, There is no Wonder, or elſe all is Wonder!

Kk Yet 239 Kk2r 239

Yet to what can we impute all theſe Miſtakes, Miſcarriages, or theſe Cruelties, Oppreſſions, unnatural Actions, and the innumerable Train of Miſchiefs which we either bring upon ourſelves or inflict on others, but to the Want of Thought, or to Thought miſapplied! The latter I again allow to be of much worſe Conſequence than the former; but as we are Free-Agents, and the Choice is in ourſelves whether we will be virtuous or vicious, it would be a poor Excuſe to ſay we durſt not think, leſt we ſhould think amiſs.

Man was created little inferior to the Angels, and it is his own Fault that he is not very near as happy too.—This World is plentifully ſtor’d with every thing ſuited to the Nature of his Being; and borne on the Wings of ſacred Contemplation, he may alſo partake of heavenly Raptures; but this Point I leave to the Divines; for tho’ it is a Truth ſelf-evident, yet there are People who chuſe rather to be convinced by the Learning of others, than by the Witneſs in their own Breaſts.

A friend of mine who, with ſome other Engliſh Gentlemen, was making the Tour of Europe, happened, as they paſsed through one of the moſt wild and mountainous Parts of France, to loſe his Company.—On his firſt finding himſelf alone, he imagined that having been in a deep Muſing, they had gone on before without his obſerving them, therefore clapped Spurs to his Horſe in order to overtake them; but havingKk2 ing 240 Kk2v 240 ing rode ſome Miles without ſeeing either any thing of them, or meeting any Perſon who could direct him to the Town where they had agreed to put up for that Night, he was extremely at a Loſs, eſpecially when he came where three Roads met:—To add to his Misfortune, there fell a very heavy Rain accompanied with a great Wind, inſomuch that he was obliged to make toward a Wood which he ſaw at ſome Diſtance, to ſhelter himſelf and Horſe from the Fury of the Storm which every Moment ſeemed to gather ſtrength.

The intermingling Boughs of the Trees for little ſome time defended him, but would not have continued to do ſo much longer, and he was beginning to give way to Impatience, when on a ſudden he heard a human Voice call to him to turn towards the Right of a little Mount about ſome twenty Yards from him.

He has aſſured me that never any Muſick had given him half the Pleaſure as the Sound of one of his own Species did in that unfrequented Wild.—He fail’d not to obey the Summons, and preſently perceiv’d a Man habited like a Hermit ſtand at the Entrance of a Cave beneath the Mount.—The Tempeſt did not prevent him from coming forth to meet this diſtreſs’d Traveller:—He helped him to alight, tied his Horſe under one of the thickeſt Trees, and then conducted him into his gloomy Habitation with all the Politeneſs of a firſt-rate Courtier.

My 241 Kk3r 241

My Friend was extremely ſurprized not only at his Reception, but at the exceſſive Neatneſs of every thing he ſaw in this Cavern, which he found was divided into two Rooms: The firſt contained a Table, two eaſy Chairs, a ſmall Beaufet with Glaſſes, and ſome China loaded with the moſt excellent Fruits:—The other had in it only a Couch with a Matteraſs and Coverlid, one Chair and a Shelf of Books, near which was fix’d a little Altar with a Crucifix. He could not help teſtifying his Admiration at the Contrivance of this Habitation, and as he ſpoke French very well, began to aſk ſome Queſtions concerning it, and in what manner his Hoſt could be provided with Neceſſaries, as he ſaw no Town, nor even Village near that Place.

To which the other replied with a Smile, that his Curioſity ſhould be fully ſatisfied; but firſt, ſaid he, you muſt refreſh yourſelf with ſuch Things as this homely Cell affords.

In ſpeaking theſe Words, he ſpread a curious Damaſk Napkin on the Table, and then ſet Plates of Pickles, ſeveral ſorts of freſh and dry’d Fruits, fine Manchet, Fromage, and a Bottle of the beſt Burgundy.—In fine, a more elegant Afternoon’s Collation could not have been preſented in the moſt opulent City, than what this Cavern in the midſt of an unfrequented Wood afforded.

The more the Stranger ſaw, the more he was ſurpriz’d, which the ſeeming Hermit perceiving,ceiving, 242 Kk3v 242 ceiving, entertained him while they were eating with this Account of himſelf.

He, told him that he was not a conſtant Inhabitant of the Place he found him in, but repaired thither occaſionally, and when he was in the Humour to indulge Reflection:—That he wore that Habit, which was always held ſacred even by the moſt Profligate, to protect him from any Inſults in caſe he ſhould happen to be ſeen by any of thoſe Wretches, who, living on the Plunder of Travellers, frequently, when purſued, took Shelter in that Wood, and that he was called the Count de Montaubin, and had his uſual Reſidence in a Caſtle of his own about twelve Miles diſtant.

My Friend, after paying him thoſe Reſpects which the Knowledge of his Quality demanded, expreſſed ſome Amazement that he ſhould have Occaſion to take the Pains to come ſo far and ſubject himſelf to ſo many Inconveniencies merely for the ſake of a Retirement, which he might doubtleſs enjoy in as full a manner at Home, if he were diſpoſed to let his Inclination for Solitude be ſignified to his Acquaintance.

To which the Count replied, that he perceived he was a Stranger to the Humour of the French Nation:—That what he mention’d was a Thing wholly impracticable to a Man of his Quality:—That tho’ he lived at a conſiderable Diſtance from Paris, or any great City, his Caſtle was 243 Kk4r 243 was continually crowded either with the neighbouring Gentry, or Perſons who travelled that Way;—and that beſides he was married to a Lady of ſo gay and volatile a Diſpoſition, that it was impoſſible for him ever to be entirely alone.—To add to all this, continued he, I have ſeveral Children, and a numerous Retinue of Servants, and tho’ I ſhould ſhut myſelf up in the moſt retired Room I have, I could not ſtill be free from Interruption of one kind or other.

The Mind, ſaid he, requires ſome Relaxation as well as the Body; and when fatigued with the Hurry of thoſe Pleaſures with which it is expected one ſhould entertain one’s Friends, here I retire, give a Looſe to Contemplation, and when I have recruited my Spirits, return again into the World, and taſte the Joys of Love and Converſation with a much higher Reliſh than if I never were abſent from them.

The Engliſh Gentleman could not help allowing the Juſtneſs of his Notion in this Point, but ſtill thought it ſtrange that he did not make Choice of ſome Place where he might be leſs expoſed to Accidents, than in the Wildneſs of this Wood; but the Count, who it ſeems was one of the moſt complaiſant obliging Perſons on Earth, would not ſuffer him to remain in a Suſpence which it was in his Power to eaſe, and therefore made no Scruple of relating to him ſome Paſſages of his former Life, which entirely baniſh’d all the Difficulties he had found in himſelf to reconcile 244 Kk4v 244 reconcile to Reaſon a Behaviour that at firſt appear’d to have in it ſo much Oddity.

The Count in his younger Years had the Misfortune to have a Rencounter with a Nobleman, in which he gave him ſome Wounds which he knew not but were mortal.—Beſides the Law, which in that Country is very ſevere againſt Duelling, his Antagoniſt was a Perſon in great favour with the King, and he had little room to hope for Mercy in caſe the other died.—To avoid the Proſecution he fled from Paris, and not doubting but all Houſes where they might expect to find him would be ſtrictly ſearched, he concealed himſelf in this Wood, accompanied only by one faithful Servant, who having been brought up with him, would not be prevail’d upon to quit him in ſuch an Extremity.

He aſſured my Friend that they lived for near three Weeks on only ſuch Proviſion as that deſolate Wild afforded; that for ſeveral Days they could not find a Brook at which they might ſlack their Thirſt, ſo that the Fruits they found on ſome of the Hedges ſerved them both as Food and Drink; and to ſecure themſelves from the Wolves by Night, which frequently prowl’d about that Foreſt, they were oblig’d to take up their Lodgings in the talleſt Trees they could find.—Nothing, he ſaid, but the protecting Hand of Heaven could have enabled them to ſuſtain the Hardſhips they were obliged to ſuffer. —At laſt, quite tired and worn out with Deſpair, Death 245 Ll1r 245 Death ſeemed leſs terrible than the Continuance of ſuch a Life, and he ventured to ſend his Servant to enquire what was become of the wounded Gentleman, and at the ſame time to procure ſome Place where he might once more be accommodated with the Neceſſaries which the Nature of his Being required.

The Fellow’s Return brought him the good News that his Enemy was not only recovered of the Hurts he had received from him, but had alſo confeſſed that himſelf had been the Aggreſſor, and labour’d by all his Friends to obtain the ſame Pardon for the Count as for himſelf:— That every body expected it would ſoon be ſign’d, and that, tho’ it was not proper he ſhould appear in Public till it was ſo, yet as all Search after him was entirely over, he might quit that dreadful Situation and repair to the Houſe of a Relation, who would meet him at the Entrance of the Foreſt, and conduct him with all manner of Privacy.

Every thing happened according to this Intelligence; and he had not been a Week before the Royal Clemency exerted itſelf in favour of both the Delinquents, who then, as great Friends as before they had been the contrary, went together to throw themſelves at the Foot of the Throne, and pay their grateful Acknoledgments.

The Count concluded his little Narrative with Ll ſaying 246 Ll1v 246 ſaying, that tho’ this Adventure was ſo happily ended, the Danger and the Hardſhips it had involved him in, gave a much more ſerious Turn to his Humour than he had ever known before: —That during his Abode in that ſolitary Place he had found ſo much Matter for Contemplation, that the Remembrance ſtill dwelt, and ever would do ſo upon his Mind; and tho’ the Ideas which he now he demanded Privacy to indulge, yet they were ſo far from having any thing melancholly or gloomy in them, that they afforded him the moſt ſerene and perfect Satisfaction.

You ſee now, added he, the Motives I have for retiring myſelf ſometimes from the Noiſe and Hurry of the World; and as this Place was my Aſylum in Diſtreſs, I cannot help having a kind of Love for it, and think I ought in Gratitude to make it the Scene of my more pleaſing Meditations. —I therefore made this Cavern be cut out of the Mount,—furniſhed it as you ſee, provided two Chairs in caſe any diſtreſt Perſon ſhould have Occaſion to take Refuge here, as it has now happened, —and I could wiſh that I had taken the ſame Precaution as to a Bed, for it now grows late, and I foreſee the Storm will not abate while you can depart with any Safety:—But we will paſs the Night as well as we can:—I have a ſufficient Quantity of Burgundy within, and by the Help of that and Converſation, we may beguile the Hours till Morning, when my Servant will be here, and then I will beg the favour of your Company to a Place, where it will be in my Power to entertain you 247 Ll2r 247 you in a Faſhion more agreeable to my Inclination and your Merits.

My Friend then told him how having loſt his Company, he could not do himſelf the Honour to accept his Invitation, becauſe he muſt make the beſt of his Way to Town where they had agreed to ſtay for that Night; and ſaid he did not doubt but to overtake them, provided he could but find his Way out of the Foreſt.

Count Mountaubin aſſured him that what he talked on was no way to be performed, that the Town he mentioned lay quite on the other Side of the Wood, which was wholly impracticable to be paſſed without a Guide, even tho’ he had the Day inſtead of the Night before him, by reaſon of the many intricate Turnings it contained: —That the great Road was not only the ſafeſt but the neareſt, and as he had miſſed it by turning into the Wood, he might by the Aſſiſtance of his Servant eaſily recover it:—But, ſaid he, as the Man will be with me, as he always is, extremely early, the beſt way will be to ſend him to your Friends, acquaint them where you are, and engage them either to come to you at my Caſtle, which luckily happens to be ſituated very near the Road, or to tarry till you can reach them.

This Expedient ſeemed no leſs reaſonable and convenient to the Gentleman, than it was kind and obliging in him that propoſed it, and being a Man perfectly free from all that troubleſomeLl2 ſome 248 Ll2v 248 ſome formal Ceremony which half-bred People are ſo full of, he agreed to it without any Heſitation or Apologies.

The Night glided almoſt inſenſibly away in ſuch agreeable Converſation, and Aurora had ſcarce given place to the Chariot of the Sun, before the Servant of the Count Mountaubin arrived with a led Horſe, it being the Day his Lord had appointed for his return Home, and the Wood altogether impoſſible for any Wheel-Carriage to paſs.

The Storm being now entirely ſubſided, every thing ſeemed more beautiful for the late Ruffle it had ſuſtain’d.—So pleaſing a Wildneſs appeared through the whole, that my Friend was perfectly charm’d with it, and the Count did not fail, during the Time of their little Journey, to ſet forth all the Delights this rural Scene afforded: —Here, ſaid he, we ſee Nature in its Purity, juſt as it came from the Hand of the Creator:—What Art, what Agriculture can equal the ſweet Confuſion with which every Plant ſprings up ſpontaneous?—What a ſolemn Reverence do thoſe tall antient Trees excite?—How raviſhing is the Fragrancy of the Air that their fanning Boughs waft to us, unmixed, unadulterated with any of thoſe groſs Particles which the Neighbourhood of Cities conſtantly ſend forth?—Here we enjoy the untainted Æther, partake the Food of Angels, new-wing our Souls, and almoſt ſpiritualize our dull Mortality.—Yet, added he, how many live, and how many 249 Ll3r 249 many Years did I myſelf live without giving myſelf leave to know that Heaven had beſtowed ſuch Bleſſings on Man!

He further added, that he found an inward Satisfaction, ſuch as no Tongue could expreſs, in his Meditations during the Times of his thus ſecluding himſelf from Society, which was ordinarily no more than four or five Days together: —That no Perſon whatever know the Place of his Retirement but that faithful Servant, who came every Morning to receive his Commands and to bring him ſuch Things as were needful.

With theſe kind of Diſcourſes they beguiled the Time till being come into the great Road, the Count diſpatched his Servant to the Inn where my Friend had informed him it was likely his Companions might be found, with his Compliments to them unknown, and an earneſt Entreaty that they would come to his Caſtle in ſearch of him they had loſt, and for whom they were doubtleſs in great Trouble.

These Orders were no ſooner given, than the Man who received them clapped Spurs to his Horse and immediately out of Sight; the Count and his new Gueſt rode ſlowly, not only that they might converſe with the more Eaſe, but alſo to favour the poor Animal, who was very much fatigued with being expoſed all Night to Severity of the Weather, and whom the Count 250 Ll3v 250 Count had it not in his Power to refreſh as he had done to his Rider.

A short Time, however, brought them to a ſtately Caſtle, where the Count entered by a back Gate of which he had the Key, and having conducted the Stranger into a magnificent Antichamber, entreated his Pardon for leaving him a few Minutes; after which he returned habited according to his Quality, and ſo much changed from what he had appeared in his Hermit’s Dreſs, that he was hardly to be known:—He then introduced him to his Lady, a very lovely Woman, and five Children, the eldeſt not exceeding eleven Years of Age, but were all exceeding beautiful and well made.—My Friend beheld them with Admiration, and after making his proper Compliments to each, ſaid to the Count, that not all the elegant Deſcriptions he had given him of the Charms of Contemplation were half ſo convincing to him, as to find they were capable of rivalling in his Eſteem thoſe he left at Home.

The Counteſs prevented her Huſband from making any Return to this Compliment, by replying herſelf in ſo gay and gallant a manner, as ſhewed her a Lady whoſe Wit was not at all inferior to her perſonal Perfections.

They all breakfaſted in her Apartment, after which they entered into an agreeable Converſation,verſation, 251 Ll4r 251 verſation, which was pleaſingly interrupted by the Arrival of the Engliſh Gentlemen. The Joy to ſee their Friend ſafe, and in ſuch good Company, after having imagined ſome very ill Accident had befallen him, did not hinder them from receiving the Welcome given them by their illuſtrious Hoſts, with a Politeneſs which did not ſhame the Appearance they made, and both together concurred to convince thoſe that ſaw them, that they were in reality Perſons of Family and Fortune.

The firſt Civilities being over, the Count led them into his Gardens, which were laid out with all the Exactneſs, Propriety, and good Fancy imaginable.—Here, Parterres of Flowers charm’d the Senſes with their Fragrancy and Beauty:— There, bubbling Fountains encompaſs’d with Grots, ornamented with the richeſt Treaſure of the Sea, invited to ſoft Repoſe:—Moſt curious Statues of antient Heroes and Philoſophers placed at the Corners of each Avenue, reminded the Beholder of the Happineſs paſt Times enjoy’d; and the ſpacious Walks bordered with Trees which met on the Top, forming long Arbours, afforded a moſt delightful Shade, and gave Room to thoſe who walked to converſe without the Trouble of turning back to each other, as in the narrow pent-up Alleys of ſome Gardens.—He then conducted them into the chief Apartments of the Caſtle, where they found every thing ſplendid and magnificent.—In a word, according to the Deſcription was given me of it, Grandeur and 252 Ll4v 252 and Elegance ſeem’d to vye with each other which ſhould excel in the attractive Power.

When the Time of Dining arriv’d, the Table was ſpread with all the Delicacies of the Seaſon:—A continual Round of ſprightly Wit render’d the Repaſt yet more agreeable, and for the ſpace of ten Days, for ſo long the Count detained them, they were entertained in a manner which ſhewed the Hoſpitality and Politeneſs of the French Nation.

But my Friend informed me that, during the whole Time they were there, ſcarce an Hour paſs’d without introducing ſome new Gueſt, and that every Night there was either a Ball or Concert.—In fine, they ſeemed to live only for Diverſion; and the Count, tho’ no Man appeared more gay in Company, would often in the midſt of this Hurry take him aſide, and ſpeak in this manner: You ſee, Sir, how impoſſible it is to indulge Contemplation in this Place, and may judge if a little Receſs from ſuch a Profuſion of theſe noiſy Pleaſures, is not entirely neceſſary for a Man who would not chuſe to forget himſelf, and the Ends for which he was created.

I must confeſs, that when I firſt heard this Story, the Veracity of which I had no Reaſon to call in queſtion, the Perſon who related it being of undoubted Integrity, I could not believe but that this Count Montaubin had ſome Defect in the Compoſure of his Brain, which rendered him at 253 Mm1r 253 at ſome certain Times a little delirious, and aſked my Friend in what Attitude of the Moon this Nobleman was accuſtomed to go into his voluntary Baniſhment.

The Gentleman, who by this Queſtion ſaw into my Thoughts, aſſured me I was greatly miſtaken in my Conjectures:—That the Perſon I took to be mad or whimſical, was ſo far from either, that he never knew a Man of a more juſt way of Thinking: That not only his Converſation, but manner of Deportment in every thing was perfectly unexceptionable, and that its being ſo might greatly be imputed to thoſe Reflections he made in his Retirement.

I was then too gay, and Heaven knows too little a Lover of Solitude to be brought into his Opinion, and really made a Jeſt of it to all my Acquaintance; but I have ſince been of another Mind, and find there was much more to be admir’d than condemn’d in his thus ſecluding himſelf from the World for a Time, that he might know the better how to conduct himſelf in it at his Return.

But I ſtill think there was a Poſſibility for him to have enjoyed his beloved Retirement in a Place more commodious and leſs dangerous than that he made a Choice of.—I am very well aſſured there are Impertinents in the World, who, if they know where one is, will come with a great deal of officious Love, and in a manner drag one Mm into 254 Mm1v 254 into Company; but that could not be the Caſe of the French Count, who doubtleſs had many little Houſes, to any of which he might have withdrawn, and with the ſame Precaution been as effectually concealed as in this Cavern.

I should have been glad to have had my Curiouſity ſatisfied in one Point, and that was, whether the Counteſs his Wife was let into the Secret of the Place of his Abode, and his Reaſons for ſuch frequent abſenting himſelf from her; but this my Friend was as ignorant of as myſelf, no Mention being ever made of it in the Family that he heard of; but he ſeem’d inclin’d, as well as myſelf, to believe that ſhe was not kept in the Dark in this Article, by the perfect Harmony there ſeemed to be between them, which, without ſhe was a very extraordinary Womand indeed, could not have ſubſiſted if ignorant for what Motives he depriv’d her of his Society.

It is certain there are very few married Women, eſpecially if they love their Huſbands, that would approve of ſuch a Behaviour, even tho’ they were convinced they had no other Excitements to it than the Count, but would be quite outrageous to be left alone, without a perfect Knowledge of every Particular that occaſion’d it. The French Ladies, therefore, can have no ſuch thing as Jealouſy in their Natures, or Madam de Montaubin muſt, without all doubt, be acquainted with the whole of the Affair.

But 255 Mm2r 255

But however that was is nothing to my preſent Purpoſe; I only wiſh that ſome of our Inconſiderates would impoſe upon themſelves the Taſk of being ſometimes alone, and am apt to believe that thoſe, to whom Reflection is now the moſt irkſome thing imaginable, would, by frequent uſing themſelves to it, find in it at laſt ſufficient to compenſate for all they ſuffer’d at firſt from their Reluctance.

I know nothing is more difficult than for Perſons of too airy and volatile a Diſpoſition, to bring themſelves to that Habitude I am endeavouring to recommend; nor is ſuch a Change to be expected all at once, much leſs is it to be hoped for from Compulſion.—You may ſhut them all Day into a Room, yet aſk them on what they have been thinking, and they will tell you on nothing but their Confinement.—That, therefore, is the moſt wrong Method can be taken:—Such People muſt be ſooth’d, not menac’d into Reflection; and I know of no better Means than by laying before them ſuch Books as may be moſt likely to hit their Fancy:—Thoſe even which ſeem the leaſt calculated for Improvement, provided they have nothing immoral or indecent in them, will be of excellent Service to bring the Mind to take Delight in Reading; and when that is once accompliſh’d, others of a more ſerious Nature may by degrees be recommended.

Painting, eſpecially Hiſtory, Landſcape, Mm2 and 256 Mm2v 256 and Sea-Pieces, is alſo an excellent Promoter of Reflection:—Such Proſpects charm the Eye, and thence gain an eaſy Paſſage into the Soul, exciting Curiouſity in the moſt Indolent.—It is impoſſible to behold Nature thus delineated, without receiving an Impreſſion which will dwell upon the Mind:—We ſhall think of the great Tranſactions of paſs’d Times,—the different Scenes which this wide Earth affords in its Mountains, its Valleys, its Meadows and its Rivers,— and all the Lovelineſs and Horrors of the ſurrounding Deep, the Ships ſmooth ſailing with a proſperous Gale, and the wreck’d Veſſel bulg’d againſt a Rock, or juſt ſinking in thoſe Sands which lurk beneath the Waves.—Theſe Representations on the Canvaſs, I ſay, will remain in our Remembrance when the Object is withdrawn, and cannot but inſpire us with Ideas at once delightful and inſtructive:—They will afford us an agreeable Entertainment within ourſelves, and we ſhall no longer be under a Neceſſity of ſeeking it elſewhere.

It is true that most of our Nobility and Gentry profeſs themselves great Admirers of this Art, and that when Notice is given of any capital Pictures to be diſpoſed of by way of Auction, the Rooms where they are exhibited are sufficiently crowded; but the Misfortune is, that three Parts in four of thoſe numerous Aſſemblies are drawn thither more by the Deſire of seeing one another, than any other Motive:—They look on it as one of the many ways of killing Time, —a 257 Mm3r 257 —a Morning’s Amuſement, and meet and laugh, make Appointments for Parties of Pleaſure, and ſometimes for Gallantry:—On ſuch as theſe the Works of a Titian or a Raphael will have little Force:—There are Generals, who seem wholly unaffected by the Triumphs of old Rome;—Orators, who are unmoved with the Attitude of a Cicero or Demoſthenes; —and Ladies, whoſe Hearts are incapable of feeling either Compaſſion for a dying Lucretia, or Admiration of that fam’d English Princeſs who ſuck’d the Poyſon from her Huſband’s Wound.

The ſame may likewiſe be ſaid of many who frequent the Theatres:—They regard the Actors more than the Characters they repreſent, and ſeem more intereſted in the little Quarrels they ſometimes have among themſelves, than in the Fate of the real Heroes and Heroines.—The Dreſs, the Voice, the Manner of Mr. Quin, Mr. Garrick, Mr. Cibber, Mrs. Horton, Mrs. Clive, Mrs. Woffington, &c; &c; ſhall be the Subject of long Converſations, when not the leaſt Comment is made, or Notice take of the Cruelties of King Richard, the cauſeleſs Jealouſy of Othello, the filial Piety of Hamlet, the Virtue of Andromache, the Reformation of Lady Townly, and all thoſe ſtriking Characters which the Poets either attempt to perpetuate or invent, as Excitements to great Actions in ſome, and Leſſons of Morality and good Conduct to others.

Yet what is more truly pleaſing to a thinkinging 258 Mm3v 258 ing Mind than to ſee the moſt remarkable Paſſages of Antiquity, the various Manners of far diſtant Nations, exhibited in the touching Scenes of well-wrote Tragedy? Or what more conducive to reforming whatever Follies we are guilty of, than to find them artfully expoſed in the ungalling Satire of genteel Comedy?

To reform our Manners, and correct our Errors;—to inſpire us with high Ideas of Honour and Virtue through the Canal of Pleaſure, as the most likely Means of conveying them into the Soul, was undeniably the great End propoſed in the Inſtitution of the Drama, and very many of the antient, and ſome modern Poets have happily ſucceeded in it.—I have heard of Perſons, who, conſcious of ſome ſecret Crime, have been ſo ſtruck with the Repreſentation of it on the Stage, that they have gone Home, confeſſed all, and paſſed their whole future Lives in a kind of Pennance for their paſs’d Tranſgreſſions. Herbert ſays, A Verſe may catch him who a Sermon flies,And turn Delight into a Sacrifice. But then to be amended either by this or any other Method can be taken for that Purpoſe, we muſt be a little attentive to the Objects preſented to us, which I am ſorry to obſerve is ſeldom the Caſe of the Audiences which of late frequent the Theatres:—They ſeem diſpoſed to regard only what makes them laugh; and even many of thoſe, 259 Nn1r 259 thoſe, who, in Complaiſance to Perſons of a different way of judging, affect to be moſt diſſatisfied with the Managers of the Play-Houses for introducing Pantomime, are in their Hearts pleaſed with nothing elſe.

