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In the center an angel sits on a throne. Next to it stand four figures, one holding a sword, one holding an anchor, and one leaning on a book entitled Morality. On its other side, five women dance in a circle; a serpent and staff lies next to them.


The Female Spectator.

Vol. II.

Le Luxe et le Jeu sont deux grandes Sources de Misere. Ce n’est pas la Naissance, les Biens, ou les grandes Emplois, qui vous rendront considerable dans le Monde, c’est l’Usage que vous en ferez. L’Abbê de Bellegarde.
Engraving of a bearded man surrounded by arabesques and on a ribbon below, the inscription Printed by T. Gardner.. Above the portrait is the inscription Cowley.

Printed and published by T. Gardner, at
Cowley’s-Head, opposite St. Clement’s-Church
in the Strand. 1745M,DCC,XLV.

π2v A1r

To Her Grace the Dutchess of Bedford, This Second Volume of the Female Spectator is Inscribed (With all due Submission)

By Her Grace’s Most Devoted Servants,

The Authors.

A1v A2r

The Female Spectator.

Book VII.

There is no one Thing more generally talk’d of, and so little understood, as the Sin of Ingratitude. All complain of it in others, but none acknowledge it in themselves; tho’ few there are, even among the most generous spirited Persons in the World, that are not at some Times compell’d, by an unavoidable Necessity, to Actions which may draw on them the Imputation of this Vice:――The Truth is, that to be totally free from it depends not wholly on ourselves but on Chance, Circumstances and the Influence of Passions:――One may be guilty of it even without knowing we are so; and innocent without the Direction of Principle.――There are indeed no established A2 Rules A2v 4 Rules for it, and the Definition is no less a Mystery than the Philosopher’s Stone.

I am led into this Reflection by a Letter that now lies upon the Table, and the Publisher of these Monthly Lucubrations tells me was put into his Hands some Days since by a Person who had more the Appearance of a Spectre than a living Man:—I shall present my Readers with it, not only because the Piece is pretty extraordinary in its kind, but also as it gave Occasion to some Speculations which have not yet perhaps been hit upon by any of our Public Writers, and may be of Service in clearing up those Ideas which at present seem confused and indistinct.

To the Female Spectator. Ladies, or Gentlemen, Madam, or Sir, Whether you are a single or collective Body, whether Female, as you pretend, or Male, as the Strength and Energy of your Writings tempts me rather to believe; if you have a Human Heart you will pity the calamitous Circumstance which occasions this Epistle. Know then, good Spectator, without farther Ceremony, that it was my Misfortune (for so it hitherto has prov’d) to fall into the Acquaintance of a young Lady, who has every thing A3r 5 thing in her worthy of universal Adoration;―― Fain would I give you the Picture of this Angel, but no Words can paint her such as she is; I will however venture on a Sketch, some Out-lines of her various Excellencies, and leave your own Imagination to fill them up. —Her Eyes,—Oh killing Eyes! seem to invite with their bewitching Softness the tenderest Wishes, yet at the same time strike an Awe into the boldest heart:—Her Skin is of a more dazzling Whiteness than new-fallen Snow, thro’ which, as Skhakespear says, the pure and eloquent Blood peeps in and out in most becoming Blushes:—Around her matchless Mouth a thousand Loves and Graces continually play in dimpling Smiles:—Majesty blended with a Look of Infant Innocence is diffus’d o’er every Feature:—Her Hair, her Hands, her Neck, her fine turn’d Shape, would singly charm the ravish’d Gazer, but there is something in her Air which not the most extensive Fancy can form any Figure of, without having seen the Divine Original:—If she but plays her Fan, takes Snuff, on the least Motion of a Hand, a Finger, a sparkling Dignity flies from her, filling all the Place.――What must she then be when Dancing!—I once had the Honour to lead her up a Minuet; but oh God, how little was I capable of keeping Time to the Musick, or observing any Step!—My ill Behaviour must have render’d me the Ridicule of the whole Company, had not every Eye been too much taken up with my adorable Partner A3v 6 Partner to throw away a Look on me: She however took but too much Notice of it, and refused to dance with me any more, which you may believe threw me into the most mortal Agitations; but I shall give you, in the close of this Epistle, a full Account of all my Sufferings from this Ungrateful Fair, in the mean Time I must proceed to the Detail of her Perfections: If there could be in Nature greater Charms than what are display’d in her Person and Dancing, they would be found in the extatick Accents of her Voice:—Every Word she speaks is Harmony itself, but when she sings, the Soul of Musick issues from her Lips:—What the celebrated Mr. Waller says of his Mira, may, I dare affirm, with infinitely more Justice be applyed to my adorable Arpasia. The Wretch who from her Wit and Beauty flies,If she but reach him with her Voice he dies, But it were an endless Task to enumerate the many Ways she has of captivating Mankind; I will, therefore, only give you a brief Account of the Beauties of her Mind in her Conduct and Behaviour, and then have done. She maintains a perfect Chearfulness without the least Mixture of Levity:—She is never the first in any Fashion, and when enter’d into it goes not to the Extremity:――She chuses A4r 7 chuses rather to wear Cloaths less rich than her Birth and Fortune will allow of, than to have the least Appearance of Extravagance about her:—She preserves a modest Reserve, yet makes no Shew of it:—She goes but seldom to Places of public Diversion, and never but in the Company of some near Relation:―― In fine, all her Actions are governed by a Prudence far above her Years, nor can Envy find any thing to traduce. Being such as I have describ’d, tho’ infinitely short of what she is, you will not wonder that I became enamour’d with her at first Sight, or that my Passion grew more strong as I grew more acquainted with her Perfections: ――It was however accompanied with an Awe which would not suffer me to reveal what it was I felt for a long Time; but alas! there was little need of Words, every Look, every Action spoke the Meaning of my Soul, and said I died for her:—Indeed I lived not but in her Presence, and when absent from her was but the Ghost of myself.—All my Friends took Notice of the Change in me, nor were long without discovering both the Cause and Object:—As they knew there could be no Objections on the Account of my Birth, Fortune, or Character in the World, they laugh’d at my Timidity, and at last inspir’d me with Courage enough to declare myself, which you may be sure I did in the most passionate and respectful Terms my Heart could dictate: A4v 8 dictate:—But, O God! with what a stabbing Indifference did she receive my Suit!—Had she treated it with Scorn or Anger, I should have been apt to have flatter’d myself either of these had proceeded from that Affectation young Ladies frequently assume on the first Addresses of a new Lover; but the cold Civility, the unmov’d Reserve with which she heard me, struck like a Bolt of Ice through all my Soul, and gave a mortal Damp to all the Fires of Hope:—I grew pale,—I trembled,—I was ready to fall down in a Swoon at her Feet; and fearing I should be guilty of something unbecoming my Sex, took such a hasty and confused Leave, that had the least Sparks of Compassion harboured in her Breast, must have prevail’d on her to have call’d me back:――But alas! she suffer’d me to depart without seeming even to observe my Disorder:—Unequal’d Cruelty!――Barbarous Charming Maid!—Yet this is short of what I afterwards experienc’d from her unrelenting Heart. The ensuing Night I past in Agonies too terrible for Repetition:—Sleep was an utter Stranger to my Eyes:—The next Morning was wholly taken up in forming a Letter to her, which at last I did tho’ in a most distracted Strain, in spite of all my Care, and writing over above an hundred Times in order to render my Meaning less deserving her Ridicule:—Nothing notwithstanding could have been more humble, B1r 9 humble, more pity-moving:—Yet what was the Effect?—She opened, read, and sent it back under a Cover, in which I found this rigorous Sentence. Sir, I am very much oblig’d to the high Opinion you have of my Merit; but as it seems to have given Birth to an Inclination, which I am certain will never be in my Power to encourage, must beg you will desist your Visits till you have ceas’d to think in the Manner you now profess to do of Arpasia. Nothing but Death itself could have inflicted more severe Pangs, than those I felt at perusing these few Lines:—I accus’d Fate, and the Ingratitude of my cruel Charmer, as I had Cause to do; yet still I loved, and in the bitterest Anguish my tortured Soul could feel, kiss’d the Paper which contained my Doom: I never should have done, should I go about to relate the thousandth Part of the Particulars of my sufferings; I will therefore only trouble you with no more than what is absolutely necessary to let you into the true State of the Case:—Several of my Friends, sensible of my Condition, renewed their Endeavours for my Consolation; and one of them being acquainted with the Father of Arpasia, spoke to him in my Behalf; the old Gentleman seem’d highly satisfied with my Estate, Person, and Character, and said he should be very glad B to B1v 10 to have me in his Family, provided his Daughter had the same Kindness for me; but added, he would never put any Constraint on her Inclinations, and therefore would give no positive Answer till he had discoursed with her on that Subject. Fain would those who wish’d me well have perswaded me that the Coldness Arpasia had treated me with, sprung only from not having the Sanction of her Father’s Commands to authorize a more kind Reception, and that every thing would now be according to my Wishes: But all they said was ineffectual to remove entirely that Grief, which her Behaviour had settled on my Heart; and I remain’d fluctuating between Hope and Despair, till the Day appointed by her Father for giving a decisive Answer being arrived, my Kinsman brought me a heavy Confirmation of what I most fear’d would be the Result,—That he had sounded his Daughter’s Inclinations, and found they were not in my Favour; so desir’d I would not give myself any farther Trouble. This Message, tho’ dress’d up in many Compliments, threw me into a Fever:—My Life was despair’d of:—Fresh Applications were made both to Father and Daughter:—All were unsuccessful; yet I recovered, if a Man may be said to be so, who is continually wasting with inward Pinings:—I summon’d all my Courage, imagin’d I could content myself with seeing her, tho’ at a Distance, and quitted my Bed B2r 11 Bed, in order to pursue her with my Eyes wherever she went:—I had the cruel Blessing of beholding her at Church one Sunday Morning, and flattering myself with doing so in the Afternoon, went again, but the inexorable Creature was not there, though she had never been known to miss before:—I sought her in the Park,—at the Opera,—the Play,—at each of these Places found her once, but no more. —In a Word, she choose to deprive herself of every thing that gave her Pleasure, rather than allow me that poor one of seeing the Face that had deprived me of all other Comforts:―― Was ever Ingratitude like this!—Was ever Fate so hard as mine!—Yet all she does cannot abate my Passion; nor is it in her Power to hide herself so entirely, but that I sometimes get a Glance:――In a Disguise I watch about the House, see her get into her Coach: ――see her with all that deluding Softness in her Eyes, which almost tempts me to give the Lye to my own Reason and Experience, and pronounce her as good-natured as she is fair. My whole Time is taken up with haunting her in this Manner:—All Day I skulk in Corners like a Thief, and shun the Light, and at Night stand Centinel opposite her Chamber- Window, blest to see her Shadow through the Curtains, while undressing for Bed. B2 This, B2v 12 This, worthy Spectator, is the sole Business I am capable of pursuing:――This the sole Pleasure I can taste; and in this I am wholly lost to all my Kindred, Friends, Acquaintance, and almost to myself.—Never was there a Cause in which your Pen could be more worthily employed than in an Endeavour to preserve the Senses, the Life, nay the very Soul from Death of an unfortunate miserable Man, who is so only by his having too great a Share of Love and Constancy for the most amiable Woman in the World. Exert then all your Eloquence to move the Heart of my obdurate Fair, to give her a lively Sense of her Ingratitude, and convince her how ill so foul a Vice becomes so beauteous a Form:――She is a constant Reader of your Essays, a great Admirer of them, has often said the World would be happy could it once be brought to follow the Maxims you lay down: ――Who knows, therefore, but she may be wrought upon herself when so favourite an Advocate vouchsafes to plead:—Ingratitude is a copious Subject, or were it less so, my unhappy Story might give you a sufficient Hint.— It is a Theme I think you have never touch’d upon, and perhaps will be no less agreeable to a great many of your Readers, than to the Sorrowful Amintor.

Poor Amintor! He is in a desperate Situation indeed, and if the Female Spectator’s Pity will do B3r 13 do him any good, I am commissioned by our little Club to tell him he is heartily welcome to it; but am sorry to acquaint him withal, that we are afraid, by the History he gives us of the Progress of his Passion, Pity will be all the Consolation he will ever be able to procure. Nothing can be more plain, than that the Lady finds no Dispositions in her Heart of that Kind, which he places his whole Happiness in inspiring: There is no accounting for Antipathies in Nature, nor is the strongest Reason sufficient to surmount them:—In vain his Love and Constancy have a Claim to her Regard:—In vain her Father’s Assent would authorize that Regard: —In vain a Parity of Age, of Circumstances, of Birth, concur to render a Marriage between them suitable; if that secret Impulse that rules the Heart be wanting, all other Considerations are of no force to attach.

This therefore being evidently the Cause that Amintor is rejected, he ought not to accuse Arpasia for what is not in her Power to remedy: —She can no more love him, than he can forbear loving her:—The Sentiments on each Side are involuntary; and where the Obligation is not of the Will, there can be no Ingratitude in refusing the Recompence:—Not but it were to be wish’d, for the Happiness of both, that Arpasia could meet so ardent and so sincere an Affection as that of Amintor, with an equal Warmth; but since it cannot be, and Nature is refractory, he should endeavour rather to forget, and enable himself B3v 14 himself to live without her, than perpetuate his Passion and Anxieties by any idle Hopes of living with her.

There are many Methods to be taken which may heighten and invigorate a Passion that has once gain’d Entrance; but no human Power can inspire it in Contradiction to the Heart: All Attempts therefore that the Female Spectator could make for that Purpose would be Labour lost; and Amintor ought to think it more kind in us to advise him to quit the vain Pursuit, than by pretending to plead in his Favour flatter him with deceitful Expectations, which would only serve to add to his Disquiet in the End.―― Time, Absence, and a constant Exertion of his Reason, may one Day restore his Liberty, but nothing can be done for him to make him easy in his Chains.

I would have him consider, in the first Place, the invincible Obstacle between him and the Accomplishment of his Wishes; and in the next, that were there a Possibility of her ever being prevail’d upon, by a Romantic Generosity, to give herself to him, and do a Violence to her own Inclinations for the Gratification of his, the Happiness of such a Union would be far from perfect:—A Passion so fervent as he pretends to be inspired with, could never be sordidly contented with being bless’d alone:—The chief Felicity of true Affection consists in the Power of bestowing it; and tho’ in full Possession of the Body, B4r 15 Body, he would still lannguish in a conscious Inability of having influenc’d the Mind.

I wonder that his own good Sense did not long ago remind him of this Truth, as it seems not to have done by his never making any Efforts for subduing a Passion, which, from the very Beginning, threaten’d him with Despair:――He confesses she received the first Overtures of it with a Coldness which had nothing of Affectation in it, and no sooner knew the Motives of his Visits than she refused to see him any more: ――It was not possible for her to testify a more sincere Dislike of his Addresses, nor a greater Inclination to check in their Infancy Desires, which by their Growth would be fatal to his Peace: —He might have loved a Woman (as too many such there are) who, fond of Admiration even from the Man she hated, would have encourag’d his Pretensions;—fed his Flame with the Fewel of vain Hopes, only to make the Damps of her Disdain more shocking, and then triumph’d in the Ruin she occasion’d: But Arpasia I find by his own Confession is not one of these;—she has acted toward him with Honour and Discretion, and I not only acquit her of all Ingratitude, but pronounce Amintor the Person obliged; and he ought to take Care, that in not acknowledging he is so, he does not draw on himself that Imputation he unjustly offers to fix on her.

Ingratitude implies a Want of Will B4v 16 Will when one has the Power of returning a real Benefit: Now this is so far from being the Case before us, that, as I think I have already proved, Arpasia in the first Place is wholly destitute of Power to return the Benefit, if it were a Benefit, of Amintor’s Passion, and in the next to be loved by a Person one cannot love, is not a Benefit but a Persecution; at least, it is certainly so to this Lady, since it obliges her to impose a Banishment on herself from all the Places she has been accustomed to frequent.

Besides, there is methinks a strange Tenaciousness in Amintor on the score of his Passion: ――He seems to imagine it has a Right to engross all the Attention, all the Regard, all the Pity to itself:—If Arpasia is in reality Mistress of one half the Perfections he ascribes to her, why should they not have the same Effect on others? —Why should he not have Rivals who may be as full of Love and Misery as himself?—And whenever she makes Choice of any one, will not all those who are rejected have an equal Motive for Complaint and Title to Compassion?

On the whole, therefore, if in spite of all Persuasions, he will persist in being his own Tormentor, hug his Disquiet, and refuse the only possible Means of Relief, he has nothing in this World to accuse but an Obstinacy of Nature in himself, which taking Part with his ill Stars prolongs their Influence, and doubles every Dart of Fate.

’Tis C1r 17

’Tis more than possible that among the Number of my Readers, there may be some in Amintor’s Condition, and partially induc’d, by a Parity of Circumstances, to think I have dealt too severely with him, and that instead of blaming his Behaviour, I should have complied with his Request, and reproach’d that of his Mistress:―― Many also of my own Sex, who pride themselves in the Multiplicity of their Admirers, may be fearful some of those, who at present compose their Train, will be warn’d by the Example of Amintor to retreat while they have the Power of doing so; and wish my Pen once more in the Goose’s Pinion it was pluck’d from, rather than be employ’d in giving any Advice, which may be even suspected as a Design to lessen the Number of their Slaves: But it would ill become the Character of a Spectator, and Censor of Errors, (though a Female one) to flatter any thing that may be truly call’d so; and notwithstanding all I might have to apprehend from the Despair of the one, and Malice of the other, I am determined always to continue my plain Dealing without respect of Persons, which I am certain cannot fail of gaining the Approbation of the justly thinking Part of both Sexes, and will in the End deserve the Acknowledgments of those who at present may imagine they have Reason to resent it.

Ingratitude is on all hands agreed to be a Vice most detestable both to God and Man, and any flagrant Instance of it draws on the guilty C Person C1v 18 Person the severest Censure; yet, if we examine nicely into the Nature of Things, we shall find it next to an Impossibility to be wholly clear from it:—It is not only, as Dorax says, the Growth of every Clime, but of every Heart; the most exalted Virtues cannot sometimes be exercis’d without a Mixture of it:—The strictest Justice, the softest Clemency, may betray some Tincture of it; and what seems yet a greater Paradox, there may happen Occasions, when to be truly grateful one must be a little ungrateful.

I remember that many Years ago I found in the Library of a very learned Relation of mine a little Book, entitled The History of Crete; in which, tho’ there were many other curious Passages well worthy of Remark, one above all so much hit my Fancy, that it has ever since dwelt strongly on my Mind. Beaumont and Fletcher doubtless thought as I did, since it was from thence they took the Hint for their excellent play call’d The Laws of Candy. The Story is this:

Once upon a Time (I know not in what Æra) there reign’d a King, who so much hated Ingratitude, that he made an Edict, whoever was found guilty of it should be punished with Death, and that the Sentence once past by the Court, there should be no Appeal to any other Power, no Remission but from the Complainant himself:—I do not find there was any Trial of this Nature during the Life of this good King, C2r 19 King, but indeed he died in a short Time after, and leaving his Son and Successor an Infant, the Sovereign Power was during his Minority invested in the Senate.

The States of Candy Formerly call’d Crete. had for a long Time been at War with the Venetians, and must have been entirely overcome by that powerful Republic, had it not been for the extraordinary Valour of their General. It would be too tedious to recount what is there related of this great Man:—How when oppress’d with Numbers his single Arm redeem’d the Honour of the Field: —How when cover’d o’er with Blood, and his whole Body seem’d but one great Wound, he spurn’d the Man who offer’d him a Litter, and grasping the Neck of his Horse when he was no longer able to sit upright, pursued in that Posture the flying Foe:—How when any Advantage offer’d, he was the foremost to plunge into the rapid Stream,—to mount the Breach,—to leap the Parapet,—how neither craggy Rocks, nor fenny Marshes could obstruct his Passage:―― What Wonders he perform’d would be incredible to the present Times, nor are material to my Purpose; it shall suffice to say, he was look’d upon as the Guardian Angel of Candy, and so distinguish’d by all Degrees of People, more than by his Post, or the Name deriv’d to him from his Ancestors.

Long did he retain these Honours unequal’d and alone, till heaven rais’d him a Competitor C2 in C2v 20 in his own Son: The Youth whom he had train’d to Battle from his most early Years became in Time so to excel in it, that there was no Art of War, for which his Father was famed, but he knew how to practise it with a like Success:— His Courage was not less, and his Strength and Activity of Body superior:—He had highly signalized himself in two Campaigns, but in the third when the Venetians had assembled their whole Forces, commanded by the Dogue’s own Son in Person, this young Candyan Hero establish’d a Reputation never to be eras’d.

The Troops of Candy were divided into two Armies, the one led on by the old General, the other by his Son; the former of which was able only to keep the Field, while the other entirely routed those they were engag’d with, then march’d to the Relief of their former Companions; and gain’d so compleat a Victory, that the Venetian Prisoners themselves confess’d, must entirely disappoint all Hopes in the Republic of making Head again, at least for a long Time, and be necessitated to sue for Peace; all the Flower of their Nobility being either slain or taken: So great was the Slaughter, that the Living were scarce sufficient in Number to bury the Dead.— To add to the Triumph of the young General, he had the Glory after a long Combat, where they fought Hand to Hand, to make the Dogue’s Son his Captive, and after him an old and most experienc’d Captain, on whom the Venetians much relyed C3r 21 relyed, and on whose good or bad Success that of the whole in great Measure depended.

The Joy and Acclamations with which these Warriors were received at their Return to the Capital, by the Senate as well as the Populace, was conformable to the Advantages they brought them; but soon this Sun of Triumph was overclouded by an unlook’d for Storm, which was very near overwhelming them all in Ruin and Destruction.

They had a Law in Candy which had subsisted Time immemorial, that whoever was generally allowed to have done most Honour to his Country, in the Day of Battle, should at his Return be gratified with any Demand he should think fit to make.

On this arose a Contest between the two Generals, in which no Considerations of Blood, Duty, or Paternal Affection, could prevail on either to yield:—The Father knew, and regarded the Merit of his Son, yet thought to make a Sacrifice of his long-worn Honours would be a Recompence too great; and the Son, who on the least Command of so excellent a Father would have readily laid down his Life, could not submit to relinquish his Title to Glory, even to the Calls of Duty.

