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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


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

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 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 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 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.


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 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 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 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. 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.

These three 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 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 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, 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 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 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; 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 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 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. 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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, 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 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 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 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 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 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- 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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, 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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. 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, 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 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, 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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. 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.


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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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, 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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; 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 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 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 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, 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 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 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- 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 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 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:


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- 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 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 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 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 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
  • For P4r 107
  • 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 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 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 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 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 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 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- 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.

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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 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 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 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.


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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 300 l. 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 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 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 10,000 l. — 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 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 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: 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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- 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 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 1,600 l. 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 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 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 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 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 200 l. 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 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 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. 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 300 l. 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, 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 1000 l.. 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, 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 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 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 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 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 2000 l. 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 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 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 2000 l. 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 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 4000 l. 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Dd2r 197 that Woman, by the Name and Title of his Wife, the Sum of 60,000 l. and 40,000 l. 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 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.


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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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, 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 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 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 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 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, 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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- 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 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, 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 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 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 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, 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 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 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 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 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 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, 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 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 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 Per