Some again will boldly argue in the Defence of thoſe dumb Repreſentations:—They will tell you, that the Italians, who are a very wiſe Nation, vouchſafe the higheſt Encouragement to them:—That there is a great deal of Wit and Ingenuity in the Contrivance of them, and that it ſhews the Sagacity and Penetration of an Audience to comprehend, by the Motions of the Performers, every Deſign of the Piece, as well as tho’ it were delivered in Speech.—There is, I confeſs, ſome Truth in this, where People give themſelves the Pains of Obſervation; but where they are too indolent to do that, and are diverted only with the Transformations of a Harlequin, without any Regard to the Motives he has for them, I ſee no Benefit they can receive from ſuch an Entertainment, but ſuch as ariſe from ſeeing a common Tumbler or Rope-Dancer.

In fine, there is nothing but what a thinking Mind may reap ſome Advantage from; nor is there any thing, be its intrinſick Merit never ſo great, that a Perſon without Thought can be the better for:—It is like Muſick to the Deaf, or a beautiful Landſcape to the Blind.

There is a Mode of Expreſſion in every one’s 260 Nn1v 260 one’s Mouth, tho’ I am afraid underſtood by a few, and that is, when you would give the higheſt Compliment to any one, you ſay he has a good Taſte.—This is a Character which all are ambitious of acquiring, as it is look’d upon to imply the utmoſt Perfection of Elegance and Propriety in any thing you undertake.—To explain the Difference of the true and falſe Taſte has employed the Pens of many great Authors, and yet I think none have done it effectually enough to give the Reader the diſtinct Idea of it which is neceſſary; for what is the true Taſte but a fine Fancy blended with a ſtrong Judgment?—What indeed, but that juſt manner of Thinking I have been all this time recommending; and what the falſe, but a heedleſs following the Notions of others?—Aiming to do as ſome Perſons, whoſe Reputation for a fine Genius is eſtabliſhed, have done, without conſidering that what is infinitely becoming in one often happens to be the Reverſe in another.—There are a thouſand Circumſtances which may render ſuch an Imitation awkward and prepoſterous, and juſtly deſerve to be called falſe Taſte.

It is therefore the Buſineſs of every one, who would make a ſhining Figure in Life, avoid any Inconveniences, reap any Benefits, enjoy any permanent Felicity themſelves, or beſtow it on others, to gain as perfect an Acquaintance as in them lies, by Thought and Application, both with what they are, and what they ought to attempt to be.

End of the Fourth Book.

261 Nn2r

The Female Spectator.

Book V.

In Gratitude and Complaiſance to to the Firſt Correſpondent the Female Spectator has yet been favour’d with, it is the Opinion of our Society that the Entertainment prepared for this Month ſhould be poſtponed, in order to inſert her obliging Letter, and purſue the Theme ſhe has been ſo good to give, which indeed cannot be too often nor too ſtrenuouſly enforced.

To the Female Spectator. Madam, Tho’ you have not thought fit, in thoſe Monthly Lucubrations with which you have hitherto obliged the Publick, to invite Nn2 any 262 Nn2v 262 any Correſpondence, and I am wholly ignorant whether a Hint, communicated to you in this Manner, will be acceptable; yet, as the Intention of your Work is plainly to reform thoſe Errors in Conduct, which, if indulg’d, lead on to Vices, ſuch as muſt render us unhappy for our whole Lives, I cannot forbear acquainting you with my Sentiments on the Undertaking, and how far I am pleas’d or diſpleas’d with the Execution. You are ſenſible that every Thing which appears in Print paſſes thro’ as many various Cenſures as there are Opinions in the Readers; but I aſſure you I am of that Number which Authors call the courteous, and take a much greater Satisfaction in applauding than condemning.—The Praiſes you receive from all the Wiſe and Virtuous, I readily join in, and make as publick as my Way of Life will permit.—I am a zealous Defender of your Cauſe againſt all the Cavils of conceited Ignorance and open Libertiniſm; and where I imagine you fall a little ſhort of my Expectations I am entirely ſilent. This I think is dealing with you as a Friend, and you will not therefore take it ill if I ſometimes play the Part of a Monitor, and remind you both now, and as often as I ſhall find occaſion, of any Omiſſions, which cannot be ſuch as you may not eaſily attone for in the enſuing Book; or even venture to impart to you a few wandering Notions of my own, ſince I leave 263 Nn3r 263 leave you at full Liberty either to conceal or publiſh them as you may judge proper. Nothing certainly can be more juſt than your Definition of the Paſſions, or more pathetic than your Repreſentation of the Miſchiefs they bring upon Mankind; but I think you have touch’d ſomewhat too ſlightly, or at leaſt not been ſo particular as might have been expected from a Spectator, on ſome of thoſe innumerable Ways that licens’d Luxury has of late invented to ſooth, or rather to excite the moſt dangerous Propenſities in Youth. I am far from being of that auſtere Nature ſome are, who make no Allowances for the Difference of Age, and deny to thoſe under their Tuition, the innocent Recreations which the early Years of Life demand:—On the contrary, I am for having them partake, in a reaſonable Degree, every Pleaſure this great World affords; but then I would not have any of thoſe Pleaſures become a Buſineſs, and engroſs the Attention ſo much as to take it off from Subjects of a more profitable Kind, thereby rendering dangerous what is unhurtful in itſelf, and making future Time pay too dearly for the Enjoyment of the preſent. Some of our modern Diverſion-Mongers think it not enough to be every Day contriving new Entertainments of our Evenings Amuſement; the 264 Nn3v 264 the Morning too muſt be taken up in them, as tho’ we were born for nothing but Recreation: Vaux-Hall, Cupers, and all thoſe numerous Places of Rendevous, except Ranelagh Gardens, content themſelves indeed with engroſſing that Part of our Time, in which Buſineſs uſually gives way to Pleaſure: But this latter is not ſatisfied without encroaching on thoſe Hours which Reaſon and Nature require ſhould be otherwiſe employed.—There is not ſo great a Space of Time between me and Youth, but I can very well remember, that after having paid my Devotions to Heaven, waſh’d, dreſs’d, and eat my Breakfaſt, the remaining Hours till Noon were chiefly taken up with thoſe who inſtructed me in Working, Dancing, Muſick, Writing, and thoſe other neceſſary Accompliſhments of my Sex; and thought, that if I was allowed to take a little Walk in St. James’s Park, or in our own Garden, in order to get a Stomach to my Dinner, it was as much Relaxation as I ought to expect. I trained up my only Daughter in the ſame Manner I and been bred up myſelf, and had no Reaſon to ſuſpect ſhe was diſſatisfied with this Regulation till ſhe arrived at her Fourteenth Year; at which Time Ranelagh unhappily gave Notice there would be public Breakfaſting every Morning.—This gave a Turn very vexatious to me, and prejudicial to the Education I intended to beſtow on her: I immediately discovered a Remiſsneſs in all her formermer 265 Nn4r 265 mer Studies; and, at length, a total Averſion to them.—The French Miſtreſs is now a troubleſome Companion; the Needle a moſt odious Implement; the Spinet is untuned; the Muſick Books are thrown aſide; nothing ſeems worthy her Regard but how to appear in the genteeleſt Deſhabille at Ranelagh:— Every Morning my Houſe is crowded with young Ladies to call Miſs Biddy to go with them to breakfaſt at Ranelagh; nothing is talk’d of at their Return but what was ſaid and done at Ranelagh, and in what Dreſſes they ſhall repair at Night again to that charming Place; ſo that the whole Day is entirely taken up with it. Tell me, dear Spectator, is it conſiſtent with the Character of a Woman of Prudence to ſuffer a young Creature, over whom Heaven and Nature has given me the ſole Authority, to conduct herſelf in this Faſhion?—Yet by what means is the growing Miſchief to be ſuppreſs’d? —When I offer to ſet any Bounds to this wild Career, I have only Sullenneſs and Whimpering at Home, and no doubt but Cenſures Abroad for my great Severity.—In vain are my Remonſtrances on miſpending Time in thoſe giddy Rambles; all I can ſay makes not the leaſt Impreſſion; and I dread to drive her to Extremes, by laying thoſe Reſtrictions on her which are neceſſary to keep her at Home.— Who knows what Lengths unthinking Youth may run!—We often ſee People of her Years 266 Nn4v 266 Years fatally ingenious in contriving Methods to diſappoint the utmoſt Vigilance of thoſe who have the Care of them; and if, by endeavouring to preſerve her from one Danger, I ſhould provoke her to throw herſelf into others, I ſhould be inexcuſeable to myſelf:—The Dilemma I labour under on this Score is terrible:—I therefore conjure you, as you cannot be inſenſible of what many afflicted Parents, as well as myſelf, muſt feel, in ſeeing all the Fruit of their long Care and Tenderneſs ſo near being blaſted, to ſet forth, in the moſt moving and pathetick Terms you can, the Folly of gadding eternally to thoſe publick Places:—Convince our young Ladies of the Loſs it is to themſelves, how much it diſqualifies them for all the ſocial Duties, renders them neglectful of what they owe to Heaven, and to thoſe who gave them Being, and incapable of being either good Wives, good Mothers, good Friends, or good Miſtreſſes; and thereby entails ſure Unhappineſs on their own future Days, as well as on all thoſe who ſhall have any Relation to them. A public Reproof from you may, perhaps, be more effectual than all the private Admonitions of their Friends, which they are too apt to look upon as Words of courſe:—The Advice of a Perſon who can have no other Intereſt in giving it, than the generous Part ſhe takes in the Happineſs of her Fellow-Creatures will certainly ſink into the Soul of every one, not wholly 267 Oo1r 267 wholly loſt to all Senſe of her own Good, and complete the Wiſhes of a great Number of your Readers, as well as of Your real Admirer, And moſt humble Servant. Sarah Oldfashion. P. S. If the Hopes I have in the Spectator ſhould fail me, I am reſolved to ſend Biddy to a Relation I have in Cornwall, whoſe neareſt Neighbour is twelve Miles diſtant; and whence if ſhe continues her rambling Humour, huge craggy Rocks on one Side, and no leſs dread- Mines on the other, will be her only Proſpect.

The Caſe of this Lady I muſt confeſs is greatly to be commiſerated, and muſt be felt by all who either are, or have been Mothers: — Could Children be ſenſible of the endleſs Cares, the Watchings, the Anxieties which attend Parental Tenderneſs, and how impoſſible it is for them to return in Kind thoſe Obligations, they would certainly avoid doing any Thing that might render fruitleſs the Pains and Labour employed for their Intereſt:—Gratitude as well as Self-Love would make them uſe their utmoſt Efforts to improve the Education beſtowed on them; but how hard it is to bring young People to a juſt Way of thinking, I have already taken Oo Notice 268 Oo1v 268 Notice of in a former Spectator, as I have ſomewhere read. Experience Vanity in our Youth is ſought,And with Age purchas’d, is too dearly bought.

Too many there are who know not how to live in the World till they are ready to go out of it, but, as Dryden ſays, Let Life paſs thro’ them like a leaky Sieve.

Much therefore is it to be lamented that ſuch Encouragements are given to the natural Giddineſs of Youth, and that the Prevalence of Example in thoſe of riper Years ſhould afford a Sanction to thoſe in whom the Love of Pleaſure is leſs inexcuſable.

Yet after all, what are the mighty Pleaſures which theſe Walks afford?—Have not moſt of our Nobility who frequent them much more delightful Receſſes of their own!—Can either Ranelagh, or any of theſe Places where they pay for Entrance, equal in Elegance or Magnificence many of thoſe Gardens, which they need but ſtep out of their own Apartments to enjoy the Pleaſures of!—Nobody ſure will pretend to ſay the contrary; but then indeed it may be alledg’d, that to ſuch Perſons, who by their high Offices in the State, or Attendance at Court, are obliged to keep much in Town, ſuch Places of Relaxation are both neceſſary and agreeable: It muſt Oo 269 Oo2r 269 muſt be acknowledg’d that they are ſo, and it would be the higheſt Injuſtice as well as Arrogance in a Spectator, to paſs any Cenſure on the great World for Amuſements, which ſeem calculated chiefly for them; and which are indeed prejudicial to the People of an inferior Condition, only by being indulged to an Exceſs.

But the Misfortune is, that whatever is done by Perſons of Quality preſently becomes the Mode, which every one is ambitious of apeing let it ſuit ever ſo ill with their Circumſtances: It is not the fine Proſpect that Ranelagh is happy in, the pleasant Walks, the magnificent Amphitheatre, nor the melodious Sounds that iſſue from the Orcheſtre, that makes the Aſſembly there ſo numerous; but the Vanity every one has of joining Company, as it were, with their Superiors: —Of having it in their Power to boaſt, when they come Home, of the Notice taken of them by ſuch a Lord, or ſuch a great Lady; to deſcant upon their Dreſſes, their Behaviour, and pretend to diſcover who likes who; what fine new-married Lady coquets it with her Huſband’s Intimate; what Duke regards his Wife with no more than an enforced Complaiſance; and whether the Fortune, or Perſon, of the young Heireſs is the Object of her obſequious Follower’s Flame.

This ridiculous Deſire of being thought to have a Knowledge of Things, no leſs out of their Sphere to attain than unprofitable if acquired, is extremely prevalent in many People, Oo2 eſpecially 270 Oo2v 270 especially among the little Gentry; and is one of the chief Motives which draw them in ſuch Crowds to all Places where their Superiors reſort.

An Affectation of this Sort is not confined to any Age:—We see it from Sixteen to Sixty; but when it happens to gain Entrance in the Mind of a Lady ſo very young as Miſs Biddy, and is joined with that Vanity of attracting Admiration, and a Train of Lovers, which natually ariſes on the Entrance into their Teens, it is not to wondered at, that it is ſo difficult to reſtrain them from going to any Place which flatters them with the Gratification of their Pride in both theſe Points.

I am afraid, therefore, that Mrs. Oldfaſhion will find all her Endeavours for this Purpoſe unavailing, unleſs ſhe has Recourſe to Force, which ſhe seems little inclined to put in Practice, and I can by no Means approve, as the Remedy might prove to be of worſe Conſequence than the Diſeaſe:—Much leſs would I advise her to ſend her into Cornwall.—A young Lady of her Vivacity, and who ſeems to have ſo high a Reliſh for the Pleaſures of the Town, finding herſelf ſnatch’d away from every thing ſhe thinks a Joy in Life, and plung’d into ſo frightful a Solitude, would certainly be able to preſerve no Degree of Moderation:—If of a mild and gentle Nature, inward Repinings and a waſting Melancholly would prey upon her Vitals, impair her Health 271 Oo3r 271 Health and Underſtanding, and by degrees, render her both ſtupid and diſeaſed:—If, on the contrary, there be the Seeds of Obſtinacy and Preverſeneſs in her Soul, ſhe will reſent the Cruelty ſhe imagines herſelf treated with; and, as Conſideration is not to be expected at thoſe Years, perhaps throw herſelf into much greater Misfortunes than ſhe was ſent thither to avoid, merely to prevent the too great Caution of thoſe who have the Power over her:—Either of theſe Conſequences muſt be terrible to a Parent; ſo that I am wholly againſt running ſuch a Hazard by exerting Authority in this Manner.

Alvario, a Gentleman of Fortune and Figure in the World, was left a Widower with two Daughters, who, in Right of their Mother, were Coheireſſes of an Eſtate of upwards of a thouſand Pounds a Year; the Eldeſt, whom I shall call Chriſtabella, was extremely beautiful and full of Spirit, but Lucilla, her younger Siſter, was of a ſickly Conſtitution, and conſequently more dull, and leſs qualified or inclined to Converſation: She never cared for ſtirring out or entertaining any Company at home; but Chriſtabella ’s airy Diſpoſition would ſcarce ſuffer her to be ever at home:—The Park, the Play, the Opera, the Drawing-Room, were the Idols of her Heart:—Dreſs, Equipage, and Admiration took up all her Thoughts:—Youth, Beauty, and Fortune are rarely poſſeſt without an adequate Proportion of Vanity; and it muſt beowned, this Lady was not without it:—She plumed herſelf on the daily 272 Oo3v 272 daily Conqueſts her Charms gain’d her; and tho’ ſhe had too much Wit to believe all the flattering Declarations made to her, by ſome Perſons who were not in a Condition to fulfil their Pretences, yet ſhe had not enough to defend her from taking Pleaſure in them.

In fine, tho’ perfectly innocent, even in Thought, of every Thing to which Virtue was repugnant, the Gaiety of her Behaviour rendered her liable to the Cenſures of ſome, who take a malicious Pleaſure in blaſting the Characters of thoſe more amiable than themſelves:—Her Father, who was a Man of Gallantry himſelf, and conſquently too ready to miſinterperet any little Freedoms taken by our Sex as the Effect of an amorous Inclination, opened his Ears to all the Inſinuations made him by thoſe of their Kindred, who had no good Will to Chriſtabella, on account of her not being able to reſtrain herſelf from frequently throwing out bitter Jeſts on ſome of their too rigid Rules; among whom, or rather at their Head, was an old Maiden Aunt, who lived in the ſame Houſe, and was, as it were, a kind of Governante over the two young Ladies: This ill-natured Creature pick’d up all the Stories ſhe could from the Envyers of her Niece’s Perfections, and reported them, with the moſt aggravating Additions, to Alvario, conjuring him to lay his Command on her to be more circumſpect in her Conduct.

Christabella ſtarted at finding herſelfſelf 273 Oo4r 273 ſelf accuſed of Crimes which ſhe never had the leaſt Notion of, and would have dyed rather than been guilty of; but neither the Diſpleaſure ſhe found it gave her Father, nor the Regard ſhe had of her own Reputation, was powerful enough to make her retrench any of thoſe Liberties ſhe had accuſtomed herſself to take and as ſhe knew them to be only ſuch as ſhe could anſwer to her own Honour, ſeem’d altogether indolent how they might appear in the Eyes of the World.

In vain Alvario remonſtrated, menac’d, forbad her, on pain of forfeiting all Pretenſions to his Favour, ever to come any more into ſome Company, or be ſeen in ſome Places ſhe had been uſed to frequent: No Conſiderations of the Duty ſhe owed to him as a Parent were ſufficient to reſtrain her from following her Inclinations; and thought herſelf more injured by his believing the Aſperſions thrown on her, than ſhe cou’d injure him by her Diſobedience.

’Tis highly probable, that the Knowledge ſhe was born to a Fortune independent on him, went a great Way towards emboldening her to act in this Manner:—Certain it is that her Conduct was ſuch as plainly teſtified ſhe had but a a ſmall Share either of Love or Fear of him, which ſo enrag’d him, as indeed he had juſt Cauſe to be, that he made her be lock’d up in her Chamber, and ſuffered her to ſee nobody but her Aunt, whoſe Society ſhe would have been glad to have diſpenſed with, and a Maid Servant, who 274 Oo4v 274 who came in to bring her Food and other Neceſſaries.

But this Confinement, was ſo far from huming the Haughtineſs of her Spirit, that on the contrary it rendered her more obſtinate; and looking on the Treatment ſhe received as the effect of Tyranny rather than Parental Care, ſhe no longer conſidered Alvario as her Father, but a cruel Goaler, to whom ſhe would not condeſcend to make the leaſt Submiſſion: And when her Aunt told her, that if ſhe would promiſe to make a better Uſe of her Liberty than ſhe had done, ſhe would endeavour to prevail with her Brother to pardon what was paſt; ſhe anſwer’d, that ſhe knew herself guilty of nothing that requir’d Amendment, and therefore would not pretend to make any Alteration in her Conduct.

In fine, ſhe behaved with ſo little natural Affection or Duty, that Alvario was ſoon convinced that he had taken a wrong Method to bring her to a better Way of thinking, and repented he had not made Tryal of more gentle Means; but tho’ he extremely loved her, he thought it would be unbecoming his Character to be the firſt that ſhould recede; therefore continued her Confinement, flattering himself that ſhe would in Time petition him at leaſt for a Releaſe.

But while he was vainly expecting to bend a Spirit ſo untameable, ſhe was contriving Means to make her Eſcape at once from his Houſe and 275 Pp1r 275 and Authority, reſolving, if ſhe could once get looſe, to take Lodgings, and oblige her Father to put into her Hands, or thoſe of ſome Perſon ſhe would nominate as her Guardian, that Part of the Eſtate, which ſhe was too ſenſible he could not with-hold from her.

The firſt Attempt ſhe made for this Purpoſe was to get the Maid that waited on her into her Intereſt; but all the Promiſes ſhe made being ineffectual to corrupt the Integrity of this faithful Creature, ſhe had Recourſe to a Stratagem, which one would be ſurprized to think ſhould ever enter into the Head of one who was not yet arrived at her Sixteenth Year.

Pen, Ink, and Paper unhappily being not refuſ’d her, ſhe wrote a great Number of little Billets, complaining of the Injuſtice ſhe receiv’d from an inhuman Father, who had lock’d her up on purpoſe to make her pine herſelf to Death, that the whole of the Eſtate might deſcend to his other more favour’d Daughter.—Theſe ſhe folded up and directed To any charitable Perſon who ſhall paſs this Way, and has Compaſſion enough to aſſiſt an abuſed Daughter in her Eſcape from the moſt barbarous of all Fathers.

Several of theſe Letters ſhe threw out of the Window as ſoon as it was dark, but they were either not ſeen and trod under Foot, or fell Pp into 276 Pp1v 276 into the Hands of ſuch, as either knew not what to make of them, or did not care to interfere in the Affair.—At length, when ſhe grew half diſtracted at the Stupidity and Inſenſibility of the World, and began to deſpair of the Succeſs ſhe aimed at by this Means; as ſhe was throwing out the laſt ſhe intended to make Tryal of, Fate directed it to light on the Shoulder of a Gentleman, who happened to be Knight-Errant enough to attempt the Relief of this diſtreſs’d Damſel.

He ſaw from whence it fell by the Light of a Lamp which was oppoſite to the Houſe, and heard the Window ſhut juſt as he took it up:—The Moment he came home he examined the Contents, and found ſomething ſo whimſical in the Adventure that he reſolv’d to fathom the bottom of it.—He was a Man of no Fortune, and had ſupported the Appearance of a Gentleman meerly by Gaming; ſo thought, that if the confined Lady was really ſuch as her Letter ſignified, he ought not to neglect what his good Genius had thrown in his Way, but make uſe of the Opportunity which gave him ſuch fair Hopes of eſtablishing himſelf in the World.

Early the next Morning he made it his Buſineſs to enquire among the Neighbourhood into the Circumſtances of Alvario, and was ſoon inform’d of the Truth of every Thing:—To be aſſur’d that the young Lady, who implor’d Aſſiſtance, had an Eſtate independent either of her Father, or any one elſe, flatter’d his moſt ſanguinequine 277 Pp2r 277 guine Views, but which Way he ſhould let her know how ready he was to obey any Injunction ſhe ſhould lay upon him for the Recovery of her Liberty, was the great Difficulty:—To write he perceived would be in vain, he ſuppoſed by the Method ſhe took, that ſhe had no Perſon whom ſhe could confide in, either for ſending or receiving any Letters, or if ſhe had, was wholly ignorant who that Perſon was:—At laſt, after various Turns of Invention, he bethought himſelf of one, dangerous enough indeed, but ſomewhat he thought was to be ventured.

The Window, from whence he found the Letter came, was but one Story from the Ground, and being a Back-Room look’d into a little Court, which, tho’ a Thoroughfare, was not much frequented in the Night. He therefore reſolved to climb it, which he did, by the help of a Step- Ladder he procured, and brought himſelf to the Place about the ſame Hour he had received the Letter: As he made not the leaſt Noiſe in mounting, he look’d through the Glaſs, and by the Curtains not being entirely clos’d ſaw the fair Authoreſs of the Summons ſitting in a melancholly Poſture, leaning her Head upon her Hand:—He found ſhe was alone, and ventur’d to knock ſoftly againſt the Window:—She ſtartled at the Noiſe, but being of a Diſpoſition far from timid, ſtepp’d toward the Window, which he immediately drew up on the Outſide, and making as low a Bow as the Poſture he was in would admit, Be not alarmed, Fair Creature, Pp2 ſaid 278 Pp2v 278 ſaid he, I come to offer you that Aſſiſtance, which this Mandate tells me your Condition requires.—In ſpeaking theſe Words, he preſented her with the Billet ſhe had thrown:–The Sight of which diſſipating all the Apprehensions ſhe might have on his being there, on ſome leſs agreeable Deſign; ſhe thank’d him for the Trouble he took, and the Danger to which he expos’d himſelf in the moſt grateful and obliging Terms; after this, as Time would not permit much Ceremony on either Side, ſhe informed him that the Service ſhe entreated of him, was firſt to provide a Lodging for her in ſome Houſe of Reputation, and that he would come again the next Night, and help her to deſcend from that Window, there being no other Way of her getting out of the Houſe.— This he aſſur’d her of performing, and ſhe promis’d him that ſhe would return the Obligation with every Mark of Gratitude a virtuous Woman had to beſtow, or a Man of Honour could expect:—After which he deſcended, and ſhe made faſt her Window, both of them highly ſatisfied with this Interview, tho’ for different Reaſons; ſhe full of Hopes of regaining her dear Liberty; and he, of having it in his Power to oblige her to enter into a Second, and more laſting Confinement.

The Gameſter was not remiſs in any Thing that might contribute to the gaining ſo rich a Prize as Chriſtabella; he prepared a Lodging for her furniſhed in a very compleat Manner, but it was at the Houſe of a Perſon to whom he communicatedmunicated 279 Pp3r 279 municated the whole of this Affair, and who had Reaſons to act in ſuch a manner as ſhould forward his Deſigns.

When the appointed Hour arrived, he repair’d to the Window, where Chriſtabella ſtood in full Expectation of his coming, and no ſooner ſaw the Ladder fix’d than ſhe deſcended, without exacting any other Promiſe from her Deliverer than what ſhe had receiv’d from him the Night before.

Some Hours before her Departure, ſhe wrote a Letter to her Father, and laid it in a Place where ſhe was certain it would be found as ſoon as her Flight ſhould be diſcover’d. The Terms in which ſhe expreſs’d herſelf to him were as follows.

Sir,

The cruel Uſage I have received from you makes me imagine you forgot you gave me Being, and abſolves me from the Duty I otherwiſe ſhould owe you as a Father:— I go for ever from you, and expect you will not force me to take any Measures unbecoming the Character of a Daughter, in order to gain Poſſeſſion of my Birth-Right, which you have long enjoyed the Uſe of, and is high Time ſhould now devolve on,

Sir, Your much injured Daughter,

Christabella.