They both appear’d before the Senate, and made their respective Claims:—The Father pleaded C3v 22 pleaded his ancient Services, the Son his late Success, and the Advantages gained by it to the Nation, which was confirmed by Ambassadors that Moment arriving, with Orders to treat of Peace, as well as by the unanimous Voice of the whole Army.

The Matter was soon decided, and the young General was pronounc’d Deliverer of his Country, and requir’d to name the Boon he ask’d: On which, to attone as he thought for the Umbrage he had given his Father, he requested a Statue of him might be erected, and all his glorious Atchievements engrav’d on the Pedestal. The whole Assembly wrung with Applauses of his filial Piety, who having it in his Power to demand whatever he pleas’d, desir’d no more than the Perpetuation of his Father’s Honours. But a quite contrary Effect had this Action on the Mind of him it was intended to oblige:— The old General, peevish through Age and Infirmities, and before chafed to think his Glories were about to be eclipsed by a Star, to which his Example had at first given Light, was so far from being pleas’d at this Proof of his Son’s Respect, that he rather look’d upon it as Ostentation; and that he desir’d not this Monument of his Father’s Victories, but to shew his own had surpassed them; and that what grateful Recompence was made, was made in Consideration of his later and more meritorious Services. This Imagination, however unjust, sunk so deeply in his Soul, that he retired to his Country Seat full of the utmost Dis- C4r 23 Discontent against his Son, whom he forbad ever to see him more, and renounc’d with the most bitter Imprecations.

The young General was beyond all Measure afflicted at the Displeasure his Father had conceiv’d against him; and finding all the Submissions he could make served rather to increase than dimunish it, fell into a Melancholly which all the Honours he received had not the Power to dispel.

In the mean Time the Princess of Candy, Sister to the late King, and Aunt to the present, fell desperately in Love with him;—insomuch that she forgot her Dignity, and made him an Offer of her Person and Treasures: But he, insensible to her Charms, and wholly devoted to make Peace with his Father, would consent to marry her on no other Conditions, than first to send a Sum of Money to his Father to redeem some Lands, which by his former Liberality among the Soldiers he had been obliged to mortgage; and in the next, to keep the Thing an inviolable Secret.

This implacable old Man received thankfully the Donation as coming from the Princess; but being unhappily inform’d afterwards by some one she had trusted, of the Love she bore his Son, and that it was by his Instigation she confer’d this Favour on him, instead of being appeased by this new Proof of filial Affection, became infinitely more C4v 24 more irritated against him than ever; and to be reveng’d on the Insult, as he term’d it, formed a Resolution the most strange and unnatural that ever was harboured by the Heart of Man.

Borne on the Wings of Fury, and deaf to all the Remonstrances that were made him, he flew to the Capital and demanded Justice in the Execution of the Law against his Son, whom in a most pathetic Speech he accused of Ingratitude, repeated the various Obligations he had to him both as a Father and a Preceptor; proved that in the Heat of Battle, while yet a Novice in the Art of War, he had thrown himself between him and impending Danger; received the Wounds design’d for him, and Times unnumbered shielded him from Death:――For all which Bounties, added he, he stript me of the Glories I had gain’d before he had a Being; ravished from me the Prize of Fame, more dear to me than Life, and brought my Age with Sorrow to the Grave.

The young General refused to make any Defence, and hating a Life his Father’s Unkindness had made wretched, submitted to the Sentence the Senate, tho’ unwillingly, were obliged to pass on him.

This Intelligence no sooner reached the Princess, than wild with Grief, she ran to the Senate House, and first by soft Persuasions endeavoured to move the Heart of the old General; but D1r 25 but he continuing obdurate, she vow’d then he should suffer the same Fate with his innocent Son; and accused him of the highest Ingratitude to her, as being obliged to her for the Redemption of his Lands, he had contrived to deprive her of what he knew was the most dear to her.

Her Charge was too justly founded to be denied, and the Senate were compel’d to satisfy the Demand she made.

The young General, who had heard with an unshaken Courage his own Doom pronounced, could not support that of his Father; and revolving in his Mind what he should do to save him, became in his turn an Accuser of the Princess:—He urged, that having for a long Time sought his Affections, she had at last obtained a Promise of Marriage from him, on which she pretended her Life depended, yet after she had won him to her Will, had most ungratefully betrayed a Secret he had bound her to conceal, and by that fatal Discovery irritated his Father, and been the Cause of both their Ruin.

To this the amorous Princess pleaded Guilty, desirous of dying with him she loved, even cruel as he now seemed; and as no Person whatever was exempted by this Law from the Penalty, she also was condemned to suffer with the rest.

The Power of preventing so tragic a Scene lay wholly in the old General, who by remiting D the D1v 26 the Offences of his Son, had obtained of the Princess Remission for himself, as she also had from her Lover; but not all the Arguments made use of by the Senate for this salutary Purpose, not even their Tears and Entreaties, could prevail on his inflexible Heart; and these three illustrious Personages were about to be conducted to their Fate, when a young Virgin, Daughter to the General, rushed into the Council Hall, crying with a loud Voice, as she press’d through the Crowd, Stop, stop the Execution till my Claim is heard:—If these must suffer, ’tis fit others more guilty shall partake their Fate.

The Guards on this were ordered to bring back the Prisoners, and all waited with Impatience what this new Wonder was to produce, when the Maid with an undaunted Courage began to speak to this Effect:

I think, said she, the Law against Ingratitude falls indiscriminately on all found guilty of it; to which being answered by the President, that it did. Then I accuse you all, resum’d she, all you of the Senate!—All you, who having the Power and Treasure of the Public invested in you, forgot the Services of this old Man, my Father, fifty Years your General, and stiled the Guardian Angel of his Country, and suffered him in Age to feel the Stings of Poverty, to be reduc’d even to Beggary, but for the Compassion of the Princess; while you yourselves were rioting in that Affluence, preserv’d for you by the best Part of his Blood.――If this is D2r 27 is not Ingratitude, nothing can be call’d so:— Quit then your Seats, and be content to suffer the Punishment of your Crime.

Never was Consternation equal to that which this Demand occasion’d; the Populace seconded the Accusation, and cry’d out for Justice:—All the Lords, which composed this august Assembly, look’d one upon another without the Power of Speech:—What indeed could they say! How reply to so just, so self-convicting a Charge!—The Law by which they were condemn’d, was wrote in Terms too plain for any Evasion:――There was no Remedy to be found, and those who but a Moment past had pronounc’d the Sentence of Death against others, were now compel’d to submit to it themselves; the Soldiers immediately stript those late Judges of their Robes, and rang’d them with those who were before their Prisoners, in order to conduct them to the Place appointed for the Execution of Criminals.

How dreadful a Spectacle was this, the Princess, the two Generals, with all the Nobility and Magistracy of the Kingdom, about to be destroy’d at once!—Who, when they were no more, would be left to maintain Order among the People?— Where could there one be found to protect the Peace of Candy?—All Administration of public Justice must cease:—All Laws be abolish’d, and the whole Realm involv’d in a wild Confusion.

D2 The D2v 28

The old General could now hold out no longer, all his Obduracy melted at the Reflection of his Country’s Ruin; and as he knew his Breath was the Hinge on which the Lives of all depended, forgave his Son, his Son with Tears of Joy the Princess, and she no less readily remitted the Offences of his Father;—the young Lady, by whose Stratagem this happy Change was wrought, desired the Senate to resume their Places, and all was now restor’d to its ancient Form; but the sad Consequences which this Law had like to have occasion’d, and which it would always have been liable to draw on, made them unanimously agree to repeal it.

This little Abstract from the Cretan Annals may serve to shew of how ambiguous and perplex’d a Nature Ingratitude is in reality:—How impossible it is to be entirely free from it ourselves, and how readily we fix the Imputation of it on others:――In fine, there yet has never been, and possibly never will be a Standard found for it, by which one may truly know what is or is not so.

Lovers complain of it more than any People in the World, and indeed with the least Reason; and a Woman, who has the Merit or the Chance of being address’d by several, must of Consequence be guilty of it, since in recompensing one, she must be guilty of what they will call Ingratitude to all the others.

Every D3r 29

Every one, who labours under any Distress in Life, is full of Accusations on the Ingratitude of Persons whom he either has, or imagines he has, confer’d some Obligation on at one Time or another; tho’ perhaps those whom he thus brands were never sensible of any Favour receiv’d from him, or if they are, may not have it in their Power to return them in the Manner he expects.

It must be confess’d, there is in most of us a Partiality to ourselves; we are too apt to magnify every good Office we do, and lessen the Merit of those we receive; and this is an innate Ingratitude, even tho’ we should in Effect repay the Obligations confer’d on us a thousand fold.

There is also a Partiality in us to one another; of two Persons we may happen to be acquainted with of equal Merit, we often shall be led by a secret Propensity which we cannot account, nor give any Reason for, to like the one much better than the other; and yet, perhaps, he who most shares our good Wishes is by the same Impulse inclined to have the least for us; and this is a Species of Ingratitude which we fall into unknowingly, or if we knew, have it not in our Power to avoid, because it is implanted in our Nature, and not to be eradicated.

Reason, however, and a thorough understanding it in ourselves, may put a Check on Inclination, and prevent the ill-judging Will from run- D3v 30 running into Practice:—We may do a Violence to our own Hearts, and in our outward Behaviour give the Preference to those who love us rather than to those we love: But few there are will take this Pains, and I know not indeed whether we ought always to impose so severe a Task on ourselves, or whether to perform it would in all Cases be laudable, or even agreeable to the very Person for whose Sake we undertook it.

This brings to my Mind a Story, the Veracity of which I will not answer for, tho’ I have heard it well attested, and is not in itself impossible; for which Reason it may serve to corroborate what I have said, proving how great a Command Persons the most influenc’d by Passion or Prejudice may obtain over themselves by the Strength of Resolution, and also that there may happen Circumstances, in which to exert that Strength of Resolution would be rather a Fault than a Praise-worthy Action.

A Gentleman in the Western Parts of England had two Daughters at Marriage Estate, the elder of whom was address’d by a Person whose Birth and Fortune render’d him more than an equal Match; but notwithstanding these Advantages join’d to a most graceful Form, and many great Accomplishments of Mind, she could not be brought to listen to his Courtship with any Degree of Satisfaction, while her younger Sister languished in the most ardent Passion for him:—Her Love was of that pure and disinterestedinterested D4r 31 interested Kind, that tho’ by what she felt she was too well convinced that she never could be happy without a Return in Kind; yet so much did she prefer his Satisfaction to her own, that she did him all the good Offices in her Power with her Sister:――Their Father soon discover’d the different Inclinations of his Daughters, and fearing he should never be able to bring the eldest to abate of her Aversion, and loth to lose the Opportunity of so good a Match for one of them, would fain have endeavoured to turn the Current of the Gentleman’s Affections to the youngest; but all Efforts of that Nature were wholly vain,—his Reason avow’d the Merits of the kinder Fair,—it pointed out the lasting comforts he might enjoy with one who tenderly lov’d him; but his Heart refused to listen to any other Dictates than its own, and shut out all Impressions but those it had at first receiv’d:—Not all the Disdain he was treated with by the one, had Power to abate the Ardour of his Flame; nor all the soft though modest Tokens of an Affection, adequate to her Sister’s Hate, could in the other kindle the least Spark:――A kind Look from the one had transported him beyond himself, but the tender Glances of the other serv’d only to add to his Disquiet.

Thus did the beautiful Insensible, her hapless Sister, and despairing Lover, unwillingly continue to torment each other, till one ill-fated Day put a final Period to all Uncertainty and vain Dependance.

The D4v 32

The Gentleman had lately bought a little Pinnace, beautifully ornamented and fitted up for Pleasure; to this he invited the two Sisters, with several other Ladies and Gentlemen who lived near the Sea-Side, in order to give them a Regale on Board. The Weather being calm and clear when they set out, tempted them to sail a considerable Distance from Shore; when all at once the Aspect of the Heavens was changed, and from a most serene Sky became clouded and tempestuous:—The Winds grew every Moment higher, and blew so strong against them, that in spite of their Intention they were borne still farther out at Sea.――The Storm increasing, the Vessel being weak, and, as some say, the Mariners unskilful, it bulg’d against a Rock and split at the Bottom;—the Sea came pouring in on all Sides,—there was but a Moment between the Accident and sinking,—every one was in the utmost Consternation,—the Circumstances admitted no Time for Consideration,—all jump’d overboard, taking hold of those they were most anxious to preserve;—the Gentleman catch’d the two Sisters one under each Arm, and for a while, even thus encumber’d, combated the Waves; but his Strength failing, there was an absolute Necessity to quit his grasp of the one in order to save the other, on which following the Emotions of his Gratitude rather than his Love, he let go the elder of these Ladies, and swam with the younger till he reach’d the Shore.

One of the Sailors, who had none under his Pro- E1r 33 Protection, saw the Distress of her, whom her Lover had left floating, and catch’d hold of her Garments just as she was sinking; but Destiny forbad Success to his Endeavours, a Billow too large and boisterous for human Skill or Strength to cope with, came rolling o’er them both, and plung’d this unfortunate Lady, with her intended Deliverer, in the immense Abyss.

Her Lover, who had just eas’d himself of his Burthen, beheld from Shore what had befallen her, and not able to survive the Shock, turn’d to the Lady he had preserved at the Expence of all he valued in Life, and with a Countenance full of Horror and Despair, said to her, Madam, I have discharg’d my Debt of Gratitude to you for the unsought Affection you have for me,—I must now obey the Calls of Love, and follow her, whom to out-live would be the worst of Hells. With these Words, they say, he threw himself with the utmost Violence among the Waves, which immediately swallowed him up.

The young Lady had neither Power nor Time to utter any thing to prevent so desperate a Deed, and only giving a great Shriek fell down in a Swoon: In which Posture she was found by those, who seeing the Distress of the Pinnace afar off, were coming to administer what Relief the Occasion would admit.

Now if this Fact be real it must be owned that the Gentleman carried his Gratitude to a E Degree E1v 34 Degree which the French call Outrèé,—beyond Reason, and even beyond Nature, and in my Opinion was an Action too romantic to be recommended as an Example for Imitation. And tho’ the Person who related it to me extoll’d it as the highest Proof of Magnanimity; yet it appears to me as rather proceeding from a vain Desire of doing something to be talk’d of after Death, than the Effects of any real Virtue or Greatness of Mind.

These Refinings even on the most worthy Principles, these Over-strainings of Nature, are certainly never of any Advantage to the Persons themselves, or those for whose Sake they are supposed to go so much out of the common Road. —Extravagance and Excess will always be disapproved by Reason and good Sense, and when we are told of Actions, the Rise of which we know not how to account for, they only serve to puzzle weaker Understandings, and render them unable to judge what is really laudable, or what is the reverse.

There may happen Times when to be grateful may be a Vice; for Instance, if a Prince, Minister of State, General of an Army, or any other Person in a lower Station of Life, who has it in his Power to confer Promotion, shall shower his Favours on an unworthy Object, meerly to be grateful to the Love he bears him, thereby withholding Offices of Trust and Profit from the more capable and deserving: Such a Prince, Minister,nister, E2r 35 nister, or whatever he be, is unjust, not only to those who are rejected, but to a whole Nation, which, by this partial Indulgence, may be betray’d to Ruin in a more or less Degree, as the State is interested in the Employment or Post.

What passes for Gratitude is often no more than Self-love, as Actions proceeding meerly from Ostentation are complimented with the Name of Liberality:—So near does Virtue border upon Vice, that they are sometimes confounded even by the Breast that harbours them.—We think that we ought to do every thing in our Power for the Person who seems to love us, and is ready on all Occasions at our Beck, and seldom consider whether in returning a trifling Obligation, or perhaps the Shadow of one, we do not an essential Injury elsewhere.

There is, I think, an old Saying, that we ought to be just before we are generous; and as amiable a Quality as Gratitude for Benefactions truly is, we should endeavour to find some other Ways, if possible, of testifying it than by those which rob Merit of its Due; and if they are not in our Power, rather chuse to seem ungrateful than be in reality base.――The Dilemma I confess is hard, and many a noble Spirit has been bewilder’d, and at a Loss to chuse between the two Extreams.

I was never better pleas’d in my Life, than at the Conduct of a Country Justice at the last E2 Election E2v 36 Election for Members of Parliament:――Two Gentlemen of very opposite Characters and Principles set up against each other;—one of these, whom I shall call Macrobrius, had a little before procured an Ensign’s Commission for a Nephew of the Justice’s, so thought himself certain not only of his Vote, but of all the Interest he could make for him in the County. He did not however fail going to him on that Occasion, and the first Civilities being over, My good Friend, said he, I suppose you know I intend to stand Candidate, and I believe are enough convinced of my Abilities and Good Will to my King and Country to be assured I shall not prove an unworthy Member, therefore I depend you will do all you can to serve me in this Matter.

The Justice shook his Head, but without any Hesitation made him this Reply:—Sir, I am perfectly acquainted with your Abilities;—but you must pardon me, if I think the other Gentleman, who is your Competitor, more qualified to be a Representative of this County than you can pretend to be; not only because he has a large Estate here, but because he has no Manner of Dependance on the Court, and consequently is less liable to be influenc’d:—For these Reasons, therefore, I think myself obliged to use all the little Interest I have among my Neighbours that he may be chosen.

how! cry’d Macrobrius in a great Passion, Can you be so ungrateful!――Did not I give your Nephew a Pair of Colours the other Day?

you E3r 37

you did, Sir, return’d the Justice gravely, I thank you for the Favour:――I am not ungrateful and would return it in Kind:―― My Nephew wanted a Commission, you got him one; and whenever you have any Dependant out of Employment, send him to me and I will make him my Clerk:――This, Sir, continued he, is all the Retaliation I can make, and I think the Difference of our Circumstances consider’d, is pretty adequate to the Obligation.

The would-have-been Member was ready to burst with inward Rage at this Sneer, but knowing how great the Justice’s Influence was, he conceal’d it as much as possible, and omitted nothing that he thought might sooth and bring him into better Humour; but his Flatteries as his Resentment, were equally ineffectual, the Justice could not be prevail’d upon to sacrifice his Honesty to his Gratitude, and Macrobrius, to his great Mortification, was obliged to leave him as he found him.

When Favours are confer’d with a latent View of corrupting the Integrity of a Man, or the Chastity of a Woman, they ought, when discovered to be such, to bring only Contempt on the Person who bestows them:—Gratitude in this Case would be the worst of Vices, and all Dispositions towards it in the Heart, should be banish’d as Traitors to Honour and Virtue.

People sometimes out of an Excess of Good- Nature, or a timid Shamefacedness, think they may E3v 38 may recede a little from their Strictness, in Compliance with the Desires of a Person they have received some Obligations from; but let them take care, the least yielding to an ill Action is inuring the Mind to it, and by Degrees takes away the Horror of it:—Nobody can say to themselves thus far will I go, and no farther, as a late noble Peer and Poet elegantly expresses it:

Of Honour Men at first, like Women nice, Raise Maiden Scruples at unpractis’d Vice: But once this Fence thrown down, and they perceive That they may taste forbidden Fruit and live, They stop not here their Course, and enter’d in, Grow strong, luxuriant and bold in Sin.

This Observation will ever hold good in high and low, in public and private Life; and, therefore, as Obligations are the Bribes by which cunning and designing Men expect to enlist the more unwary into their Service, every prudent and honest Person will avoid receiving them from such whose Principles they are not well assur’d of.

In fine, a very little Reflection may serve to convince us, that in a great Number of Cases what the World calls Gratitude may be a Vice even from the Prince to the Peasant; and in our Sex I dare say that nobody will deny but that a Woman who has a Number of Admirers cannot be- E4r 39 behave to them in such a Manner, as they will allow to be a grateful Return, without rendering herself an Object of everlasting Infamy and Contempt.

It is greatly to be wish’d, for the Happiness and Reputation of the Kingdom, that there were fewer Instances of this destructive Gratitude in both Sexes than some late Years have produc’d; and that we could prevail on ourselves rather to return to the Rusticity of the ancient Britons, than by this guilty Complaisance to our Betrayers become accessary to our own Perdition, and entail Shame and Misery on our Postetrity.

Let no one imagine that by pointing out the Rocks on which a Temper grateful to excess is liable to split upon, I mean to recommend its opposite as the safest Rule to steer by:—For Heaven forbid that so pernicious a Doctrine should ever be propagated:—All I have said is no more than an Endeavour to rectify some Mistakes concerning it, and to shew that what is call’d Ingratitude by the unthinking Part of the World is not always so, and that even if it were, could not sometimes be avoided without running into Faults of an equally detestable Kind.

I have already more than once observ’d, that it requires the utmost Penetration and deepest Search to discover in some Circumstances how one ought to behave in this Point; but then again there are others in which there is no room for Hesita- E4v 40 Hesitation:—Duty, Reason, Honesty, and Good-Nature plainly guide us to the Paths we ought to tread, and which in swerving from we can have no Excuse.

In the first Place the Obligations we have to Heaven are self-evident, not to mention our Existence (which I have heard some People, who enjoy not every thing they wish for in this World, refuse to acknowledge as a Blessing) nor our Redemption and Hopes of Immortality (which too many are hardy enough to call in Question). Exclusive, I say, of all the glorious Prospects of an hereafter; is not our Preservation here amidst innumerable Dangers, which, tho’ unseen, unthought of, continually surround us, not worthy of much more Gratitude than is in our weak Capacities to pay?—Those most defended from Hurts by the Affluence of Fortune and an indolent Life:―― Those who loll in Coaches, and scarce lift their Hands to their Head, are every Moment liable to some inward Fraction which may throw into Disorder their whole Frame.――I have heard Anatomists say, that did we know the Delicacy of the human System, the thousand and ten thousand Fibres, which like Threads run through every Part of the Body, and which if any one should be crack’d or removed out of its Place would prejudice, if not bring total Destruction to the whole, we should tremble at moving even a Finger, for fear of hurting their elastic Quality, and cry out with the Royal Psalmist, Lord, F1r 41 Lord, I am fearfully and wonderfully made!

Yet how are all our Motions so guided and directed by an invisible Power, that very rarely any Accident of this Kind happens, even to those who are continually employing themselves in the most robust Exercises.

When we look around the amazing Scenes which this wide World affords, and consider the various Produce of the Earth and Air, the unfathomable Deep, and the Rivers issuing from it, all created for our Use, and abounding with every thing necessary for our Support and Pleasure; how can we sufficiently testify our Gratitude to the Dispenser of these Blessings!—But if we lift up our Eyes to the immense Expance above, where Miriads of Miriads of Orbs, infinitely larger than that wherein we are placed, roll over our Heads, self-poiz’d in Æther, and at the same Time reflect that should one of these start from its Sphere its Fall would crush this Globe to Atoms; how must our whole Souls dissolve in grateful Contemplation on that Almighty Power, whose single Fiat regulates their Motions, so as to be of no Prejudice to each other, or to us.

Those who disbelieve, or affect to disbelieve, all other Obligations, readily acknowledge themselves bound by these, and are ashamed and angry if but suspected guilty of Ingratitude on this Score.

F Our F1v 42

Our Parents, as next to Heaven the Authors of our Being, and Protectors of our helpless Infancy, certainly claim the first and greatest Share of our Love and Gratitude:—Never is it in our Power to recompence those tender Cares they feel for us:—Yet what we can we ought:—Love and Respect to them are Duties so known and universally confess’d, that where a Person is visibly wanting in either of these, he is deservedly look’d upon as a Monster. Most People, therefore, especially of the better Sort, endeavour to maintain an exterior Shew of this Gratitude, tho’ too many have little of it in their Hearts.

Those also who under our Parents have the Care of our Education, such as Tutors, Governors, or Governesses, if they have discharg’d the Trust reposed in them, by inspiring us with true Notions of Honour and Virtue, justly demand our Gratitude; and we ought not only to acknowledge the Obligations we owe to their Integrity, but recompence it by all the Acts of Friendship in our Power.

Nor ought we to deny some Gratitude due to our menial Servants, when the Respect they pay us is accompanied with Love, and we perceive, as we easily may, that what they do for us proceeds from something more than meer Duty.—Such a Servant is indeed a Jewel rare to be found, and deserves to be used with all the Indulgence we can shew without lessening our Authority.

If F2r 43

If, according to the different Relations they stand in to us, we treat any of these in an unbecoming Manner, we are guilty of an Ingratitude which no Excuse can shadow over:—The Obligations I have mention’d are plain, convincing, and when not acknowledg’d, tho’ no human Law exist against the unnatural Propensity.

Heav’n seldom fails to punish it in Kind, Th’ Ungrateful does a more Ungrateful find.

There are also others more distant tho’ not less binding Debts of Gratitude owing from us, such as that to a King when he is truly the Father of his People, when he places his chief Glory in the Happiness of the Common-Wealth, when he exerts his Power only for our Protection, when he seeks no Pretences to oppress us with Taxations, nor permits a haughty over-grown Minister to insult and ruin us:—To all the Members of a wise and uncorrupt Senate, who speak the Sense of those whose Representatives they are, who despise not our Instructions, but make their first Business the Redress of our Grievances, and by their upright Behaviour and steady Adherence to the Constitution, preserve the Balance of Power between the King and People:―― To every Civil Magistrate, who is diligent in his Office for executing Justice, and maintaining Peace:—To those of the Clergy, whose Piety, Charity, Temperance and Humility of Manners, are a Proof that they themselves are convinced of the Truth of that Doctrine they preach:―― And lastly, tho’ not least worthy our ConsiderationF2 tion F2v 44 tion and Regard, to the gallant Sailors, who are the Guardians of our Commerce Abroad, and the true and sole Bulwark of our Islands from all foreign Force, who dare every Danger, endure every Hardship, that we may sleep securely and at Ease.

Whoever feels not a due Portion of Love and Veneration for these, or any of these, is unworthy to share the Benefit derived from them, and ought to be banish’d to some other Country, where the very Reverse of all these excellent Qualities are practis’d, and no such Persons as I have describ’d be found.

I had wrote thus far the Sense of our Society at our last Meeting, as near as I remember’d, and was proceeding with something of my own, when Mira and Euphrosine came into the Room, and looking over my Papers, You have forgot, said the former of these Ladies, to make any mention of Authors in your Detail of those to whom the Public is oblig’d:――Pray, is laying out the Brain in an Endeavour to improve or to divert the World, of no more Estimation with you than to be pass’d over in Silence?

Euphrosine seconded this Reproof, which I could not but allow the Justice of, and heartily ask Pardon for so palpable an Omission.

It is indeed to Books we owe all that which distinguishes us from Savages, and it would be ex- F3r 45 extremely ungrateful to refuse our Good-Will to the Composers of what affords us the greatest of all Benefits, that of informing the Mind, correcting the Manners, and enlarging the Understanding.

What Clods of Earth should we have been but for Reading?――How ignorant of every thing but the Spot we tread upon?――Books are the Channel through which all useful Arts and Sciences are conveyed:—By the Help of Books we sit at Ease, and travel to the most distant Parts; behold the Customs and Manners of all the different Nations in the habitable Globe, nay take a View of Heaven itself, and traverse all the wonders of the Skies.—By Books we learn to sustain Calamity with Patience, and bear Prosperity with Moderation.—By Books we are enabled to compare past Ages with the present, to discover what in our Fore-Fathers was worthy Imitation, and what should be avoided; to improve upon their Virtues, and take Warning by their Errors.—It is Books which dispel that gloomy Melancholly our Climate but too much inclines us to, and in its room diffuses an enlivening Chearfulness.—In fine, we are indebted to Books for every thing that can profit or delight us.

Authors, therefore, can never be too much cherish’d and encourag’d when what they write is calculated for public Utility, whether it be for Instruction or innocent Amusement; and it must be F3v 46 be confess’d would be a Proof of the most sordid and ungrateful Spirit to deny the Recompence of their Labour, yet enjoy the Advantages of it.

It may, indeed, be objected, that many of them deserve little Thanks for occasioning that Waste of Time the reading of them takes up; but the same may with equal Justice be alledg’d against all those others in public Stations I have mention’d, since it is not to a bad King, a corrupt Parliament, an indolent Magistrate, a haughty, ambitious, or intemperate Clergyman, nor an unskilful Sailor, any more than a weak, illiterate, or vicious Author, I pretend our Gratitude is due.

On the contrary, when those who should protect, enslave us;—when those who should defend, betray us;—when those who should guide, lead us out of the Way; and those, from whom we might expect Pity and Relief, only laugh at our Distresses and triumph in our Misery; whatever Eminence they are placed in, or by what Name soever they are dignified and distinguish’d, merit, in Proportion to their Greatness, and the Power they have of doing Good or Hurt, only Reproaches utter’d in the utmost Bitterness of Heart.

But when any one, who has the Abilities, exerts them for the common Good of Mankind, the Pains taken for that Purpose deserves not only bare Thanks, but the warmest Wishes of the Heart:—All who hear us speak of a Praise-worthy Action without Praise would condemn us, for our F4r 47 our own Sakes therefore we commend, but we feel for that of others:—True Gratitude kindles up the whole soul, and shews by the Manner more than the Matter of what we say, that it longs to manifest itself in something more than Words.

There is certainly something extremely amiable in a grateful Mind, and whoever is possess’d of it, tho’ he may be misled by the Weakness of his Judgment to testify it in Things not altogether commendable, yet the Effects are deserving Pardon for the sake of the Cause; and such a one can never be premeditately unjust or base.

But, after all that I have said, my weak Endeavours only serve to shew how in some Instances Gratitude may be carried to an Excess, and how in others it never can extend itself too far, yet is the Definition still a Secret;—a Gordian Knot, I fear, not to be untied by any human Skill. —To separate and distinguish it from other Passions of a quite different Nature, which it either covers over or is mingled with, is an Intricacy impenetrable, but by him who sees into the inmost Recesses of the Heart.

Nothing is more common than for Actions which owe their Rise meerly to Pride and Ostentation to be mistaken for this truly noble Principle:—Many a one has requited some trifling Obligation with another of the greatest Consequence, only to acquire the Reputation of a grateful Person; when at the same Time he has a thousand Times F4v 48 Times wish’d in secret that some Accident, of how dreadful a Nature he valued not, might render the other, whom he was about to favour, not in a Condition to receive it.

Sir Thomas Plausible was one Day in Company at a Tavern when Word was brought him that young Wildman was arrested and carried to Prison for a large Sum of Money.—How! said the Baronet, I wonder he would not send to me on the first Notice he had of this Affair:—If I had known he had laboured under any such Apprehensions it never should have come to this.

Having express’d himself to this Effect, he call’d hastily for Pen, Ink, and Paper, and wrote a Note to his Steward, ordering him to go and release the Gentleman immediately, paying the Debt and Charges, be the Amount ever so great. This he sent by the Waiter, and perceiving so extraordinary an Act of Liberality to one who it was well known was in no Condition to repay it, or ever likely to do so, astonish’d all that were Witnesses of it, which Sir Thomas perceiving, Gentlemen, said he, I hate Ingratitude, Wildman it is true cannot be allowed to be a Man of much Merit in the World, but I owe him a Favour, and rejoice in an Opportunity to return it:――You must know, continu’d he, that about five or six Years ago, he was second to a Cousin German of mine three Times removed, and till now Fortune never put it in my Power to convince him how sennsibly I was touch’d with the Obligation.

This G1r 49

This still more amaz’d the Company, and Sir Thomas heard nothing the whole Time he was with them but his own Praises:—The Thing afterwards made a great Noise in Town, and he passes to this Day for the most grateful and generous spirited Man in the whole World.

But how little was this Man of Honour known! ――At the Time he was conferring this Favour on one of the most worthless of Mankind, and to whom in Effect he had not the least Obligation, he refused to assist in the utmost Distress one who had been the Companion of his Youth, and whose Purse he had commanded when their too expensive mutual Pleasures had reduced him to the Want of it?

This Gentleman, whom I shall call Lostland, was born to a plentiful Estate, but by the Negligence or Knavery of his Guardians in the first Place, and his own too easy Temper in the next, was driven to great Necessities.—He lay sick at that Time, and wanted many Things which his Condition requir’d:—He had wrote several Letters to Sir Thomas, reminding him of their former Friendship, which on his Part never had subsided, and requested some Relief in his present Exigence. —To all which this seemingly so grateful Man either return’d no Answers, or such as contained trifling Excuses:—Lostland, unable to support this Slight from a Person he thought he might have had some Dependance upon; sunk beneath the Weight of it more than by that of his Distemper, G and G1v 50 and died in a short Time after:――So true are the Poet’s Words: Fate ne’er strikes deep, but when Unkindness joins.

Many such Plausibles are there in the World, and so easy is it for the Hypocrite in any Virtue to deceive us by their specious Pretences.

Opposite to these there is another Species of Mankind in the World, a Race of odd Mortals who boast of Justice, Generosity, and talk loudly of their Gratitude, yet are blown up to that ridiculous Degree by Arrogance and Self-conceit, that they never think themselves obliged; they imagine all that is done for them is their Due, and every Favour overpaid in the Acceptance.――- Bounties confer’d on them, in bare Compassion to their Wants, they call Policy in the Donor, to engage their Friendship and Good-Will; and set so high a Value on vouchsafing it, that if at any Time a Person to whom they may happen to owe the highest Obligations speaks or looks not just in the Manner they approve, they will threaten to visit them no more, and indeed be as good as their Word frequently, to the great Ease of those who have endured their Company only thro’ an Exuberance of Good-Nature: But pleasant enough is it to observe how they laugh and hug themselves with the Thoughts of the Mortification those are under who are deprived of the Happiness of conversing with them.

If G2r 51

If a Person of this Humour happens to confer a Favour on any one, as his Pride, if he has the Power, will make him ready to do it, not only the Receiver, but all who are any ways related, he thinks bound to be his Slaves forever: ――They must no more have any Will, any Disposition of their own, all must be govern’d by his superior Judgment, and if he discovers they even think in a manner different from him, base, unworthy, thankless, are the kindest Epithets he bestows on them.

Such a one it is equally dangerous to be civil to, or affront; but as they are never Dissemblers, a small Share of Discernment serves to point them out; whoever obliges them is a Prodigal in Goodness, but those who can condescend to be oblig’d by them must have souls too mean to deserve any Pity for the Treatment they receive.

There are besides a third Sort less sordid and deceitful than the first, and of a less perverse and crooked Disposition than the last describ’d, and yet blameable enough too:—These are abundantly grateful while you continue to oblige them, approach you with with more Submissions than you require of them, over-rate every thing you do for them, extol you to the Skies in all Company, and seem proud of acknowledging every Favour they have received:—But if at last they happen to request any thing which it does not suit with your Convenience to grant, they set all that is past at nought, retract the fine Things G2 they G2v 52 they have said of you, and sometimes even go so far as to load you with the most gross Abuse.

This is a Temper, which, as it shews itself not immediately, one cannot so well guard against; but when once discover’d should be as much exposed as possible, to prevent others from being deceiv’d by it.

No one who is a Self-Lover can ever be truly grateful or sincere, for tho’ that Passion engages a Person to love all that love him for a Time, yet will it make him, on the first Prospect of a greater Advantage, presently transfer his Affections elsewhere.

As for the Gratitude of a Lover to his Mistress, or a Lady to her Lover, I have already shewn in my Comments on Amintor’s Letter, that there is no such Thing in reality, all the Actions being govern’d by a Passion which there is no over-ruling entirely, or if there be, that it is only when they consent to marry those they cannot love; for certainly that can never be a true Gratitude, tho’ it sometimes bears the Name, which influences a Person to join in a Union for Life, with one, whom they must every Day render more miserable, by giving every Day new Proofs of Aversion.

It is therefore always owing to some latent Self-Interest, when either Man or Woman consents to do this Violence to Inclination.

Amelia G3r 53

Amelia, the great Fortune, yielded, after a long Courtship, to marry Melania, a Gentleman of a small Estate: But wherefore did she so? Only to conceal, under the Name of Wife, the Effects of her Criminal Conversation with Polities the Gamester:—Yet she will tell you she gave her Person and Fortune to Melania merely as a Reward of his Constancy; and did this injur’d Husband make any complaints of her Indifference and Contempt, or was observed to abate any Part of that Respect and Tenderness he treated her with before Marriage, all Mankind would brand him with the highest Ingratitude.

Could we look into the Secrets of the wedded World, I more than fear we should find innumerable Instances, where Gratitude in both Sexes has been but the Pretext to mask over some less laudable Motive.

There is, I think, another mistaken Notion pretty general, and that is, when of two Persons who long have lov’d, and given each other all the Proofs of Affection in their Power, the one shall fall off without receiving any Cause from the other, and for the sake of a new Object forfeit all Vows, renounce all Obligations, and leave the forsaken Party to languish in vain Complainings: —In such a Circumstance, ungrateful is the Epithet commonly given to the Person guilty of violated Faith; but I can by no Means allow it to be just, because I once more beg Leave to assert, that G3v 54 that to love is not an Action of the Will, and we cannot pay any farther than is in our Power: A Person may change in the Manner I have mention’d, yet know the Change unreasonable, and sincerely wish there were a Possibility that the first Obligations still retained their Force; therefore the Transition proceeds not from Ingratitude, but Weakness and Instability, a wavering and inconstant Mind, which knows not how to settle, nor what would satisfy it.

Let no one think, however, that I mean to palliate the Crime of so gross an Abuse of Tenderness, by attempting to prove it cannot properly be call’d Ingratitude; on the contrary, the Man or Woman guilty of it in my Opinion merits the severest Censure, yet not so much, because they change from one Object to another, as because they did not well consult their own Hearts before they made the first Overture:—A Passion inspired by that Sympathy I have mention’d founded on Reason and recompensed by Kindness, can never alter, and a Person who declares himself a Lover, should first ask himself the Question, and be well assured he can be always so.

Nor can I call it Ingratitude between married Persons, where one of them, by the arbitrary Power of Parents, shall be compell’d to give a Hand without a Heart, and is afterwards unable to subdue the fix’d Aversion, so far as to return the Affection of the other with any Degree of Tenderness.—Thisderness. G4r 55 derness.—This is, I confess, a Case truly pityable on both Sides, but yet leaves no room for Reproach on either, unless the Party who dislikes has ungenerously conceal’d it before Marriage, or the Party disliked is foolishly obstinate enough to run the Hazard of becoming more engaging afterwards.

In a Word, I can see no Ingratitude in Love Affairs except in one Circumstance, which is this, —If a Person is extremely beloved by one, for whom he or she, for I do not confine myself to Sexes, has neither Inclination nor Aversion, and to whom either to be united or not is a Matter of Indifference, yet endeavours to make the most of what Affection offers, by higling for more Advantages than his or her Fortune could any way pretend to, without that partial Affection, such a Behaviour is indeed ungrateful as well as sordid.

We frequently hear of Instances of this Kind, but I heartily wish that all such thankless Persons might meet the same Fate with one, whose Adventures, I believe, will not be disagreeable to my Readers.

Celemena was the Daughter and sole Heiress of a Gentleman of a very large Estate, perfectly agreeable in her Person without being a Beauty; she had a good Capacity and an excellent Disposition:—Being such, it is not to be wonder’d at that her Parents were extrememly tender of her, nor that they made her be instructed in G4v 56 in all the Accomplishments befitting a Person of her Sex and Fortune.

But that to which she most apply’d herself was Musick and Singing, she would sit the whole Day, if not call’d from it, at her Harpsicord, practising those Lessons which had been given her in the Morning, and by degrees became so attach’d to it, that in Effect she regarded nothing else.――Her Governess often chid her for devoting herself so much to one thing, and reminded her, that tho’ Musick was very agreeable, yet there were other Studies more worthy her Attention, and ought at least to have their Share.―― This she seem’d sensible of, but could not be brought to lay aside her Books without Reluctance, and whatever she employ’d herself in, the last new Song ran always in her Head:—When the Hour in which her Master in this Science accustom’d to visit her approach’d, she was continually looking on her Watch, and if he came not at the Moment she expected, discovered an Impatience which was never seen in her on any other Score.

This, with some Glances she was ignorant of herself, yet observ’d by the Governess, made that careful Creature tremble, lest her young Charge should be no less pleas’d with the Person of her Master than with his Art:—She kept those Suspicions however for some time to herself, but imagining that every Day gave her fresh Reasons to believe they had not deceiv’d her H1r 57 her, she thought it her Duty to acquaint the Mother of Celemena with them.

The old Lady imparted what she had heard to her Husband, and on reasoning on the Subject, when they considered their Daughter’s Youth, her excessive Fondness for Musick, and the handsome Person of the Man in question, they began to fear the Governess had not been mistaken.

After debating what was best to be done in so vexatious an Affair, it seem’d most proper to them both, to discharge Mr. Quaver, for so I shall call him, from his Attendance, without giving any other Reason for it than that they thought Celemena had made a sufficient Progress, and had no occasion for further Instructions.

The putting this Resolution into Execution convinced them, that what they fear’d was too sure a Truth:—The Melancholly which Celemena fell into on the Loss of this Master, shewed not only that she loved, but also loved him to an uncommon Degree:—All that could be done for her Amusement or Diversion, had not the least Effect, and the Disorders of her Mind had so great an Influence over her Body, that she fell in a short Time into a violent Fever:—Her Life for some Days was despair’d of, but her Youth, Strength, and Constitution, joined with the Skill of the Physicians, at length repell’d that Enemy to Nature:—The Fever left her, but the Cause still H re- H1v 58 remaining, threw her into another Distemper, which threaten’d no less fatal, tho’ less sudden Consequences:—In fine, she had all the Symptoms of a Consumption, and those who had the Care of her, both in her late and present Illness, easily perceiving that she labour’d under some inward Grief, told her Parents, that without that were remov’d, it would be in vain for them to hope they should preserve their Daughter.

A second Consultation was held on this afflicting News, between the Father, Mother, and Governess of the young Lady; the Result of which was, that the latter should, by all the Stratagems she could invent, draw her into a Confession of the Truth:—They flatter’d themselves, that if the Secret was once reveal’d, the Arguments they might make use of to her would enable her to overcome a Passion so unworthy of her; but if all fail’d, they resolved rather to gratify it than see her perish in the hopeless Flame.

It was no difficult Matter for a Person, who by her Age doubtless had some time or other in her Life experienc’d the Passion she was about to speak of, to talk of it in such a manner as should discover the Progress of it in another. Celemena betray’d herself without knowing she did so; and when she found her Secret was reveal’d, scrupled not to confess, that she took a strange Liking of Mr. Quaver’s Person and Conversation from the first Time he was introduced to her;—that the more she saw him, the more her Inclination increased,creased, H2r 59 creased, till it entirely engrossed her whole Heart; and that by what she had endured since she had been deprived of seeing him, she was very well convinced she could not live without him; but added, that she believed he was ignorant of the Love she bore him, At least, says she, I hope he is; for I should dye with Shame, if I thought he suspected me guilty of a Weakness which I cannot forgive in myself.

The Governess comforted her the best she could, and perceiving that the Hurry of Spirits this Discourse had put her in made her ready to faint away, exceeded her Commission so far as to give her Hopes that if she really loved to that Excess she appear’d to do, and thought him worthy of being her Husband, her Parents might be brought to consent.

This seemed too great a Happiness for the enamour’d Maid to give much Credit to; yet the Transport she was in at the bare mention of it, and the Agonies she fell into, as Reason abated the pleasing Idea, assured the Person who was Witness of them, that there was do other Means of saving her Life than such a Confirmation.

She went directly from her to the old Lady’s Apartment, and related to her the whole of what had pass’d between them:—How great was her Affliction any one may guess: But flattering herself that Shame might work some Effect on her, she bid the Governess let her know she had acacquaintedH2 quainted H2v 60 acquainted both her and her Father with the Secret, and you may tell her, added she, that you have endeavour’d to prevail on us to comply with her Inclinations; but that the Surprize and Grief we are in at hearing she had so much demean’d herself, as to entertain a Thought of such a Fellow, made us give no Answer to what you said.

The Governess went immediately about making this Essay, tho’ certain in her Mind of the little Success it would have:—The Passion Celemena was inspired with, was indeed too strong to be overcome this way; and tho’ dutiful, and wanting in none of those Respects owing from Children to their Parents, not all the Sorrows she occasioned them in this Point, had Power to turn the Current of her Affections.