A 280 Pp3v 280

A Coach that waited at the End of the Court conveyed her to her new Lodging, and the Perſon who attended her thither omitted nothing that might inſpire her with a high Idea of his Honour, and alſo make her think he was not her Inferior either in Birth or Fortune. Late as it was, he oblig’d her to ſit down to a very elegant Collation he had cauſed to be provided.

At firſt ſhe was highly delighted with her Reception; but Supper was no ſooner over than he began to ſpeak his Mind more freely, and let her know he had not taken all this Pains but with a View of becoming the Maſter both of her Perſon and Eſtate: He made this Declaration however, in the moſt ſubmiſſive Terms, and accompanied with a Shew of the utmoſt Paſſion and Adoration of her Charms; and as ſhe had been accuſtomed to hear Profeſſions of this Nature, ſhe was not greatly diſpleaſed with thoſe he utter’d, and affected to railly what he ſaid with the ſame Gaiety ſhe had treated her former Admirers; but alas! She ſoon found he was not to be put off in that Manner, he preſs’d her for an immediate Promiſe of marrying him the next Morning, told her that he was extremely ſerious in the Affair, and expected ſhe ſhould be ſo too, and that he was determined not to quit her Preſence till he had an Aſſurance of being her Huſband.

She now began to crumble, and as ſhe has confeſs’d,feſs’d, 281 Pp4r 281 feſs’d, wiſh’d herſelf again under Alvario’s Roof. —She was in the Power of a Man utterly a Stranger to her, and who ſeemed reſolute enough to attempt any Thing he had a Mind to:—No viſible Way of eſcaping the Danger with which her Honour was threatened, unleſs ſhe comply’d with his Deſires, offered itſelf to her:—The more ſhe reflected on her Condition, the more dreadful it appear’d; and ſhe at laſt, in ſpite of all the Greatneſs of her Spirit, burſt into a Flood of Tears.

As he did not want Wit, and exerted it all on this Occaſion, he ſaid the moſt endearing Things to her, laying the Blame of the Compulſion he was obliged to make uſe of, on the Exceſs of his Love, and the Apprehenſions he was in, that if he let ſlip this Opportunity, ſhe would not hereafter liſten to his Vows:—He added alſo, that if the Place of her Abode ſhould be diſcover’d by Alvario, the Authority of a Father might force her back into that Confinement, from which ſhe had, but with the utmoſt Difficulty, got out of:—Whereas when ſhe was once a Wife, all former Duties and Obligations would be diſſolv’d, and ſhe would be only under the Power of a Husband, to whom her Will ſhould ever be a Law.

During this Diſcourſe a ſtrange Viciſſitude of different Paſſions roſe in her troubled Mind:—Sometimes ſoftened by the flattering Expreſſions of his Love and Admiration: Enflam’d with Rage at others, when ſhe conſider’d that 282 Pp4v 282 that he had the Boldneſs to think of forcing her Inclinations:—The Indiſcretion of truſting herſelf in the Hands of a Man ſo wholly a Stranger, now ſhewed itſelf to her in its true Colours; one Moment ſhe argued mildly with him how incompatible the laying her under Conſtraint was, with the Reſpect he pretended for her, the next ſhe reproach’d him, and teſtified the utmoſt Scorn at his Proceeding: By turns deſcended to ſooth and to revile, both which were equally ineffectual; he reply’d to every Thing ſhe ſaid with all the Humility of the moſt beſeeching and obſequious Lover, yet the Purport of his Words convinced her the Reſolution he had taken was unalterable, and that ſhe had no Means of avoiding being his, and that all in her own Choice, was to be his Miſtreſs or his Wife.

Great Part of the Night being now elaps’d, and no Poſſibility of prevailing with him; ſhe at length yielded to Neceſſity, and conſented to marry him; on which, he left her to take what Repoſe ſo unexpected a Change of Fortune would permit; but that no Chance or Contrivance might deprive him of his Hopes, obliged her to make the Woman of the Houſe the Partner of her Bed.

When at Liberty to ruminate on the Accident had befallen her, the Compulſion ſhe was under ſeem’d to her the moſt vexatious Part of it:—The Perſon and Converſation of her intended Bridegroom had nothing in them diſagreeable to 283 Qq1r 283 to her, he had the Appearance of a Man of Faſhion and had ſworn a thouſand Oaths that his Birth and Fortune were ſuch, as none of her Kindred would have Cauſe to blame her Choice of him:—He had told her his Name, which happening to be the ſame of a very great Family, (tho’, in reality, he was not at all related to them) ſhe imagin’d it would be no demeaning of herſelf to be called by it; therefore eaſily flatter’d herſelf that it was, as he pretended, only the Violence of the Paſſion ſhe had inſpired him with, which made him take the Methods he did for the Gratification of it:—This Vanity contributed greatly to her Eaſe, and made her, with leſs Reluctance, perform the Promiſe he had extorted from her.

In fine, they were married, after which he carried her into the Country under the Pretence of diverting her, but in reality to elude any Proſecution which might be made againſt him for ſtealing an Heireſs!

Alavario, indeed, no ſooner found the Letter ſhe had left for him, than he ſearch’d for her at every Houſe where it was known ſhe had the leaſt Acquaintance; and not being able to hear the leaſt Tidings of her, doubted not but ſhe was gone away with ſome Perſon for whom ſhe had a ſecret Affection.

Christabella, in the mean time, grew perfectly reconcil’d to her Lot, and not in Qqthe284Qq1v284 the leaſt doubting but her Huſband was in reality of the Family and Fortune he had told her, was continually importuning him to demand the Writings of the Eſtate out of her Father’s Hands; but he had too much Cunning to comply, and ſeeming not to regard her Wealth ſince he had got Poſſeſſion of her Perſon, won ſo far upon her as to create in her a moſt perfect Affection; and it was not till after he found himſelf aſſured that ſhe would not join in any thing againſt him, by being the Maſter of her Heart, and that ſhe was pregnant, that he brought her to Town, and ſuffered their Marriage to be declared; but it no ſooner was ſo, than the whole Truth of his Circumſtances was alſo divulg’d: —Alvario was like a Man deprived of Reaſon; all her Kindred and Friends were inconſolable; every one that wiſh’d her well, amazed and ſhock’d, and the whole Town full of no other Subject of Diſcourſe.

Christabella herſelf at the firſt Diſcovery of the Deception had been put upon her, felt a Reſentment, which nothing but her own Behaviour can deſcribe:—She threaten’d to abandon this unworthy Huſband, and leave him to that Puniſhment the Law inflicts on the Crime he had been guilty of:—She had even pack’d up her Cloaths and Jewels for that Purpose; yet did his Entreaties, and pretended Paſſion for her, added to the Condition ſhe was in, and the Reflection how dreadful a Reproach it would be to the Child ſhe was to bring into the World, ſhould 285 Qq2r 285 ſhould the Father of it be brought to ſo infamous a Fate, prevail on her to continue with him, and content herſelf with venting her Indignation in the moſt bitter Terms ſhe could invent: All which he bore with a Shew of Patience, as he knew it was not yet Time to exert any Authority, but kept in Mind every reviling Word, reſolving to revenge it hereafter.

But not to ſpin this little Narrative to a too tedious Length, he had Artifice, and ſhe had good Nature enough, to bring about an entire Forgiveneſs on her Part:—She did every Thing he requeſted of her:—She aſſured whoever ſpoke to her of the Affair, that no Impoſition had been practiſed on her,—that ſhe knew before-hand the true Circumſtances of the Perſon who was now her Huſband, and that the Love ſhe had for him made her overlook the Diſparity between them.—She employed a Lawyer to go to her Father on the Account of the Eſtate, and before the Affair was wholly determined, the Death of her Siſter gave her a Right to the Whole; which Alvario, ſeeing there was no Remedy, was obliged to reſign.

The Poſſeſſion of this Eſtate diſcovered to Chriſtabella how miſerable ſhe was, the ſeeming Tenderness and ſubmiſſive Temper of her Huſband, had made her not doubt but ſhe always would be the ſole Miſtreſs both of her Actions and Fortune; but all being now compleated, and he having nothing more to fear from her Diſpleaſure,Qq2 ſure, 286 Qq2v 286 ſure, he preſently made her feel the Effects of the Power he had over her, and that he had not forgot the Diſdain with which ſhe had treated him during the Continuance of her Rage.

A Spirit like hers was not eaſy to be broke, yet did he accompliſh the Taſk in a very few Months:—It is now her Turn to ſue, and often ſue in vain for a ſmall Share of her own Wealth, which he profuſely laviſhes Abroad among his former Companions, leaving her at Home to lament alone her wretched State.

Never was a greater Tyrant, he denies her even the Privilege of viſiting, or being viſited by thoſe who would wiſh to continue a Correſpondence with her; as for her Father and Kindred, not one among them would ever ſee her ſince her Elopement and the Diſcovery of her Marriage.—No Words can paint the Miſery of her Condition, and to render it worſe, there is not the leaſt Appearance of any Relief but by Death.

It is certain that the Fate of ſo diſobedient a Daughter, cannot excite much Commiſeration in the World; but it ought to be a Warning to all Parents who wiſh to ſee their Children happy, to ſtudy carefully their Diſpoſitions before they go about to treat them with ungentle Means, and rather condeſcend to ſooth an obſtinate Temper than compel it to a Change:—Where there is Vanity and Self-sufficiency, it muſt be only Time 287 Qq3r 287 Time and Reflection that can convince them what they ought to do; and if, by laying ſome Pleaſures in their Way leſs prejudicial than thoſe to which they are addicted, one could divide the Inclination ſo as to render the former leſs ſtrong, it might be eaſy, by Degrees, to bring them to an Indifference for all.—This is a Method which might at leaſt be made Tryal of, and, I fancy, would more often anſwer the End than fail.

If Mrs. Oldfaſhion would, therefore, wean Miſs Biddy from the immoderate Delight ſhe has taken at preſent in Ranelagh Gardens, and the Company who frequent that Place, it might be right to vary the Scene; but in my Opinion altogether the Reverſe, to change it to one where only diſmal Objects offering to the View, ſhould render the paſt more pleaſing in Idea than they were even in Enjoyment.

Did not Reaſons of State, which the Spectator muſt not preſume to fathom, engage us at preſent in a War with France, I ſhould adviſe to ſend a young Lady, too much bigotted to any one Pleaſure into that polite Country, where ſhe would find ſo vaſt a Variety, as would give a quite different Turn to her Temper, and make her deſpiſe all that before ſeem’d ſo enchanting to her.

I forsee that many, on reading this Paragraph, will be aſtoniſh’d, and cry out, that by following this Counſel ſhe would loſe all Reliſhforfor 288 Qq3v 288 for the Delights her own Country affords, only to become more fond of thoſe of another!—This Objection at firſt may appear plauſible enough, but when conſidered, will be found of no Weight; for beſides the Remembrance of thoſe dear Friends ſhe has left behind, there is ſomething of a natural Partiality in us all, to the Place which gave us Birth, which would make her, in a ſhort Time, wiſh to return; ſo that of Conſequence, ſhe would be much ſooner cured of this immoderate Love of Pleaſure, than by enjoying it in a Place where nothing is abſent to her Wiſhes.

There are alſo two Reaſons which render the indulging one’s ſelf in all, or any particular Kind of Diverſion leſs prejudicial in France than it frequently proves in England:—The Firſt, becauſe whatever Time is ſpent in them is ſo far from being wholly loſt, that it is rather an Immprovement, than a Dimunition of the Education we have before receiv’d, as every Body muſt allow that knows any Thing of the Cuſtoms of that Nation:—The Arrival of a foreign Lady is no ſooner known than ſhe is invited to partake of all their Entertainments:—She immediately enters into Balls, Aſſemblies, Maſquerades, and a continual Round of Pleaſure in the Palaces of Princes, and Houſes of Perſons of the firſt Quality, where ſhe is treated with the utmoſt Elegance and Delicacy, and hears nothing of thoſe Impertinences and looſe Ribaldry, ſhe is liable to be per- 289 Qq4r 289 perſecuted with, in thoſe mix’d Companies at our mercenary Places of Reſort; where all, without Diſtinction, are admitted for their Money.—A Woman of Honour ought to tremble to think what Creatures may join in Converſation with her in ſome of our public Rendezvouz, who will not fail afterwards to boaſt of an Acquaintance with her, and take notice of her as ſuch, if they happen to ſee her in any other Place.— Few of our English Beaus have the Diſcretion a French Gentleman had, who being in the Gallery at an Opera in Paris, and ſitting near a fine Lady, who, by being dreſs’d, as he thought, a little too gay for that Part of the Houſe, he took for a Fille de joy, and accoſted with all the Freedoms uſed to Women of that Character:—She gave herſelf no Pains to undeceive him, but evaded ſuffering him to attend her home, as he expected to have done: Some Days after happening to ſee her going into Court, attended by a great Number of Pages and Footmen, he aſk’d a Perſon who ſtood near, who that Lady was, and was answer’d, Madame de Charleroy one of the Princeſſes of the Blood. Aſhamed of his former Behaviour to her he was ſculking away as faſt as he could, but her penetrating Eyes immediately diſcover’d her would-have-been Gallant, and making him be call’d back:—What, Monſieur, ſaid ſhe, ironically, is the Lady you entertain’d with ſo much Freedom at the Opera a few Nights ſince, not worth a ſingle Salute?O Madam, returned he, with an admirable Preſence of 290 Qq4v 290 of Mind, in A By-Word they have in Paris for the Galleries, as we ſay, Among the Gods. Paradiſe we were on an Equality; but now I know the Reſpect due to Madame de Charleroy. On which ſhe laugh’d, and own’d the Blame was wholly her own, for indulging a Frolick, which carried her to a Place where ſhe could ſo little be expected to be found.

Had this Tranſaction happened at any of our public Diverſions, it is poſſible the Lady need not have been at the Trouble to have the Gentleman call’d back; he would have made her a low Bow to ſhew his Breeding, and never reſted till he had gone through all the Coffee- Houſes in Town, and entertain’d the Company with his Intimacy with a certain great Lady, whom, if he did not directly name, he would take Care to deſcribe in ſuch a manner as every one ſhould know.

I appeal to our Ladies themſelves, if they have not ſometimes been put to the Bluſh, by being claim’d as Acquaintance by Perſons of both Sexes who they have happened to join with in thoſe promiſcuous Aſſemblies; and by whom it is unbecoming of their Characters even to be mention’d.

The other Reaſon I promis’d to give why the partaking in all Kinds of Diverſions in France is 291 Rr1r 291 is not attended with the ſame ill Conſequences as in England, is this.—The innocent Freedoms allowed in our Sex, give no Encouragement to thoſe of the other to expect ſuch as are not ſo; it being, without all Queſtion, a Place of the greatest Gaiety, leaſt Scandal, and leaſt room for it, of any in the World:—The Gentlemen there addreſs, preſent, and treat, with no other View than to ſhew their own Gallantry; and the Ladies receive all the Marks of Reſpect that can be paid them, as the Privilege of their Sex, and not as Proofs of any particular Attachment.

I am ſorry to ſay that in England, Ladies even of the firſt Quality are treated with very great Indifference, except by thoſe Men who have a Deſign upon them; and as for Women of inferior Condition, tho’ poſſeſs’d of the moſt extraordinary Talents of Mind or Body, they may ſhew themselves, as much as they pleaſe, in all public Places, without being able to make themſelves be taken notice of, if they allow no Hope of one Day purchaſing Diſtinction at too dear a Rate.

On the whole, therefore, as Vanity, and the Deſire of Admiration, are the chief Motives which induce our very young Ladies to theſe continual Rambles, France is the only Place where they many find their Inclinations gratified to its full Extent, without Danger to their Virtue, or Prejudice to their Reputation.

Rr But 292 Rr1v 292

But as the Enmity at preſent between the two Nations, renders ſuch an Excurſion impracticable, my Correſpondent might ſend Miſs Biddy, under the Care of ſome Relation, or other prudent Perſon, if her Affairs permit her not to go herſelf, to Bath, Tunbridge, or Scarborough; in fine, to any Place where ſhe might be entertain’d with ſomething, that ſhould render her forgetful of what ſhe now ſo much delights in.

It would be extremely fortunate for her, if, while her Paſſion for the Pleaſures of Ranelagh are in their Zenith, one of her Kindred or Intimates ſhould happen to marry, and go down into the Country to celebrate their Nuptials:—To accompany the new-join’d happy Pair, and be Witneſs of the rural Sports, invented for their Welcome, by the innocent Country People, would perhaps be a Scene too novel not to have ſome Charms for her:—The Woods, the Fields, the Groves, the ſweetly purling Streams, the Horn, the Halloo of the Huntſmen, and the chearful ruddy Countenance of thoſe that purſue the Chace, afford alſo a pleaſing Variety of Amuſement.

By Ways like theſe, I fancy ſhe might be cheated, as it were, into a Taſte more ſuited to make her happy, and brought to a reaſonable Way of Thinking, without ſeeming to endeavour it.

This is indeed a Crisis which calls for the utmoſt 293 Rr2r 293 utmoſt Precaution in a Parent: I am told by Perſons, who are always conſulted on every Occaſion that relates to Pleaſure, that a Subſcription is intended, ſome ſay actually on Foot, for Ridottos and Maſquerades at Ranelagh next Winter; and if ſo, our young Ladies will probably live there all Night as well as all Day:— Whether Mr. Heidegger will have Intereſt enough to prevent this Invaſion of his Province, I know not; but if it ſhould go on, one may venture to pronounce, without being any great Conjurer, that thoſe nocturnal Rambles will be found of more dangerous Conſequence at Chelſea, than they have proved at the Hay- Market.

I communicated this Piece of Intelligence to a young Lady, who at preſent paſſes the greateſt Part of her Time at Ranelagh, and never in my Life did I ſee a Creature ſo tranſported:—Her Eyes ſparkled, her Lips quivered, all her Frame was in Agitation, through Eagerneſs to know ſomething farther of this important Affair; and when I mention’d the Apprehenſions I had, that if ſuch a Deſign ſhould take Place, it might be prejudicial to the Health of thoſe, who ſhould venture themſelves, in the Damps of Winter Nights, in a Place ſo near the Water: O, Madam, cry’d ſhe, one cannot catch Cold at Ranelagh:—I could not forbear, after this, giving her ſome broad Hints of other Inconveniences, which might probably attend being ſo far from Home, at Hours that might encourage Attempts, Rr2 no 294 Rr2v 294 no way agreeable to the Modeſty of our Sex; on which ſhe only ſaid, Lord, Madam, how you talk!—And all my Admonitions had no other Effect than to make her ſhorten her Viſit; no doubt, to impart the Diſcourſe we had together to ſome of her Acquaintance, and to ridicule my want of Taſte.

She has one Motive, as I have been told by the Men, which, notwithſtanding, ſhe would be very unwilling to acknowledge, for her prefering Maſquerades to all other public Diverſions; which is, that ſhe never had a handſome Thing ſaid to her out of a Vizard:—Nature, ’tis certain, has not been over curious in the Formation of her Features, and that cruel Enemy to Beauty, the Small-Pox, has rendered them yet leſs delicate; but with the Help of new Stays once a Month, and ſtrait Lacing, ſhe has a tolerable Shape; but then her Neck ſuffers for it, and confeſſes, in Scarlet Bluſhes, the Conſtraint put upon her Waſte:—This Misfortune, however, ſhe conceals under a Handkerchief or Pelerine, and high Tucker, and never trips it in the Walks without ſome Share of Admiration from thoſe who follow and are not nimble enough to overtake her.

A Masquerade may, therefore, well be the Delight of her Heart, where the advantageous Part of her only is revealed; yet, tho’ ſhe cannot be inſenſible of what is amiable in herſelf, and what the contrary, as ſhe looks ſo often in 295 Rr3r 295 in her Glaſs, ſhe was weak enough laſt Winter to lay herſelf open to a Rebuff at the Maſquerade, which occaſion’d a good deal of Raillery among thoſe who heard of it.

To diſplay all her Perfections in the beſt Light ſhe could, ſhe aſſumed the Habit of a Diana, a Green Jacket, fring’d with Silver, made ſo ſtrait, that, as I heard, her Chamber-Maid ſprained both her Thumbs with buckling it on, very much added to her natural Slenderneſs:—A Silver Creſcent glitter’d on her Head, which had not other Covering than her Hair, of which indeed ſhe has a great deal, and well coloured, braided with Rows of Pearl and Flowers interſperſed; the Vizard on, it muſt be own’d ſhe made a very compleat Figure, and attracted the Eyes of a good Part of the Aſſembly who were there that Night.

But that which flattered her Ambition moſt was that the great Imperio took notice of her, and imagining that a real Venus might be hid under the fictitious Diana, order’d a Nobleman who ſtood near him to go to her, and prevail with her to come to the Beaufet and unmaſk. — He, who was not unaccuſtomed to ſuch Employments, readily flew to execute his Commiſſion, and after having brought her to the higheſt pitch of Vanity by the moſt extravagant Compliments, to crown all, let her know who it was that ſent him, and on what Errand: — Charm’d as ſhe was with the Praiſes he gave her, it was ſome Time before 296 Rr3v 296 before ſhe yielded to do as he deſired; but at last, all her Reſolution was ſubdued by the Reflection that ſhe ought not to refuſe any Thing to Imperio, and ſhe ſuffered herſelf to be conducted by him to the Beaufet, near which Imperio ſtood, and preſented her with a Glaſs of Wine with his own Hand, accompanied with many Compliments; both which ſhe received with a low Obeyſance, and at the ſame time pluck’d off her Maſk.

But fatal was this Complaiſance to all her Hopes:—Imperio ſtarted back, and above the Neceſſity of concealing the Diſappointment of his Expectations:—’Twill not do, my Lord, ſaid he to the Nobleman, ’Twill not do, and I am ſorry I gave you so much Trouble.

Several of the Company, whom this Adventure had drawn to that Part of the Room, ſaw her Face before ſhe could be quick enough to replace her Maſk; and a much greater Number heard the Words Imperio ſpoke, as he turn’d from her, ſo that the whole Time ſhe ſtayed afterwards ſhe was saluted with nothing but ’Twill not do, and a loud Laugh.

Had ſhe been Miſtreſs of Reſolution enough to have reſiſted the Importunities of the Emiſſary Lord, and the Commands of Imperio, ſhe would doubtleſs have heard many Praiſes of the charming Diana repeated afterwards in Company; whereas now the Myſtery was revealed, and the real Diana 297 Rr4r 297 Diana known, her greateſt Intimates could not forbear laughing at the Mortification ſhe had receiv’d; and on any little Diſpute with any of them, the Way they took to be reveng’d was to cry, ’Twill not do.

Much more lovely Women than the Perſon I have been ſpeaking of, have ſometimes met with little Indignities and Slights, which their Pride could ill ſuſtain; and, indeed, how ſhould it be otherwiſe, the Men are ſo cenſorious, that they look on all thoſe of our Sex, who appear too much at theſe public Places, as ſetting themſelves up for Sale, and, therefore, taking the Privilege of Buyers, meaſure us with their Eyes from Head to Foot; and as the moſt perfect Beauty may not have Charms for all who gaze upon her in this ſcrutinous Manner, few there are, if any, who have not found ſome who will paſs by her with a contemptuous Toſs, no leſs ſignificant than the moſt rude Words could be.

O Wherefore then will not Women endeavour to attain thoſe Talents which are ſure of commanding Reſpect!—No Form ſo faultleſs, but the enquiring Eyes of wanton and ungenerous Men may find a Blemiſh in. But ſhe who has not the leaſt Pretence to Beauty, has it in her Power, would ſhe but once be prevail’d upon to exert it, to awe the boldeſt, or moſt affectedly nice Libertine into Submiſſions, and force him to confeſs her worthy of a ſerious Attachment:— If even by Indigence of Circumſtances, or the unjuſt 298 Rr4v 298 unjuſt Parſimony ſome Parents are guilty of, ſhe is denied the Means of cultivating her Genius, and making herſelf Miſtreſs of thoſe expenſive Accompliſhments, which might render her, what we call, a ſhining Figure in the World, Innocence and Modeſty are ſtill her own, they were born with her, they will coſt nothing to preſerve, and, without the Aid of any other Charm, will be a ſure Defence from all Inſults.

Modesty is the Characteriſtick of our Sex; it is indeed the Mother of all thoſe Graces for which we can merit either Love or Eſteem:— Sweetneſs of Behaviour, Meekness, Courteſy, Charity in judging others, and avoiding all that will not ſtand the Teſt of Examination in ourſelves, flow from it:—It is the Fountain Head, as well as the Guardian of our Chaſtity and Honour, and when it is once thrown off, every other Virtue grows weak, and by Degrees, is in Danger of being wholly loſt:—She who is poſſeſs’d of it can be guilty of no Crime, but ſhe who forfeits it is liable to fall into all.

How far it is conſiſtent with that decent Reſerve, or even that Softneſs ſo becoming in Womankind, I leave any one to judge who has been Witneſs in what Manner ſome Ladies come into public Aſſemblies:—They do not walk but ſtraddle; and ſometimes run with a Kind of a Friſk and Jump;—throw their enormous Hoops almoſt in the Faces of thoſe who paſs by them;—ſtretch out their Necks, and roll their Eyes from 299 Sſ1r 299 from Side to Side, impatient to take the whole Company at one View; and if they happen to ſee any one dreſs’d leſs exactly, according to the Mode, than themſelves, preſently cry out,— Antiquity to Perfection!—A Picture of the laſt Age!—Then burſt into a Laugh, loud enough to be heard at two or three Furlongs diſtant:— Happy if they can put the unfortunate Object of their Ridicule out of Countenance.—Can ſuch a Behaviour paſs upon the World for Modeſty, Good-Manners, or Good-Nature?

I do not pretend to ſay that all the Ladies who give themſelves an Air of Boldneſs, meerly becauſe it is the Faſhion, are guilty of any Thing which may arraign their Chaſtity: Many may be innocent in Fact who are not ſo in Shew; but are they not then greatly cruel to themſelves to aſſume the Appearance of Vices they are free from! —Some are placed ſo high as to have their Actions above the Reach of Scandal; and others, by their avowed Manner of Life, render themſelves below it; but it is to thoſe I ſpeak who have Reputations to loſe, and who are not altogether ſo independent, as not to have it their Intereſt to be thought well of by the World.