Finding her Mother came not into her Chamber the next Day as usual, she doubted not but her Indignation against her Passion was at least equal to the Grief for her Condition; and despairing of any Effect of her Governess’s Promises, her Heart, over-press’d beneath a Weight of Anguish, refused its accustomed Motion, and she fell into Faintings, out of which she was not without great Difficulty recover’d.

Her Mother distracted at the Danger of so darling a Child, cry’d out to her, that her Inclinations should no longer be opposed,—that since Quaver was so necessary to her Life, he should immediately be made acquainted with his good Fortune, H3r 61 Fortune, and that the Moment of her Recovery should join their Hands.

The Father, no less anxious, made the same Promise, which Celemena still doubting the Performance of, they both confirmed with the most solemn Oath.

As it could not be supposed but that the Musician would receive an Offer of this Nature with an Excess of Humility and Joy, he was sent for, and told by the Parents of Celemena, that as notwithstanding the Disparity between them the young Lady had thought him worthy, they too dearly prized her to thwart her Inclinations, and would bestow her on him in case he had no previous Engagement.

The Astonishment he was in at the Beginning of this Discourse was very visible in his Countetenance, but being Master of a good Share of Cunning it abated, and he not only recover’d himself entirely before they had finish’d what they had to say, but also resolved what Answer he should make.

He had heard the young Lady had been dangerously ill some Time, and that she still kept her Bed, and so sudden and unexpected a Proposal made to him by her Parents left no room to doubt the Motive of it; so without any Consideration of what he owed either to her Love, or this Condescension in them, he meditated only how H3v 62 how to make the best Bargain he could for his pretty Person, which he now thought he could not set too high a Value upon.

After having assured them that he was under no Engagement, and slightly thanking them for the Honour they did him in making choice of him for a Son in Law, he begg’d Leave to know what Portion they intended to give their Daughter.

Such a Question from a Man, whom they expected would have rather thrown himself at their Feet all in Extacy and Transport, might very well astonish them:—They look’d one upon another for some Minutes without being able to reply; but the Father first regaining Presence of Mind,—Mr. Quaver, said he, since I am willing to give my Daughter to you, there is little room for you to suppose I should bestow a Beggar on you; but since you seem to doubt it, I will put Five Thousand Pounds into your Hands for the present, and according as I find you behave will add to it.

Five Thousand Pounds! cry’d the Musician: Sir, I live very well as I am on my Business, and will not sell my Liberty for twice the Sum.

Nothing could have been a greater Proof of the Consideration this tender Father had of his Child, than that he did not resent this Arrogance in the Object of her Affection, by ordering his H4r 63 his Footmen to turn him out of Doors; but his Fears for her over-rul’d all he owed to himself, and he only reply’d, Well, Mr. Quaver, I will think of your Demand, and if you call Tomorrow will acquaint you with the Result.

’Twould be needless to repeat the Shock such a Behaviour must be to Persons of their Rank and Figure in the World; or how great an Aggravation it was to their Affliction, that Celemena should have bestowed her Heart on a Man whose Mind was as sordid as his Birth was mean:—They were fearful of acquainting her with the little Regard he seem’d to have for her, but on her being extrememly urgent to know what had pass’d at an Interview her Peace was so deeply interested in, they at last ventured to repeat not only the Demand that Quaver had made, but also describ’d the insolent Manner in which he spoke and look’d; but withall assured her, that for her Sake they would both forgive and comply with it.

Celemena listen’d attentively to the Narrative, but seem’d much less troubled than their Apprehensions had suggested:—She fainted not, she even wept not, but after a little Pause thank’d her Father for the unexampled Tenderness he express’d for her, and beseech’d him, that since he was so good to grant every thing desir’d by a Man, who, she confess’d, was worthy of little either from him or herself, that she might be placed the next Day in some Room, where she might H4v 64 might hear, unseen by him, how he received the Condescension would be made him.

This Request was easily granted, and when they were told he was below, a Servant was order’d to conduct him into a Room divided only by a thin Wainscot from Celemena’s Chamber. She had quitted her Bed that Day, which for a long Time she had not been able to do, and sat with her Governess as close as she could to the Partition, so that she could hear all that pass’d with the same Ease as if she had been in the Room with them.

Well, Mr. Quaver, said the old Gentleman, I think you told me Yesterday that the Price at which you set your Liberty was Ten Thousand Pounds:—It is certainly a great Sum for a Person of your Vocation, who have no other Jointure to make my Daughter than a few Music Books; but as she has set her Heart upon you, I will not refuse you, and the Money shall be paid on the Dvay of Marriage.

Alass, Sir, reply’d the other, I am sorry I was so unhappy to be mistaken; I told you that I would not marry for twice the Sum you offer’d at first, which you may remember was Five Thousand Pounds;――and I think you cannot give me less than fifteen Thousand, and five Thousand more at the Birth of the first Child; besides, I expect you should settle your whole Estate on me after your Decease, that your Daughter, who I know is Heiress, I1r 65 Heiress, may not assume too much, as many Wives do, when they have the Power of receiving Rents lodg’d in their own Hands.

At these Words the Father was oblig’d to summon all his Moderation, yet could not restrain himself from crying out, Heavens! What have I done to merit a Punishment so severe?—Unhappy Celemena, to love where there is nothing but what ought to create Contempt!

Whatever Opinion you may have of me, Sir, return’d Quaver with a most audacious Air, I know myself, and shall not abate an Ace of my Demand: If you think fit to comply with it I will make a good Husband to your Daughter;—If not, I am your humble Servant:—She must die.

Celemena no sooner heard this, than she sent her Governess to beg her Father to come into her Chamber before he made any farther Reply to what was said; and on his entering threw herself at his Feet, and embracing his Knees with a Vehemence which surpriz’d him,—O, Sir, said she, by all the Love and Tenderness you have ever used me with, by this last, the greatest Proof sure that ever Child receiv’d, I conjure you, suffer not yourself nor me to be one Moment longer affronted and insulted by that unworthy Fellow, whom I almost hate myself for ever having had a favourable Thought on:— Spurn him, I beseech you, from your Presence;— I let I1v 66 let him seek a Wife more befitting him than Celemena, who now hates and scorns him.

But are you certain, my Dear, said this fond Father, that you can persist in these Sentiments?

Forever, Sir, answered she, and your Commands to unite me to such a Wretch would now render me more miserable, than two Days past your Refusal would have done.

It is not to be doubted but that the old Gentleman was transported at this unlook’d for Change, and returning to Quaver, whom he found looking in the Glass, and humming over a Tune of his own composing, he told him, That the Farce was entirely over, Celemena had only a Mind to divert herself with his Vanity, which having done, he might go about his Business, for there was no Danger of her dying, unless it were with laughing at his so easily believing that to be serious which was only a Jest.

The Musician, so lately blown up with Self- Conceit, was now quite crush’d at once; and as those too soon elated with the Appearance of any prosperous Event are, with the same Ease dejected with the Reverse, he look’d like one transfix’d with Thunder; but when he was about to say something in a stammering Voice, by way of Reply,—the old Gentleman cut him short, by telling I2r 67 telling him in the most contemptuous Manner, That as neither himself nor his Daughter had any Disposition to continue the Frolick, he had no more Buusiness there; but might go Home and dream of a fine Lady with fifteeen thousand Pounds, and a great Estate.

To prove how much he was in earnest, he rang his Bell, and ordered his Servants to shew him out; on which he muttered somewhat between his Teeth, and went away justly mortified, and ready to hang himself for what he lost by his egregious Folly.

Celemena, perfectly cured of her Passion, and no otherwise troubled than ashamed of having ever entertained one for a Person such as he had now proved himself, soon resumed her former Health and Vivacity; and was some time after married to a Person of Condition, who knew how to esteem her as he ought.

This Behaviour in Quaver I will allow to be the highest Ingratitude, and am very certain there are many such Examples of it in our Bargain-Makers for Marriage, though all have not the same Spirit and Resolution Celemena testified in resenting it.

Thus have I attempted to obviate some of those Errors in Judgment, concerning the Crime of Ingratitude, which frequently mislead the Mind; yet on the whole I must conclude as I began,gan, I2v 68 gan, that there is no Possibility of tracing it in all Circumstances and Cases.

That I may avoid the Imputation of being guilty of it myself, I must not forget to acknowledge the great Favour I have receiv’d from the Public, by their Encouragement of these my Monthly Lucubrations, and also for Distrario’s Letter, which is just now come to Hand, and which I assure him shall be inserted in the next Female Spectator, with the Sentiments of our Club on the Matter it contains.

End of the Seventh Book.


The Female Spectator.

Book VIII.

Correspondents beginning to thicken upon us, and every one being desirous of somewhat by way of Comment or Reply, due Order must be observed as to inserting and answering the Letters as they come to Hand; we therefore hope those of a later Date will not take it ill that we give the first Place to that of Distrario, as having been first received.

To the Female Spectator. Madam, The Justice you have done in recommending Dramatick Performances, before any other of the present more encourag’d Diversions of the Town, renders your Monthly Essays a proper Vehicle to convey the Groans K of K1v 70 of the Stage to the Ears of the Publick; nor can those Gentlemen who unhappily have devoted themselves to the Muses, find any Means of making their Complaint with so much Probability of Success, as through your nervous and pathetick Strains. Be not startled, I beseech you, at the Sight of this long Epistle, nor imagine it is my Intention to trouble you with any Animadversion on the late or present Contests between the Patentees and Players, the Town is already sufficiently pester’d with Cases and Replies, and I am afraid these idle Quarrels among themselves will rather contribute to bring Acting in general into Contempt, than be of any Service to the Persons concern’d in them. No, Madam, my Aim is to obviate the more real Misfortunes of the Theatres, and shew how the Drama is wounded through the Sides of those by whom alone it can exist with any Honour or Reputation. There are two Reasons commonly assign’d why the Nobility and better Sort of People have of late Years very much withdrawn that Encouragement they used to vouchsafe to the Stage.—The first is, that the Parts in which Wilks, Booth, Cibber senior, Oldfield, Porter, and some others appear’d in with great Propriety, are but ill supplied by their Successors; but I cannot look on this as any real Objection, because K2r 71 because it would be both cruel and unjust: Actors cannot always retain the same Faculties any more than other People, much less can they be immortal: Besides, there are at this Time several whose Merit ought not to be absorbed in the Regard we pay to the memory of those who went before them. And if even they are less excellent, I do not perceive but the Audiences are satisfied with their Endeavours to please us, by imitating them as far as it lies in their Power.――The second, were it founded on Truth, would be of Weight indeed, and that is, that there are now no Gentlemen of any Abilities that will write for the Stage, and that the Town is obliged to be content with seeing the same Things over and over again for several Seasons together, without any one new Subject of Entertainment being exhibited. The latter Part of this Objection is founded on too known a Fact not to give some Credit to the former, especially when propagated by those whose Interest one would imagine it was to inculcate a contrary Opinion; but this it is I take upon me to confute, by displaying those latent Motives which have occasioned a Report so injurious to the present Age, that I wonder no-body has yet taken the Pains to examine into it. First, let us ask the Question whether there are, or are not, any surviving Genius’s truly qualified to write for the Stage?――I believe no-body will answer in the Negative, because nothing could be more easy than to prove the K2v 72 the contrary:—This being granted, let us ask farther, whence it comes to pass that every one should now despise an Avocation which was once attended with considerable Profit, and so much Reputation, that some of our greatest Men have valued themselves more on their Talents this way, than on their Coronets:―― Strange it seems, that the Name of a Dramatick Poet should at present be so contemptible, that no Person of real Abilities will chuse to be distinguished by it! Yet it is easily accounted for, if the tedious Delays, the shocking Rebuffs, the numberless Difficulties an Author is almost sure to meet with in his Attempt to introduce any new Thing on the Stage, were laid open and consider’d as they ought. A Person of Condition would make but an odd Figure, if, after having taken Pains to oblige the Town, and do Honour to the Stage, he should be made to dance Attendance at the Levee of an imperious Patentee for Days, Weeks, nay Months together, and receive no other Answers than that he had not had Time to look over his Play;—that he had mislaid it;―― or perhaps affects to forget he ever saw it:――. At last the Actors must be consulted, and it often happens that those among them who are least capable of judging, are called into the Cabinet Council.――If any one of these happens to dislike the Character he imagines will be K3r 73 be allotted for him, then the whole Piece is condemned; and at the Conclusion of the Season, or it is possible at that of two or three succeeding ones, the Author has it return’d, and is told, It is not Theatrical enough, a Term invented by this august Assembly, to conceal their Inability of pointing out any real Faults, and the Meaning of which can neither be defined by themselves nor any body else. But you will say, Why should they behave in this manner?――Is it not the Interest of both Manager and Actors to receive a good Play, which will be certain of putting Money in the Pocket of the one, and securing the Payment of the Salaries of the other. To which I answer, That it is doubtless their their true Interest; but Avarice and Indolence render many People blind to what is so:―― The Manager flatters himself, that if the Town cannot have new Plays they will come to old ones, and he shall thereby save the Profits of the third Nights; and the Actors (those I mean of them who are at what they call the Top of the Business, for the others have no Influence) having their Salaries fixed, think they have no Occasion to take the Trouble of studying new Parts, since they know they must be paid equally the same without it. These, Madam, are the false ill-judg’d Maxims by which both Patentee and Company are K3v 74 are swayed to reject the most excellent Pieces submitted to their Censure, and are the Motives which deter, as far as it relates to them, an Author from offering any thing to the Stage. Yet while I condemn the little Inclination those Gentlemen for the most Part testify to oblige the Town, or give Encouragement to the Poets, I must do them the Justice to say that it has not been always owing to them that so many improveing and delightful Entertainments have been deprived of seeing the Light. There is another more terrifick Cloud from a superior Quarter hangs over the Author’s Hopes, and threatens the Destruction of his most sanguine Expectations. I believe neither yourself, nor any of your Readers will be at a Loss to understand I mean the Licence-Office, at the Head of which a great Person is placed who cannot be supposed to have Leisure to inspect every one, nor indeed any of the Pieces brought before him; and there is much more than a bare Possibility that his Deputies may either through Weakness or Partiality err in their Judgment, and give an unfair Report; nay, some go so far as to imagine they are under a secret Compact with the Managers of both Houses to reject indiscriminately every Thing that comes, except recommended by the higher Powers; but this I am far from being able to lay to their Charge, nor do indeed think either the one or L1r 75 or the other capable of entring into any such Combination. But to what, unless one of the foregoing Reasons, can we impute forbidding the Tragedies of Edwardand Eleonora, Gustavus Vasa, and some other excellent Performances, founded on the most interesting Parts of History, supported by various Turns and surprizing Incidents, and illustrated with all the Strength and Beauty of Language, especially the former, which for every thing that can render a Piece improving and entertaining, finds itself not excelled (I had almost said equall’d) by any Thing either of the antient or modern Writers.―― Yet was this admirable Play, when just ready to make its Appearance, forbad to be acted, the longing Expectations of the Publick were disappointed, and we had been totally deprived of so elegant an Entertainment, did not, thank Heaven, the Liberty of the Press still continue in some measure with us. Tho’ stript of all the Ornaments of Dress and Action, it gives in the Reading a lasting and undeniable Proof that it is neither Want of Abilities, or an Indolence in exerting those Abilities, but Permission to exhibit them in a proper manner, that the Stage at present affords so little Matter of Attraction. But I will now come to the Point which chiefly induced me to trouble the Female SpectatorL tator L1v 76 tator with this Letter; and having enumerated the many Hardships Authors in general go through in attempting to get their Plays acted, I will proceed as briefly as the Circumstance will admit, to lay before you those which myself in particular has labour’d under. I must inform you, Madam, that I have wrote several Things which have not only been well received by the Publick, but have also been favoured with the Approbation of some of our best Judges; and that it was no less owing to their Encouragement than my own Ambition, that I resolv’d to try the Force of my Genius in the Dramatick Way, which, according to one of the greatest of our English Poets, ――Is a bold PretenceTo Learning, Breeding, Wit and Eloquence. I ventured at it, notwithstanding; and, undeter’d by Example, launch’d into that Sea, on whose Rocks and Quicksands so many much more skilful Pilots than myself had been wrecked before my Eyes. To confess the Truth, I was greatly embolden’d by the Favour and Friendship of a Person of Condition, a Courtier, and who I imagin’d had Interest enough both with the Licenser and Players to introduce whatever he should recommend. But to return:— As L2r 77 As my Genius inclin’d me chiefly to the Sublime, my first Attempt was Tragedy.―― The Part of History I made Choice on, was the famous Combat between Edward, surnamed Ironside, King of England, and the great Canute of Denmark.—There appear’d to me so true a Magnanimity and paternal Affection for his People in that heroick Prince, when, to save the Effusion of their Blood, he set all his own, as well as Kingdom at Stake, and fought Hand to Hand with one who had no Equal but himself in Strength and Courage, while both Armies stood admiring Spectators only of his wondrous Valour, that I thought a more proper Subject could not have employed my Pen.—I am not apt to be vain of my own Performances, but the Friend abovemention’d assured me I had done my Part as a Poet; but withal said, he was sorry I had not pitched upon some other Story;—that this would never do; that it would be look’d upon as too romantick; —that Customs were entirely chang’d since the Days of Ironside;—that Kings were now too sacred to hazard their Persons in that manner; and concluded with advising me not to expose it, as it would never pass the Office, and might render me obnoxious. This was a very great Mortification to me, however I submitted to his Judgment, and chang’d the Scene to the last Part of that glorious Monarch’s Life, where himself and Kingdom were betrayed and given up to Ruin, by L2 the L2v 78 the Treachery and Avarice of his first Minister and Favourite, Edrick Duke of Mercia; but alas! my Patron disapproved of this more than the former, and told me, A first Minister, especially an ill one, ought never to be represented on the Stage; because seditious People might take upon them to draw Parallels, thereby lessening the Reverence due to those in Power. I then took the Liberty of intreating he would recommend some Part of History for me to write upon; but he told me, as to that, he had not Leisure to think of such Things; all he could do was to advise me either to find out or invent some agreeable Fable, where no King or Prime Minister of any sort had any Business to be introduced; and above all Things not to lay the Scene in any of the independant Common-Wealths, because, said he, it may naturally draw you into some Expressions that may savour of Republicanism. Some Months I pass’d in considering what he had said, and searching History in order to find out, if possible, some Event, the Representation of which might be liable to none of these Objections; but the Thing was in itself an utter Impossibility, and all my Endeavours served only to convince me it was so. My Ambition of acquiring the Name of a Dramatick Author not being quelled by the Disappointments I receiv’d, still flatter’d me with L3r 79 with better Success in the Comick Vein.—A Whim, which I thought would be entertaining enough, came into my Head, and I threw it immediately into Scenes, which I afterwards divided into five Acts, and gave the Piece the Title of The Blunderers, from two odd Fellows I had introduced, who were continually labouring to do and undo, and made whatever was bad still worse. But, good Madam Spectator, how shall I describe the Passion my Friend was in at seeing this Title! If I did not know, said he, that you were an honest Man, I should take you for the most arrant Rascal in the World:—What is it you mean by calling your Comedy the Blunderers? Are you insensible that the Jacobites, and Enemies to the Government, aspers’d the late Ministry with the Name of Blunderers, and are they not beginning to load the present with the same odious Appellation?—I am surpriz’d a Poet can have so thick a Head. Tho’ what he accused me of had never before came in my Thoughts, I was now sensible I had committed an Error, and having confessed as much, told him, That the Title need be no Objection to the Play itself, which might with the same Propriety be called the Bubbles, there being several Characters in it which might well deserve that Name. This, instead of appeasing, as I expected it L3v 80 it would have done, his Rage, more enflam’d it. —How, cried he, then I perceive you are aiming at Popularity:—You cannot be so ignorant as not to know, by the Bubbles will be understood the common People:――I will have no more to say to you or your Productions. He left me in speaking these Words, nor could I prevail on him to renew our former Familiarity for a long Time; and I was so much disquieted at the Thoughts of having so foolishly forfeited the Interest I before had with him, that I had no Capacity for writing any thing.— At length, however, he was reconcil’d; I recover’d his Esteem, and with it my Inclination for the Drama, but told him, That the Mistakes I had been guilty of had determin’d me not to go upon my own Bottom till I had more Experience, but would build on the Plan of some old Author, whose Fable could no way be brought into Comparison with the present Transactions. This he seeming to approve of, I mention’d a Comedy wrote near a Century and a half ago, by one Drawbridge Court Belchier, a Gentleman it seems much applauded for his poetic Works in the Age he lived: The Title of it is, Hans Beer Pot, or the Invisible Comedy of see me and see me not; which I had no sooner repeated than he cried out,—You must not think of it;—it will be taken for a Reflection on the Dutch, who, you know, tho’ they have of late played L4r 81 played a little the Will o’ the Wisp with us, are, notwithstanding, our good Friends and Allies, and must not be affronted. I knock’d under, in token of yielding myself in the wrong; and having read over a great many old Comedies in order to find one for my Purpose, I asked what he thought of a Play of Middleton’s, called, A Mad World my Masters.—On which he shook his Head and answer’d, That may affect some Princes of Germany;—I would not have you meddle with it. I then told him, that the Knight of the burning Pestle, wrote by Beaumont and Fletcher, could not give Offence to any Party. You are deceived, said he, who knows but it may with some ignorant People bring the noblest Orders of Knighthood into Contempt. Well then, resumed I, the Isle of Gulls, wrote by Mr. Day in the Reign of our Elizabeth of immortal Memory, may surely be moderniz’d, without incurring the Censure of any Party. Fye, fye, replied he peevishly, you are as ill a Judge of other Men’s Productions as of your own:――Such a Play would be look’d upon as a most scandalous Libel. Quite impatient to hit on something out of the Reach of Cavil, I proposed the Revival of L4v 82 of Brenennoralt, or the Discontented Colonel, a Play of Sir John Suckling’s; but that it seems border’d too near on some late military Disgusts.――. The Glass of Government, by Gascoigne, might also be construed into an arrogant Attempt to point out Defects which ought to be concealed.――The Supposes, by the same Author, might affront a certain great Man who is thought to build all his Schemes on Supposition. By the Hog has lost his Pearl, tho’ wrote by Taylor in the Year 16111611, I should infallibly be understood to insinuate a present Loss of British Liberty.—Mr. Broom’s Play of the Court Beggar would be a glaring Insult on some of the chief Nobility round Whitehall, and some other Places;—and the Court Secret, by Shirley, was a Thing too delicate to be pry’d into.—The Doubtful Heir, by the same Gentleman, and the Fall of Tarquin by Hunt, were equally rejected by this State Critic, tho’ without explaining his Reasons for doing so on these two last. Judge, Madam, how much I was vexed and confounded at hearing Inuendoes, which one could not have imagin’d should ever enter into the Heart of Man; but as I was resolv’d to try this pretended Friend to the utmost, I told him, that since it was so impossible a Thing either to write a new Tragedy or Comedy, or to revive what had been wrote so many Ages past without giving Offence, I would content myself with modernizing an Interlude of more than M1r 83 than two hundred Years old, compos’d by John Heywood, and intitled The four P’s. On this he paused a little, but at last reply’d gravely, That he could by no Means encourage me in any such Attempt; for, said he, by the four P’s may be implied Prince, Power, Parliament and Pension,――or perhaps, People, Poverty, Prison, and Petition:――No, Sir, no, continued he, avoid all such seditious Allegories I beseech you, or we must be no longer acquainted. This put me beyond all Patience, and I could not forbear answering with some Warmth, that I found he endeavour’d to pick Meanings where they were never intended. If the four P’s, said I, contain any Allegory, why must it needs be a seditious one?—Why may they not as well be understood to mean Penitence, Pardon, Peace, and Plenty;—or if that should seem a little strain’d, in the present Age, may it not with greater Propriety be turned on the coquet Part of the fair Sex, and stand for Proud, Pretty, Prating, and Playful? This Argument, tho’ certainly reasonable, had no manner of Weight with him, any more than some others I made use of for the same Purpose; and only serv’d to convince myself that there was no Possibility of writing any thing but what might be liable to Censure from those who made it their Business to find Matter for it. M Thus, M1v 84 Thus, Madam, I have pointed out the Obstacles which lye in the Way of a Dramatic Author, and you will easily conceive the little Probability there is that a Person of Fortune will descend to that servile Dependance and Sollicitation now requir’d for the Admission of his Play; and a Poet, whose sole Support is his Muse, is deterred from risquing on so precarious a Hope that Time, which he is sure to be largely paid for, if employed in the Service of some Persons, not altogether convenient to name. Without some better Regulation therefore on the Part of the Theatres, and some Abatement of the present Severity on that of the Licenser, the Town must despair of seeing any new Thing exhibited, the Drama be entirely neglected, and the Stage in a short Time become a Desart. Nothing can be more worthy the Pen of a Female Spectator than to set this Affair in a proper Light;—that good Nature you have so amiably described, requires it of you in behalf of distress’d Authors:—Justice demands you should stand up in the Defence of an Institution calculated for public Service;――and Reason will, I doubt not, engage you to exert yourself on so laudable an Occasion. I am, Madam, Very much your Admirer and Most obedient humble Servant, Distrario.