Far be it from me to debar my Sex from going to thoſe public Diverſions, which, at preſent, make ſo much Noiſe in Town:—None of them but may be enjoyed without Prejudice, provided they are frequented in a reaſonable Manner, and behaved at with Decency:—It is the immoderate Sſ Uſe 300 Sſ1v 300 Uſe, or rather the Abuſe of any Thing, which renders the partaking it a Fault:—What is more agreeable than Freedom in Converſation, yet when it extends to Levity and Wantonneſs, what more contemptible and odious!—Some Pleaſure is doubtleſs neceſſary to the Human Syſtem; taken in Moderation it envigorates both Mind and Body, but indulg’d to Exceſs is equally pernicious:—In fine, it ought never to break in upon thoſe Hours which, with greater Propriety, might be devoted to Buſineſs in Perſons of Maturity, and to Improvement in the younger Sort.

Time, always precious, can never be more ſo than in our early Years:—The firſt Ideas make the ſtrongeſt and moſt laſting Impreſſion:— While the Genius is free, and unclogg’d with any of the Cares of Life, and the Soul acts through the Organs of the Body, uninterrupted with any Paſſions, Diſeaſes, or Diſaſters, then it is that we ſhould endeavour to lay in a Stock of Knowledge for our whole Lives:—To acquire thoſe Accompliſhments which alone deſerve, and will certainly attract Reſpect, and to eſtabliſh ſolid Principles of Virtue, which hereafter growing up into Practice, will conduce to the Happineſs of all about us, as well as of ourſelves.

This Criſis, if once neglected, can never be retrieved, and will ſooner or later be attended with ſevere Repentance:—How melancholly a Thing muſt it be for a Lady to hear others, who have better huſbanded the ineſtimable Moments,ments, 301 Sſ2r 301 ments, extoll’d for Perfections ſhe is conſcious ſhe might have excell’d in, had ſhe not raſhly, and inadvertently let ſlip the golden Opportunity!

Nor are the Hours employed in Pleaſure all that are loſt by it, eſpecially when it happens to be of that Sort which takes us much out of our own Houſes:—The Idea of it is apt to render us indolent in our Affairs, even the little Time we are at Home;—where the Heart is the Thoughts will continually be when the Body is abſent;— the darling Topic engroſſes too much of the Mind, and occaſions an Inattention to every Thing but itſelf: It is not, therefore, greatly to be wondered at, that young Ladies, who cannot be expected to have that Solidity which Experience only teaches, ſhould ſeem ſo careleſs of improving Time, when we ſee very many of thoſe who have been married Years, neglect their Huſbands, Children, and Families, to run galloping after every new Entertainment that is exhibited.

But, as there is great room to fear the preſent Age is too far loſt in Luxury and Indolence to liſten to any Remonſtrance, I would fain perſwade the very young Ladies to act ſo as to render the next more promiſing.

As Marriage is a Thing which they will one Day think of, and a good Huſband is both a natural and laudable Wiſh, who would not endeavour Sſ2 to 302 Sſ2v 302 to render herſelf deſerving the laſting Affection of a Man of Senſe:—Such a one who, as Mr. Rowe elegantly expreſſes it, will be always Pleas’d to be happy, as ſhe’s pleas’d to bleſs,And conſcious of her Worth, can never love her leſs.

So many young Charmers are continually ſpringing up, and the Men grow ſo exceſſively delicate in their Taſte, that Beauty, in their Eyes, ſeems to have loſt all its Bloom at Sixteen or Seventeen; and how great a Stab muſt it be to the Vanity of a Woman, who, at Five and Twenty, finds herſelf either not married at all, or to a Huſband who regards her no otherwiſe than as a withered Roſe; for ſo it will ever be, whatever the Ladies may flatter themſelves with, where there is no Tye more ſtrong, than meerly perſonal Perfection, to bind the naturally roving and inconſtant Heart:—Convinced by ſad Experience of this Truth, in vain ſhe looks back upon her miſpent Days;—in vain, with Heart-felt Tears, regrets the Time ſhe has laviſhed in Trifles unworthy of her;—in vain eſſays to attone for paſt Follies by a quite contrary Behaviour;—all ſhe can do is now too late;— with her, alas! the Sun of Hope, of Admiration, of Flattery and Pleaſure, is ſet forever, and the dark Gloom of cold Neglect and loath’d Obſcurity, envelopes all her future Life.

Amasina had a Form ſo every way exact that 303 Sſ3r 303 that Envy itſelf could find nothing to object againſt it:—All other Beauties loſt their Charms when ſhe appear’d, and ſeemed but as Stars in the Preſence of the Sun:—She was what the Song deſcribes, Faireſt among the Fair.

Her high Birth, and the Accompliſhments ſhe was Miſtreſs of, heighten’d the Graces of her Perſon, and ſcarce any Age ever produced an Object of more universal Adoration. But of all the Addreſſes made to her, thoſe of Palamon were the moſt countenanc’d by her noble Parents, and agreeable to herſelf:—His Virtue, good Senſe, and Breeding, made him reſpected by them, as the Gracefulneſs of his Perſon gave him the Advantage in her Eyes, above all others who pretended to her, tho’ ſome there were whoſe Eſtates were far ſuperior, and whoſe Declarations of Love were alſo accompanied with a greater Shew of Vehemence.

Palamon, ’tis certain, was a Lover of that Sort which all Women, who judge as they ought to do, would approve:—His Profeſſions were accompanied with no Adulations, no Extravagancies;—he told her he wiſh’d nothing ſo much as to live with her, but never ſaid he would die for her:—His Paſſion was perfectly ſincere and tender, but was far from either Jealouſy or Impetuouſity:—He could know his Rivals without challenging them to fight, and could bear the 304 Sſ3v 304 the little Slights ſhe ſometimes affected to treat him with, and not immediately ſwear he would throw himſelf upon his Sword.

Amasina, too conſcious of her Charms, was ſometimes very uneaſy that ſhe could render him no more ſo; and imagining ſhe had begun to place her Affections on a Man, who had not that Deference for her which ſhe merited, made uſe of her utmoſt Efforts to withdraw it:—To this End ſhe indulg’d her natural Propenſity to Gaiety, in going to all public Places, liſten’d to the Vows of every one who preſum’d to make them; and in fine, became a perfect Coquet: This Method ſeem’d to her the only one to render him more aſſiduous, and at the ſame time to regain that Liberty for her own Heart, which ſhe found the Inclination ſhe had to him above all other Men, was beginning to enthral.—All I deſire in the World, ſaid ſhe one Day to a Perſon, who afterwards repeated it to me, is to ſee the inſenſible Palamon, dying with Deſpair at my Feet; and that I may, from my very Heart, deſpiſe and hate him.

How ſucceſsful ſoever this way of Proceeding may ſometimes have been found; it was far from anſwering the End Amaſina propoſed by it; and inſtead of rendering Palamon more ſubmiſſive than he had been, made her appear to him every way leſs worthy of Reſpect.

As he truly loved her, and look’d on her as a Woman 305 Sſ4r 305 Woman who was ſhortly to be his Wife, all the little Levities of her Behaviour ſeem’d to him as ſo many Wounds to his own Honour; and he could not, therefore, forbear repreſenting to her how unworthy of them both it was, that ſhe ſhould be ſo frequently ſeen at Places, and with Company, which, he told her, he was ſure ſhe muſt be ſenſible herſelf, gave occaſion of Cenſure to malicious Tongues.

She affected to reſent the Liberty he took, but was in her Heart pleas’d, to find he was piqu’d at what ſhe did, becauſe ſhe took it as a Proof of his Love, as indeed it was; but then ſhe too much depended on the Force of that Love, and flatter’d herſelf with a Belief, that it at laſt would humble him into that tame enduring Adorer ſhe wiſh’d: —To this End, therefore, ſhe studied eternally how to give him freſh Matter of Diſquiet:—She contrived to be always Abroad at thoſe Hours when ſhe expected him to viſit her;—ſhe paſt her whole Days in going from one public Place to another;—would often leave Word at home, that if he deſir’d to ſee her, he might come to Lady Diamond’s, Miſs Toywel’s, or ſome other of her Female Acquaintance whoſe Conduct ſhe knew he the moſt diſapproved of any ſhe had:—She ſuffered Beau Trifle, a Creature whoſe Converſation was ſhunn’d by every Woman of Prudence, to romp with her before his Face; and in fine, did even a Violence to her own Inclinations as well as to her Reputation, only to make Trial how far the 306 Sſ4v 306 the Love Palamon had for her would compel him to bear.

Poor unthinking Lady! little did ſhe foreſee the Conſequences of this Behaviour; and being guilty of no real Crime, was too neglectful what the Appearance of it would in Time ſubject her to:—Her Mother though, a Woman of Gaiety herſelf, was vex’d to find her Daughter give into ſuch Exceſſes, as all her Friends and Kindred highly blamed her, for permitting, and did all in her Power to prevail on her to be at leaſt more cautious to prevent Scandal; but Amaſina contented herſelf with liſtening to her Reproofs without being at all amended by them; and thinking ſhe was the beſt Judge of her own Actions, perſiſted as ſhe had begun, till by long aſſuming a Boldneſs which at firſt was far from being natural to her, ſhe at laſt really loſt all that Simplicity and ſweet Timidity ſo becoming in a Virgin State: Fiercer Fires now ſparkled in her Eyes;—her Voice became more ſhrill;—ſhe talk’d inceſſantly;—ſhe laugh’d aloud;—ſhe bluſh’d not at hearing a looſe Song, nor ſtarted at Freedoms ſhe would once have thought a Violation of Decency and Good-Manners.

Palamon was both ſurprized and griev’d to find this Change in a Perſon whom he loved with the utmoſt Tenderneſs, and had flatter’d himſelf with being one Day happy with:—He entreated her with all the moving Eloquence of an honourable Affection, that for her own Sake if 307 Tt1r 307 if not for his, ſhe would reflect on her preſent Conduct, and return once more to her amiable former ſelf:—He repreſented to her how unworthy of her Converſation ſome of thoſe were who now were honour’d with it:—The little ſolid Happineſs was to be found in thoſe noiſy and tumultuous Pleaſures, to which ſhe had, of late, too much devoted her Time; and touch’d, tho’ with all the Gentleneſs he could, on the Cenſures ſhe incurr’d, and the Dangers ſhe was liable to fall into, by thus indiſcriminately ſuffering herſelf to be led into all Sorts of Company, and even into Places reſorted to by the moſt irregular of both Sexes.

These Remonſtrances ſhe ſometimes affected to ridicule, and at others to reſent; not but ſhe had too much Senſe not to allow the Juſtice of them: But as her whole Aim in acting in the Manner ſhe did, was to bring him to that Temper of Mind as to ſubject his very Reaſon to her Will, and to think every thing juſtifiable ſhe did, ſhe reſolved to make no Alteration in her Conduct, till he ſhould ſay with the Lover in one of Mrs. Centlivre’s Comedies, No Follies fatal to the Fair can prove,All Things are Beauties, in the Nymph we love.

Some Men, ’tis certain, have behaved with that ſlavish Dependance before Marriage, who afterwards have become very Tyrants, and made Tt their 308 Tt1v 308 their Wives dearly pay for all the Submiſſions they exacted from them while they were Miſtreſſes.

Palamon, however, was of quite contrary Diſpoſition:—He did not deſire to marry Amaſina but with a View of living with her in that happy Equality which was doubtleſs intended by the Inſtitution; and, tho’ nothing could be more ſincere and ardent than the Paſſion he had for her, yet he could neither think of making her his Wife while ſhe continued in this inordinate Love of unbecoming Pleaſures, nor of exerting the Power of a Huſband in order to reclaim her:—The one he knew was inconſiſtent with his Honour, the other with his Peace of Mind, both which were extremely dear to him; and though he, on many Occaſions, had room to believe he was not indifferent to her, yet as he found the Regard ſhe had for him was not of Force enough to reſtrain her from being guilty of any one Thing he had teſtified his Diſapprobation of, he reſolv’d rather to break off with her entirely, and ſuffer all the Pangs ſuch a Parting muſt inflict, than ſubject himself to others of a yet more alarming Kind, and which might probably be as laſting as his Life.

With what an Infinity of Difficulty he brought himſelf to determine in this Faſhion, none but thoſe poſſeſs’d of an equal Share of Affection can poſſibly conceive; ſo I ſhall only ſay that it was ſuch, as he ſtood in need of all his Fortitudetitude 309 Tt2r 309 titude and good Underſtanding to ſurmount.— I have been told by one who knew him well, and was, indeed, the Confident of his moſt ſecret Thoughts, that he has ſeen him in Agonies ſuch as he often fear’d would have been mortal, and which he imagin’d, ’till he was convinced to the contrary, would have got the better of all his Reſolution:—So hard it is to wean the Heart from an Object it has been long accuſtomed to love, and which has ſome Merits to attone for its Defects.

Had Amaſina ſeen him in theſe Conflicts, ’tis probable her Good-nature would have been too ſtrong for her Vanity, and ſhe would have abated ſome Part of thoſe Submiſſions ſhe expected from him, in Conſideration of the Rack he ſuſtained, and thought that that alone was ſufficient to prove the Height of Paſſion ſhe wiſh’d to inſpire in the Man on whom ſhe intended to beſtow herſelf.

But it was not her good Fortune to be informed of any Part of what he ſuffer’d:—He reveal’d himſelf to none that would betray it to her, and the Greatneſs of his Spirit would not permit him to behave in her Preſence, ſo as to enable her to penetrate into his Soul, ſo that ſhe knew no more than that he had the Preſumption to attempt bringing her over to his way of Thinking, and obliging her to live according to his Rules, and for that very Reaſon thought ſhe ſhould be guilty of an Injuſtice to herſelf not to Tt2 ſhew 310 Tt2v 310 ſhew him the Vanity of ſuch an Eſſay, and that ſhe knew he ought rather to be pleaſed with every Thing ſhe did, meerly becauſe ſhe did it.

This kind of Struggle between them, and that Palamon had with himself, continued for ſome Time; but at laſt his Love, inſulted by additional Provocations, yielded to his Reaſon, and all the Spells her inchanting Beauty had laid on him, loſt their Power at once:—He ſat down, and in the Preſence of that Friend, who was the ſole Repoſitory of his Secrets, wrote to her in the following Terms:

To the Lovely Thoughtleſs Amasina,

Since unjuſt and cruel to yourſelf, as well as to the moſt ſincere Paſſion ever Heart has poſſeſs’d of, you prefer thoſe trifling Diverſions, unworthy to be call’d Pleaſures, and the Gallantries of Men whom, I have ſtill too good an Opinion of you, not to aſſure myſelf, you in reality deſpiſe, to your own Reputation and my eternal Peace; you ought not, nor I flatter myſelf will, accuſe me of Inconſtancy, if I no longer ſubmit to mingle with the Herd, whoſe Addreſſes you have, of late, not only permitted but encouraged; nor can I think of paſſing my whole Life with a Lady, who ſeems determin’d to devote all hers in Scenes no way ſuited to render the Marriage State agreeable:—My Entreaties, my Remonſtrances, my Diſquiets, my very 311 Tt3r 311 very Tears, have not only been ineffectual to prevail on you to make the leaſt Alteration in your Conduct, but have ſerv’d as Matter of Ridicule and Deriſion among your more gay Acquaintance: You ſhall, therefore, nor more be perſecuted with them, and I now take my everlaſting Leave, which I had done in Perſon, having often been to wait on you for that Purpoſe, but heard you were in Places, where I thought it inconſiſtent with that Character I would always endeavour to preſerve, to go ſeek you in.—With what Difficulty I brought myſelf to this Reſolution I need not tell you, who are enough ſenſible of the Force your Charms have had upon me; but I am the more conſoled, as it cannot but be agreeable to you, ſince you have taken ſo much Pains to enable me to accompliſh ſo painful a Taſk, and to convince me it is the only Thing can be acceptable to you from

The Unfortunate Palamon.

P.S. I cannot reſtrain my Pen from bidding you once more Farewel, and wiſhing you may find in ſome more happy Man, thoſe Merits which may prevail on you to render him compleatly bleſt, by reſuming thoſe Perfections, which perhaps your Diſlike of me made you, but for a Time, ſuſpend.

Amasina was at a Maſquerade when this Letter arrived, ſo that it came not to her Hands till next Morning at her Return:—A bitter Sequelquel 312 Tt3v 312 quel of the laſt Night’s Pleaſure!—Amazement and Rage at firſt took up all her Thoughts, and left no room for Admittance to the ſofter Paſſions: —She knew not ſhe either loved Palamon, or was grieved at being forſaken by him; but a few Moments after convinced her ſhe did both: She went not now to Bed as was her Cuſtom after coming from the Haymarket:—No Repoſe remained, for her Heart or Eyes:—By turns ſhe wept and raved:—Upbraided the Inconſtancy of Palamon, and her own Want of Charms:— Curs’d the Haughtineſs of his Spirit, and her Inability of bending it, and laid the Blame of her Misfortune on every Thing, but that which alone was the Occaſion, her own ill Conduct.

She was in Agitations, ſuch as was very near throwing her into Fits, when Armico her Brother happened to come into her Chamber, and aſking the Meaning of that Diſorder, which was viſible in all her Air and Countenance; Palamon, cry’d ſhe, at the ſame Time burſting into a Flood of Tears, has uſed me ill.

How, cry’d the impatient Armico, who was a Kind of a Chamont, and had no leſs Affection for his Siſter than the Poet has beſtowed on that young Warrior, Quick,—let me know in what, that I may fly to revenge your Cauſe.

Read there, reply’d ſhe, pointing to the Letter which lay open on the Table:—He has the Impudence to renounce his Vows, to abandon me, 313 Tt4r 313 me, and then lay the Blame of his Falſhood on my innocent Diverſions.

Armico took Fire immediately, and without giving himſelf the Trouble of examining any farther than five or ſix Lines, ſwore that Palamon was a Villian, and that he would not ſuffer the Honour of his Family to be abuſed; and a thouſand ſuch like Speeches, which raſh young Men are apt to make on Cauſes of this Nature, however groundleſs or imaginary.—Purſuing the Dictates of his Rage, however, and without giving himſelf any Time for Reflection, he flew out of the Room, and ſent a Challenge to Palamon, requiring him to meet him, at a Place he mentioned, and was proper enough for the Purpoſe, with Sword and Piſtol, to anſwer the Indignity he had offered to their Family, in the Perſon of Amaſina.

This he ſent by his Valet de Chambre, whom he charg’d to bring back an Anſwer; but he ſoon return’d, letting him know it was not in his Power to obey him, Palamon having left London the Evening before, in order to retire to his Country Seat.

Armico at firſt was enrag’d at the Diſappointment of that Revenge he imagined himſelf ſure of taking on Palamon; but his Paſſion ſoon after growing more cool, he did not think fit to follow him; eſpecially as his Father, being informed the ſame Day of all that had happened, abſolutely forbad him to make any Noiſe of the Affair, 314 Tt4v 314 Affair, and ſeem’d to acknowledge, that Gentleman had behaved no otherwiſe than as a reaſonable Man, and that Amaſina, if ſhe look’d on the Loſs of him as a Misfortune, had nobody in reality to accuſe but herſelf.

Palamon, in fact, had no ſooner diſpatch’d that Letter to Amaſina than he wiſh’d it back:—A Flood of Tenderneſs return’d upon his Heart, and made her appear leſs faulty than he before had thought her:–He had accuſed himſelf of having taken his Farewel in too harſh and unbecoming Terms, and wiſhed he had at leaſt done it with more Softneſs; but on his Servant’s Return, and informing him ſhe was gone to the Maſquerade, he grew more ſatisfied with what he had done; and convinced it was right to part with a Woman, whom there was not the leaſt Appearance of ever being happy with; to prevent the Interpoſition of Friends, and put it out of his own Power to recede from what he had wrote, Abſence ſeem’d to him the only ſure way: Therefore, without any longer delay than the Time his Horſes were putting to the Chariot, quitted the Town directly, taking with him that above-mentioned Friend, whoſe Advice and Company he knew would ſtrengthen him in his Reſolution, and conſole him in the Pains he endured while tearing the once precious Image of Amaſina from his Heart.

To be told of his Departure inflicted on that unhappy Lady, Agonies more cruel than all his Letter 315 Uu1r 315 Letter had done:—She now was aſſured he was in earneſt;—that he was inevitably loſt, and by the Violence of her Grief, knew the Violence of the Love that had occaſsion’d it:—All the Pride, the vain Deſire of conquering his Reaſon and rendering it ſubſervient to her Will, which had prompted her to act as ſhe did, was now no more:—Gladly would ſhe have yielded to relinquiſh every Joy for that of retrieving his Affections; and, perhaps, even deſcended to confeſs how far ſhe had been to blame, had he been preſent to deſire it of her; but he was at too great Diſtance, and to write ſhe thought would be demeaning herſelf too much, and might make him rather deſpiſe than love her.

All he ſo long, and with ſo much Ardency, in vain attempted to bring to paſs, while he was preſent and continued to adore her, was however effected by his forſaking her.—What was deny’d to Love, Deſpair enforced! She look’d back with Wonder and Deteſtation on thoſe Irregularities which had deprived her of him; and it became as great a Prodigy now to ſee her in any public Place of Diverſion, as it had lately been to find her abſent:—She has, ever ſince his breaking with her, been that reſerv’d, that prudent Amaſina he had ſo much wiſh’d to find her, and which would have made him the happieſt of Mankind; but it is now too late to be any other than a Matter of Indifference to him, and is accompanied with a Misfortune to herſelf, which is, that the Remembrance of his Paſſion, and the ill Uu 316 Uu1v 316 ill Return ſhe made, will not permit her to entertain the leaſt Regard for any other Man, tho’ ſtill addreſs’d by the nobleſt Youths of Briton.

Palamon had not been many Months in the Country, before he became acquainted with a young Lady, who, tho’ not altogether ſo reſplendent a Beauty as Amaſina, wanted not Charms to render any Man forgetful of a Miſtreſs, by whom he thought himſelf ill treated; and had beſides all thoſe Perfections of the Mind, which Palamon ſet ſo high a Value on:—In fine, he made his Addreſſes to her, was receiv’d by her Relations with the higheſt Approbation, and by herſelf with a modeſt Kindneſs:—The Courtſhip laſted no longer than Decency required:—The equally deſired Ceremony compleated both their Wiſhes, and they continue mutual Patterns of conjugal Affection; while poor Amaſina ſuffers her Bloom to wither in ſecret Repinings and unavailing Repentance, her Affliction heavier to be borne by the Endeavours ſhe makes to conceal it.

By this Example young Ladies ought to be warned how dangerous it is to ſport with the Affection of a Man of Senſe:—A Fop, a Fool, who has no Senſibility of what is owing to the Woman he addreſſes, or to himſelf, may think the little Artifices which ſome make Uſe of in order to enflame their Lovers, as a pretty Amuſement, and be delighted with thoſe Jealouſies which neither give him real Pangs, nor the Ecclairciſementclair- 317 Uu2r 317 clairciſement of any real Pleaſure; but the Man who loves ſincerely, and ſees thro’ ſuch idle Stratagems, cannot but reſent, and at laſt deſpiſe them.

Too many I fear are in Amaſina’s Caſe, and for the Gratification of a Whim of a Moment’s Duration, have ſacrificed what would have made the Happineſs of their whole Lives.—According to that great Diſcerner of Nature, the immortal Shakeſpear, nothing is ſo much deſired by Women as to have their own Will; but as it is impoſſible for any one, of what Station ſoever, to enjoy it in every thing, we ought to conſider and well weigh in what we can, with the leaſt Mortification to ourſelves, endure to be debarr’d from it, and not hazard the higheſt Wiſh our Souls can form to the Attainment of the meaneſt:—But what Sir John Suckling wrote extempore on the Sight of two Lovers quarrelling about a Trifle, may very well be apply’d to a Number of our preſent pretended Devotees to Cupid, of both Sexes. Lovers, like little Girls and Boys,Cry for Hearts, as they for Toys;Which when once gain’d in childiſh Play,They wantonly do throw away.

After all, no young Lady, if ſhe thinks at all, can think the indulging herſelf too much in the modiſh Diverſions of the Age will ever be agreeable to any Man, whoſe good Opinion it is Uu2 worth 318 Uu2v 318 worth her while either to inſpire or preſerve: Or can ſhe anſwer it to her Reaſon that ſhe takes more Pains to engage the idle Flatteries of a few unmeaning Coxcombs, than the ſolid Praiſes of Perſons of Virtue and good Senſe!

But I am ſenſible all this is talking to the Wind:—Muſick, Dancing, Love and Gallantry, are favourite Amuſements with the Young and Gay:—They will purſue them wherever they are to be found.—It is, therefore, a great Pity, methinks, that People of Faſhion have not frequent Entertainments of this Nature at their own Houſes; where only ſelect Companies being admitted, all the Dangers, the Indecencies, the Miſchiefs which attend rambling to public Aſſemblies would be avoided:—The Gentlemen, knowing who they were among, would treat the Ladies with the Reſpect due to them, and exert all their Wit and Addreſs to render themſelves agreeable: —The Ladies might be as pleaſant as they pleaſ’d; all innocent Freedoms are allowable with Men of Honour and good Senſe;――No Misconſtructions are made either thro’ Ignorance or Ill-Nature on what paſſes in Converſation;— all is free and eaſy, and the preſent Satiſfaction is not hereafter embitter’d with any Remorſe or Anxiety.

In fine, my Spectatorial Capacity will permit me to approve of no other Entertainments which are paid for, and at which all People, without Diſtinction, have an equal Privilege for their Money, 319 Uu3r 319 Money, than thoſe which are exhibited on the Theatres; for there, tho’ ’tis poſſible the moſt abandon’d Proſtitute may thruſt herſelf into the ſame Box with the firſt Dutcheſs, and even have the Arrogance to lay hold of that Opportunity of ſpeaking to her, yet ſuch Inſtances very rarely, if ever, happen; not becauſe ſuch Wretches want either Impudence or Vanity enough to mix, as much as they can, with the great and virtuous Part of their Sex in theſe as well as in any other public Place, but becauſe they know it is not their Intereſt to do it.—The Deſign they have in coming there would be totally overthrown by ſuch a Behaviour; ſince the moſt profeſs’d and avowed Libertine would be aſhamed and afraid to accoſt them in the Sight or Hearing of thoſe noble Perſonages, or even any Lady of Reputation:— The Playhouſe will not admit of thoſe Freedoms, which may eaſily be taken either at Ranelagh, Vaux-Hall, &c; &c;—or the Maſquerade, where a Man may lead his Miſtreſs, little of an Hour, out through a private Walk, or run away with her in a Vizard, without being obſerv’d by the reſt of the Company.