M2r 85

We were pretty much divided in our Opinions on the first Perusal of this Letter; but at last agreed, that tho’ the Complaints contained in it might be, and it is highly probable are perfectly just, yet Distrario may perhaps have taken the Latitude allowed to Poets, and represented Things somewhat higher than the Life.――We know not how to think that either of the Patentees, who are both of them Gentlemen of Families, and doubtless have had an Education conformable to their Birth, should be able to bring themselves to treat, even the least meritorious of those who endeavour to serve them and oblige the Town, with that Haughtiness and Contempt he seems to accuse them of. Good Manners is a Debt we owe to ourselves as well as to others, and whoever neglects to pay it forfeits all the Pretensions he might otherwise have both to the Love and Respect of the World. A civil Refusal takes off the Asperity of the Disappointment, and is given with the same Ease as a more rough and poignant one: Sure therefore those who are at the Head of an eternal Scene of Politeness, cannot so far vary from what they have continually before their Eyes. But as this is a Punctilio which regards only the Persons of the Poets, who are very well able to return in kind any Slights they may imagine put upon them, and is of much less Consequence to the Public than those their Productions meet with, it were to be wish’d that some of the great World would vouchsafe to interest themselves in this Affair, and not leave it at the Option of those who live by the Good Humour of the Town, to M2 deprive M2v 86 deprive the Town of any Entertainment it has a Right to expect from them.

As therefore there is an Office to forbid the Exhibition of such new Plays as by it are judg’d to have any thing in them offensive or indecent, it would not, methinks, be unbecoming the Wisdom of the Legislature to erect one for the commanding and enforcing such to be acted as on Perusal are found proper to entertain a polite and virtuous Audience.

Such an Office, under the Direction of Gentlemen qualified to judge of Dramatic Performances, would take away all Occasion of Complaint from the Poets, and be a Motive to induce many Gentlemen to write for the Stage, who, if it be as Distrario says, are now deterred from it.

Besides, to prevent the Shock an Author feels in having his Piece rejected, as well as all Jealousies of Partiality in the Affair, every one might send his Play without ever being known from what Hand it came, till it had been approved and was ordered to be acted.

’Tis certain, that according to the Opinion we have of the Man, we are greatly prejudic’d in Favour or Dislike of his Work; yet this is in truth a Piece of Injustice which we ought not to indulge ourselves in.――It is possible to excel in one kind of Writing, yet be very bad in another:—Few there are, if any, whose Talents are M3r 87 are universal.—Mr. Pope, whose poetical Works will always be read with an equal Share of Pleasure and Admiration, had, notwithstanding, no Genius to Dramatic Writing; and Mr. Rymer, that awful Critic on the Productions of his Contemporaries, that great Pretender to a Reformation of the Stage, by attempting to give a Proof what Plays ought to be, has only shewn how little he was qualified to write one: This, I believe, will be allowed by every one who has read his Edgar, a Piece which, after all his long Labour, can but at best be called correctly dull, since the two chief Beauties of Tragedy, Pity and Surprize, are entirely wanting in it. Yet doubtless the Town were in high Expectations of something wonderful from a Pen which had been so severe on the Performances of others.

I therefore cannot help smiling within myself, when on the first Talk of a new Play being in Rehearsal, the Name of the Author is presently enquir’d into, and a strict Scrutiny made into the Merit of his former Works; and if he has wrote any thing, tho’ never so foreign to the Stage, that has had the good Fortune to succeed, People cry out,――Oh, if it is his, it must be good! and following this Conclusion, run the first Night to give an Applause to that which perhaps, after they have seen and well considered, they are ashamed of having ever countenanc’d.

Nor am I less concern’d, and even shock’d, when I hear with what Contempt the Performancemance M3v 88 mance of a young Author, who is in a manner but clambering up the Hill of Fame, is treated by some who speak of it;—how they throw aside his Tickets, and cry,――What obscure Fellow is this?――What Stuff does he invite us to?— and either not go to his Play at all, or go with a Prepossession which will not suffer them to give it a fair Hearing.

This is a Piece of Cruelty in some who would be thought good Judges, yet are entirely governed by Prejudice; and I have known has been practised long before those new Hardships which Distrario complains of were ever heard of.

Such an Office, therefore, as I have mentioned, where Plays should be candidly examined, without any Regard to the Merits of their Authors in other Respects, or even knowing who they were, would remedy all these Inconveniencies to the Poets, and also be a Means of obliging the Town with three or four at least new Pieces every Season at each Theatre.

As to the Power of forbidding Plays to be acted, now lodg’d in the Licenser, it must be granted, that in an Age so dissolute as this, there ought to be some Restraint on the Latitude Poets might otherwise take, and some whom I could name have taken, in Expectation of crowded Audiences of the looser Part of both Sexes; but then methinks this Restriction should have its Bounds. —Whatever is offensive to the Majesty of Heaven,ven, M4r 89 ven, or of its Vicegerents on Earth, would be indeed very unfit Subjects to be exhibited on a Stage; but to reject a valuable Play for the sake of such strain’d Inuendoes as the Friend of Distrario suggested, seems to overthrow that decent Liberty which in all Ages, and in all free Nations, has ever been allowed.

The Stage by its Institution is the School of Virtue, and the Scourge of Vice; and when either of these noble purposes is defeated, it is no wonder that Persons of true Sense and Honour chuse to absent themselves, and oblige their Families to do so too.

The Tragedies of Edwardand Eleonora, Gustavus Vasa, Arminius, and some others forbidden by this Office from being acted, have dared the Test of Examination by appearing in Print; and I never yet found any one Person who could penetrate into the Motives which denied us the Pleasure of seeing them represented.

If the true Amor Patriæ be a Virtue these Times are not ashamed of, how must every Breast glow with the noble Ardour at the illustrious Example of Gustavus Vasa, and his brave Dalecarlians?――If the Desire of attaining Glory and Renown for worthy Actions be a Principle which ought to be inculcated in the Young, and cherished in the Old, Arminius affords Lessons for the laudable Ambition?—And if Courage in Distress, Resignation to Heaven, Faith, Love, Piety and M4v 90 and Zeal, and every Virtue that can illustrate the Character of a Christian Hero be deserving our Regard, where can we find a greater Instance than in our gallant Edward?

The Ladies above all have Reason to regret the ill Treatment of this excellent Performance, since none was ever wrote could do greater Honour to the Sex.—The amiable Eleonora is a Character which I believe no other History can parallel, and her Behaviour a shining Proof that Greatness of Mind, Fortitude, Constancy, and all those Perfections which constitute a true Magnanimity, are not confined to the Male Gender.

It was however thought proper to suppress these Plays, and many others, as far as the Power of the Licenser extended, and it is not our Province to examine into his Reasons for so doing; but may allow, with Distrario, that when such as these were not permitted, it is very difficult for an Author to find or invent any Story which may not be liable to some Objection, and suffer the same Fate.

If the Eye could be satisfied with seeing, or the Ear with hearing always the same Things over and over repeated, it must be own’d there are many old Plays which the best of our modern Poets would not perhaps be able to excel; but Nature delights in Variety, and tho’ it would be unjust and ungrateful to strip the Laurels from the Brows of Shakespear, Johnson, Beaumont and Fletcher, N1r 91 Fletcher, Dryden, Otway, Lee, Congreve, and several other deservedly admired Authors, to adorn those who shall succeed them, yet we love to see a Genius the Growth of our own Times, and might find sufficient Trophies for the Merits of such, without any Injury to their Predecessors.

Those most impatient for new Plays desire not, however, that those which for so many Years have continued to divert and please, should now be sunk and buried in Oblivion.――The Poets I have mention’d will always preserve the same Charms, and would do so yet more were they less frequently exhibited.――Some of Shakespear’s Comedies, and all his Tragedies have Beauties in them almost inimitable; but then it must be confessed, that he sometimes gave a Loose to the Luxriancy of his Fancy; so that his Plays may be compared to fine Gardens full of the most beantiful Flowers, but choaked up with Weeds through the too great Richness of the Soil: Those therefore which have had those Weeds pluck’d up by the skilful Hands of his Successors, are much the most elegant Entertainments.

For which Reason I was a little surprized when I heard that Mr. Cibber, junior, had reviv’d the Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet as it was first acted; Cajus Marius being the same Play, only moderniz’d and clear’d of some Part of its Rubbish by Otway, appearing to so much more Advantage, that it is not to be doubted but that N the N1v 92 the admirable Author, had he lived to see the Alteration, would have been highly thankful and satisfied with it.

It were indeed to be wished that the same kind Corrector had been somewhat more severe, and lop’d off not only some superfluous Scenes, but whole Characters, which rather serve to diminish than add to the Piece, particularly those of the Nurse and Sulpitius, neither of them being in the least conducive to the Conduct of the Fable, and all they say savouring more of Comedy than Tragedy.—It is, methinks, inconsistent with the Character of a Roman Senator and Patrician, to suffer himself to be entertained for half an Hour together with such idle Chat as would scarcely pass among old Women in a Nursery: Nor does the wild Behaviour and loose Discourse of Sulpitius at all agree with the Austerity of the Times he is supposed to live in, or any way improve the Morals of an Audience. The Description also of the Apothecary, tho’ truly poetical, and his meagre Appearance, always occasion a loud Laugh, and but ill dispose us to taste the Solemnity of the ensuing Scene.

Mr. Otway was doubtless fearful of going too far, or he had removed every thing which prevents this Piece from being perfect.――It must be own’d he has improved and heightened every Beauty that could receive Addition, and been extremely tender in preserving all those entire which are above the reach of Amendment. Nor N2r 93 Nor is his Judgment in this particular less to be admired than his Candour.――Some Poets, perhaps, to shew their own Abilities, would have put a long Soliloquy into the Mouth of young Marius, when he finds Lavinia at her Window at a Time of Night when it was but just possible for him to distinguish it was she; whereas this judicious Emendator leaves his Author here as he found him; and indeed what could so emphatically express the Feel of a Lover on such an Occasion as is couch’d in this short Acclamation: ――Oh ’tis my Love!See how she hangs upon the Cheek of NightLike a rich Jewel in an Ethiop’s Ear.

Nor is the Tenderness and Innocence of Lavinia less conveyed to us, when in the Fulness of her Heart, and unsuspecting she was overheard by any body, she cries out, Oh Marius! Marius! wherefore art thou Marius?Renounce thy Family, deny thy Name,And in Exchange take all Lavinia.

I mention these two Places merely because they strike my own Fancy in a peculiar manner, for the whole Piece abounds with others equally strong, natural, and pathetic, and is, in my Opinion, and that of many others, the very best and most agreeable of all the Tragedies of that excellent Author.

N2 John- N2v 94

Johnson’s Comedies, tho’ they have less of Fire and Fancy than most of those of the foregoing Author, yet are infinitely more correct, therefore stand in need of little other Alteration than what the Omission of some Scenes, which render them too long for Performance, must necessarily occasion, and which is the Fault of most of those who wrote in former Ages.

Beaumont and Fletcher have left us many excellent Plays; those of them which are moderniz’d afford us very agreeable Matter of Entertainment, and there are many others which would be no less pleasing, if revived with a very few Alterations.

Several also of Shirley, Broom, Masseinger, and other antient Poets, under the Care of a skilful Hand, might come in for their Share of Applause. But I must still agree with Distrario, that in Complaisance to the past, the Stage ought not to be shut up from the present; ――that living Genius’s should at least be admitted to a Probation, and that our immediate Descendants should not have it in their Power to accuse us of a Partiality our Ancestors were not guilty of.

But I am very much afraid the Apprehensions Distrario labours under on this Head are too justly founded, and that the Person whom he consulted on the Choice of his Fable, spoke no more than the Sentiments of those in a superior Class; and if this should happen to be the Case, it N3r 95 it will be in vain for us to hope for any new Performance in the Dramatic Way that will be worth our seeing.

It seems, however, extremely strange that it should be a Crime to represent on the Stage those Transactions which are in History, and everybody has the Privilege of reading and commenting on in any other kind of Writing.

But it may be thought impertinent by some, and too arrogant by others, in me to pretend to argue on a Matter equally impossible to account for as to remedy; I shall therefore forbear any farther Discourse upon it, and proceed to the next Letter on the Table.

To the Female Spectator. Madam, As I look upon you to be a Person who knows the World perfectly well, and has the Happiness of your own Sex very much at Heart, I wonder you have never yet thought fit to throw out some Admonitions concerning the immoderate Use of Tea; which however innocent it may seem to those that practise it, is a kind of Debauchery no less expensive, and perhaps even more pernicious in its Consequences, than those which the Men, who are not professed Rakes, are generally accused of. This, N3v 96 This, at first Sight, may be looked upon as too bold an Assertion, but, on a nearer Examination, I am perswaded will be found no more than reasonable, and will undertake to prove that the Tea-Table, as manag’d in some Families, costs more to support than would maintain two Children at Nurse.—Yet is this by much the least Part of the Evil;—it is the utter Destruction of all OEconomy,—the Bane of good Housewifry,—and the Source of Idleness, by engrossing those Hours which ought to be employed in an honest and prudent Endeavour to add to, or preserve what Fortune, or former Industry has bestowed.――Were the Folly of wasting Time and Money in this manner confined only to the Great, who have enough of both to spare, it would not so much call for public Reproof; but all Degrees of Women are infected with it, and a Wife now looks upon her Tea-Chest, Table, and its Implements, to be as much her Right by Marriage as her Wedding-Ring. Tho’ you cannot, Madam, be insensible that the trading Part of the Nation must suffer greatly on this score, especially those who keep Shops, I beg you will give me Leave to mention some few Particulars of the Hardships we Husbands of that Class are obliged to bear. The first Thing the too genteel Wife does after opening her Eyes in the Morning, is to ring the Bell for her Maid, and ask if the TeaKettleKettle N4r 97 Kettle boils.—If any Accident has happened to delay this important Affair, the House is sure to eccho with Reproaches; but if there is no Disappointment in the Case, the Petticoats and Bed-Gown are hastily thrown over the Shoulders, Madam repairs to her easy Chair, sits down before her Table in Querpo with all her Equipage about her, and sips, and pauses, and then sips again, while the Maid attends assiduous to replenish, as often as call’d for, the drain’d Vehicle of that precious Liquor. An Hour is the least can be allowed to Breakfast, after which the Maid carries all the Utensils down to the Kitchen, and sits down to the Remains of the Tea (or it is probable some fresh she has found Opportunity to purloin) with the same State as her Mistress, takes as much Time, and would think herself highly injur’d should any one call her away, or attempt to interrupt her in it: So that, between both, the whole Morning is elapsed, and it is as much as the poor Husband can do to get a Bit of Dinner ready by two or three o’Clock. Dinner above and below is no sooner over, than the Tea-Table must be again set forth:—Some friendly Neighbour comes in to chat away an Hour:—Two are no Company, and the Maid being very busy in cutting Bread and Butter, one ’Prentice is called out of the Shop to run this Way and fetch Mrs. Such-a- one, and another that Way to fetch Mrs. Such- a-one, N4v 98 a-one, so that the Husband must be his own Man, and if two Customers chance to come at the same Time, he frequently loses one for want of Hands to serve them. It often happens, that when the Tea-drinking Company have almost finished their Regale, and the Table is going to be removed, a fresh Visitor arrives, who must have fresh Tea made for her; after her another, who is always treated with the same Compliment; a third, perhaps a fourth, or more, till the Room is quite full, and the Entertainment prolonged a considerable Time after the Candles are lighted, when the Days are of a moderate Length. This is sufficient to shew the Loss of Time both as to the Mistress and Servants, and how much the Regularity of the Tea-Table occasions a Want of Regularity in every Thing beside; but, Madam, there is yet another, and more mischievous Effect attends the Drinking too much of this Indian Herb. What I mean is too notorious a Fact not to be easily guessed at; but lest it should be misconstrued by any of your Readers, I shall venture to explain it. Tea, whether of the Green or Bohea kind, when taken to Excess, occasions a Dejection of Spirits and Flatulency, which lays the Drinkers of it under a kind of Necessity of having recoursecourse O1r 99 course to more animating Liquors.――The most temperate and sober of the Sex find themselves obliged to drink Wine pretty freely after it: None of them now-a-days pretend to entertain with the one without the other; and the Bottle and Glass are as sure an Appendix to the Tea-Table as the Slop-Bason. Happy are those who can content themselves with a Refreshment, which, tho’ not to be had in any Perfection in England, is yet infinitely less destructive to the human System than some others too frequently substituted in its Place, when it is found too weak to answer the End proposed by taking it. Brandy, Rum, and other Spirituous Liquors, being of a more exhillearating Nature, at least for the present, are become a usual Supplement to Tea, and, I am sorry to say, by their frequent Use grow so familiar to the Palate, that their intoxicating Qualities are no longer formidable, and the Vapours, Cholic, a bad Digestion, or some other Complaint, serves as an Excuse for drinking them in a more plentiful degree, than the best Constitution can for any length of Time support. Hence ensue innumerable Maladies, Doctor’s Fees, Apothecary’s Bills, Bath, Tunbridge, the Spa, and all that can destroy the wretched Husband’s Peace, or impoverish him in his Fortune. O The O1v 100 The more is his Affection for a Wife who takes so little Care of his Interest and Happiness, and of her own Health and Reputation, the more will his Affliction be; and the less will she be able to forgive herself, when brought by a too late and sad Experience to a right way of Thinking. That you will therefore use your Endeavours that so great an Enemy to the Felicity of the meaner sort of People may be banished from their Houses, is the unanimous Desire of all Husbands, and most humbly petition’d for by him who is, With the greatest Admiration of your Writings, Madam, Your most humble, and Most obedient Servant, John Careful.

I dare say one Half of my Readers will expect me to be very angry at this Declamation against an Amusement my Sex are generally so fond of; but it is the firm Resolution of our Club to maintain strict Impartiality in these Lucubrations; and were any of us ever so deeply affected by the Satire, (which thank Heaven we are not) we should, notwithstanding, allow it to be just.

There cannot certainly be a Subject more tickling to the Spleen of the Ill-natur’d, or afford more O2r 101 more Matter of Concern to the Gentle and Compassionate, than the Affectation of some Tradesmen’s Wives in the Article Mr. Careful complains of; and, it must be own’d, he has done it in so Picturesque a manner, that it is impossible to read him without imagining one sees the ridiculous Behaviour he describes.

No Woman, who is conscious of being guilty of it, can, in my Opinion, behold herself thus delineated without a Confusion, which must occasion a thorough Reformation.

Tea is, however, in itself a very harmless Herb, and an Infusion of it in boiling Water agrees with most Constitutions, when taken moderately; but then, it must be confess’d, we have Plants of our own Growth no less pleasing to the Palate, and more effectual for all the Purposes which furnish an Excuse for the Afternoon’s Regale.

This is a Truth allowed by all, even by those from whom we purchase Tea at so dear a Rate; but alas! the Passion we have for Exotics discovers itself but in too many Instances, and we neglect the Use of what we have within ourselves for the same Reason as some Men do their Wives, only because they are their own.

The three Objections which Mr. Careful makes, or indeed that any body can make against the Tea-Table, are First, The Loss of Time and Hindrance to Business;――Secondly, The O2 Expence; O2v 102 Expence;――and, Lastly, The Consequences, often arising from it, Dram-drinking and Ill-health.

To the first it may be answered, that were Tea to be entirely banished, and Baum, Sage, Mint, or any other English Herb substituted in its Place, and used in the same manner, the Effect would be the same as to that Point, because the one would engross the Hours as well as the other. ――Nor does the second carry any great Weight, the Expence of Tea itself, exclusive of those other Apurtenances, which would be equally necessary with any other Herb is an Indulgence, which, where there is any thing of a Competency, might be allowed the Wife without Prejudice to the Circumstances of her Husband.――But the third is not so easily got over: This is what indeed renders the Use of Indian Tea, above all other, pernicious. None, I believe, that drink it constantly twice a Day, but have experienced the ill Effects it has on the Constitution:—They feel a sinking of the Heart, a kind of inward Horror, which is no ways to be removed but by that dangerous Remedy Mr. Careful mentions, and which, in Time, proves worse than the Disease itself.

It is therefore to be wished, that People of all Ranks would endeavour to wean themselves from it; and I have the more room to hope it will be so, because Persons of Quality, whose Example made it first the Mode, begin every Day to take less and less Pleasure in the Tea-Table.—As it gain’d O3r 103 gain’d not, however, Estimation all at once, we cannot expect it should entirely lose its Credit all at once; and those who suffer by the Use of it, may comfort themselves in the Assurance my spectatorial Observation gives them, that it is already very much declined.

I cannot conclude this Subject without repeating what was said to me some Years ago by a certain Lady with whom I was intimately acquainted:—She was one of the greatest Devotees to the Tea-Table I ever knew:—Bohea and Bread and Butter was her chief Sustenance, and the Society of those who loved it as well as she did, her only Amusement.—An Accident, not material to mention, separated us for a considerable Time; but on the first Visit I made her afterward, was very much surpriz’d to find she had left off Bohea, and would drink only Green, which I thought more prejudicial to her Constitution than the other, she being extremely lean, and inclining to a Consumption.—Having expressed my Sentiments to her on this Head, I am sensible, replied she, that it is very bad for me:— I have had continual Pains in my Stomach ever since I drank it, and cannot enjoy one Hour’s sound Sleep in a whole Night:――Yet what can I do? ――I had rather endure all this than have my Brain disordered, and I assure you, if I had continued the Use of Bohea but a very little longer, I should have been mad.

These Words, delivered in the most grave and O3v 104 and solemn Accents, made me not only then, but ever since, as often as I think on them, smile within myself at the Infatuation of making the drinking Tea of some kind or other of such Importance, that there is no such thing as quitting it, and to chuse that sort which will do us the least Mischief, is all we have to consider.

As these Monthly Essays are published with a View of improving the Morals, not complimenting the Frailties of my Sex, those who remember that Excesses in all Things are blameable, will not think what I have said too severe.

In fine, nothing ought to be indulged till it becomes so far habitual, that we cannot leave it off without Difficulty, when we find it any way prejudicial or inconvenient.

The Snuff-Box and Smelling-Bottle are pretty Trinkets in a Lady’s Pocket, and are frequently necessary to supply a Pause in Conversation, and on some other Occasions; but whatever Virtues they are possess’d of, they are all lost by a too constant and familiar Use, and nothing can be more pernicious to the Brain, or render one more ridiculous in Company, than to have either of them perpetually in one’s Hand.

I know a Lady who never sits down to Dinner without her Snuff-Box by her Plate, and another that cannot sleep without her Bottle of Sal Volatile under her Pillow;—but I shall reserve expatiat- O4r 105 expatiating on the Folly and Misfortune of this Bigotry of Custom till some other Time, lest the fair Author of the following Letter should think herself neglected.

To the Female Spectator. Dear Female Sage, Ihave a vast Opinion of your Wit; and you may be convinced of it by my asking your Advice;—a Compliment, I assure you, I never paid to my own Mother, or any Soul besides yourself.—You must know that, among about half an hundred who make their Addresses to me, there are three who flatter themselves with Hopes of Success; and indeed with some Reason, for I have given to each of them all the Encouragement could be expected from a Woman of Honour:—But I will give you their Characters, and the different Sentiments they have inspired me with, that you may be the better able to judge which of them I ought to make Choice of for a Partner for Life. The first is a tall graceful Man, of an honourable Family, has a large Estate, and offers me a Jointure beyond what my Fortune, tho’ it is very considerable, could demand: He is besides addicted to no kind of Vice, and has the Reputation of a more than common Understanding; but, with all these good Qualities, there O4r 106 there is somewhat in him that displeases me:— He ought, methinks, whenever we are alone together, to entertain me with nothing but his Passion; but, instead of that, he often talks to me on Subjects which he may easily perceive are not agreeable to my Humour, and are indeed too serious to suit with the Years of either of us, he being no more than three and twenty, and I but seventeen.—We were a Week ago to visit a Relation of mine whose House has a Prospect of the Sea, and happening to look out of one of the Windows while we waited for my Cousin’s coming down, how do you think he diverted me? Why with some grave Reflections on that uncertain Element,――the unhappy Fate of brave Admiral Balchen,—and the Loss the Navy and whole Nation had of him;—as if I had anything to do with the Admiral, the Navy, or the Nation: Would it not have better become him, since he must needs talk of the Sea, to have compared me to the Venus rising out of it, or to the charming Hero, for whose sake Leander swam the Hellespont! I could give you a thousand such odd Instances of his Behaviour; and tho’ I am convinced that he loves me, because he has rejected several Proposals of more advantagious Matches in the precarious Hopes of obtaining me, yet he is such a strange Creature that he never once told me that he could not live without me, or swore, that if he could not have me, he would have nobody P1r 107 nobody.—But I have said enough about him, and will now go on to the second. He is what you may call a Lover indeed ――He follows me wherever I go:—My Shadow, or the Dial to the Sun, is not more constant:—Then he is sure to approve of all I say and do; and I frequently both act and speak what my own Reason tells me is absurd, merely to try how he will relish it:—But the poor Creature seems to have no Will but mine, and on my Conscience I believe, were I to bid him cut off his right Hand, he would not hesitate to obey me.—When I but smile upon him, he is all Extasy; and if I frown, his Countenance becomes so meagre, that you would think he had been sick a Week.――I have been two or three times about to give him his final Answer, but was obliged to retract my Words to prevent his running himself through the Body.—In short, the Passion the Man has for me makes him quite silly, and the greatest Objection I have against marrying him, is, that his excessive Fondness would render us the Jest of our Acquaintance.—As to the rest, he has a very good Estate, a Person agreeable enough, a fine gilt Berlin, and the most beautiful String of Horses, except his Majesty’s, that ever I saw in my Life. The third is gay, witty, genteel, handsome as an Angel, and dresses to a charm:—He is intimate with all the great World, knows all Vol. II. P their P1v 108 their Intrigues, and relates them in the most agreeable manner:—Then he has a delightful Voice, a tolerable Skill in Music, and has all the new Tunes the Moment they come from the Composer.――In fine, there is no one Perfection we Women admire in the Sex, that he does not possess in an infinite Degree.—We never are in the Mall, at the Play, Opera, Assembly, or any public Place, but all Eyes are fixed upon him, and then turned on me with a kind of malicious Leer, for engrossing so pretty a Fellow to myself.—Such a Lover, you will own, might be flattering enough to the Vanity of any Woman; and I cannot say but it highly diverts and pleases me, to observe the little Artifices some, even among my own Acquaintance, put in Practice in hopes of gaining him from me. But yet in spite of all these engaging Qualities in him, in spite of the Gratification it gives my Pride to see myself triumphant over all who wish to be my Rivals, my Reason tells me he deserves less of my Affection than either of those I have been describing, not only because his Estate is less, but because he seems to make too great a Merit of preferring me to the rest of my Sex:—He is always telling me of the great Offers daily made to him;—of the Invitations given him by one celebrated Beauty, and the kind Glances he receives from another; and tho’ he always closes these Speeches with vowing it is not in the Power of any Thing to come P2r 109 come in Competition with me, yet he seems, on the whole, to take more Pains to convince me how much he is beloved, than how much he loves; and this makes me conclude him to be what the World calls a Man too full of himself. This is as exact a Picture as I can give you of my three Lovers, and I do not doubt but you are impatient to know which of them it is my Heart is most inclined to favour.—I will tell you then, with the utmost Sincerity, that they have all their Places, and I am, as it were, divided among them.—The first has my Esteem,—the second my Pity,—and the third my Love:—But yet I have not so much Esteem for the first, as should occasion me to despise either of the others I should make Choice of; not so much Pity to the second, as to engage me to allow any Favours prejudicial to whoever should be my Husband; nor so much Love for the last, as not to be able to withdraw it, if once I bestow my Person on a different Object. As I am entirely at my own Disposal, I would fain make such a Choice as should be approved on by the World, and afford the greatest Prospect of Happiness to myself.— You being a Person who can be no way prejudiced in favour of any Pretenders to me, are best capable of advising me in so important an P2 Affair, P2v 110 Affair, and, I flatter myself, will take the Trouble of giving me such Reasons for whatever Part you take, as will determine me to be wholly guided by your Opinion, and enable me to put an End to the long Suspence the abovemention’d Gentlemen have languished in, as well as the fluctuating Condition of my own Mind. A speedy and cordial Compliance with this Request, will lay under the greatest Obligation her who is, Dear Creature, Your constant Reader, And humble Servant,Bellamonte..

There is no Stage nor Rank in Life, that is not attended with some Portion of Disquiet of one kind or other, and I do not doubt but this young Lady feels little less in the Uncertainty which of her Lovers it will best become her to make Choice of, than the most passionate of them does in the Fears of being rejected. However, if she is really as ready to take Advice as the Female Spectator is to give it, the best in our Power shall be done to set her right.

It must be confessed she is no less just than discerning in dividing the present Affections of her Soul.――The first of her Admirers demands all the Esteem she can bestow.—The second,cond, P3r 111 cond, if sincere, is indeed a pity-moving Character.—And the fine Person and Accomplishments of the third, if really such as she imagines them to be, may claim some Share of Inclination. But as all these favourable Sentiments must at last center in one, and Esteem, Pity, and Admiration blend to compose a perfect Tenderness, it would be well for her to consider that the two last of themselves, without more solid Merits to attract the former, can form but a short-liv’d and unsubstantial Passion.—Love is not deserving to be called Love, when not accompanied by Friendship, and Friendship can only be founded on Esteem.—He therefore who is found worthy of that, has a just Title to the other also, if no Disparity of Age, Birth, Fortune, or a disagreeable Form, forbids the soft Impulse, and forces Nature to oppose Reason.

By this, I dare say, Bellamonte expects I will decree for her first Lover, as she acknowledges none of the Impediments I have mentioned can be alledged against him; and if her extreme Youth will permit her to think with that Seriousness the Matter requires, I am sure she has a sufficient Fund of good Sense to know that Things are not always what they seem.—A very little Observation will serve to inform her that the most dying Lover is frequently far removed from the most affectionate Husband; and also, that a Man who values himself upon his personal Excellencies, has often been too careless of his mental Part, to be convinced within himself that Admirationration P3v 112 ration ought only to be the Reward of acquir’d Virtues, not of such casual Perfections as a handsome Face, well-turn’d Limbs, or an agreeable Voice, which a thousand Accidents may deprive him of, and consequently convert the Love he so much plumes himself upon, into an adequate Contempt.

If her first-mention’d Lover does not on every Occasion fall into Despair, and threaten to lay violent Hands on his own Life, as the second does, it shews he has less of the Froth of Love, but does not denote he is not more full of the permanent and valuable Part; on the contrary, his Passion evaporates not in Words:—The Spirit remains entire within his Breast, and it is scarce to be doubted will last as long as Life.

But because she seems to have an equal Share of Good-Nature as of Wit, I would have her be under no Apprehensions that any thing fatal will ensue on her refusing the second Lover; the Deaths threatened by a Man of his Cast, are as fictitious as the Darts and Flames of his pretended Deity; and we often see those of them who prosecute their Aim with the greatest Vigour, bear a Disappointment with the most Indifference. Much less would I have her imagine, that in preferring him to the others, she should be certain of retaining the same Power over his Will and Actions after Marriage as he now flatters her with.――Many Women have been deceived by this Shew of Obsequiousness in those who have afterward P4r 113 afterward become their Tyrants, not remembering what the Poets says: The humblest Lover, when he lowest lies,But kneels to conquer, and but falls to rise,

But as mere Pity and Compassion is all our Bellamonte bestows on this whining Strephon, I am under no great Concern for her on his Account: He may whistle out his Lamentations to the Fields and Groves, or what is every whit as likely, if not much more so, carry them to the Feet of some less obdurate Fair, without her breaking her Peace for his Relief.――I wish I could say the handsome, talking, rattling, singing Gentleman had no more Danger in him.―― The Heart is a busy, fluttering, impudent Thing: It will not lye still when one bids it, nor are its Dictates to be silenced by Reason, or guided by the Head; and if the Beau by his Dress, Address, or any other Charm, has got an Entrance there, I am very much afraid poor Esteem will come off a Loser in spite of all can be urged by the Female Spectator.

I therefore sincerely wish it may be as she says;—that the Inclination she confesses for him may not have been so firmly establish’d, but that she may be able easily to withdraw it; for to deal freely with her, there is no one Part of his Character which seems to promise her any lasting Happiness.

However, P4v 114

However, the better to enable her to gain this Conquest over herself, I will give her some small Sketches of those Scenes which I may venture to affirm there is more than a Probability she must make an Actor in, after prevailed upon to enter into a Marriage with this modern Narcissus.

A week or ten Days passed over, for no more will I allow to the Douceurs of such a Union, the Bridegroom rises, says Good Morrow, Madam, perhaps bestows a faint Kiss, repairs to his Dressing Room, passes the whole Morning at his Toilet, then throws himself into his Chariot, goes to the Mall, imagines every fine Woman regrets his being married, and puts on all her Charms to supplant his Bride in his Affection:— Returns Home about three;—walks backward and forward in the Room humming over some dull Tune, and viewing himself in the Glass every Turn he takes.――Bellamonte looks on him all this while with wishing Eyes, says a thousand tender Things;—He still sings on, makes no Answer.—Dinner is served up:—She offers to help him, he coldly thanks her; and tho’ she begins ever so many Subjects for Conversation, he enters into none, nor interrupts his Meal with any thing farther than an Aye, Madam, or a No, Madam:— If, by Chance, he says a civil Thing, the Sound discovers it to be forced from him rather by the Laws of good Breeding, than those of Love, and he looks another Way all the time he speaks. —She has too much Penetration not to discover Q1r 115 the Change:—She weeps in secret, and her inward Griefs at length break forth in gentle Reproaches: This he thinks unreasonable, and replies to with as much Peevishness as he dare, for fear of distorting the Muscles of his Face; but she is sure to meet, as often as she seems dissatisfied with his Behaviour, this or the like Rebuff: —Gad, Madam, you are the most ungrateful Woman in the World:—You ought to be highly contented that I made you my Wife, in prejudice to so many fine young Creatures, who, it is well known, were dying for me.

This is all her Resentment will be able to effect; and if she endeavours to work by Fondness on his Indifference, tells him she is never happy but in his Company, and begs him to take a little Tour with her among their Relations and Friends, or to pass an Evening with her at some public Place or other she may happen to think on, he will be ready to cry,――Laird, Madam, how silly you are!—Don’t you know that the most ridiculous Spectacle in Nature is a Man in Company with his Wife?

If Bellamonte can submit to this Treatment, let her indulge her Inclination; but I am apt to imagine what I have said will make her turn her Eyes into the World, where she will find a sufficient Number of Instances to prove this Truth, that a Man who admires himself, can never sincerely admire any thing beside.

Q I Q1v 116

I would also beg her to reflect that Marriage is a kind of Precipice, which, when once leap’d, there is no Possibility of reclimbing;―― and wary ought the Person who stands upon it to be, lest, instead of a delightful Valley enamel’d with Flowers, blooming with perpetual Sweets, she plunges not into one where Thorns and Briars are only shadowed over with a few gaudy Tulips and tall Sun-Flowers, that yield no Savour, and fade upon the Touch.

But to quit Allegory: The Gentleman first described appears to me to have in him all the Qualifications that can make a Woman of Merit, such as I believe Bellamonte to be, truly happy in a Husband; and is so far from coming into any Degree of Competition with his two Rivals, that in balancing between them she has been guilty of an Injustice to him, which she can no way repair but by giving herself speedily to him, and thereby putting a final Period to the Hopes and Pretentions of every other Suitor.—I dare almost answer for him, that when the Esteem she now feels for him shall be converted into a more warm and tender Passion, she will have no Occasion to lament the Want of an adequate Return:—Honour, Good Sense, Gratitude and Duty will serve as Oil to feed the Flame of conjugal Affection, and the Hymeneal Torch burn with its first Brightness to the End of Life.

I have dwelt the longer on this Subject, as I am compelled by a secret Simpathy to take a more Q2r 117 more than ordinary Interest in the Fate of this unknown Lady; and also as it is probable there may be many into whose Hands these Pages may fall, who may equally stand in need of that Advice she alone has vouchsafed to ask: But I am now called upon to discuss Topics of a higher and more public nature, and it is likely that, by this Time, a certain Gentleman, who has lately sent me a very angry Letter, may be laughing in his Sleeve at me, as wanting either Courage to insert, or Ability to answer it.—The first, however, he shall find himself mistaken in; and as for the other, he may be sure of an Attempt, at least on all those Heads which are proper for me to touch upon; those which are not so, the Public will easily see into the Motives which oblige me to Silence, and on that Account excuse it.

He shall, however, have no Pretence to accuse me of stifling or suppressing any Reproaches made me: I shall present the Public with his Letter entire as I received it, without omitting or changing any one Word, Syllable, or even Period or Comma. Female Spectator Was the Superscription on the Cover of this doughty Epistle; but on the Top of the Enclosure he salutes me in these Terms: Vain Pretender to Things above thy Reach! Then begins at the very Bottom of the Paper, Q2 thinking, Q2v 118 thinking, perhaps, by that Piece of good Breeding, to soften the Asperity of the Invectives he had brewed against me; or else to shew that, however unworthy I might seem in his Eyes as an Author, he would not forego the Decorum owing to me as a Woman.

Tho’ I never had any very great Opinion of your Sex as Authors, yet I thought, whenever you set up for such, you had Cunning enough to confine yourselves within your own Sphere, or at least not to raise the Expectations of the Public by such mountainous Promises as you have done, when you could not be insensible they must in a short time discover themselves to be but of the Mole-hill kind. Whatever Design you had in this it was a very shallow one, and betrays a Want of Judgment, which, to do you Justice, by your manner of handling some Subjects, I should not have suspected you guilty of. For God’s sake, what could move you to make use of all those pompous Flourishes in the sixth Page of the first Book of the Female Spectator?—Did the Spies you boasted of in every Corner of Europe, deceive the Trust you reposed in them? Or did you only dream you had established such an Intelligence?—The latter, I am afraid, is the most likely:――But did you never reflect that People would grow uneasy at the Disappointment, when, instead of that Q3r 119 that full and perfect Account of the most momentous Actions you made them hope, they find themselves for several Months together entertained only with Home-Amours, Reflections on Human Nature, the Passions, Morals, Inferences, and Warnings to your own Sex;―― the most proper Province for you, I must own, but widely inconsistent with the Proposals of your first setting out. Every body imagin’d you had a Key to unlock the Cabinet of Princes,—a Clue to guide you through the most intricate Labyrinths of State,—and that the secret Springs of Ambition, Avarice and Revenge, which make such dreadful Havock, would have been all laid open to our View.――Yet the eternal Fund of Intelligence you vaunted of, has given us not a Word of all this:――Not the least Tittle from Flanders, Italy, Germany, France, or Spain:—Great Armies have been continually in Motion, and the first Monarchs in Europe at the Head of them:—The Rhine has been passed and repassed:—The Elb, Moldau and Neckar crossed:—Cities have been depopulated:— Towns laid Waste:—Ravage! burn! and destroy all before you,—Spare neither Sex nor Age, have been the Words of Command!—Sieges, Battles, Rencounters and Escapes have filled the World with Clamour, but not been able to move the peaceful Bosom of the Female Spectator:—Contributions, Loans, Subsidies, Military and Ministerial Arts have drain’d the Sustenancetenance Q3v 120 tenance from the wretched Subjects of almost all the Kingdoms round us, even to Starving, yet the Female Spectator seems ignorant or insensible of their Calamities:—Excursions, Incursions, Invasions, and Insurrections have been talked of by every body but the Female Spectator:— Huge Fleets cover the Ocean with their spreading Sails, but not all the Wind that fills them wafts to the Female Spectator any Account to what Intent equipped, where directed, or what great Feats they yet have done, or are about to do. Do you not blush at all this?――Are you not under most terrible Apprehensions that, instead of the Woman of Experience, Observation, fine Understanding, and extensive Genius you would pass for, you should be taken for an idle, prating, gossiping old Woman, fit only to tell long Stories by the Fire-side for the Entertainment of little Children or Matrons, more antiquated than yourself? I do assure you, I am truly ashamed for you:――It is not my Nature to be severe on the Failings or Mistakes of any one; and had your Boastings been less glaring, or your Execution of what you pretended to undertake, any way answered the Expectation of the Public, I would have been the last that should have condemned you, but had overlooked small Deficiencies in Consideration of your Sex, and the Desire you shewed of performing your Pro- Q4r 121 Promises, which, at the Time of making, I should have been charitable enough to have judg’d you thought less difficult to accomplish than you afterwards found them. Yet were it so, some modest Apology methinks would have become you:――The least you could have done was to have confessed your Inability, entreated Pardon of the Town for having imposed on their Credulity, and as you now perceived you had overshot your Mark, and had it not really in your Power to entertain them with Matters of any very great Importance, at least to the Generality of your Readers, beseeched them to accept of such as fell within your Compass. To deal plainly with you, the best that can be said of the Lucubrations you have hitherto published, is, that they are fit Presents for Country Parsons to make to their young Parishioners; ――to be read in Boarding-Schools, and recommended as Maxims for the well regulating private Life; but are no way fit for the polite Coffee-Houses, or to satisfy Persons of an inquisitive Taste. Whether you have received any Remonst rances of the Nature I now send you, and have thought it prudent to take no Notice of them, I will not pretend to say, nor do I accuse you with it; but of this you may be certain, that I have alledg’d no more against you than is Q4v 122 is the Sense of most of the Wits, as well as Men of Fashion I converse with, as it is probable you may hereafter have further Reason to be convinced of from others beside Curioso Politico. P. S. To shew you that Malice had no Share in dictating the above Lines, if there is any Possibility of your mending your Hand, you are at your own Liberty to insert them or not:—My Intention, in sending them, being not so much to expose as to reprove, I shall be very glad to find that, by holding to you this faithful Mirror, you are enabled to wipe off whatever is a Blemish in your Writings, and for the future supply those Deficiencies which you seem to me to have hitherto been wholly insensible of. ――Farewel.