It is indeed but of later Years that Vice has dared to appear barefaced at the Theatres; looſe as the Age is ſaid to have been in the Reign of King Charles II. I am told no Woman of an infamous Character ever came there without a Maſk, and long ſince then, throughout the Days of his Succeſſors, James, William and Mary, and the greateſt Part, if not all thoſe of Queen Ann, they 320 Uu3v 320 they retain’d that modeſt Mark of a lewd Life, or exchang’d it for a Black Hood, pull’d over their Faces, after the Manner of a Veil, which diſtinguiſhed, and at the ſame Time conceal’d them from the virtuous Part of the Audience; ſo that there was then no Poſſibility of any diſagreeable Intermixtures; nor is there any Danger of it now for the Reaſon above alledg’d.

No Objections, therefore, can be made against Ladies frequenting the Theatres, on thoſe Accounts, for which thoſe other, at preſent more encourag’d Places of Reſort, ought to juſtly to be avoided.

Besides, a good Play is an elegant Entertainment for thoſe of the brighteſt and moſt elevated Capacities, and cannot but afford ſome Improvement to the dulleſt and leaſt inform’d:—It alſo engroſſes no more of the Time than may very well be ſpared from all other Avocations, whether of Study or Buſineſs; nor breaks in upon thoſe Hours which Decency, and the Conſideration of our Health, ſhould devote to Repoſe.

It muſt be allowed, that there is no Kind of Diverſion whatever, in which three Hours may ſo agreeably and profitably be ſpent; and among the many Miſfortunes of the preſent Age, I think the viſible Decay of the Stage may well be accounted not the leaſt, ſince nothing can be a greater Proof how much the general Taſte is vitiated,tiated 321 Uu4r 321 tiated, than to neglect an Entertainment in which Pleaſure and Inſtruction are blended, for others, which the beſt that can be ſaid of them is, that they afford ſome Amuſement to the Senſes.

Nothing to me ſeems more ridiculous than to hear thoſe Reaſons which the Trading Part of the Nation, and ſome of the Inferior Gentry, give for their Averſion to that Portion of the Drama which is call’d Tragedy:—We have Tragedy enough at home, ſay they, involv’d in Wars, burthen’d with Taxes, and in continual Terrors of worſe Conſequences; our Spirits want Exhileration, not Depreſſion;—our own Miſeries, and in all probability thoſe of our Poſterity, afford us too many ſad Ideas, without adding to them by melancholly Repreſentations on the Stage.

Methinks there is a Narrowneſs of Conception in People who argue in this Manner, which deſerves Compaſſion:—It ſhews they have Capacities for nothing farther than what is call’d the Tale or Fable of the Piece; and either thro’ want of Attention or Underſtanding, cannot take in thoſe beautiful Morals and Reflections, which in all good Tragedies ſhew, that the Misfortunes to which Life is incident are not diſplay’d, but with a View of enabling Perſons to undergo, with the more Fortitude and Patience, Ills which they find have been inflicted on others.

But where Nature, or the want of proper Education denies this intended Benefit, thoſe Perſonsſons 322 Uu4v 322 ſons whom the ſolemn Scene too much affect, have not the ſame Excuſe for with holding their Encouragement to Comedy:—Since to forget their Cares is all they want, the Sock may afford what the Buſkin cannot give:—They will ſee the Follies and Miſtakes both of the great and low World agreeably ridicul’d; and if they do not amend their own, they may, at leaſt, laugh at thoſe of other People.

It is not, however, to this Part of the Nation I am at preſent pretending to give Advice, nor is it owing to thoſe Motives I have mentioned, that our young Ladies of Condition ſhun Theatrical Diverſions for Maſquerades, Aſſemblies, and Ridottos:—The Calamities of the Times affect not them:—All within their gentle Boſoms is Harmony, and Joy, and Peace:—They can condole with Melpomene, and not be depreſs’d by the Diſtreſſes ſhe preſents; and can never want a Diſpoſition to laugh with Thalia.

These, who are themſelves the real Muſes, and by their Charms inſpire all that is attributed to the tuneful Nine, ſhould not, methinks, diſdain the Effects of their own Influence:—Did they vouchſafe to ſparkle in the Boxes as formerly, the Poets would write with double Energy, and the Players act with double Spirit:—What at preſent is wanting to anſwer the Ends propoſed by the Inſtitution of the Drama, is chiefly owing to their having, of late Years, withdrawn their accuſtom’d Favours.

Some 323 Xx1r 323

Some Ladies indeed have ſhewn a truly public Spirit in reſcuing the admirable, yet almoſt forgotten Shakeſpear, from being totally ſunk in Oblivion:—They have generouſly contributed to raiſe a Monument to his Memory, and frequently honour his Works with their Preſence on the Stage:—An Action which deſerves the higheſt Encomiums, and will be attended with an adequate Reward; ſince, in preſerving the Fame of the dead Bard, they add a Brightneſs to their own, which will ſhine to late Poſterity.

Yet I could wiſh this Benevolence of Nature were extended farther:—’Tis a melancholly Reflection to a Poet, that he muſt be dead before he can arrive at the End of his Ambition: —There are many living Authors who we cannot deny, merit ſome Portion of Regard; and if, while depreſs’d, neglected, and perhaps illtreated, they force, as it were, our Approbation, how infinitely more would they be capable of exciting it, if cheriſh’d and encourag’d! As I remember to have ſomewhere read, As tender Plants by kindly Influence live,So Favour is the Sun makes Poets thrive.

Let us not, therefore, laviſh all our Garlands on the Grave, but reſerve ſome Chaplets for the living Brows of thoſe who make it their Endeavours to pleaſe us:—Gratitude requires it of us,—Juſtice, Good-Nature, and Good-Manners,Xx ners, 324 Xx1v 324 ners, demand ſome Return on our Parts, and if even all thoſe Pleas were ſilent, Self-Intereſt ought to oblige us to it:—If we conſider ſeriouſly, we ſhall find that it is the greateſt Robbery we can commit againſt ourſelves, when we refuſe Encouragement to Works of Wit and Ingenuity; for beſides the countenancing thoſe Perfections in others, being a Proof we want not ſome Share of them ourſelves, how many Ladies have their been, the Fame of whoſe Endowments had probably exiſted no longer than their own Lives, or of ſome particular Admirers, which are now immortaliz’d in the Poets’ Song: — Had Sacheriſſa been poſſeſs’d of more Perfections, than even Waller has aſcrib’d to her, they would long ſince have been forgot, did ſhe not ſtill live in his inimitable Lines.

It is not that our Sex have not the Deſire of Admiration as much at Heart as ever; on the contrary, the Love of Praise was never more predominant, and that they aim to acquire it by ways ſo widely different from what before was ever practis’d by our Britiſh Ladies, ſince the firſt civilizing of the Country, ſeems to me entirely occaſion’d by the Example of ſome few Perſons, who, tho’ in an elevated Station, being Hoydens in their own Nature, have eſtabliſh’d into a Faſhion thoſe Cuſtoms among us which would have incurr’d the ſevereſt Satire in the Days of our Anceſtors.

Our very Dreſs too much correſponds with the 325 Xx2r 325 the Airs, which none now can be accounted genteel without aſſuming: — One while we are tranſmogrified into Milk-Maids, — then into a Kind of Amazonians,—half-Men, half-Women;—and a truly modiſh Lady looks now, by turns, every thing—but a Gentlewoman.

For my Part, I think I ſee ſo great a Tendency towards Barbariſm and Ruſticity among us, that I expect, if the Queen of Hungary’s Arms continue to prevail as they have done, we ſhall have Patterns ſent over to us of the Habits worn by the Pandour and Talapack Ladies, in order to regulate ourſelves according to their Mode, in Honour of the Aſſiſtance their Huſbands have afforded in the preſent War.—Wild Infatuation! Strange Prevalence of Example!

In fine, there is nothing ſo diſagreeable, ſo ſhocking to the natural Softneſs and Modeſty of our Sex, as well as to good Senſe and good Breeding, that we may not in Time degenerate into, if we proceed, to unwoman ourſelves by the ſame ſwift Degrees we have done; and a few, a very few Years more, will reduce us to that Savage Wildneſs, which, it is ſaid, the Phœnicians firſt found us in.

However, as Extremes are ſeldom of any long Continuance, it is to be hoped the preſent Humour will take a different Turn:—That our Ladies will deſpiſe all unworthy Imitations, ceaſe to compliment away their Characters to any 326 Xx2v 326 any Perſon or Perſons whatever, and once more depend on their own good Senſe for the Guide of their Behaviour, and then they cannot fail of exciting all that Love, Admiration and Eſteem, which it is no leſs laudable than natural to be pleas’d with.

End of the Fifth Book.

327 Yy1r

The Female Spectator.

Book VI.

There is one Quality, which has ſomewhat ſo heavenly in it, that by ſo much the more we are poſſeſs’d of it, by ſo much the more we draw nearer to the Great Author of Nature.—Of all the Virtues, it is that which moſt finds its Reward within itſelf, and at the ſame time moſt endears us to Society; attoning for almoſt every other Deficiency.—Of all the Beauties, it is that which attracts the moſt laſting Admiration, gives the greateſt Charm to every thing we ſay or do, and renders us amiable in every Station, and thro’ every Stage of Life.

Yet is it no more than what is in the Powers of every one, with the Help of a very little Application,Yy cation, 328 Yy1v 328 cation, to attain.—It is, indeed, no other than an Affability of Manners and Behaviour, or what is vulgarly call’d Good-Nature; but then it muſt be permanent, ſincere, not aſſum’d or affected, but flowing from a real Benevolence of Mind, which takes Delight in contributing all it can to the Welfare of others.

It was always my Opinion, that Good-Sense will make Good-Nature, becauſe it ſhews us what is our true Intereſt and Happineſs; and whatever ſome People ſay to the contrary, I never can believe a Perſon can be poſſeſs’d of the one, without ſome Share of the other. A Man may, indeed, be an excellent Mathematician, Philoſopher, Theologiſt, Lawyer, or Poet, have Learning, Memory, Fancy, Ingenuity to a ſuperlative Degree, yet if in his Deportment there be any Tincture of Arrogance, Peeviſhneſs, Moroſeneſs, Sulleneſs, or any of thoſe Indications by which Ill-Nature may be known, I will not allow him to have a clear and ſtrong Judgment.—When any extraordinary Endowment makes him treat with Contempt or Impatience the Ideas of thoſe who are leſs learned, or have leſs bright Capacities, it ſhews his own to be clouded; and whatever Sparkles may ſometimes iſſue forth, there is ſtill a dark and uninform’d Corner of his Soul, which hinders him from being the perfect Great Man.

Good-Nature is Religion too, in the higheſt Meaning of the Word; becauſe it will not ſuffer us to do by any one what we would not willingly 329 Yy2r 329 willingly have done to ourſelves: And tho’ I am far from thinking that all thoſe who have not this happy Diſpoſition of Mind are wicked, yet this I venture to affirm that thoſe who are really poſſeſs’d of it, never can be ſo.

A Person may be a ſtrict Obſerver of the Ten Commandments, yet do a great deal of Miſchief in the World: One may deſpiſe all mean and baſe Actions, and have in the utmoſt Abhorence the more capital Offences, yet by a teazing or a contemptuous Behaviour drive, as it were, thoſe about one to be guilty even of the worſt, and ſo become the Author, tho’ not the Actor of the Crime.

A certain Noble Perſon, who in his Time was look’d upon as the Arbiter of Wit, found among the many Pieces which were every Day laid on his Toylet for his Inſpection, one which had been left by a nameleſs Author, with a Letter, moſt humbly requeſting his Lordſhip’s Judgment on the Performance:—This, it ſeems, was a Dramatic Poem entitled Mariamne, and whether it was wrote with that Skill and Energy a Story ſo affecting as that of the Jewiſh Princeſs merited, or whether it only ſeem’d to fall ſhort by any Ill-humour the illuſtrious Reader might happen to be in at that Time, is uncertain; but he was ſo little ſatisfy’d with the Piece, that he had no ſooner look’d it over, than taking up his Pen haſtily, he wrote on the Outſide, and juſt under the Title theſe Lines: Poet, 330 Yy2v 330 Poet, whoe’er thou art, God d—n thee,Go hang thyſelf, and burn thy Mariamne.

This was all the Anſwer he vouchſafed to give, and on the Gentleman’s calling ſome Days after, was accordingly deliver’d to him by the Valet de Chambre.

The Fondneſs whiech moſt young Authors have for their firſt Performance made him impatient to ſee how his had been receiv’d; but the Shock was ſo great on finding the cruel Sentence paſs’d upon him, that he executed it immediately, condemning to the Flames his Play, and his Neck to a Halter made of his own Garters.—Nobody can ſuppoſe the Noble Lord either intended or deſired ſo diſmal an Effect of the Severity he had uſed to one altogether unknown to him, and who poſſibly might be a Man of ſome Merit, tho’ he did not happen to be an excellent Poet: It was, however, a Piece of Ill-Nature, which thoſe who are full of take all Opportunities to vent, and I mention it only to ſhew what fatal Conſequences the Deriſion of Perſons on whom we depend may poſſibly produce.

It looks indeed as if this poor Poet wanted both Spirit and Preſence of Mind; for had he been Maſter of either, he might eaſily have retorted on the Peer, and oblig’d him in his Turn to take Shame to himſelf; ſince I think there could not well be greater Improprieties in the Play, than in the Judgment he paſs’d upon it; as 331 Yy3r 331 as any one will ſee who conſiders his Lordſhip’s bidding him hang himſelf, and afterwards adding, burn his Mariamne, the ſecond Part of which Injunction was impoſſible to be perform’d after the fulfilling of the former.――This therefore was, with all Submiſſion to the Memory of ſo great a Man, a Soleciſm in Phrase, which the very Trials at the Old-Bailey might have inſtructed any one to avoid.

The cruel Lines were however wrote inſtantaneouſly, and doubtleſs, as I before obſerv’d, to gratify a Spleen, which in that Moment got the better of all other Conſiderations: But I appeal to all the World, and would to his Lordſhip’s own cooler Thoughts, were he living, if it had not been a greater Proof of his Underſtanding, as well as of that Good-Manners and Good-Will we all owe to one another, if he had teſtify’d his Diſapprobation of the Piece, modeſtly ſubmitted to his Cenſure, with leſs Abruptneſs:—Nay, it could not have been in the leaſt derogatory to his Dignity, had he condeſcended to point out in which Particulars he had ſwerved from the Rules of Poetry, and even advis’d him what Emendations he might make in that Performance, and how he might avoid falling into the like Errors in any future Attempt.

It is certainly a Fiend-like Diſpoſition to be pleaſed with giving Pain; yet, how have I ſeen ſome People exult and triumph in their Power of doing it! and the more Diſquiet they are capable of 332 Yy3v 332 of ſpreading, the more conſiderable they imagine themſelves. — Ridiculous Infatuation of ill-judging Pride! — Does not a Waſp, or even a common Fly buzzing about one’s Ears, inflict a temporary Uneaſineſs? Not the moſt inſignificant Reptile that the Air or Earth affords, but has the Power of being vexatious to us for a while, and is the Rival of the Ill-natur’d, who by being ſuch but vainly boaſts of a ſuperior Reaſon.

Persons of this Temperament diffuſe a Gloom where’er they come: No ſooner they appear, than Converſation is at a ſtand, Mirth is check’d, and every one preſent ſeems to have catch’d ſome Share of the Infection: Whereas, on the contrary, the Sight of one who is known to have Good-Nature, invigorates like the Sun, inſpires a Chearfulneſs where it before was wanting, and heightens what it finds.

Whoever reflects on any two Perſons in whom this Contraſt in Humour is viſible, will naturally ſhun the one, and court the Society of the other, even tho’ they have no Concern with either: But where there is any kind of Dependance, or a Neceſſity of living with, or being much with one of them, the Influence muſt be felt in proportion to the good or bad Qualities of whichever it happens to be.

A Sweetness of Diſpoſition is what every one wiſhes to find in thoſe they are oblig’d to live with, and it is the more endearing according to the 333 Zz1r 333 the Authority of the Perſon’s Station: When the Heads of a Family are in Amity with each other, and behave with Gentleneſs and Humanity to all beneath them, how perfect is the Harmony that reigns throughout! If there happen to be any dogged or ill-natur’d Perſons among them, they will either conceal or endeavour to rectify their Humours by the Example of their Superiors; and a chearful and ready Application to their ſeveral Duties renders all Things eaſy, ſoftens the Aſperity of croſs Accidents, and gives a double Reliſh to Proſperity.

But when thoſe, whoſe Province it is to govern, ſhew a Diſſatisfaction with each other, and receive with Imperiouſneſs and Peeviſhneſs the Services done by their Inferiors, how unhappy does it make all about them! A general Diſcontent runs through the whole: The Commands of ſuch People are obey’d with Reluctance; they may be fear’d, but they cannot be truly loved; and their very Children are capable of paying them no more than an exterior Duty. But moſt terrible of all is it for either him or her who, by Nature mild and gentle, ſhares the Bed of one of a contrary Diſpoſition; when, inſtead of fond Endearments, they find themſelves accoſted with Teſtimonies of Diſguſt, or ſuch as may very well be taken for it; when, inſtead of ſoft Repoſe, they have only Slumbers broken by diſtracting Dreams, the Effects of waking Quarrels; when, inſtead of thoſe amicable Conſultations which the Affairs of two People whoſe Intereſts are one Zz demands, 334 Zz1v 334 demands, they are treated with either ſullen Silence, Reproaches, or equally provoking unreaſonable Contradictions:—What Words can paint the Miſery of ſuch a forc’d Enduring!

Still worſe is it where two Perſons equally harſh and unſociable happen to be united in Marriage.—Where ill Conditions claſh, and both ſeem to vye which ſhall create the moſt Diſquiet to all related or belonging to them, as well as to each other, they form an Epitome of Hell where’er they come, and well may be compar’d to the tormenting Fiends, who capable of feeling no Reſt, no Comfort in their own Boſoms, deny it, as much as in them lies, to all beſides.

There are two Sources from whence what is called Ill-Nature proceeds; the one, is from the Seeds of Tyranny in the Soul; the other, only from Habit or Accidents: The former is hardly ever to be eradicated; fair Means will but ſooth, and ſerve rather to confirm than abate the impetuous Propenſity; and rough Meaſures, tho’ never ſo ſtrenuouſly purſued, will ſcarce be able to ſubdue it; but the latter may eaſily be removed by one’s own Reaſon and Reflection, without any other Aſſiſtance.

I have known ſeveral Inſtances where Perſons who on a ſtrict Examination into themſelves finding a Tendency to fall into ſome one or other of thoſe many different Modes, in which Ill- 335 Zz2r 335 Ill-Nature appears, have by the Strength of Reſolution been able to throw them off; and by keeping a conſtant Guard over all their Words and Actions, even in the minuteſt Matters, ſo reſtrain’d all turbulent Emotions from breaking out, that they have in Time entirely ſubſided, and never after return’d.

This is a Taſk which methinks all People, be they of what Condition or Degree ſoever, ought to impoſe upon themſelves: Religion, Morality, and even common Policy require it of them; and whatever Difficulties they find, or Pains they take while making the Eſſay, I am well aſſur’d both will be much more than compenſated for in the Accompliſhment.

In order to enable us to do this with the more Eaſe, we ſhould conſider who are the Objects on whom we have the Power of diſcharging our Ill- Humours:—Are they not ſuch as Fate has in ſome meaſure ſubjected to us? for it is not our Superiors, or thoſe of equal Circumſtances with ourſelves, will brook ungentle Treatment, and few there are who tempt the Conſequences. We ſhould therefore reflect that Old-Age, Infancy, the Poor, the Sick, in fine, whatever is helpleſs of itſelf, and ſtands in need of Tenderneſs, has an indiſputable Claim to it; and as it is only over ſuch we dare aſſume the Privilege of inſulting, how truly mean, baſe, and ungenerous, as well as wicked, it is, to make uſe of the Means our happier Stars have given us, to add to the Zz2 Affliction 336 Zz2v 336 Affliction of thoſe whom it is certainly our Duty to conſole.

In fact, there would be no ſuch thing as Calamity in the World, did every Member of this great Body behave with any tolerable Degree of Good-Nature and Humanity to the others. Good- Nature is the Cement of Love and Friendship, the Bandage of Society, the rich Man’s Pleaſure, and the poor Man’s Refuge.—Peace, Harmony, and Joy reign where it ſubſiſts, and all is Diſcord and Confuſion where it is baniſh’d.

But as all other Vices, ſo a Sourneſs of Humour is alſo more unbecoming in Women than in Men: A Virago, how much ſoever ſhe may be blown up with Self-Conceit, to imagine that to domineer, and rail, and bounce, denotes her a Perſon of Wit and OEconomy, is as deſpicable a Character as any I know; and is deſervedly ſhunn’d and hated by the more gentle of her own Sex, and ridicul’d and laugh’d at by all in general of the other.

Softness and Affability ſhould go Hand in Hand with Modeſty, and where the former are entirely wanting, one may very well ſuſpect ſome Deficiency in the latter. But as a Depravity of Manners ſhews itſelf in various Shapes, the ſullen and the thwarting Diſpoſition is often as perplexing as the aſſuming and violent: Unhappy are all who contract any Intimacy with a Woman of either of theſe Tempers; but greatly to be 337 Zz3r 337 be pitied is the Huſband, the Child, and the Servant of ſuch a Wife, a Mother, and a Miſtreſs.

I have often thought it ſtrange that ſome Ladies, who think no Expence of Time or Money too much for any thing they are told will afford either Addition or Support to their perſonal Charms, ſhould by an ill Diſpoſition of Mind deſtroy what all the Arts they can make uſe of never can repair. Ill-Nature is a greater Enemy to Beauty than the Small-Pox ever was; it gives a diſagreeable Depth to all the Lines of the Face; it ſinks the Cheeks; throws a diſagreeable Deadneſs or a fiery Redneſs into the Eye, according as the Malady proceeds from an Exceſs of Phlegm or Choler; it ſwells the Lip, fades the Complexion, contracts the Brow, and brings on a Decay before the Time: Sure if they who plume themſelves chiefly on their Attractions would conſider this, it would occaſion a prodigious Alteration in the Behaviour of many of them!

Some few there are, indeed, to whom Nature has been ſo prodigal of her Favours, that it is not even in their own Power to leſſen the magnetick Force of their Charms; and theſe may maintain their Dominion over their Lovers, and perhaps ſeem faultleſs for a Time, but when once Marriage has, as the Poet ſays, debaſed the imperious Miſtreſs into Wife, all that Blaze of Beauty, which lately was beheld with Awe and Admiration, becomes familiar to the Huſband’s Eye;—the Luſtre of it dazzles him no longer, and 338 Zz3v 338 and he diſtinguiſhes the Errors which before he was incapable of imagining were hid under it. He then perhaps diſcovers Pride, Vanity, Self- Sufficiency, a Contempt of every thing beſide herſelf, and all the Follies, aſcribed to the weakeſt of her Sex, peep out thro’ that Form his Paſſion had once made him look upon as all Perfection. Amazed and angry with the Deception it had put upon him, he attempts to reform and bring the Charmer back to what he lately thought her,—perſwades,—remonſtrates,—threatens;—all alas too often in vain:—Incorrigible, and determin’d to perſiſt, ſhe accuſes his too great Penetration, reproaches in her Turn; mutual Indifference occaſions mutual Slights, they end one Quarrel but to begin another, and their whole future Lives are ſure to be one continued Series of Diſcord.

This is ſo common a Caſe, that I am ſurprized and grieved to find any Married-Woman can expect to maintain an Authority with, much leſs over her Huſband, but by ſuch Arms as are allow’d alone prevalent in our Sex.—When a Woman unwomanizes herſelf, renounces the Softneſs of her Nature, and idly boaſts of having it in her Power to conquer, Man has a Right to exert his Strength, and ſhew her the Vanity of her Attempt.—Complaiſance, Tenderneſs and Fidelity will always have Charms for a Man of Underſtanding, but rough Meaſures will never get the better of any thing but a Fool.

To 339 Zz4r 339

To this it may be alledg’d, that it is frequently the Lot of a Woman of true Senſe to be join’d to a Man of mean Capacity, and ſo refractory in his Humour, that tho’ ſhe does all in her Power to pleaſe him, yet he is diſſatisfy’d with her Behaviour, and it would be too meanly ſubmiſſive in her to continue any Marks of Tenderneſs to a Perſon ſo altogether unworthy of them. I grant, that a Wife thus circumſtanced is very unhappy, but muſt think ſhe would but render herſelf more ſo by ſtruggling with her Chain: The veryeſt Coxcomb of them all is ſenſible of a Huſband’s Power, and frequently exerts it the more as he has leſs Reaſon to do ſo: For her own Peace, therefore, ſhe ought to do nothing that may ſtir up his Ill-Humour, and if all is ineffectual, bear with him as much as poſſible.

I know very well that this is a Doctrine will ſound but harſhly in the Ears of moſt Wives; but I appeal to any of thoſe who have made the Trial, whether they ever found any thing was gained by Robuſtneſs.

In fine, there are no Provocations, no Circumſtances in Life, that I can allow to be a ſufficient Excuſe for Ill-Nature: On ſome Occaſions it is neither unjuſt nor impolitick to reſent being treated with it; but we ſhould never return it in the ſame manner, ſince there are many other Ways to ſhew we are ſenſible of an Affront, without imitating that which we complain of when offer’d to ourſelves.

Much 340 Zz4v 340

Much leſs ought we, when at any time we imagine ourſelves hardly dealt with by thoſe, where Duty, Intereſt, or any other Conſideration, obliges us to ſubmit to without any Shew of Reſentment, to vent the inward Diſcontent it may occaſion in us on others who have no way contributed to aggrieve us: That were to puniſh the Innocent for the ſake of the Guilty: Yet I am ſorry to obſerve it is but too frequently practiced by Perſons of both Sexes, and of all Ages and Degrees.

How often have I ſeen People, after having met with ſome Matter of Diſquiet abroad, come home and revenge themſelves on all they find in their way!—Wife, Children, Servants, down to the favourite Dog, feel the Effects of an Ill-Humour, which the poor Creatures have been ſo far from doing any thing to excite, that they even know not the Meaning of.