I heartily thank Mr. Politico for the Permission he is so good to vouchsafe me as to keeping his Reprimand a Secret; but it would be abusing so extraordinary a Favour to accept it:—The Pains he has been at must not be totally thrown away, and whether I am able or not to improve by what he has wrote, it would be great Pity he should not have the Satisfaction of seeing it in Print.

The Public will be the best Judges how far I deserve R1r 123 deserve the Severity he has treated me with, and to them I readily submit my Cause.

I do not pretend to deny but that, in the Introduction to this Work, I said that I had found Means to extend my Speculations as far as France, Rome, Germany, and other foreign Parts, and that I then flattered myself with being able to penetrate into the Mysteries of the Alcove, the Cabinet, or Field, and to have such of the Secrets of Europe, as were proper for the Purpose of a Female Spectator, laid open to my View; but I never proposed, nor, I believe, did any body but this Letter-Writer expect that these Lucubrations should be devoted merely to the Use of News- Mongers:—A Change-Broker might, I think, have as much Cause to resent my taking no Notice of the Rise or Fall of Stocks.

Several of the Topics he reproaches me for not having touch’d upon, come not within the Province of a Female Spectator; —such as Armies marching,—Battles fought,—Towns destroyed,—Rivers cross’d, and the like:—I should think it ill became me to take up my own, or Reader’s Time, with such Accounts as are every Day to be found in the public Papers.

Oh but the Meaning of all this he calls upon me to unravel:—I must unfold the Mystery, lay open the secret Springs which set these great Machines in Motion:—Why he has done it for me, Ambition, Avarice, and Revenge have set the Vol. II. R mighty R1v 124 mighty Men of the Earth a madding, and there is indeed no other Mystery in it than what all the World may, and do easily see into.

I grant some Turns and Counter-Turns in Politics have been too abstruse to be accounted for by the Rules of common Reason, and no way to be fathom’d but by that Intelligence he wants me to receive from the Cabinets where they were hatch’d;—and yet perhaps, if once revealed, there would appear so little in them, that one might justly enough compare them to the Knots Children tye at School in Packthread, only to puzzle one another to undo again.

Be that as it may;—how far soever the Female Spectator, or any one else, may be able to penetrate into these dark Paths of State, the Attempt of making them a common Road might be imprudent, and perhaps unsafe.

There is an old Adage in the Mouth of every one, viz.――All Things that are lawful are not expedient: To which one may add, that many Things are expedient, or necessary, which may not be deemed lawful: If either of these should happen to be the Case, the Silence of the Female Spectator may very well be pardoned.

If Princes have a Mind to play at Bo-peep with each other, or with their respective Subjects, who shall dare to draw the Curtain, and call the Rabble in to be Witness of what they do!—We little R2r 125 little People may hear and see, but must say nothing.――There are some sort of Secrets which prove fatal if explored, and like massive Buildings erected by Enchantment, will not endure too near Approach, but fall at once, and crush the bold Inspector with their Weight.

But I will not pretend to measure what Extent of Power the Guardian Angel entitled the Liberty of the Press may yet retain: Of this I am certain, that the better we regulate our Actions in private Life, the more we may hope of public Blessings, and the more we shall be enabled to sustain public Calamities.

To check the enormous Growth of Luxury, to reform the Morals, and improve the Manners of an Age, by all confess’d degenerate and sunk, are the great Ends for which these Essays were chiefly intended; and the Authors flatter themselves that nothing has been advanced, but may contribute in a more or less Degree to the accomplishing so glorious a Point.――Many little Histories, it is true, are interspers’d, but then they are only such as serve to enforce Precept by Example, and make the Beauty of Virtue, and the Deformity of Vice sink deeper into the Reader’s Mind.—When we would strike at any favourite Passion, it requires the utmost Delicacy to do it in such a manner as shall make the Person guilty of it ashamed of being so, without being angry at the Detection; and no way so likely to R2 succeed R2v 126 succeed, as to shew him the Resemblance of himself in the Character of another.

Thus much I thought proper to say in Defence of myself and Partners in this Undertaking, which I doubt not but will be look’d upon as a sufficient Answer to all the Objections Mr. Politico has started for the present, and hereafter perhaps we may be better Friends.

I readily agree with him, that the Public may reasonably desire and expect to be let into the Knowledge of Affairs which relate chiefly to themselves.—In those Countries which are under the Subjection of Tyranny and Superstition,— where the despotic Will of the Prince is the sole Law of the People, and Bigotry rides triumphant over Truth, all writing and speaking of State Matters, and the Use of the Bible are equally forbid under the most severe Pains and Penalties. The Reason of this is plain, a very little Enquiry might detect the Frauds the Ministry put in Practice in the one, and the Perversion of the other by the Priests; but in a Constitution such as our’s happily is, there can be no such Prescription:—Every one here, who contributes to the Support of the Government, has a Right to be protected by the Government in any decent Attempt made for the Discovery of iniquitous Practices in those of the highest, as well as the lowest Stations of Life.

When Richard I. surnamed Cœur de Lyon, instigated R3r 127 instigated by his Zeal for Christianity, and the Example of divers Kings and Princes of those Times, had determin’d to go to Jerusalem and make War against the Infidels, many of his Subjects were greatly dissatisfied because of the Expence which must necessarily attend such an Expedition, and which they expected must be levied from their Purses.—This good King being informed of their Complaints, and truly sensible of the Dangers of incurring a national Disaffection, bethought himself of an Expedient to enable him to pursue his Undertaking without burthening his People:――He mortgaged the City of London to the Knights of Malta for a considerable Sum of Money, which Obligation was to be discharged by stated annual Paymens out of his own Revenue: Nor was there any Tax or Impost laid on the Nation on account of this War, which occasion’d one Jeofry Rudal, a Provencial Poet, who accompanied the King in his Embarkation to write this Stanza: The English Kings Account must giveTo all sworn Leigemen how they live,Or from no Peril will they fend,Nor ought of Succour to him lend.

It would then be hard, if those who contentedly bear the Expence of Fleets and Armies, of Subsidies, Negotiations, Congresses and Embassies, should not have the Privilege of enquiring how, and for what Ends their Money is laid out.—The People of England have always been accounted tenacious R3v 128 tenacious enough of their Liberty in this Point, and God forbid they should ever wholly lose that glorious Spirit, which in so many Instances has bore up against all the Efforts for introducing arbitrary Power, in whatever Shape, and by what Name soever disguised, or endeavoured to be palliated.

The Power of making War and Peace, is indeed lodg’d in the Hands of whoever sits upon the Throne:――It is the undoubted Prerogative of the Crown, and sad would be the Day when either of the two other States of the Kingdom should offer to infringe it:――Fatal Instances are on Record on this Score, such as will, I hope, be a Warning to the latest Posterity,— yet does not this Power, great and extensive as it is, deny every Englishman the Privilege of enquiring by his Representative in Parliament the Motives by which the Sovereign is induced to declare a War, or conclude a Peace.

It is an allowed Maxim, that the King himself can do no Wrong:—Whatever Mistakes in Point of Government may happen, his sacred Person is still out of the Question; but I know of no Law nor Reason to restrain us from examining into the Conduct of his Ministers, his Admirals, or Generals, when suspected to have taken Measures destructive, or to the Honour or Interest of the Kingdom.

The meanest Person has also an equal Right with R4r 129 with the greatest, to expect a satisfactory Account in every thing relating to the Common-Wealth: —He has his all at Stake as well as the most Opulent, and in case of any foul or unskilful Play in those who are entrusted with the shuffling of the Cards, must share in the same Ruin.

This is so just, so natural, and so consistent with that Freedom which by our Constitution is entailed on us and our Posterity, that those who have attempted to urge any thing against it, have argued in so aukward and weak a manner, as plainly shews they were ashamed of the Cause they had been prevailed upon to assert.

But tho’ this Curiosity be not only pardonable but laudable also, there may be Reasons which render it improper, as I said before, for any one to take upon themselves to satisfy it, even tho’ they were possessed of the most sure Materials and greatest Abilities.

This may serve, however, to convince Mr. Politico that the Female Spectator is not altogether so indolent and insensible to public Transactions as he imagines; and if he allows (as sure he must) that Virtue is the surest Preservative of Freedom, he must at the same time allow, that an Endeavour to rectify the Morals of Individuals, is the first Step ought to be taken for rousing up a general Ardor for maintaining and asserting those Privileges our Ancestors purchased for us with their best R4v 130 best Blood, and we have renewed the Lease of by almost all our Treasure.

In this Road, therefore, I have travelled since the Beginning of these Lucubrations, and from this I shall not through the whole Course of them depart. But this I assure my Readers, and Mr. Politico in particular, that whenever any thing new and untouched on by other Authors shall present itself, I shall not fail to communicate it.

A Piece of the Nature I have mention’d, and entirely genuine, lies now before us on the Table, but being of too great a Length to insert at this Time, must be deferred till the next Month, when the Public may depend on seeing it, with such Animadversions as the Nature of the Thing, and the Situation of the Times will admit.

End of the Eighth Book.


The Female Spectator.

Book IX.

Short is th’ uncertain Reign and Pomp of Mortal Pride: New Turns and Changes every Day Are of inconstant Chance the constant Arts. Soon she gives, soon takes away, She comes, embraces, nauseats you and parts: But if she stays, or if she goes, The wise Man little Joy or little Sorrow shews.

What indeed is more fluctuating than human Promotion!—What more strange than to see Persons, who know very well that Wisdom and Virtue are only capable of constituting true Greatness, pursue with Eagerness those shadowy Honours which flow from Favour, Vol. II. S and S1v 132 and the same Breath that gives, may in an Instant take away.

But tho’ the many notable Changes which have lately happen’d, and others daily expected to happen, naturally lead one into these Reflections, and likewise so much engross the present Attention of the Public, that we might possibly be excused from entering into any other Subject at this Time: Yet the Desires, or rather the Challenge of Mr. Politico, the Promise made to the Town in our last, and the Gratitude due to the Gentleman from whom we received the following Piece, are Obligations which we cannot prevail on ourselves to dispense with on any Account whatever.