Nay, there are ſome ſo far gone in this Folly, that it extends even to Things inanimate and inſenſible of the Ill-uſage they ſuſtain; as many a ſhatter’d Set of China, Glaſſes, Tables, Chairs, and other Utensils, are a Proof.— What monſtrous Stupidity is this! What can a By-ſtander think of the Underſtanding of any one who acts in this mad Manner!

Nor do the bad Effects of Ill-Nature always ſtop here. If he who receives the firſt Offence revenges it on another, that Perſon may perhaps fall 341 Aaa1r 341 fall on a third by the ſame Motive; he on a fourth, and ſo on, ad infinitum; ſo that not one but many Families ſuffer for the Miſbehaviour of a ſingle Perſon.

Many are the Pretences which thoſe aſham’d of ſuch Exploits will make after being guilty of them:—They will tell you, that they are troubled with the overflowing of the Gall, that they have the Vapours, the Spleen, or Lowneſs of Spirits, which being Diſtempers of the Body, they can no more help acting in the Manner they do, when the Fit is on them, than a Man in a high Fever can help raving. ’Tis true, indeed, that theſe are Diſtempers of the Body; but when we conſider how great an Influence the Mind has over the Body, I believe we ſhall be forced to acknowledge, that in rectifying the Errors of the one, we ſhall in a great meaſure prevent not only theſe but many kinds of Diſorders in the other.

What Numbers have pined themſelves into Conſumptions by immoderate Grief!—How dreadful a Ravage has furious Paſſion occaſioned among the Human Specie, under the Names of Fevers, Pleuriſies, Convulſions!—It is notorious, and no Phyſcian will deny it, that the violent Agitations of the Mind have made more Suicides than Poyſon, Sword, or Halter.

Well then may our Ill-Conditions create a continual Reſtleſsneſs within, diſturb the MotionAaa tion 342 Aaa1v 342 tion of the Animal Spirits, and bring on the Diſorders abovementioned; ſo that the Excuſes made on this Score ſerve rather to exaggerate than alleviate the Fault.

I do not ſay that the Mind has in all Conſtitutions ſo much the Direction of the Body, as to render it ſickly or healthy, and prolong or ſhorten Life meerly by its own Operation; but I will venture to affirm, that in ſome it has, and that there are none but feel its Effects in a more or leſs Degree.

I am very ſenſible there are Diſeaſes which we inherit from our Parents, others that are contracted in our Infancy, and that after we arrive at Maturity too much Sleep or Over-watching, violent Colds or exceſſive Heats, unwholeſome Food, bad Air, too vehement or too little Exerciſe, and a thouſand other Accidents, in which the Mind has no Part, may breed Diſtempers in the Body, and haſten Diſſolution; but even then, according to the good or bad Affections of the Mind, they are greatly moderated, or render’d more virulent.

This is ſo plain and obvious a Maxim, that it ſtands in need of no Examples to illuſtrate the Truth of it; yet I cannot forbear making mention of one which fill’d all who had the Opportunity of knowing it with Admiration.

A 343 Aaa2r 343

A Person, with whom I am intimately acquainted, labour’d under a ſevere Indiſpoſition of more than ſeven Years Duration: Often have I ſeen the Struggles between Life and Death: Often have the Animal Functions been at a ſtand, and ſeem’d to ceaſe for ever:—Yet did ſhe at the laſt get the better of this Rack of Nature, recover’d her ſo long-loſt Health and Strength, and thoſe who had taken of her, as they had all the Reaſon in the World to imagine, their laſt farewell, now behold her in more perfect Eaſe than many of them are themſelves.—The Cure was wonderful, and the more ſo as not accompliſh’d by the Power of Medicine, as the Phyſicians themſelves unanimouſly agreed; but merely by her own conſummate Patience, conſtant Chearfulneſs, and ſteady Fortitude in the midſt of all the Agonies ſhe ſuſtain’d.—To add to her Diſtemper, and at the ſame time to her Glory in ſurmounting them, ſhe had alſo many ſecret Woes to combat with, the leaſt of which was ſufficient to have overwhelm’d a Mind not reſolved to be above all Things in this World, and entirely reſign’d to the Will of the Supreme Being.

For this one Inſtance of true Heroiſm and Magnanimity, I cou’d produce a great Number of others of a different Nature.—Few, if any Families have been without one or more Perſons in it, who by their Careleſsneſs in reſtrainign thoſe inordinate Emotions, to which the Mind is ſo liable, have brought ſome fearful Aaa2 Ailment 344 Aaa2v 344 Ailment in the Body, and then with an equal Meanneſs have ſunk under it.

Thaumantius is allowed by all his Acquaintance to be one of the grearteſt Valetudinarians in the World—He trembles at the very mention of a Diſtemper, tho’ in a ſingle Perſon, and at the Diſtance of many Miles, and conſults his Phyſicians whether ſome Symptoms he preſently imagines he feels within himſelf be not an Indication of his having catch’d it:—He flies the Town on the leaſt Increaſe of the Bills of Mortality, and returns to it on the News of even an Infant’s being ſick in the Country.—In Summer he is apprehenſive of a Fever; in Winter of an Ague.—Autumn and the Spring threaten ſome Change in the Conſtitution, which he is ſure to think will be for the worſe.—He was told that the Attitude of the Body in Fencing open’d the Breaſt, and thereby prevented all Diſtempers of the Lungs, on which he paſt three parts in four of his Time in that Exerciſe; but afterward happening to hear one ſay the Motion was too violent and precipitate, and might poſſibly occaſion Langours and fainting Sweats hurtful to the human Syſtem, he threw away his Foils, and never since could be perſuaded to wear a Sword, leſt ſome Affront ſhould provoke him to draw it to the Prejudice of his Muſcles.—When the Wind is in the Eaſt, it affects his Eyes; if in the North, it gives him Cold; in the South, it deſtroys his Appetite; in the Weſt, it ſpoils his Digeſtion.—It can veer to no 345 Aaa3r 345 no Point of the Compaſs without affecting him, and every Change brings with it new Terrors.— Nor Sun, nor Moon, nor Air can ſatisfy him three Minutes together: and the continual Anxiety he is in at every little Motion, either of Celeſtial or Terreſtial Bodies, has at length brought him into a Habit of Peeviſhneſs, which it is much to be fear’d will cauſe in a ſhort Time ſome of thoſe Diſtempers he is ſo fearful of, and takes ſo ſuch an over Care to avoid.

Mirandola had once a very graceful Perſon, fine Eyes, and a Complexion rather too delicate for his Sex: His whole Ambition was to be well with the Ladies; but Envy at his younger Brother’s good Fortune has worn him to a Skeleton, given a Sourneſs to his Features, and ſpread a livid Paleneſs o’er his Face, rendering him rather an Object of Pity than Admiration.

Placidia, finding the Charms of her Perſon decay, deſtroys thoſe which ſhe might retain even in old Age, by becoming diſcontented in herſelf, and harſh in her Behaviour to others.

Draxilla, poſſeſt with an Imagination that her Huſband had not that Affection for her he pretended, and ſhe believed her due, became ſo termagant a Wife, and continued ſo long to perſecute him with cauſeleſs Jealouſies, that he grew at laſt weary of her Society; in fact, ſought Conſolation 346 Aaa3v 346 Conſolation for his Diſquiets at home in the Arms of a more endearing Companion abroad; leaving her to pine almoſt to Death, for a Miſfortune her own ill Temper has been the Occaſion of.

Thus ſo many People, by the Fear of imaginary Ills, create to themſelves real ones; and others, by endeavouring to fly a Danger which ſeems to threaten, run into far worſe that they never thought on.

As Fancy is never idle, and however indolent and ſupine the Body, will be always preſenting Ideas to the Mind of one kind or other, we ſhould make it our principal Care to cheriſh only ſuch as afford a pleaſing Proſpect; and when any black and horrid Images would force themſelves upon us, to expel them as much as lies in our Power.—Sad Thoughts will grow upon us if indulged, and not only ſhew whatever is diſagreeable in itſelf in a more hideous Form, but alſo make what is moſt capable of delighting become odious!—All Places will be irkſome!— All Company diſtaſteful!—We ſhall hate our very ſelves, and even Life itſelf at laſt will ſeem a Burthen!—And then—but I forbear to ſhock the Reader with a Repetition of thoſe fatal Conſequences, which too frequently, eſpecially of late Years, have attended ſuch a Situation of Mind.

But 347 Aaa4r 347

But ſuppoſing we are enabled by him who alone has the Power over Life and Death, to refrain from any Act of Deſperation, either on ourſelves or others, it is impoſſible for us, while in this ſelf-tormenting State, to perform any of the Duties of a good Chriſtian, or a good Moraliſt.—All Love and Affection ceaſes in us.— We feel no Commiſeration for the Woes, nor partake not in the Felicity of our Neighbour.— On the contrary, to ſee any one chearful affords new Matter for our Diſpleaſure, and we strive by a thouſand ill-natur’d Actions to deſtroy it.— Unable to take any Satiſfaction but that helliſh one of giving Pain, all about us, as I have already taken Notice, are ſure to feel the Effects of our little Malice; and I know not whether this venting our Spleen, and infuſing ſome Degree of it in others, eſpecially thoſe of a weak Conſtitution, thereby contributing to Diſorders deſtructive of their Health, tho’ to kill may be far from our Intention, is not in reality to be guilty of Manſlaughter at leaſt.

Vapours, Spleen, a Dejection of Spirits, or by what Name ſoever this Epilepſy of the Mind is call’d, whether it proceeds from a real or imagined Cauſe, is certainly the worſt Miſchief one can fall into.—It puzzles the Phyſicians Art, becauſe the Remedy is only in ourſelves, and we are incapable of applying it after the Diſeaſe has gather’d any Strength.—Few are ever cured of it, but all may prevent it by a timely Care.—If therefore we deſire a long-Life, or to Aaa4 enjoy 348 Aaa4v 348 enjoy any of its Bleſſings, let us begin early to harmonize the Mind, to ſeaſon it with a Deſire of doing Good, to preſerve an unſhaken Chearfulneſs in whatever Station we may happen to be placed, to be always reſign’d to the great Diſpoſer of all Things, to keep Peace within our own Boſoms, and accuſtom ourſelves to Acts of Benevolence, Affability, and Good-Humour to all we conſerve or have any Dealings with.— Such Sentiments, and ſuch a Behaviour are the only Antidotes againſt thoſe poiſonous Conditions which corrupt the Manners, pervert the Underſtanding, and rob us of every Thing that either is or ought to be dear to us.

I doubt not but I ſhall be condemn’d by ſome of my Readers, as having expreſs’d myſelf with too much Warmth on this Subject, and by others for having omitted ſaying many Things which the Authority of Holy Writ gives me a ſufficient Warrant to have urged.— As to the firſt, the melancholly Inſtances I daily ſee, or am credibly inform’d of, join’d with the Good-Will I bear to Mankind in general, would not permit me to be more cool;—and as to the other, I thought it proper to leave the ſtrongeſt Part of the Argument to the Reverend Clergy, who can beſt handle it, and whoſe Province it is.—Certainly there is nothing more demands their preſent Care, or would more teſtify their Zeal and Charity for the happy few, who in theſe Times of Libertiniſm ſtill continue to think that attending to Divine Service is a Duty incumbentcumbent 349 Bbb1r 349 cumbent on them, and not to be diſpenſed with.

Let the modiſh Contemners of all Sacred Rites laugh at me as much as they pleaſe, I ſhall not be aſham’d to give it as my firm Belief, that not only the Irregularities and Extravagancies I have mention’d, but many more, on which I have yet been ſilent, owe their Riſe chiefly to the viſible Decay of Religion among us.—If we throw off all Regard for that Omnipotence to whom we owe our Being, our Preſervation, and our future Hopes, well may all Conſideration of our Fellow-Creatures ceaſe.—If we level the Dignity of Human Nature with that of the Brutes, it cannot but be expected we ſhould act as they do; and if we renounce all Pretenſions to another World, it ought not to be wonder’d at, that while we are in this, we ſhould think ourſelves bound to obey no Rules but the Dictates of our own Will, and even quit it when no longer capable of purſuing our wicked Inclinations.

The greateſt Sceptic of them all readily acknowledges that Religion is good for Society, and ſtrikes an Awe into Vice; how then is it conſiſtent with that mighty Reaſon on which they vaunt themſelves, or that Morality they pretend to, as the Guide of their Actions, to depreciate as Inſtitution, which by their own Confeſſion is ſo conducive to the Peace and Happineſs of Mankind?

But 350 Bbb1v 350

But tho’ there be ſome, who doubtleſs imagine they can fathom Infinity with the ſhallow Plummets of their own weak Reaſon, and make uſe with all their Might of what Share they are poſſeſs’d of in oppoſition to him that gave it, I am ſtrongly of Opinion, that the Bulk of thoſe who affect to turn Things Sacred into Ridicule, think quite otherwiſe in their Hearts:—They ſee clearly enough the Truths they will not own, and but pretend to be purblind in their Faith, as many of our modern fine Gentlemen do in their ſenſual Opticks, merely in Complaiſance to others, who have in reality thoſe Defects.

How ample a Field for Obſervation now opens to my View! But I may poſſibly be accuſed, as having already gone too great Lengths for a Female Spectator:—And I muſt indeed confeſs, that ſome late ſad Events which have happen’d, and others which threaten in Families for whom I have the greateſt Regard, have taken me ſomewhat out of my Way; but I ſhall eaſily get home again, and return to my old Path, I hope to the Satiſfaction and Emolument of thoſe, for whoſe Sake this Undertaking was principally ſet on Foot.

Of all the Miſtakes Mankind are guilty of in domeſtick Affairs, there is none greater, or more prevents the Attainment of our Wiſhes, be they of what kind ſoever, than attempting to acquire it merely by Compulſion.—The proud and ſelf-will’d Perſon finds others as little condeſcendingdeſcending 351 Bbb2r 351 deſcending as himſelf, and the one ſerves to harden the other in Obſtinancy and Perverſeneſs.

Whereas, on the contrary, a ſweet gentle Behaviour ſteals upon the Soul by imperceptible Degrees, and melts the moſt obdurate Heart.— In ſeeming to yield, it vanquiſhes; and tho’ the Victories it gains are often ſlow, yet they are entire and permanent.—There is ſomewhat in Human Nature, tho’ it may for a long time prove refractory, through the Corruption of ill Habits or Paſſions, that will not ſuffer it always to hold out againſt a continued Benevolence and Softneſs.

The preſent Age affords a Royal Example of this Truth.—We have ſeen a Hero labouring under the Diſpleaſure of his King and Father, diſgraced, menaced, impriſoned, and at laſt compell’d to give his Hand to a Princeſs for whom at that time he had not the leaſt Inclination.—He wedded her, ’tis true;—the Ceremony of the Church was perform’d;—but that was all.—The Rites of Marriage remain’d uncompleat; nor could any Conſideration prevail on him to become more a Huſband than in Name. —Long did ſhe continue a Virgin Bride,— long ſmother her ſecret Diſcontents;—ſhe complain’d not of his Injuſtice even to himſelf, but preserved an unſhaken Complaiſance and Tenderneſs to him in private, and in publick aſſum’d a Chearfulneſs, which was aſtoniſhing to himſelf, as well as to thoſe who being about Bbb2 them 352 Bbb2v 352 them could not avoid being made acquainted with the Secret of his Behaviour, and at the ſame Time ſhew’d her to others as a Princeſs poſſeſſed of all ſhe had to wiſh.

The Death of his Royal Father, at laſt, put and End to the Conſtraint both had ſo long endur’d, and the poor Princeſs expected nothing leſs than that, as their Marriage had not been conſummated, he would begin his Reign by diſannulling it.

After the chief of the Nobility had paid their Compliments to their new Sovereign, on his Acceſſion to the Throne, they all came into her Apartment on the ſame Occaſion; but the greateſt Part of them more out of Form, than any Belief they had ſhe would enjoy the Title they now gave her: She receiv’d their Congratulations however with her uſual Affability, tho’ with a Heart full of the extremeſt Pertubations, convinc’d within herſelf that the Reſpect ſhe now receiv’d, was no more than a Pageantry of Greatneſs, a mimick State, which would only ſerve to heighten her Diſgrace, when the King’s Intentions towards her ſhould be revealed.

But how did her Diſorders and her Apprehenſions magnify, when the Room being very full, ſhe ſaw thoſe at the lower End fall back to make way for his Majeſty, who in Perſon was juſt entring!—She now not doubted but this unexpected 353 Bbb3r 353 unexpected Viſit was made to let her know ſhe muſt remove from his Palace, and that he had the Cruelty to add to the Mortification it muſt give her, by telling her ſo in the Preſence of thoſe who were at that Inſtant making their Court to her.

Scarce had ſhe the Power to riſe from the Chair ſhe ſat on, to receive him; and when ſhe did ſo, her trembling Limbs refus’d to bear her Weight, and ſhe was obliged to lean on a Lady’s Arm who ſtood next her.—She was endeavouring, however, to make ſome Apology for the Diſorders, ſhe was ſenſible were but too viſible in her Countenance, when he prevented her, by approaching her with Words to this Effect:

Madam, the whole Kingdom knows with what Reluctance I accompany’d you to the Altar, and you know the Manner in which I have lived with you ever ſince:—Both theſe Reflections may give you ſome Reaſon to imagine, that as I am now the Maſter of my Actions I ſhall renounce thoſe Obligations, which I was but compell’d to enter into, and which on my Part have never been fulfill’d;—but know, Madam, that your Patience, Tenderneſs, forgiving Sweetneſs of Diſpoſition, and a thouſand other Virtues of the Mind, have long ſince open’d my Eyes to the Beauties of your Perſon, tho’ there was ſomething in my Nature, call it by what Name you pleaſe, that ’would 354 Bbb3v 354 would not ſuffer me to confeſs it, till I could do ſo in a Manner as ſhould convince you, and all the World, that it was the Effect of my own Free-Will.—That Opportunity is arrived; and I now invite you to partake with me a Throne you are ſo worthy to fill, and a Bed you have been too long abſent from.— Let the Memory of my paſt Injuſtice to your Merit be forgotten, or remember’d only to increaſe your Triumph in ſurmounting it.

The beginning of this Speech ſeeming to confirm all that her moſt dreadful Apprehenſions had ſuggeſted, ſo overcame her Spirits, that the latter Part of it would hardly have been intelligible to her, had ſhe not on his concluding it found herſelf within his Arms, lock’d in the moſt tender and ſtrenuous Embrace, a Favour he had never granted her before, and which now aſſur’d her of the ſo fortunate Reverſe in her Condition.

The Eyes of the whole illuſtrious Aſſembly were fill’d with Tears of Joy at this moving Scene; which ſo divided their Admiration, that they knew not which deſerved it moſt, the Virtues of the Queen, which had occaſion’d a Change the moſt unexpected that could be, or the Generoſity of the King in rewarding it.

What then muſt that amiable Princeſs herſelf fell in ſo ſudden a Tranſition from a State of the ſevereſt Anxiety and Grief, to one all Happineſſ 355 Bbb4r 355 Happineſs and Joy!—to find inſtead, of an implacable Averſion and Diſdain, Proofs of the ſtrongeſt Affection and Reſpect;—inſtead of the Diſgrace ſhe thought immediate and inevitable, to be lifted to the Partnerſhip of Sovereign Power;—inſtead of being reduced to the Pity of the World, to become the Pride and Envy of it;—and to reflect that all this was wholly owing to her own Conduct and Temper, was ſuch accumulated Felicity, as more than compenſated for the Sufferings ſhe had undergone!

This, I think, is a ſhining Inſtance what Wonders Good-Nature, and the Qualities ariſing from it, are capable of producing.—How wretched had this now happy Princeſs been, had ſhe return’d the Indifference of her illuſtrious Spouſe with ſullen Diſcontent, ſecret Reproaches, open Complaining, or any other Marks of Reſentment for the Affront offer’d to her Youth and Beauty, and how greatly would ſuch a Behaviour have juſtified his Diſlike!—On the other hand, how amiable did ſhe appear to him, adorn’d with Meekneſs and Good-Nature; and how eaſily did that great Heart unmoved, unſhaken by the Tempeſts of Authority, bow down and yield itſelf to the more prevailing Force of Love and Softneſs!

Such Inſtances rarely happen in Perſons of this exalted Station; and when they do, attract the Eyes of the whole admiring World: But there 356 Bbb4v 356 there have been thoſe, who, tho’ in a lower Sphere of Life, have behaved in a Manner no leſs worthy of Imitation.

Dorimon and Alithea were married almoſt too young to know the Duties of the State they enter’d into; yet both being extremely good-natur’d, a mutual Deſire of obliging each other appear’d in all their Words and Actions; and tho’ this Complaiſance was not owing to thoſe tender Emotions which attract the Heart with a reſiſtleſs Force, and bear the Name of Love, yet were the Effects ſo much the ſame as not to be diſtinguiſh’d.

The firſt Year of their Marriage made them the happy Parents of an Heir to a plentiful Eſtate.—The Kindred on both Sides ſeem’d to vye with each other, which ſhould give the greateſt Teſtimonies of their Satiſfaction.—All their Friends congratulated this Addition to their Felicity; and for a Time, the moſt perfect Joy and Tranquility reigned, not only in their own Family, but in all thoſe who had any Relation to them.

Alithea after ſhe became a Mother began to feel, by Degrees, a greater Warmth of Affection for him that made her ſo; and having no Reaſon to doubt an equal Regard from him, thought herſelf as happy as Woman could be, and that there were Joys in Love greater than before ſhe had any Notion of.

Quite 357 Ccc1r 349357

Quite otherwiſe was it with Dorimon; the Time was now indeed arrived, which taught him what it was to love.—The Hopes, the Fears, the Anxieties, the Impatiences, all the unnumber’d Cares which are attributed to that Paſſion, now took Poſſeſſion of his Heart:— He pin’d, he languiſh’d, but alas, not for his Wife.—He had unhappily ſeen a young Lady at the Opera, who had Charms for him, which he had never found in the whole Sex before.— As he happen’d to ſit in the ſame Box with her, he had an Opportunity of ſpeaking to her, which tho’ only on ordinary Subjects, every Anſwer ſhe made, to what he ſaid, ſeem’d to him to diſcover a Profuſion of Wit, and gave him the moſt longing Deſire to be acquainted with her.

Fortune, favourable to his Wiſhes, preſented her to him the next Day in the Park, accompany’d with a Lady and a Gentleman, the latter of whom he had a ſlight Knowledge of; —he only bow’d to them the firſt Turn, but gather’d Courage to join Company with them on the ſecond; and perceiving that it was to the other Lady that the Gentleman ſeem’d moſt attach’d, he was at the greater Liberty to ſay a thouſand gallant Things to her, who was the Object of his new Flame.

Melissa, for ſo I ſhall call her, was vain, gay, and in every reſpect one of thoſe modiſh Ladies, of which a former Spectator had given a Ccc Deſcription: 358 Ccc1v 358 Deſcription: She receiv’d the Compliments he made her in a Manner, that made him ſee his Converſation was not diſagreeable to her; and ſome mention happening to be made of a Maſquerade that Night, ſhe told him, as if by Chance, that ſhe was to be there, and that her fair Companion and herſelf were going to beſpeak Habits at a Warehouſe ſhe mention’d, as ſoon as they left the Park.

The Hint was not loſt upon him, and thinking that it would ſeem too preſuming to aſk leave to wait on her at her Houſe, the firſt Time of being in her Company, he reſolved to make it his Buſineſs to find out, if poſſible, what Habit ſhe made choice of, to go to the Maſquerade, where the Freedom of the Place might give him a better Opportunity of teſtifying the Deſire he had of improving an Acquaintance with her.

Accordingly, after their quitting him at the Park-Gate, he followed at a Diſtance the two Chairs that waited for them, and placing himſelf near enough to the Habit-Shop to ſee whoever went in or out, found his Adorable had not deceiv’d him in what ſhe ſaid.—The Ladies having diſpatch’d what they came about, went again into their Chairs.—They were no ſooner gone than he went into the Shop, and on a pretence of ordering a Domine for himſelf, fell into Diſcourſe with the Woman behind the Counter, whom he eaſily prevail’d on to let him know, not only what Habits the Ladies who had juſt left 359 Ccc2r 359 left her had beſpoke, but alſo of what Condition and Character they were.—She inform’d him that Meliſſa had a large Fortune, and her Parents being dead was under the Care of Guardians, whom, notwithſtanding, ſhe did not live with, but had Lodgings to herſelf near Groſvenor Square That ſhe kept a great deal of Company, was what the World call’d a Coquet, but had hitherto preſerv’d her Reputation: That the Lady who was with her was the Daughter of a Country Gentleman ſomewhat related to her, how nearly ſhe could not tell, but heard ſhe was on the point of Marriage with a Perſon of Rank.

Dorimon was tranſported at this Intelligence, as it ſeem’d to promiſe him an eaſy Acceſs to her Acquaintance, and the Privilege of viſiting her; which, probably, in theſe early Days of his Paſſion was all he aim’d at: Or if he thought on any thing further, the Difficulties in accompliſhing his Deſire ſeemd leſs formidable than they would have done, had ſhe been of a more reſerv’d Temper, were already married, or under the Direction of Parents.

Never did Time appear ſo tedious as that before the Hour of going to the Maſquerade: His Impatience brought him there the very firſt, and by that means he had the Opportnity of obſerving every one as the came in.—Meliſſa, he was told, would be in the Habit of a Nun; and tho’ there were ſeveral dreſt in that manner, Ccc2 yet 360 Ccc2v 352360 yet he diſtinguiſh’d her from the others by her Tallneſs the Moment ſhe appear’d.

He accoſted her with the uſual Phraſes of —Do you know me?— and —I know you!— but was not long before he made her ſenſible of his more particular Attachment; and told her, that having loſt his Heart that Morning in the Park, it now directed him how to diſcover the lovely Thief, tho’ diſguiſed, and amidſt ſo numerous an Aſſembly.

This, and ſome other Expreſſions of the ſame nature, convincing her that he was the Gentleman who had made her ſo many Compliments in the Morning, immediately flatter’d her Vanity with a new Conqueſt; and as ſhe found him a Man of Wit, and doubted not of his being a Perſon of Condition by his Appearance, reſolv’d to omit nothing that might ſecure him: Accordingly, as all true Coquets do at firſt, ſhe affected to liſten with a pleas’d Attention to the Aſſurances he gave her of his Paſſion, and frequently let fall ſome Words, as if they eſcaped her inadvertently, that might make him think ſhe would not be ungrateful if he perſiſted in giving her Teſtimonies of a conſtant Flame. Ladies of her Character have always this Maxim at heart, Kindneſs has reſiſtleſs Charms,All Things elſe but faintly warms:It gilds the Lover’s ſervile Chain,And makes the Slave grow pleas’d and vain.

But 361 Ccc3r 353361

But the Miſfortune is, that ſuch a Behaviour for the moſt part proves fatal to themſelves in the End:—They toy ſo long with the Darts of Love, that their own Boſoms are frequently pierced when they little think of it; and the deluding She, who has made Numbers languiſh, becomes a Prey perhaps to one who leaſt merits or regards the Victory he gains.

Dorimon, however, was tranſported to find the Offer he had made her of his Heart ſo well received, and made ſo good Uſe of the Opportunity ſhe gave him of entertaining her the whole Time of the Maſquerade, that he obtained her Permiſſion to attend her home, and as it was then too late for them to continue their Converſation, to viſit her the next Day in the Afternoon.

This quite eſtabliſhed as Acquaintance between them; he went every Day to ſee her; ſhe admitted him when all other Company were denied; he had always the Preference of waiting on her to the Park, the Opera, the Play and, in fine, wherever ſhe went; and when ſome of her more prudent Friends took notice of their being ſo frequently together, and had heard that he was a married Man, ſhe only laughed at their Remonſtrances, and replied, that as ſhe had no farther Concern with him than merely to gallant her about to public Places, ſhe had no Buſineſs to enquire into his private Circumſtances;— that if he were married, his Wife only had to do with 362 Ccc3v 362 with it; and as for her own Part, ſhe thought him a very pretty Fellow, and quite fit for the Uſe ſhe had made of him; adding, that if ſhe were Miſtreſs of his Heart, it was indifferent to her who had his Hand.

Melissa, ’tis probable, had indeed no other View in entertaining Dorimon, and receiving his Addreſſes, than the ſame ſhe had in treating with a like Behaviour Numbers before him, merely for the ſake of hearing herſelf praiſed, and giving Pain, as ſhe imagined, to others of her Admirers, who were leſs frequently admitted.

But how dangerous a Thing it is to have too great an Intimacy with a Perſon of a different Sex, many of a greater Share of Diſcretion than Meliſſa have experienced.—This unwary Lady, in meditating new Arts, the more to captivate her Lover, became enſnared herſelf;—in fine, ſhe liked, ſhe loved as much as any Woman of that airy and volatile Diſpoſition can be ſaid to love:— What ſhe felt for him, however, had all the Effects which the moſt ſerious Paſſion in one of a different Temper could have produced, and Dorimon had as ample a Gratification of his Deſires, as his moſt ſanguine Hopes could have preſented him an Idea of.

Alithea all this while loſt Ground in his Affection;—ſhe every Day ſeemed leſs fair, and whatever ſhe ſaid or did had in it a kind of Aukwardneſs, which before he was far from diſcoveringcovering 363 Ccc4r 363 covering in her;—every thing was now diſpleaſing in her;—if endearing, her Fondneſs was childiſh and ſilly; and if ſhe was more reſerved, ſullen and ill-natured.—One Moment he was out of Humour if ſhe ſpoke, the next offended at her Silence.—He was continually ſeeking ſome Pretence to find Fault with the moſt juſtifiable Conduct that ever was, and even vexed that he had nothing in reality to condemn.—Unhappy, but certain Conſequence of a new Attachment, which not content with the Injury it does, alſo adds to it by Ill-Humour, and a Wiſh of ſome Occaſion to hate the Object we no longer love.

The poor Lady could not but obſerve this Alteration in his Behaviour; but as ſhe was far from gueſſing the real Motive, imputed it to ſome unlucky Turn in his Affairs, tho’ of what Nature ſhe could not imagine, he having a large Fortune ſettled on him at their Marriage, beſide the Reverſion of what his Father ſhould die poſſeſſed of, and was in the Power of nobody to deprive him of.

On the firſt notice ſhe took of his Diſcontent, ſhe aſked him, as became a tender and affectionate Wife, if any thing had happen’d either from her Family or his own to give him Subject of Complaint? But he anſwering with Peeviſhneſs, ſhe deſiſted from any further Enquiry, judging, as he did not think proper to truſt her with the Secret, it would but add to his Diſquiets to teſtify a Deſire of knowing it.

For 364 Ccc4v 356364

For more than a whole Year did ſhe combat his Ill-Humour with Sweetneſs, Gentleneſs, and the moſt obliging Behaviour; and tho’ ſhe began to think herſelf loſt to his Affection, bore even that afflicting Reflection with the moſt ſubmiſſive Patience, ſtill flattering herſelf that, if it were even ſo, he would one Day conſider ſhe deſerved not her ill Fortune.

Jealousy was, however, a Paſſion ſhe was wholly unacquainted with: Many very beautiful Ladies often viſited at her Houſe, and ſhe had never ſeen the leaſt Propenſity in him to Gallantry with any of them;—he rather behaved to them with a greater Reſerve than was conſiſtent with the good Breeding and Complaiſance which might have been expected from a Man of his Years: So that ſhe imagined rather a Diſguſt to the whole Sex was growing on him, than any particular Attachment to one.

Thus did her Innocence and unſuſpecting Nature deceive her, till one Day a Female Friend, more buſy than wiſe, open’d her Eyes to the true Reaſon of her Huſband’s Coldneſs.

This Lady, by means of a Servant Maid ſhe had lately entertained, and who had lived with Meliſſa long enough to know the whole Secret of her Amour with Dorimon, and was diſmiſſed on ſome Diſlike, was made acquainted with all that paſſed between that guilty Pair.—She learned 365 Ddd1r 365 learned from this unfaithful Creature, that Meliſſa had been made a Mother by Dorimon, and that the Child was diſpoſed of to a Perſon, who, for a Preſent of fifty Guineas, had taken the ſole Charge of it, ſo as it ſhould never appear to the Diſgrace of the unnatural Parents.—Not the moſt minute Circumſtance relating to the Affair but was betrayed by this Wretch, partly in Revenge for her having been diſcarded by her former Lady, and partly to gain Favour with the preſent, who, ſhe eaſily perceived, loved to hear News of this kind.

Alithea would fain have treated this Account as fabulous, and have perſwaded her Friend to regard it only as a Piece of Malice in the Reporter; but the other was poſitive in her Aſſertion, and told her, that it was utterly impoſſible for ſuch a Creature to dreſs up a Fiction with ſo many Particulars, and ſuch a Shew of Truth;—beſides, added ſhe, if there were nothing in it, we might eaſily diſprove all ſhe has ſaid, by going to the Woman who has the Care of the Child, and whoſe Name and Place of Abode ſhe has told me.

Compelled at laſt to believe her Miſfortune but too certain, a while ſhe gave a looſe to Tears, and to Complainings, but her good Senſe, as well as good Nature, ſoon got the better of this Burſt of Paſſion; and when her Friend aſked her in what Manner ſhe would proceed in order to do herſelf Juſtice?—What Ddd can 366 Ddd1v 366 can I do, reply’d this charming Wife, but endeavour to render myſelf more obliging, more pleaſant, more engaging if poſſible than my Rival, and make Dorimon ſee, he can find nothing in Meliſſa that is wanting in me.

O Heaven! cried the Lady, can you forgive such an Injury?Yes, reſumed Alithea, ſtifling her Sighs as much as ſhe was able, Love is an involuntary Paſſion.And will you not upbraid him with his Ingratitude, and expoſe Meliſſa? ſaid ſhe.Neither the one, nor the other, anſwered Alithea coldly; either of theſe Methods would indeed render me unworthy of a Return of his Affection; and I conjure and beſeech you, added ſhe, by all the Friendſhip I flatter myſelf you have for me, that you will never make the leaſt Mention of this Affair to any one in the World.

This Moderation was aſtoniſhing to the Perſon who was Witneſs of it; however, ſhe promiſed to be entirely ſilent, ſince it was requeſted with ſo much Earneſtneſs: But how little ſhe was capable of keeping her Word, moſt of her Acquaintance could teſtify, to whom not only the Fault of Dorimon, but the Manner in which his Wife received the Account of it, was not three Days a Secret.

Alithea was no ſooner left alone, and at Liberty to meditate more deeply on the ſhocking Intelligence ſhe had received, than ſhe again began to fancy there was a Poſſibility of its beinging 367 Ddd2r 367 ing falſe:—The Suſpence, however, ſeeming more uneaſy to her than the Confirmation could be, ſhe reſolved to be more fully convinced of the Truth, if there was any means of being ſo.

Accordingly ſhe made an old Woman, who had been her Nurſe in her Infancy, and whoſe Fidelity and Diſcretion ſhe could depend upon, her Confidante in this Affair; and it was concluded between them, that a Spy ſhould be employed to follow Dorimon at a Diſtance whereever he went, and alſo to make a private Enquiry into the Behaviour and Character of Meliſſa among the Neighbours which lived near her.

A very little Search ſerved to unravel the Myſtery, and corroborate all that had been ſaid to her concerning it.—The Emiſſſary ſoon learned that Dorimon failed not one Day in his Viſits to this Engroſſer of his Heart;—that they were often ſeen to go out together in a Hackney- Coach in the beginning of the Evening, and that the Lady returned not till near Morning; —that ſhe had been obſerved ſome Months paſt to be more groſs than uſual, and had affected to wear a looſe Dreſs;—that ſhe had been abſent from her Lodgings three or four Days, came home very much indiſpoſed, and kept her Bed for more than a Week, yet had neither Phyſician nor Apothecary to attend her; and on the whole it was believed by every body, that ſhe had been in that Time delivered of a Child.

Ddd2 The 368 Ddd2v 368

The unhappy Wife of Dorimon, now as much aſſured of his Perfidy as ſhe could be without ocular Demonſtration, ſet herſelf to bear it with as much Patience as ſhe was able; which was indeed ſufficient to render her Behaviour ſuch as made him certain in his own Mind, that ſhe had not the leaſt Suſpicion of the wrong he did her, and alſo compelled him very often to accuſe himſelf for being guilty of what he could not anſwer to his Reaſon, yet had not Strength enough of Reſolution to refrain, even tho’ the Conduct of Meliſſa, who could not help coquetting with others even before his Face, occaſioned him to have many Quarrels with her, and made him ſee, in ſpite of the Paſſion he ſtill continued to have for her, the Difference between a Miſtreſs and a Wife.

Whenever Alithea reflected on this Change in her Huſband, as ſhe had little elſe in her Mind, there was no Part in the Adventure appeared more ſtrange to her, than that a Lady born and educated in the Manner ſhe knew Meliſſa was, and who had ſo far yielded to the Temptations of her Paſſion, as to throw off all Modeſty and Honour for the Gratification of it, ſhould have ſo little Regard for the innocent Babe, the Produce of her guilty Flame, as to abandon it to Miſeries of ſhe knew not what kind.—This was a Barbarity ſhe thought exceeded the Crime to which it owed its Birth, and ſhe more readily forgave the Injury done to herſelf, than that to the helpleſs Infant.

The 369 Ddd3r 369

The more ſhe reflected the more ſhe was aſtoniſhed, that Womankind could act ſo contrary to Nature; and by often picturing to herſelf the Woes to which this poor deſerted Child might probably be expoſed, became at length ſo diſſolved in ſoft Compaſſion, as to form a Reſolution which, I believe, few beſide herſelf was ever capable of.

She had been inform’d, by her officious Friend, both of the Name and Habitation of the Woman with whom this poor little Creature had been left; and without making any one Perſon privy to her Deſign, muffled herſelf up in her Capuchin, and went in a Hackney-Chair to her Houſe: The other received her with a great deal of Reſpect and Kindneſs, imagining ſhe was come on the ſame Buſineſs Meliſſa, and many beſides her, who love the Crime, but hate the Shame of being detected in it, had done.— She was immediately conducted into a private Room, and told, that ſhe might be free in communicating any thing to her, for ſhe was a Perſon who had been entruſted by thoſe who would not be thought guilty of a falſe Step for the World.

The virtuous Alithea bluſhed, even at being ſuſpected by this Woman to be guilty of an Act her Soul ſhuddered at the Thoughts another could commit, and ſoon put an end to the Harangues ſhe was making on her own Care, Skill, and Fidelity:—I come not, ſaid the Wife of 370 Ddd3v 370 of Dorimon, on the Buſineſs you ſeem to think, yet which no leſs requires your Secreſy:—I have no unhappy Infant to leave with you; but to eaſe you of one whom you have lately taken charge of.

The Midwife looked very much ſurprized to hear her ſpeak in this Manner, and knew not well what Anſwer to make; but Alithea ſoon put an End to her Suſpence, by telling her that ſhe was in the Secret of the Lady who was delivered of a Child at her Houſe ſuch a Time, which ſhe mentioned exactly to her, and who had given fifty Guineas to be eaſed for ever of the Trouble of it.—I am, ſaid Alithea, a near Relation of that Gentleman to whom the little Wretch owes its Being, and who cannot conſent that any Thing which does ſo, tho’ begot in an unwarrantable Way, ſhould be deſerted and expoſed in the Faſhion ſuch Children often are;—I therefore deſire that, if alive, you will let me ſee it, that I may provide for it in a different Way than it can be expected you ſhould do for the poor Pittance left with you by the Mother.

The Woman then began to expatiate on the Impoſſibility of her taking the Care ſhe could wiſh to do of Children left with her on thoſe Terms; but that Heaven knew ſhe did all ſhe could, and often laid out more than ſhe received.—She aſſured her that the Child ſhe enquired after was alive, and a fine Boy; and that he was with a Perſon who indeed nurſed for 371 Ddd4r 371 for the Pariſh, but was a very good Woman, and did her Duty.—

That may be, ſaid Alithea, but I muſt have him removed; and if you can provide another who can be depended on, I have Orders from the Father to ſatisfy you for your Trouble, in a more ample Manner than you can deſire: In the mean time, continued ſhe, putting five Guineas into her Hand, take this as an Earneſt, and let the Child be brought here To-morrow about this Time, and a new Nurſe whom you can recommend, and I will give them a Meeting.

A great deal of farther Diſcourſe paſt between them on this Affair, on the Concluſion of which the Woman agreed to do whatever was required of her; and was doubtleſs no leſs rejoiced at the Offer made by this unknown Lady, than ſhe was that by accepting of it ſhe ſhould preſerve from Miſery an innocent Creature, who tho’ ſhe had not ſeen ſhe felt a kind of natural Affection for, as being Dorimon’s.

This excelling Pattern of Good-Nature and Conjugal Love, took with her the next Day every Thing befitting a Child to wear whom ſhe was determined to make her own by Adoption; and no ſooner ſaw him in his new Nurſe’s Arms, than ſhe took him, embraced and kiſs’d him with a Tenderneſs little leſs than maternal; and having agreed upon Terms for him, made him be dreſs’d in her Preſence in the Things ſhe had brought, 372 Ddd4v 372 brought, which were very rich and had belonged to her own Son at his Age; and every thing being ſettled highly to the Satisfaction of all Parties concerned, returned home with a ſecret Contentment in her Mind which no Words are able to expreſs.

Nor was this a ſudden Start of Goodneſs and Generoſity, which I have know ſome People who have manifeſted for a Time and afterward repented of: The more ſhe reflected on what ſhe had done, the more Pleaſure ſhe felt in it.—She never let a Week paſs over without going to ſee her Charge, and how the Perſon entruſted with him behaved.—Had he been in reality her own, and Heir of the greateſt Poſſeſſions, her Diligence in looking over the Management of him could not have been more.

Dorimon all this while perſiſted in his Attachment to Meliſſa, tho’ her ill Conduct gave him ſuch frequent Occaſions of quarrelling with her, that they were ſeveral times on the point of ſeeing each other no more.—The long Intimacy between them, however, gave ſufficient room for Cenſure:—Thoſe leaſt inclined to judge the worſt of things could not help ſaying, that it looked ill for a married Man to appear in all publick Places without his Wife, and in Company with a Lady whom ſhe was not even acquainted with; but others there were who were informed of their more guilty Meetingsings 373 Eee1r 373 ings in private, and talked with ſo little reſerve on the Occaſion, that what was ſaid reached the Ears of the Kindred of them both:—Thoſe of Alithea’s were extremely troubled and incenſed at the Indignity offered to a Woman, whoſe Behaviour not Envy itſelf could traduce;—but deſirous of being better informed of the Truth than by common Fame, they aſked her many Queſtions concerning the Conduct of her Huſband towards her; and gave ſome Hints, plain enough to be underſtood, that the World had but an ill Opinion of him on that Head.

To all which this excellent Wife replied, with an Air that ſhewed how little ſhe was pleaſed with any Diſcourſes of that nature,— telling them, that the idle Scandal of Perſons, who made it their Buſineſs to pick Meanings out of nothing, ought to be deſpiſed, not liſten’d to;—that ſhe herſelf, who muſt be allowed the beſt Judge, found nothing in Dorimon’s manner of living with her to complain of; and that ſhe ſhould never believe that Perſon wiſhed her well, who endeavoured to fill her Mind with any Suſpicions on that Score.

These Anſwers at length ſilenced all who took an Intereſt in her Happineſs; her Friends wiſely reflecting, that tho’ all they had heard of Dorimon were true, the greateſt Addition that could be to her Misfortune, was to be convinced of it.

Eee But 374 Eee1v 374

But the Father of Dorimon, who was a Perſon of great Sobriety, and to whom the Virtues of Alithea had rendered her extremely dear, was leſs eaſily put off than thoſe of her own Blood.—He chid his Son in the ſevereſt Manner; and on his denying what he was accuſed of, and throwing out ſome Inſinuations as if he imagined his Wife had uttered ſome Complaints againſt him.—No, ſaid the old Gentleman, ſhe bears the Wrong you do her but with too much Patience; and either not ſees, or pretends not to ſee, what is obvious to the whole Town beſide. He then ran into many Encomiums on the Sweetneſs of her Diſpoſition; ſaid, that whether her Complaiſance toward him were owing either to an unſuſpecting Nature, or to her Prudence in aiming to regain his Love by ſuch ways as were moſt likely to ſucceed; either of theſe Qualities ought not to loſe their Merit with a Man of Underſtanding; and methinks, added he, ſhould make you aſhamed, as often as you reflect that you have acted ſo as to oblige her to exert all her Love and Virtue to forgive.

These kind of Diſcourſes loſt not all their Effect on Dorimon:—He had often been aſtoniſhed that all the Rumours which had been ſpread concerning his Amour with Meliſſa, and which ſeemed to him next to an Impoſſibility not to have reached the Ears of his Wife, had never occaſioned her to let fall ſome Hints at leaſt, as if ſhe feared a Rival in his Heart.—He very 375 Eee2r 375 very well knew ſhe wanted not a great Share of Diſcernment in other things, and to be blind to that alone, wherein ſhe had the moſt Concern, he never could account for.—He had often heard from his Acquaintance, and ſometimes been a Witneſs of the Behaviour of Women to their Huſbands on the Subject of Jealouſy, and found that of Alithea ſo widely different from all he had been told of others, that he could not help being extremely puzzled what Motive to aſcribe it to; but was obliged to acquieſce in his own Mind with the Remonſtrance made by his Father, that whether it were owing to her own Innoecence, which would not ſuffer her to think another could be guilty, or to the Strength of Reſolution and Diſcretion which enabled her to bear the Injury done to her; he was however either way more fortunate than any Huſband he knew of in the like Circumſtance, and in ſpite of his faulty Inclination for Meliſſa, preſented her to his cooler Thoughts in the moſt amiable Light.

’Tis highly probable, that in maturely balancing the ſolid Merits of the Wife, againſt the light and trifling Allurements of the Miſtreſs, he would in Time have brought himſelf to do Juſtice to the one, and entirely ceaſed to have any Regard for the other; but the Virtues of Alithea had already ſuſtained a ſufficient Trial, and Heaven thought fit to reward them, when ſhe, ſo long inured to Suffering, leaſt expected a Relief.

Eee2 By 376 Eee2v 376

By accuſtoming herſelf to perform the Duties of a Mother to the Child of Meliſſa, ſhe grew really to love him as ſuch; and what at firſt was only Pity, converted by degrees into a tender Affection.—When Dorimon was abroad ſhe would often order him to be brought to her, and ſending for her own at the ſame time, diverted herſelf with obſerving the little Grimaces which the two Infants would make at each other. —She was one Day employed in this manner when Dorimon unexpectedly returned, and came directly into the other Room where they were:— Whatever Indifference he had for his Wife, he had always ſhewn the greateſt Tenderneſs to her Son; and he now took him in his Arms and kiſs’d him, as was his Cuſtom to do.—Here is another little One, ſaid Alithea ſmiling, who claims ſome Portion of your Kindneſs too, and at the ſame time preſented Meliſſa’s Child to him. By what Right, Madam? replied Dorimon, in the ſame gay Tone. As he is mine, reſumed his Wife. Yours! cried he. Yes, anſwered ſhe, he is mine by Adoption; and I muſt have you look upon him as your’s alſo.My Complaiſance for you may carry me great Lengths, ſaid he ; but as I know you do nothing without being able to give a Reaſon, ſhould be glad to learn the Motive of ſo extraordinary a Requeſt.

One of the Children beginning to whimper a little, Alithea ordered the Nurſes to take them both into another Room; and finding Dorimon in an exceeding good Humour, was puſhed on by 377 Eee3r 377 by an irreſiſtable Impulſe, to ſpeak to him in the following Manner.

The Infant you ſaw ſaid ſhe, in a more ſerious Tone than before, and whom I have in Reality taken under my Care, owes its Being to two Perſons of Condition; but being illegally begot, the Care of Reputation prevailed above Nature; and this innocent Produce of an inconſiderate Paſſion I found abandoned, a wretched Caſt-away, either to periſh, or, ſurviving, ſurvive but to Miſeries much worſe than Death.—The Thought was ſhocking to me, and I reſolved to ſnatch him from the threatened Woes, and provide for him out of my private Purſe, in ſuch a Manner as may not make Life hateful to him.

An Action truly charitable, ſaid Dorimon, a little perplexed ; but this is not the Reaſon I expected, ſince by the ſame Rule your Pity might be extended to Hundreds, whom doubtleſs you may find expoſed in the like Manner.—It muſt therefore be ſome Plea more forcible than mere Compaſſion that attaches you particularly to this Child.

Alithea, who had foreſeen what Anſwer her Huſband would make, was all the Time he was ſpeaking debating within herſelf, whether it would be beſt for her to evade or to confeſs the Truth of this Affair; and not being able to determine as yet, appeared no leſs confuſed and diſordered than ſhe would have done, if 378 Eee3v 378 if about to make an Acknowlengement for ſome great Offence:—At laſt, A Plea there is indeed, ſaid ſhe, but— here her Voice and Courage failed her, and ſhe was utterly unable to him the Satisfaction he had aſked.

Dorimon was confounded beyond Meaſure, and not knowing what to think of a Behaviour ſo new, and which ſeemed to denote ſhe laboured with ſome Secret of great Importance, he looked ſtedfaſtly on her for ſome Minutes, and perceiving that ſhe changed Colour, and had her Eyes fixed on the Earth, grew quite impatient for the Certainty of what, as he has ſince confeſſed, he then began to conceive, cried out, What Plea?—What Myſtery?

A Myſtery, replied ſhe, which I had much rather you would gueſs at than oblige me to unravel.—Oh Dorimon! continued ſhe, after a Pauſe, is there no Inſtinct in Nature that can inform you; my Affection for the Father makes his Offspring, of whomſoever born, dear to me?—I cannot hate Meliſſa ſo much as I love Dorimon; and while I am performing the Offices of a Mother to this Child, forget the Share ſhe has in him, to remember what I owe to him as yours.

The Reader’s own Imagination muſt here ſupply the Place of Deſcription.—Impoſſible it is for any Words to give a juſt Idea of what a Huſband, circumſtanced like Dorimon, muſt feel! —To have his Fault thus palpably made known to 379 Eee4r 379 to her, whom he moſt deſired ſhould be ignorant of it;—to receive the higheſt Obligations, where he could have expected only Reſentment; —and to hear the Detection of what he had done diſcovered to him by the injured Perſon, in ſuch a manner as if herſelf, not he, had been the Criminal, ſo hurried his Thoughts, between Remorſe, Aſtoniſhment, and Shame, as left him not the Power of making the leaſt Reply to what ſhe ſaid:—He walked ſeveral Turns about the Room in a diſordered Motion, endeavouring to recover a Preſence of Mind, which ſeemed ſo neceſſary on this Occaſion, but in vain; and at laſt, throwing himſelf into an eaſy Chair, juſt oppoſite to that in which his Wife was ſitting, Good God! cried he, am I awake!—Can it be poſſible there is ſuch a Woman in the World!

The ſweet tempered Alithea could not ſee him in theſe Agitations without a Concern, which made her almoſt repent her having occaſioned them:—She ran haſtily to him, and throwing her Arms about his Neck, My dear, dear Dorimon, ſaid ſhe, let it not trouble you that I am in Poſſeſſion of a Secret which I neither ſought after, nor, when in a manner forced upon me, ever divulged to any Perſon in the World.—Conſider me as I am—your Wife—Part of yourſelf,—and you will then be aſſured you can be guilty of no Errors, which I ſhall not readily excuſe, and carefully conceal.—Judge of my Sincerity, continued ſhe, renewing her Embraces, by my Behaviour,haviour, 380 Eee4v 380 haviour, which you are ſenſible has not the leaſt been changed by my Knowledge of this Affair.

O Alithea, cried he, preſſing her tenderly to his Boſom, I am indeed ſenſible how little I have deſerved ſuch Proofs of your amazing Goodneſs;—my Soul overflows with Gratitude and Love:—Yet how can I attone for my paſt Crime?By mentioning it no more, interrupted ſhe, and to let me ſhare in that Heart my Want of Charms denies me the Hope of filling wholly.

To theſe endearing Words he anſwered only in broken Sentences, but ſuch as more teſtified what ſhe wiſhed to find in him towards her than the moſt eloquent Speeches could have done.— She now was convinced that the Victory ſhe had gained over him was perfect and ſincere, and would have known a Tranſport without Alloy, but for the tender Pain it gave her to find ſo much Difficulty in perſwading him to forgive himſelf.

He held her ſitting on his Knee, with his Arms round her Waiſt, while ſhe related to him the means by which ſhe was made acquainted with his Crime; concealing no Part either of what ſhe heard, the Steps ſhe took after the Knowledge of her Misfortune, and the various Emotions which paſſed in her Soul, during the long Series of his Indifference to her: In all which he found ſomething to admire, and the more he ſaw into the Greatneſs, as well as Sweetneſsneſs 381 Fff1r 381 neſs of her Mind, the more his Love and Aſtoniſhment increaſed.

The firſt Proof he gave her, that ſhe ſhould have nothing for the future to apprehend on the Score of Meliſſa, was to write a Letter to that Lady; wherein he acquainted her, that, ſenſible of the Injury he had done the beſt of Wives and Women, he was determined to purſue no Pleaſures in which ſhe did not participate.—He repreſented to her the Shame and Folly of carrying on an Intrigue of the Nature theirs had been in the moſt pathetick Terms, and adviſed her to think of living ſo as to regain that Reputation in the World which, he was obliged to confeſs, he had contributed to make her loſe;—aſſured her that the Reſolution he had now made, of ſeeing her no more, was not to be ſhaken by any Arguments in her Power to make uſe of; therefore begged ſhe would endeavour to follow his Example, and forget all that had paſſed between them.

This, he ſhewing to Alithea, gave her a new Opportunity of exerting her Good-Nature.—She made him write it over again, in order to ſoften ſome Expreſſions in it, which ſhe would have it were more harſh than was becoming in him, to a Woman he had once loved; and perhaps would have rendered it at laſt too gentle for the Purpoſe it was intended, could ſhe have prevailed on him to alter it according to the Dictates of her own compaſſionate and forgiving Fff Soul. 382 Fff1v 382 Soul. But he beſt knew the Temper of the Perſon he had to deal with, and would not bid her Adieu in ſuch a Manner as ſhould give her the leaſt room to flatter herſelf it would not be his laſt.

Tho’ he deſired no Anſwer he received one, filled with the moſt virulent Reproaches on himſelf, and mingled with many contemptuous Reflections on his Wife.—The firſt he was unmoved at, but the other totally deſtroyed all the Remains of Regard and Conſideration he had for her. —He tore the Letter into a thouſand Pieces, and, to ſhew this injurious Lady the Contempt and Reſentment with which he had treated what ſhe ſaid, gathered up the ſcattered Fragments, and ſent them back to her under a ſealed Cover, but without writing a Word.

After this he was entirely eaſy, Meliſſa made no Efforts to regain him, but contented herſelf with railing againſt him and the innocent Alithea wherever ſhe went; but, moſt People knowing the Motive, her Malice had no other Effect than to make herſelf laughed at:—She ſoon, however, entered into a new Amour, and in the Noiſe that made, all Talk of her former Engagement was laid aſide; while the happy Alithea enjoyed the Recompence of her Virtue in the continued Tenderneſs of a Huſband, who never could have loved her half ſo well had he not loved elsewhere, becauſe he never could have had an Opportunity of 383 Fff2r 383 of being ſo well acquainted with thoſe Virtues in her, which were the Ground of his Affection.

The Compaſſion ſhe had ſhewn for the Child of Meliſſa was not a temporary Start of Goodneſs,—ſhe perſiſted in the moſt tender Care of him,—had him educated in the ſame manner with her own,—and to alleviate the Misfortune of his Birth, engaged Dorimon to ſet apart a conſiderable Sum of Money, in order to put him into a Buſineſs, which, when he grows of Years to undertake, it will, according to all human Probability, be his own Fault if he does not ſuceed in.

I have been the more tedious in this Narrative, becauſe I think there is no Particular in the Conduct of the amiable Alithea that ought to be omitted, or may not ſerve to ſhew how much a perfect Good-Nature may enable us to ſuſtain, and to forgive.

I would have no Huſband, however, depend on this Example, and become a Dorimon in Expectation of finding an Alithea in his Wife:— It is putting the Love and Virtue of a Woman to too ſevere a Teſt, and the more he thinks her capable of forgiving the leſs ought he to offend.

Numberless are the Branches of Good-Nature! Numberleſs are the Benefits we receive ourſelves by it, and confer on others! Yet I have obſerved that this admirable Quality, tho’ Fff2 in 384 Fff2v 384 in every one’s Mouth, is underſtood but by few: Moſt People are apt to confound it with another, which indeed in ſome repects has very much the Appearance of it, but is in reality far ſhort of it in Value. It may juſtly be called the Handmaid of that great Lady, it obeys her Commands, delivers her Decrees, and waits on all her Actions; but can do little of itſelf, and ſhould never be put in Compariſion.

What I mean, is an eaſy Freedom of Behaviour, a ready Compliance with any thing propoſed in Company, an Endeavour to divert and pleaſe, and ſometimes a Hoſpitality and Liberality; and yet a Perſon may be all this without that Good-Nature I have attempted to deſcribe, and which is able to work ſuch prodigious Effects.— The Term I would therefore give this inferior good Quality is Good-Humour, and how wide a Difference there is between that and Good-Nature few but have experienced.

Not but it has its Virtues, tho’ in a leſs extenſive Degree, and not equally permanent.— Meer Good-Humour, if abuſed, will degenerate into its Reverſe; but Good-Nature is always the ſame, and incapable of changing:—Like the Divine Source, of which it is an Emanation, it returns Injuries with Benefits; it endeavours to work on the Bad-Heart that offers them by ſoft Perſwaſion, and pities what it cannot mend.— In fine, Good-Humour is obliged to others for its Support, Good-Nature only to itſelf.

As 385 Fff3r 385

As they, however, appear ſo much alike, that, without a long and perfect Acquaintance with the Perſon, they are not to be diſtinguiſhed, and are often miſtaken even by ourſelves, a little Retroſpect into our Actions, and the Source of them, is abſolutely neceſſary; and then whoever is poſſeſſed of the one may, without much Difficulty, improve it into the other.

There is no one Thing which affords a greater Proof of Good-Nature than being communicative, and imparting, as much as in us lies, what Degree of Knowledge we are poſſeſſed of to thoſe who may have leſs extended Capacities, or fewer Advantage of Improvement.— Good-Humour will make us ready to acknowledge and commend, perhaps beyond what it even merits, any Excellence we find in another; but Good-Nature will make us take the pains of inſtructing how that Excellence may be heighten’d. —Good-Humour ſhuns not an Opportunity of obliging; but Good-Nature is induſtrious in ſeeking out as many as it can.—Good-Humour frequently promiſes more than is in its Power to perform, and Good-Nature does more than it gives you Reaſon to expect.

These are ſome of the many Marks by which, with a little Application, you may know the Difference between them; and it is certainly the Buſineſs of every prudent Perſon to make this Diſcovery in all thoſe they have any Dealings with, or Dependance upon, becauſe otherwiſe they 386 Fff3v 386 they may be deceived into too high an Opinion of the one, and fail in their due Regard to the other.

There are People in the World who feel no Satisfaction equal to that of doing good;—who wait not to be aſked to do every thing in their Power to ſerve you; and will not ſcruple to do a ſmall Prejudice to themſelves, if by it they may procure a great Advantage to their Neighbours; yet, notwithſtanding all this innate Benevolence and Sweetneſs of Diſpoſition, have ſo ungracious a manner in conferring Favours, that the Receiver loſes half the Satisfaction of the Benefit, and the Giver more than half the Praiſes due to his Generoſity:—The Soul of ſuch a one, has in it all thoſe heavenly Qualities which make up what we call Good-Nature; but there are oftentimes Deficiencies either in the Education or Temperament of a Perſon, which will not ſuffer it to ſhine forth with that unblemiſhed Luſtre that ſo much attracts the Love and Admiration of Mankind; and the higheſt Character he bears from thoſe moſt obligated to him, is that of a a ſurly good Man.

A benefit beſtowed in a peeviſh, ſullen, or dictatorial way, is making one feel too ſeverely the Neceſſity we are under of receiving it; and ſome there are ſo delicate, that they would rather chuſe to remain under the moſt cruel Diſtreſſes, than be relieved from them by a Perſon of this Caſt.

good- 387 Fff4r 387

Good-Humour is therefore the proper Channel though which the Benefits flowing from Good-Nature ought to be conveyed, in order to compoſe a truly amiable Character.

I doubt not but my Readers will underſtand that by Good-Humour I mean Courteſy, Affability, Chearfulneſs, and that certain Softneſs of Manners which is ſo engaging to all we come among; but more particularly to thoſe who are any way obliged to us.—Thoſe Qualities, I think, may with Propriety enough be compared to ſo many ſweetly purling Streams, which, tho’ too ſhallow to afford us any great Advantages, delight and charm us with their gentle Murmurs; and Good-Nature to the capacious River which feeds their Currents, and is the Source of all the Pleaſures they produce; yet, but for theſe Outlets, would be apt to ſwell into a Roughneſs diſagreeable both to the Eye and Ear of all who approach its Banks.

Surinthus and Montano are two Gentlemen who have an equal Propenſity to Actions of Generoſity and Benevolence, yet are perfect Oppoſites in their manner of conducting them. —A Merchant in the City, who had been in a very great Intimacy with them both for a long time, happen’d by ſome Loſſes at Sea, and other Diſappointments, to be very much diſtreſs’d in his Circumſtances:—Bills came faſt upon him, and tho’ he paid while he was able, and frequently put himſelf to the utmoſt Inconveniency to do ſo, 388 Fff4v 388 ſo, being willing to preſerve his Credit in the hope of better Succeſs in other Ventures he had abroad; yet he was juſt upon the point of Breaking, when one Day Surinthus, having heard Whiſpers of his Condition, came to him, and accoſting him in an abrupt manner, What, ſaid he, is it true that you are undone?—They tell me you muſt become a Bankrupt in three or four Days, and that there is no Poſſibility of your holding out longer.

The Merchant was extremely ſhock’d, but confeſſed that what he had heard was but too true;—and that he muſt yield to his hard Fate unleſs he could raiſe a thouſand Pounds immediately; which Sum, he ſaid, would make him perfectly eaſy till the Arrival of a Ship, by which he hoped better News.

That is uncertain, replied Surinthus, with his former Roughneſs; however, I’ll advance the Money for you:—Call on me two or three Hours hence, and I will have it ready.—But, continued he, you have certainly been guilty of ſome ill Management, or you could not have fallen into theſe Misfortunes;—then proceeded to tell him he did not like his dealing with ſuch a one, and ſuch a one, and his trading to this or that Part of the World; and that, indeed, he had for a good while expected it would come to this.

So 389 Ggg1r 389

So true are the Poet’s Words: When Things go ill, each Fool pretends t’ adviſe;And, if more happy, thinks himſelf, more wiſe.

All this the poor Merchant was obliged to bear for the ſake of the Favour he was to do him; which was, indeed, truly generous and friendly, tho’ offered in a Faſhion a little galling to one who was himſelf a Man of a great Spirit, and had been more accuſtomed to confer than receive on this Adventure, before he was told Montano deſired to ſpeak with him.

This Gentleman who had heard the ſame News Surinthus had done, and inſtigated by the ſame Motive, came to make an Offer of his Service, tho’ in a manner altogether the reverſe.— He took not the leaſt notice of his Misfortunes; and behaving with his uſual Chearfulneſs and Complaiſance, after ſome Talk on ordinary Affairs, I am glad, ſaid he, I was ſo fortunate to find you at home; for I have a Requeſt to make you, which your Compliance with will eaſe me of a great deal of Trouble.

The Merchant having aſſured him that he ſhould rejoice in any Opportunity of obliging him, I have juſt received fifteen hundred Pounds, reſumed the other, and to tell you the Truth, I do not know how to diſpoſe of it; — I do not care Ggg to 390 Ggg1v 390 to keep ſuch a Sum in my Houſe, and I have no Banker at preſent, nor any way of laying it out to my mind;—I ſhould therefore be infinitely obliged to you, if you would take it and throw it into Trade.—If I know Perſons of your great Dealings in the World can at any Time have Opportunities of getting rid of Money to Advantage.

Two ſuch Offers in one Day, and from Gentlemen who had no other Obligations to him, than ſuch as were reciprocal and common between Perſons of equal Fortunes and Conditions, might very well aſtonish him; but the engaging Manner in which the latter was made, did much more ſo. However, as he was not perfectly aſſured Montano was acquainted with his Neceſſities, he could not think of abuſing ſo generous a Friendſhip, and therefore frankly diſcloſed to him all he knew before as well as himſelf.

While he was making the Detail of his Loſſes, the other gave him frequent Interruptions, telling him, that ſuch Accidents were no Prodigies among Men of Buſineſs;—that what one Year took away, another might return; and that he was ſo far from thinking a much greater Sum than he had mentioned would be unſafe in his Hands, that nothing could give him a more ſenſible Mortification than his not accepting it.— I do aſſure you, Sir, ſaid he, I offer you no more than what I can very well ſpare; and if Fortune ſhould be ſo unjuſt to your Merits, as not to enable you 391 Ggg2r 391 you to return it in one, two, three Years, or longer, my Affairs will ſuffer nothing by the Delay; and I ſhould take it unkindly, ſhould you ever think of the Affair with any ſort of Concern, till it entirely ſuits with your Convenience to repay it.

With Words like theſe the Merchant was prevailed on to accept the Money; and as ſoon as he had received it, he went to his more ſurly Friend, and after having returned thoſe grateful Acknowledgments, which it muſt be confeſſed he merited, told him that an unlook’d for Piece of good Fortune had happened, which gave him the Means of ſatisfying his Creditors without that kind Aſſiſtance he had been ſo generous to offer.

Surinthus ſeemed neither pleaſed nor diſpleaſed; but in his old rough Faſhion, tho’ honeſt Meaning, ſaid, it was very well;—that he ſhould have been welcome to the Money if he had wanted it,—and that if ever he happen’d to have occaſion again he might know where to find a Friend.

Now tho’ any one in the ſame Circumſtances with this Merchant, would think it a great Bleſſing to meet with a Friend like Surinthus, yet every body muuſt allow that the Weight of ſuch an Obligation ſat much lighter, by the engaging Manner in which Montano conferred it.

Strange it appears to me, that ſome Perſons, who go very great Lengths to ſerve their Friends, 392 Ggg2v 392 Friends, ſhould not go a little farther, and adorn their Bounties with Good-Humour, ſince it would coſt them nothing, and is no leſs conducive to the Happineſs of the Receiver, than the more expenſive Part of the Obligation.

Certain it is, they do not ſee this Deficiency in themſelves, or they would never leſſen the Merit of their Favours, by a wrong Manner of conducting them, eſpecially as it is an Error in Behaviour ſo eaſily avoided.

I would, therefore, fain perſuade every one, who is about to give a Proof of his Good-Nature, in any friendly and benevolent Office, to contrive it ſo, as that what he does may ſeem a Favour to himſelf.—This it was that made the Offer of Montano ſo much more acceptable than that of Surinthus;—this ſets a double Value on the ſmalleſt Obligations, and makes the Receiver eaſy under the greateſt.

End of the Sixth Book.

393 Ggg3r 393

Index to the Firſt Six Books.

A

  • Author, her Character. Page 23
  • Arminia, her bad Taſte. p. 23
  • Alcales and Palmyra, their Story. p. 37
  • Ariſtobulus, how excuſeable. p. 77
  • Antipathy in Nature not to be worn off. p. 33
  • Altizeera much to be pity’d. p. 104
  • Amaranthus, his Paſſion for Aminta. p. 108
  • Applauſe, how intoxicating. p. 116
  • Avarice the worſt of Paſſions. p. 135
  • Adulphus ruined by a Dream. p. 153
  • Ambition has no Bounds. p. 164
  • Actions unhappy, the true Cauſe. p. 192
  • Averſion to Solitude a Fault. p. 202
  • Adonius his Character. p. 226
  • Amadea, her Cauſes for Grief. p. 227
  • Abuſe of thinking worſe than not thinking at all. p. 234
  • Adventure of a Traveller. p. 239
  • Auctions greatly frequented. p. 256
  • Alvario unhappy in his Children. p. 271
  • Accompliſhments, which moſt valuable. p. 299
  • Amaſina, how made unhappy. p. 303
  • Armico too haſty in his Judgment. p. 313
  • Admiration, by what preſerv’d. p. 328
  • Alithea, an Inſtance of her Generoſity. p. 369

B

  • Blew Domine, Cauſe of a ſad Miſtake. p. 47
  • Brother, his Diſtreſs. p. 51
  • Bloometta, her unhappy Con dition. p. 75
  • Bellair and Miſeria, an ill match’d Couple. p. 90
  • Beau Bellfort and Miſs Tittup, the beſt Wiſh can be made for them. p. 103
  • Bethlem. who fit for it. p. 161
  • Belliza, her Hiſtory. p. 170.
  • Britiſh Ladies different from what they were formerly. p. 324
  • Beauty hurt by Ill-nature. p. 337
  • Body, how far influenc’d by the Mind. p. 342
  • Benefits, the Manner in which they 394 Ggg3v ii they ought to be beſtow’d. p. 337

C

  • Clitlander ſucceſsful in Love-Affairs. p. 14
  • Country Ladies eaſily ſeduced. p. 32
  • Caution neceſſary in Parents. p. 30
  • Clergy, a worthy Member. p. 65
  • Celinda unfortunate in her Love. p. 76
  • Cleora, a Warning to her. p. 39
  • Cleophil, his ungenerous Behaviour. p. 179
  • Caprice of a Philoſopher. p. 189
  • Climate of England the ſame as ever. p. 191
  • Contemplation, how pleaſing in all ſtations. p. 200
  • Charleroy, Madam, her Adventure at the Opera. p. 287
  • Criſis, not to be neglected. p. 300
  • Compulſion hateful to all reaſonable Beings. p. 350
  • Complaiſance always neceſsary. p. 384

D

  • Danger of allowing Youth too much Liberty. p. 5
  • Dalinda, her mean Spirit. p. 86
  • Diverſion-Mongers very induſtrious. p. 263
  • Diſobedience juſtly puniſhed. p. 286
  • Draxilla, an Inſtance of ſelf- created Wretchedneſs. p. 345
  • Dorimon, how reclaimed. p. 357

E

  • Euphrosine, her Character. p. 5.
  • Erminia, how ruined. p. 45.
  • Examples of unhappy Marriages. p. 122.
  • Effeminacy in the Army cenſur’d. p. 104
  • Elmira, an extraordinary Caſe. p. 162
  • Elements ſeldom blended equally. p. 231
  • England, Ladies treated with too little Reſpect, and wherefore. p. 291
  • Examination into ourſelves neceſſary. p. 335

F

  • French Ladies ſeldom make an ill Uſe of Liberty. p. 22
  • Fortune-Hunters, their Method. p. 25
  • Flavia, her Adventures. p. 58
  • Father, the ſordid Contrivance of one. p. 129
  • Fidelio, his Deſpair. p. 132
  • Fortune the Author and Breaker of moſt Friendſhips. p. 187
  • Free-Will not to be doubted. p. 239
  • France, the many innocent Diverſions to be found there. p. 291
  • Fop may be trifled with. p. 316
  • Fancy never idle. p. 346
  • Favours, the Merit of them leſſened by an ill Manner of beſtowing. p. 392
Girls 395 Ggg4r iii

G

  • Girls naturally vain. p. 11 22
  • Generoſity of a Lover. p. 54
  • Glory and Love not incompatible. p. 137
  • Diſtruſt a baſe Paſſion. p. 135
  • Gaming and Gameſters, how treated. p. 143
  • Grant of our Deſires often unhappy. p. 162
  • Good Breeding inferior to Reputation. p. 193
  • Gaiety in Exceſs, how to be corrected. p. 231
  • Gratitude highly due to Parents. p. 267.
  • Good Nature, what it is. p. 328
  • Good Nature and Good Humour, in what they differ. p. 384

H

  • Hawkers dangerous to be encouraged, p. 25
  • Huſband, the innocent Stratagem of one. p. 34
  • Honour, an Inſtance of it. p. 55
  • Home News. p. 105
  • Happineſs doubly welcome after Adverſity. p. 188
  • Hope ought to be encouraged. p. 189
  • Humours, the Way to rectify them. p. 231
  • Hoydens, ſome naturally ſo. p. 324

I

  • Jealousy, the Spite it occaſions. p. 42.
  • Impertinence of ſome People. p. 72
  • Inſtance of publick Gratitude. p. 118
  • Imperio, a love of Beauty. p. 129
  • Impreſſion made by a Dream. p. 153
  • Imperio, the Mortification he gave a Lady. p. 296
  • Inconſiſtencies in Love. p. 317
  • Ill Nature, the Source of it. p. 334
  • Infancy a Claim to Tenderneſs p. 336.

K

  • Key to the Female Spectator forbid, p. 7
  • Kindneſs ill repaid. p. 185

L

  • Love, when to be approv’d. p. 8
  • Liking often taken for Love. p. 11
  • Luxury the Encouragement it finds. p. 30
  • Lindamira, her Story. p. 93
  • Lacroon, his Character. p. 129
  • Lotteries, numerous of late. p. 147
  • Leolin and Elmira, their Story. p. 167
  • Lavaille, 396 Ggg4v iv
  • Lavaille, his Amour with Belinda. p. 215
  • Loyter Count, an odd Proceeding in him. p. 223
  • Life, what Time of it is beſt for Improvement. p.267
  • Letter to the Female Spectator. p. 262

M

  • Mira, her Character. p. 4
  • Marteſia, her Adventures. p. 12
  • Marriages haſty ſeldom happy. ibid.
  • Maſquerades, how prejudicial. p. 31
  • Marianne, a ſeaſonable Warning to her. p. 33
  • Mirtano and Cleora, what may be expected from their Union. p. 33
  • Macro his Brutality. p. 87
  • Miletta, her affected Modeſty. p. 125
  • Mercator, his Story. p. 194
  • Manella troubleſome in her Conjugal Affecction. p. 194
  • Man, the Dignity of his Species. p. 239
  • Mind delights in Contemplation. p. 243
  • Montabin Count, his Story. p. 244
  • Mode, not always to be follow’d. p. 269
  • Modeſty the chief Grace of Women. p. 298
  • Marianne a Play, fatal to the Author. p. 329
  • Manſlaughter, a new way of being guilty of it. p. 347
  • Meliſſa, a great Coquet. p. 357
  • Myſtery pleaſingly unravelled! p. 378
  • Montano, the Manner of his conferring Obligations. p. 387

N

  • Negratia, her Character. p. 24.
  • Nothing certain till poſſeſs’d. p. 128
  • Nature corrupted by the Paſſions. p. 134
  • Numbers make their own Misfortunes. p. 341

O

  • Over Delicacy cenſur’d. p. 105

P

  • Parents ſometimes in Fault. p. 22
  • Pride, when laudable. p. 68
  • Pompilius, his Marriage, why blam’d. p. 75
  • Phillamont and Daria, their capricious Deſtiny. p. 86
  • Peace a Promoter of Finikins. p. 104
  • Panthea, her ſad Dilemma. p. 131
  • Poſterity, how far to be regarded. p. 151
  • Paſſions, duly regulated, of Service to us. p. 163
  • Philoſopher, his Remark. p. 139
  • Painting a fine Amuſement. p. 225
  • Pantomimes, how uſeful. p. 259
  • Poetry not enough encourag’d. p. 322. Pre- 397 Hhh1r v
  • Pretences various for ill Humour. p. 341
  • Patience an extraordinary Example. p. 343

Q

  • Question proper to be aſk’d. p. 33.
  • Quarrels between married People, Matters of Ridicule for others. p. 221

R

  • Rinaldo, his Diſappointment. p. 67
  • Rules obſerv’d by the Female Spectator. p. 71
  • Rebecca Facemend her Bill. p. 106
  • Reſolve, the Obſtinacy of one. p. 173
  • Regret, an Inſtance of it. p. 137
  • Recollection neceſsary. p. 201
  • Ranelagh too much frequented. p. 203
  • Reſpect, how attracted. p. 297
  • Religion, when real, excites Good Nature. p. 355.
  • Royal Example of Generoſity. p. 351

S

  • Seomanthe her Story. p. 24
  • Simpathy of Humours requiſite to make Marriage happy. p. 92
  • Source, the true one of our Calamities. p. 192
  • Solitary Life hated by moſt. p. 200
  • Socrates, an Inſtance that Virtue is to be acquir’d by Application. p. 230
  • Sarcaſm of a Lady to an Apoſtate Patriot. p. 235
  • Sneer of a Son on his Father’s marrying a very young Wife. p. 237
  • Subſcriptions intended for Maſquerades at Ranelagh. p. 293
  • Stage affords the nobleſt Diverſion. p. 320
  • Softneſs, the moſt prevailing Aims of Women. p. 338
  • Sceptic confeſſes too much without he confeſſed more. p. 349
  • Surinthus, his ſurly Friendſhip. p. 388

T

  • Tenderilla, her romantick Turn. p. 9
  • True Love unchangeable. p. 11
  • Temptations overcome are Pleaſures. p. 67
  • Tempo-Amiarians, what they are. p. 72
  • Tulip Mrs. her Folly. p. 85
  • Tennis, a manly Exerciſe. p. 149
  • Tryal of a Lover. p. 185
  • Tragedy, its Intent. p. 258
  • Taſte, the Difference of the falſe and the true Taſte. p. 260
  • Timoleon his Character. p. 265
  • Talapach Ladies, their Habits may probably become our Mode. p. 325
  • Thaumantius, a great Valetudinarian. p. 344
V 398 Hhh1v vi

V

  • Vaux-Hall, the Temple of Flora. p. 56
  • Volpone, his ſtrange Succeſs. p. 95
  • Unity among Kindred recommended. p. 143
  • Vizards, when worn at the Theatres. p. 319
  • Vapours, an Epilepſy of the Mind. p. 347
  • Virago, how ridiculous. p. 337

W

  • World, the Ridicule of it on unſuitable Matches. p. 74
  • Women, why fond of Military Gentlemen. p. 117
  • Wife of a late General her Behaviour. p. 120
  • Whiſt, the Game, much admir’d. p. 146
  • Widow, her Reaſon for marrying. p. 205.
  • Widow, her rambling Humour. p. 207

X

  • Xeuxis, a conſummate Hypocrite. p. 165

Y

  • Youth and Age diſagreeable to each other. p. 79

End of Vol. I.

Errata.

  • Book V. Page 268, for Vanity read vainly
  • Book V, Page 319, for Miſtreſs little read little Miſtreſs
N.B. The Bookbinder muſt obſerve to place the Index at the End of Book VI.