To the Female Spectator. Madam, It was my good Fortune to be very lately introduc’d to a polite Assembly, compos’d chiefly of Ladies, some of whom I found were Hanoverians, but spoke English perfectly well: One above the rest distinguish’d herself in a manner no less agreeable than particular.—I know not how the Conversation happened to turn upon Politics, but somewhat being mention’d concerning the unhappy Antipathy there seem’d to be between his Majesty’s Subjects of Great Britain, and those of his German Dominions, it gave occcasion to a Dispute, in which the Lady above-mentioned, and one of our S2r 133 our own Country had an opportunity of exerting, in a very great Degree, that Good Sense and Eloquence they were both possess’d of; and they were indeed so equally capable of managing what they undertook, that the rest of the Company took too much Pleasure in hearing them, to offer any Interruption, by taking the Part either of the one or the other. There is certainly something so perswasively pathetic in the Manner of your Sex, whenever you go about to plead the Cause of any thing you have a real Interest in yourselves, that it gives a double Weight to all you say. I must confess, my Reason yielded to them both by Turns:—I was convinced, confuted, and convinced again as often as either of them spoke:—Every Argument urg’d by each of these fair Antagonists had greater force with me, than all Tully’s Orations could have had, even tho’ I had heard them deliver’d by himself, and accompanied with those Graces which History reports him so great a Master of, and records as inimitable. I thought I never owed so great an Obligation to my Memory, as when I found it had faithfully treasured up whatever had been said, during this whole Debate; which I put down in writing the Moment I came home, and now send it to you, as believing you would look upon it as no unwelcome Present. I S2v 134 I shall be extremely glad to see it published through your Canal, with such Observations on the several Arguments, as you shall think proper to make.—If you should happen to find any Errors, either as to Matters of Fact, or the Terms in which they are made mention of, I beseech you to rectify them in justice to the Authors, who argued too much dispassionately and unprejudiced to be guilty of any Mistakes this way, and must therefore lie wholly on the Transcriber. I am, With very great Respect, Madam, Your most humble, And most obedient Servant, A.B. P. S. You will perceive the Manuscript begins after the Commencement of the Dispute; the Reason of which is, that several others of the Company, having their Part in the Discourse previous to it; and on the first Questions and Repartees made by the Ladies themselves, I had not the least Notion of its becoming a particular Controversy, it made the less Impression on me, and I could not therefore be so exact, as I now wish I had been, in remarking what was said on that Occasion. S3r 135 A Dialogue Between An English and a Hanoverian Lady: Wherein the Motives are laid open of that small Share of sincere Love or Esteem which both Nations unhappily regard each other with. Hanoverian Lady.Whatever you alledge against us is Matter of Imagination only, whereas we have real and undeniable Facts to complain of against you:—Have you not deprived us of the Presence of our dear Elector and all his amiable Family?――Do you not now engross all those Blessings to which we have a natural Right, and grudge we should have the least Share in? ――What Heart-burnings?――What Murmurings are there among you on the least Talk of his Majesty’s visiting his German Dominions, even when the Necessity of your own Affairs requires his Presence on the Continent!—And is it not plain, that those of us who attend him here are look’d upon as Intruders?――His very Menials are envy’d by a People who would enjoy all the Comforts of his Reign, yet refuse the least Encouragement to those who were born in the same Air, and some of them nurtur’d from their Infancy near his Royal Person.—Can any thing be more cruel, more unjust to us, or indeed more dis- S3v 136 disrespectful to him, than to wish to take from him the Privilege of chusing his own Servants! English Lady.I Believe, Madam, there are none amongst us so blind as not to see the inestimable Benefits these Kingdoms have receiv’d from the Accession of that illustrious House, which now fills the Throne; nor were the English ever accounted an ungrateful or inhospitable People: Much less can those Vices at present with any Shadow of Reason be imputed to us, when we have done all in our Power to testify the Sense we have both of their late and present Majesty’s Goodness to us in vouchsafing to take us under their Protection.—Have we not annihilated that Clause in the Act of Settlement which forbid them going to Hanover without Consent of Parliament? Have we not readily augmented the Civil List Revenue to almost double what was allowed in any former Reign?――Have we not relinquished our ancient Privilege of tacking Redress of Grievances to the Money-Bills?—Have we not granted without Reserve all the Supplies demanded, and assented to every Vote of Credit required of us?—These, I take it, are not Acts of meer Duty, but of the most fervent Affection and implicit Faith, that ever any Monarch was regarded with by his Subjects: But tho’ I willingly allow that all we can pay is not too much, yet methinks it is ungenerous to lessen the Merit of these Works of Supererrogation, by attempting to tinge them with a self-interested Hue; for certainly it is far from the Interest of these Kingdomsdoms T1r 137 doms that his Majesty should visit Hanover so frequently, or that yielding to every Demand of the Crown is for the Advantage of our future Liberty, tho’ at present it may suffer no Prejudice by that Confidence. Hanoverian Lady.How easy it is to put a Gloss on any thing!—A Stranger to the Affairs of England would imagine, by what you say, that the Prince lay under immense Obligations to the People; whereas, in reality, all you have done has only, under the Colour of Loyalty to him, been entirely to serve yourselves, as I doubt not to make appear to all who hear me. In the first Place, you had experienced the Benefits of his Majesty’s Presence at Hanover, by several Negotiations carry’d on there with a Success which, without him, could not have been hop’d for; and as you were involv’d in Perplexities by former Treaties, which you know not how soon might call for his Assistance to unravel, you wisely judg’d it proper to cancel a Clause which might have detained him here, till it had been too late, either to enter into any Alliances for the Interest of Great Britain, or prevent those which might have been formed against her by the Powers on the Continent. The Increase of the Civil List Revenue, I think, has the next Place in your Roll of National Obligations: But, Madam, can you deny that in this England had not an Eye to her own Vol. II. T Grandeur? T1v 138 Grandeur?—Does not the Magnificence of the Sovereign shew the Opulence of the Kingdom, and besides gratifying a domestic Ostentaion, does it not raise your Reputation Abroad, enlarge your Credit, and bring Foreigners to throw their Money into your Funds?—Yet in spite of all the Advantages it brought to yourselves;—in spite of the real Necessity there was for supporting so many Branches of the Royal Family in a manner becoming their Dignity, I am sorry to say this Addition was not made without a very strenuous Opposition; and when granted, raised such Murmurs, as some of you ought not to remember without blushing. As to the old Custom of tacking Redress of Grievances to the Money-Bills, that must necessarily subside when there were no longer any Grievances to complain of;—and that there were no real ones, is evident by the very Persons who alone rais’d the Clamour, having since not only given up the Point, but also confess’d they were ashamed of having ever asserted it. But above all I am surpriz’d, that a Lady of your good Sense and Impartiality in other Things, should mention the necessary supplies granted to his Majesty as any particular Favour done to his Royal Person.—What must equip your Fleets? —Maintain your Armies?—Disburse the Subsidies paid to foreign Princes for their Assistance, or at least their Neutrality?—What support your Intelligence?—Enable you to keep Spies in every T2r 139 every Quarter of the World, and many other Articles of Secret Service?――Is all this to be done with Air!—Will empty Words suffice to preserve your Commerce, and defend you from the continually impending Dangers of Popery and Slavery?—The Obligation therefore on this Head is wholly from the People to the Prince, who exerts his Wisdom and Goodness in laying out their Money to the best Advantage. This being granted, as it must by every thinking Person, Votes of Credit are no more than an Appendix to the Supplies allowed by Parliament, since they only enable his Majesty to raise what Sums he shall have occasion for, when the Members of both Houses may be retired to their respective Seats, and at too great a Distance to be called together so timely as the Exigence of Affairs demands. Thus, Madam, have I in a few Words rendered it I think pretty obvious, that all those boasted Proofs of Love and Loyalty to your King are no more than so many Obligations to yourselves; and that in not being always ready to confer them, you must be both a contemn’d and miserable People. English Lady.A Person of much less Wit and Eloquence than yourself, might easily maintain a Tenet, which is of too nice and delicate a Nature to be discuss’d with that Freedom and Plain-Dealing Truth requires:――But I have T2 this T2v 140 this Consolation, that those Replies which are improper for me to make may be found in the Speeches of several of our most worthy Representatives in Parliament, as well as of those who are now turned Apostates to the glorious Cause of Liberty. But, Madam, in my Opinion you have wandered from the Mark first levell’d at, and instead of proving that England had nothing to complain of on the Score of Hanover, as you seem’d to undertake to do, you confound the Obligations we have to his Majesty with those, you pretend, we have to love his Country.—This, I think, is not quite a fair way of arguing; but I shall follow you in your own way as far as it is convenient for me to do so, and perhaps even foil you at the very Weapons you have made Choice of. Supposing that all we have done has been no more than our Duty:—Supposing that we are at present under the most indispensible Necessity of maintaining those vast Armaments which are so expensive and burthensome to the Nation; and supposing those Supplies and Votes of Credit, a Consequence of that Necessity, which is not to be avoided, I beg you will answer me one short Question, Whether we were brought into that Necessity by any Circumstance meerly our own, or whether we owe not so great a Misfortune to a Cause more remote, and which in fact we ought to have no manner of Concern with? Hano- T3r 141 Hanoverian Lady.Did I not see into the Motives which induce you to make this Interrogatory, I should be infinitely surprized to find you can affect an Ignorance of what none can really be uninformed:—You cannot sure deny that Great Britain was under an immediate Necessity of entering into a War on the Continent on her own Score, tho’ she appear’d only as an Auxiliary to the Queen of Hungary. English Lady.Whatever may be my private Opinion, Madam, the People in general think in a different way, tho’ indeed till they perceived the sad Effects of carrying on the War at such a Distance, their natural Generosity made them readily enter into Measures for the Relief of that distress’d Princess.――But I should be glad to know what other Intetrest, except the Protection of her Fellow-Subjects of Hanover, Great Britain could propose to herself in such a War? Hanoverian Lady.Now, Madam, you explain yourself, and shew, without Disguise, that Inveteracy we have to complain of:—Yes, it is not difficult to make it appear, your own Interest was at the Bottom of all you have done for Germany;—as thus: Consider the exorbitant Power the House of Bourbon now enjoys:—It has all France, in which Name are comprized a Congregation of various other Kingdoms, which later Ages have added to it:—Spain, and its almost boundless Dependences,pendences, T3v 142 pendences, are under a Branch of the same Family; as also the Two Sicilies:—They are partly Masters of the Empire, by having its present Head at their Devotion; and if his Britannic Majesty had not interpos’d, how easy had it been for them to have subdued the King of Sardinia’s Dominions; then deprived the Queen of Hungary of all she possesses in Italy?—The Austrian Inheritance in Germany had next become their Prey; afterwards they would have taken Portugal, then Flanders, and having swallowed up all these, pour’d down on the United Provinces, whence there would have been a small Step to England.—What Course then could Great Britain take, but to endeavour to put a Stop to this spreading Evil, which, having over-run the rest of Europe, would have seiz’d her at last? English Lady.A Career very extraordinary indeed! Not to be match’d in all the fabulous Conquests of Antiquity!—Those of Amadis de Gaul, Don Bellianis of Greece, or the Seven Champions, are meer Trifles to it!――Why, these French and Spaniards are perfect Tygers for Nimbleness and Strength; but methinks the Austrians, Sardinians, Portuguese, Flanderkyns and Hollanders are but little obliged to you for representing them as such tame Sheep to suffer themselves to be devour’d without the Protection of an English Mastiff! But to be serious: If there were the least Foundation for Belief, that the Attempt you mentiontion T4r 143 tion were practicable, or even intended, what Reason has Great Britain to take the first Alarm, which, by your own Confession, would be the last would suffer by it?――It cannot be denied but that the Queen of Spain has very much at Heart the aggrandizing her Sons; and it may with Probability enough be supposed, that France would assist her Projects on that Head; the King of Sardinia therefore by his Situation may have somewhat to apprehend if the Settlement of the Infant Don Philip should take Place, as his Dominions would then be in a manner hem’d in between those of that Prince, and of France: But the King of Portugal you see is under no kind of Terror, and tho’ possess’d of Wealth that might well tempt an avaritious Conqueror, in Peace and Security enjoys his immense Treasures, and looks with Pity on the Devastation that Jealousy and Ambition have occasion’d.—The Dutch too have seen a French Army in their Neighbourhood, and beheld the taking of Menin, Ypres, and Furnese, without expressing any great Matter of Concern:— The Sweets of an uninterrupted Commerce had more Weight with it than all the Bug-bear Stories of universal Monarchy:—They could not think of parting with a real Good, which they every Day experienced, for an ideal Glory, in futuro, of contributing to support the Balance of Power between the Houses of Austria and Bourbon.— ’Tis true, that in Compliance with their Treaties, they at last gave some Assistance to the Queen of Hungary; but the many Pretences, the long Delayslays T4v 144 lays they made, shewed with how much Unwillingness they were dragg’d to it, and how loth they were to break with France. And yet, Madam, it has always been allowed the Policy of Great Britain never to engage in a War on the Continent but in Conjunction with the Dutch, and being first sollicited to it by them. ―― How strange an Alteration is therefore in our Conduct since the Interest of Hanover has been made the Interest of England! And how little possible is it for us to regard, with any degree of Affection, a Country, whose Alliance has been so expensive to us, and for whose Sake we are wounded in the most tender Parts, our Liberty and Glory. Hanoverian Lady.Not so hasty, good Madam; were all you say founded on real Fact, which I can by no Means allow, how does your Liberty or Glory suffer by any Considerations your Ministry may have testify’d for us? English Lady.I am sorry, Madam, to find myself oblig’d by this Question to give an Answer, which you may imagine, has somewhat of Sharpness in it; but all the Friendship and Complaisance we would wish to pay to particular Persons must yield to the Justice and Regard we ought to have for our Country:—I must therefore tell you, Madam, that Liberty is a meer Chimera, in a Land where none must hope for Favour, who do not adapt foreign Maxims in manifest Contradiction to their own U1r 145 own.—And pitifully indeed the Glory and Renown of a Kingdom must be sunk, when it descends to become the Province to a petty State; such as Hanover once was, and would be still, were England what it once was. Hanoverian Lady.All this is easily said, and I know very well is the vulgar Cry;—but I call upon you to prove your Assertion, and shew what real Benefits have accrued to Hanover by the Accession of her Elector to the British Throne. English Lady.This might easily be done by innumerable Instances; yet as it is not what Hanover has gained, but what these Realms have lost, which justify’d the Complaint on our Side, I shall confine myself to that. The World beholds with Astonishment the Self-destructive Schemes which of late Years have been pursued:—The humbling ourselves to almost every Power in Europe, the numberless Alliances we have entered into, and Treaties made and broke as often as the Interest of Hanover required it, are the least we have done for that Electorate; yet so entirely did it engross our Attention, that nothing relating to ourselves could come in for a Share: How neglectful did we seem of all that formerly was dear to us!—Commerce, the very Life and Soul of these Islands, was no more remember’d!—The Honour of the British Flag and the Sovereignty of the Seas became Vol. II. U an U1v 146 an empty Name, no longer worthy our Regard, and the most glaring Insults, cruel Depredations, and every kind of Outrage, the Avarice and Pride of Spain could treat us with, was with the most shameful Patience submitted to. Our Trade to the West-Indies near wholly lost, our Colonies in the utmost Danger and daily menac’d by the unresisted Foe, cried loudly to us for Protection and Revenge; yet how deaf, how insensible, how incapable of being rous’d was this lethargic State for a long Time! and when compell’d, as it were, by the incessant Clamours of an almost ruin’d People, War was at last declar’d, the Manner in which it was carried on had more the Face of Pageantry than Reality. A gallant Fleet indeed was fitted out, which made a fine Shew at Spithead, and part of which defy’d the Spaniards quite as far as the Nore, while the Galleons and Assogues (Shameful Remembrance!) laden with Treasure sailed safe into their Ports. A most brave and worthy Admiral also with much ado obtained Permission to go on an Expedition no less glorious for himself than serviceable to his Country, had it been accomplish’d, as it questionless would have been, had Integrity at Home seconded his Zeal and Courage Abroad: But how cruelly and shamefully his glorious Projects were defeated none can be ignorant. In U2r 147 In fine, the Minister then at the Helm had other Business on his Hands than humbling the Pride of Spain; he call’d this War the Merchants War, and to the Merchants he left the Care of it: Nor was the Name ill-judg’d, since more was done against the Enemy by those Ships which were equipt by the Trading Part of the Nation, than by the whole Royal Navy. But now the fatal Reason of this seeming Inactivity came out:—I say seeming, because the Minister was not in effect lazy as to what concern’d his own Interest, Promotion or Security; and could he have found his particular Good in the Good of the Nation, he had doubtless had no other Point in View; but his Dependance lying a different way, he was oblig’d to pursue such Measures as were inconsistent perhaps with his own Wishes, could they have coincided with his Ambition.—But to return,—The Mistery was this: Jealousies of the new Emperor, and yet greater of Prussia, rose on the Score of Hanover; and some Means to secure that darling Spot must be found, whatever became of Great Britain. A French Army in the Heart of Germany, and the piteous Complaints made by the Queen of Hungary, gave a Pretence for reviving the old Story of maintaining the Balance of Power; a Thing ’tis certain much to be desired by all the inferior States, who in their Turns have been U2 equally U2v 148 equally oppress’d by the Houses of Austria and Bourbon, but wholly impracticable by any one Power:—Great Britain alone could never hope to do it, even at the Time of her greatest Opulence; much less could such visionary Schemes now take Place with any thinking Person. Therefore to disguise, as much as possible, the glaring Madness of such an Undertaking, we were told the Dutch would go Hand in Hand with us:――That Russia would bear a great Share in the Expences:――That Poland would furnish all the Assistance in her Power; and Sardinia come heartily into the Cause. All which Expectations, except the last, we see have vanish’d into Air; and this perhaps had done the same, had not the Sums advanced by us to the Queen of Hungary, great Part of which was apply’d that way, served to fix his Resolution as to what Part he ought to take. The People thus cajoled, and made to believe what was doing was for the Honour of the Nation, came at first with a supposing Readiness into this Project, concerted by one Ministry, and put in Execution by a succeeding one, with a Front which, I believe, no Age can parallel.―― The Balance of Power, Success to the Queen of Hungary, and pulling down the French King, were the general Toasts from the Table of the Peer to the Cobler in his Alehouse; tho’ if we had once remembered some Treatment we had received from the late Emperor, and that too on the U3r 149 the Account of Hanover, we should have found ourselves under little Obligation to be so warm in the Cause of his Daughter; nor at that Time had we any Manner of Reason to fall out with France. So strong, however, was the Infatuation, and so vehement were we in the Interests of Germany, that our Concerns in the West Indies and the daily Seizures of our Trading Vessels by the Spaniards seem’d utterly forgotten, tho’ Bankruptcies at Home, like the Ghost of former Opulence, and depreciated Credit Abroad, stared us every Day full in the Face:—We acted indeed, as one of our Public-Writers took notice, exactly like a Man, who having his own House on Fire left it, and ran to extinguish that of another at a great Distance off, while all belonging to himself perish’d in the Flames. Now the whole Business was to raise Men and Money; every Street echo’d with Drums on the Score of the one, and our Senators rack’d their Brains on that of the other:—A difficult Task indeed, since every Produce, every Benefit of the Earth and Air were already under Imposts which would scarce receive Addition; yet in spite of all this, new Ways and Means were found to furnish the Sinews of War; Embarkations on Embarkations issued from our Ports, and Mercenaries were hired from every Quarter to assist this Expedition. But U3v 150 But that which above all other Impositions calls most in Question British Penetration is, that entering into this War only as Auxiliaries ourselves, we suffer’d Hanoverian Troops to be taken into our Service, and paid the Subjects of that Electorate for joining with us in Defence of their own Country. This is what will scarcely be credited in after Ages, especially when to the Account of it shall be subjoined the shameful Behaviour of these Hirelings, and the Audacity and Ingratitude with which they treated those to whom they owe their All. These, Madam, are some of the Reasons which will not permit the People of England to look on their Fellow-Subjects of Hanover with so friendly an Eye as might be wish’d, and give a very great Alloy to the Value of those Blessings we might otherwise enjoy in being govern’d by a Prince of that Country. Hanoverian Lady.And all these Reasons, Madam, pompous as they seem at first View, will be found, on a nearer Examination, to be no more than Shadows formed by English Jealousy and natural Discontent: The common People indeed of all Nations, as one of your own Poets elegantly expresses it, are ――A U4r 151 ―― A scarce animated Clod,Ne’er pleas’d with ought above them, Prince or God. But the English, more than any Nation in the World, think they have a Right to be made acquainted with all the Misteries of State; and if the least Part, tho’ never so inconvenient to be made public, be denied them, they presently form a thousand Chimeras, which they as readily vouch for Truths. Besides, you have another odd Way, artful enough it must be confess’d, and that is to avoid the Indecency of accusing your Prince with any thing you think a Miscarriage in Point of Government, you lay the Blame wholly on the Ministry;—the Ministry give up the Liberties of their Country;—the Ministry are influenced by foreign Interests;—the Ministry does every thing that you imagine is, or would represent, as a Grievance to the Nation; when at the same time you know very well that the Ministry can do nothing without the Consent of the King, and have been seldom known to advise any thing which may be displeasing to him, because the very Existence, as well as Continuance of their Ministry, depends wholly on his Royal Will:— This Mode of Speech is known to all Europe, so that every Invective publish’d against the Ministry testifies your Disaffection to your King, as all your Murmurings against Hanover are so many Reflections on that Partiality you would have him U4v 152 him be thought guilty of, to a Land which gave Birth to him, and all his great Progenitors. But admitting there were a Tenderness in him towards us, not altogether agreeable to the British Pride, which would engross all Regard, all Attention to itself, how unreasonable is it in you to disapprove that very Principle in him which you call so glorious in yourselves!—Must he renounce all Affection, all paternal Love for a People he was born to govern, in order to humour those he was call’d to rule over, meerly to protect and shield from the worst Mischiefs they could fall into?—He is your King ’tis true, and happy for you he is so, but he is still our Elector and Sovereign, and cannot nor ought not to forget the Claim we have in him. English Lady.I thought, Madam, from the Beginning of your Discourse, you were about to make some Attempt of confuting those Arguments I urg’d to prove the Misfortunes Great Britain was brought into by her so strict Alliance with Hanover; but I find you too wise to enter the Lists on that Topic; and fall upon a Mode of Speech, as you call it, which, if no more, is both loyal and respectful in us, and shews how very loth we are to throw out any thing which may cast a Blemish on the Lustre of the Throne:――But, Madam, it would be easy to find Instances of Ministers, who have abused the Royal Confidence, and given up the Glory of their Master at the same time that they had sacrificed the Interest of the X1r 153 the People, both which indeed, if rightly consider’d, are essentially the same; but as such a Discussion is altogether foreign to the present Debate between us, I shall leave you to make what Inferences you please, and only take Notice of the Justice of that Claim you seem to boast of, as to his Majesty’s particular Attachment. Suppose, Madam, a Woman of an illustrious and ancient Descent, beautiful in her Person, unblemish’d in her Honour, and Heiress of immense Wealth, should throw herself into the Arms of a Man of small Fortune, and only worthy of her by the Reputation of his Virtue. The Ceremony of Marriage over, and the Husband in full and undisturb’d Possession of all that a reasonable Mind could have to wish; what would the World say of him, if thus happy,— thus oblig’d, he continued his Attachment to a little Mistress he had before enjoyed?—And what must the Wife feel, if he become froward and ungentle to her;—if he returned her Endearments only with Sullenness and Frowns;—if she saw her richest Jewels converted into Ornaments for her tawdry Rival;—found her Coffers emptied; her Estate mortgag’d;――and all her late Affluence reduc’d to pinching Want?――Surely, when thus depress’d, tho’ Duty and Affection might restrain her from making any Complaints against her Husband, she could not be expected Vol. II. X to X1v 154 to pay either Friendship or Esteem to the Woman who triumphs over her dearest Hopes, and is enriched only by her Spoils. Far be it from me to intimate that Britannia is this injur’d Wife, or make an Application so injurious to the known Wisdom, Justice, and Goodness of his most sacred Majesty:—But while we acknowledge our Happiness in having a King above all mean Prejudice or Partiality, we cannot avoid expressing some Discontent to find a petty State imagines she has a Pretence to outrival us in his Royal Care and Affection. Hanoverian Lady.Meer Jealousy and groundless Apprehensions! But it is in vain to argue with your Nation on this Point:—The English it is known are no less positive than proud, and are not to be convinced, but by Time and Experience, that they have been in the Wrong; else it would be easy for you to see that whatever Inconveniences you may labour under for the Sake of Hanover, we endure no less on the Score of Great Britain. English Lady.That indeed appears a strange Position!—I should be glad to be inform’d as how? Hanoverian Lady.Nothing more easy than to oblige you, Madam;—as thus,—Being both Subjects of the same Prince, on any Broil Eng- X2r 155 England shall happen to be involv’d in on the Continent, whatsoever Power is disoblig’d will in Revenge immediately fall upon Hanover, not only as the nearest, but as she is the least capable of defending herself:—So that our Country may become the Seat of War, perhaps be laid waste, before any Succours from Great Britain can arrive, who, in such a Case, I believe you will allow, ought to afford us her Protection. English Lady.Undoubtedly, Madam.— I grant also that the Apprehensions you mention are fully justified by Reason;—but then that they are so is one of those Misfortunes to us of which you are the innocent Cause; since to preserve you from the Dangers to which you might be liable on our Account, we may be oblig’d to behave with greater Complaisance to the Powers on the Continent than would be consistent with our Interest or Glory. Hanoverian Lady.But as there is an absolute Necessity for your acting in this Manner, you ought not to hate and upbraid us for every little Condescension you make. English Lady.Neither do we, Madam, yet we may wish it were not so. Hanoverian Lady.The same Liberty then with greater Reason may be allowed to us, since you can never suffer so much from yielding in X2 such X2v 156 such trifling Points as would be required of you, either by any of the Powers of Germany, or by any Prince who may happen to have an Army in the Empire, as we must infallibly do by their Resentment, should you ever by any Act of Obstinacy provoke them. English Lady.Yet as nothing is so dear as Glory to a brave People, how hard is the Dilemma, when either that or our Generosity must be sacrificed. Hanoverian Lady.Alas, Madam, it only seems so, because whatever you find yourself oblig’d to do for us you do with Reluctance and Ill-will:—In fine, you envy us, are jealous of us, and industriously seek out Pretences for Complaint against us:—Whereas you ought rather to use your utmost Endeavours for banishing those narrow selfish Views which keep up the Animosity between us, to cease all Revilings, all injurious Reflections, and at least behave towards us as if you regarded us with a Sisterly Affection.—This I think it would become you to do for your own Sakes. English Lady.Madam, whatever Vices may be laid to the Charge of our Nation, none could ever yet tax us with that of Dissimulation; and it would be strange if we should now begin to practise it in favour of a People from whom we X3r 157 we cannot flatter ourselves with even the most distant Hope of ever receiving the least Obligation. ―― You must therefore make it very evidently appear, which I believe will be a pretty difficult Task, that it would become us, for our own Sakes, to feign this Sisterly Affection to Hanover. Hanoverian Lady.Because in the first place it would be a Proof of Love and Respect to your King; and in the next, while you enjoy the invaluable Blessings of his Reign, or after him of any of his Royal Descendants, even to the End of Time, there will always be an absolute Necessity for the Interest of Hanover and Great Britain to be inseparable.――So that I leave it to yourself, whether to submit chearfully to what you may think an Inconvenience (tho’ I am far from allowing it to be such) be not more prudent, than by continual Repinings, vain Clamours, and ridiculous Oppositions, lose all the Merit of the Obligation (if it be one) both with his Majesty and those belonging to him, and proclaim at the same time to all the neighbouring Nations the Restlessness and Quixotism of your own Natures. English Lady.Madam, I have done;— your last Argument is indeed not to be answer’d:—Whatever is unavoidable must be yielded to:—But however, we may say to ourselves with the Poet, that Plea- X3v 158 Pleasure never comes sincere to Man,But sent by Heaven upon hard Usury:And while Jove holds us out the Bowl of Joy,E’re it can reach our Lips, ’tis dash’d with GallBy some left-handed God. Thus ended a Dispute which I am of Opinion will give very near the same Satisfaction to the Readers as to those who heard it.

Aefter thanking Mr. A.B. for the Favour he has done us in communicating this Manuscript, I am desir’d by our little Assembly to assure him, that if it has the same Effect on the Public as it has had on us, he will find his Opinion confirm’d in all Companies where the Female Spectator is admitted.

Nothing certainly is more pleasing than when we find Arguments, especially on any tender Point as this was, urg’d with Moderation and Sweetness:――The Temper with which these two Ladies carried on their Dispute ought to make those blush who cannot hear themselves contradicted without Virulence and bitter Speeches.

At first reading I was indeed sometimes in Pain for my Country-Woman, and trembled lest the artful Evasions, frequently going from the Point, blending Things proper to be discanted upon X4r 159 upon with others which were not so, and many such like Subterfuges practis’d by the other, should have made her lose that Patience and Calmness so becoming in an argumentative Discourse; but to my great Satisfaction she soon convinced me she knew how to separate those Topics her Antagonist endeavoured to huddle together, and to be silent where Prudence required she should be so, as well as to treat with a genteel Irony those Things which merited not a serious Reply.

There is something which to me seems altogether unfair, and too much designing in the Method pursued by the Hanoverian Lady in this Debate.—She condemns the English for charging all Errors in Government on the Ministry, and attempts to prove what none of us either dare, or even wish to do, that the Ministry are only so many Tools to the Will of the King.—This I cannot forbear looking upon, and I believe every Body else will view it in the same Light, as an invidious Artifice to silence all Complaints of Grievances, or to render the Continuance a Breach of Duty and Respect to his Majesty.

But this is a stale Pretence, and has been so often made use of by our English-Hanoverians, that it is grown Thread-bare:—The Tenet is now thrown out of Doors, and while there is any Spark of Liberty remaining, it will shew itself at least in expressing our Dislike of any Measures which tend to our Oppression.

It X4v 160

It is an old but very true Maxim, that England can be undone only by herself:—Our Constitution, like a Wall of Brass too thick to be broke through, too high to be overlook’d by the Power of the Crown, preserves the People from any Encroachments from that Quarter; yet may this Wall be undermined by those entrusted to repair and keep it, and it is therefore our Business to have a watchful Eye on whomsoever this weighty Trust is reposed, lest for the Sake of private and particular Interest, that of the whole should be utterly destroyed, and this glorious Fabrick, the Envy and Admiration of other Nations, and so long our Defence and Happiness, thrown down, and all our boasted Freedom perish in its Ruins.

But I will not dwell on so ungrateful a Subject, nor alarm myself or Readers with Apprehensions, which, whatever Foundation they may have had, ought now to vanish with the Power and Influence of those Persons by whose Conduct they were first excited.

What, tho’ Coronets adorn their Brows!— What tho’ they riot in the Spoils of suffering Millions, and securely laugh at the Mischiefs they have done, their Day is over, their Sting is spent, detected tho’ unpunish’d, the Beguilers can beguile no more, and all Dangers to our Civil Rights seem now as far as removed as those we were lately threaten’d with from foreign Foes.

The Y1r 161

The Hanoverian Lady is so pleasantly whimsical in her Description of the galloping Progress of the French and Spanish Armies thro’ Italy, Germany, Portugal, Flanders, and the United Provinces, in order to reach these Kingdoms, that I thought we all, especially Euphrosine, should never have done laughing:—Nothing certainly could have been added to the Humour of this Raw-Head and Bloody Bones Expedition, unless the ingenious Inventress of it had made them call at Rome in their Way, and brought the Pope and the Pretender on their Backs.

Bless us! what a terrible Monster is this House of Bourbon! If these Ideas of it should reach some distant Countries in Great Britain and Ireland, it might fright the good Women into Fits, and occasion many a Miscarriage, and thereby lessen the Number of future Soldiers, which would be a great Prejudice to us should the War continue, or we continue to be engag’d in it till the Queen of Hungary, the French King, or Spanish Queen are willing to recede from the Views they at present seem to have.

If any one should think I treat this Matter too ludicrously, the Hanoverian Lady must bear the Blame, who has really put me quite out of the way of serious Reasoning.

But I will return to myself as soon as I can; for going on in this wild way puts me in Mind of the old humorous Poet.

Vol. II. Y What Y1v 162 What need have we for Sack and Sherry, When our own Miseries can make us merry?

This is not a Time indeed to laugh, and I heartily beg Pardon of my Country for it:—Instead of diverting the Thoughts of our Calamities, we ought rather to bend our utmost Endeavours for the Ease of them; which can only be procured by observing a strict Oeconomy and Frugality in our Apparel, Food and Furniture; in fine, to retrench our Expences as to all the Necessaries of Life, as well as the Pleasures of it, otherwise how shall we be for any long Time enabled to pay those Taxes which are requisite for the Support of the War; and to join in the most fervent Prayers to Heaven, that it may soon end in an honourable and lasting Peace, and the ambitious Great Ones of the World be made to see their Error, and bid Rapine and Devastation cease!

But tho’, for the general Good of all Europe as well as ourselves, we ought to wish the Broils on the Continent were amicably adjusted, yet if the War should conclude without receiving any Satisfaction on the Part of Spain, for the Insults and Damages we have received from her, I believe no Briton will be sorry to see the whole Force of our Arms turn’d against that haughty Power, in order to retrieve the Verdure of our too much blasted Lawrels, preserve our Commerce, and defend our Colonies.

This Y2r 163

This is truly our own War, and justifiable by all Laws both divine and human:—Here, if we conquer, we reap the Advantage of it ourselves; besides, Naval Fights, when made in good earnest, are seldom unfortunate for England; but in a Land War there is much more than a Possibility of being undone by our own Victory, and becoming greater Losers than those we overcome.

But there is little left for me say on this Head, the English Championess has, in too pathetic a Manner, describ’d the Wildness of our engaging in a War on the Continent, the much we have to fear, and the little we have to hope, whatever the Event shall happen to prove, for me to imagine any thing I could add would render it more plain.

Besides, after those Clouds and Tempests with which the Bark of English Expectations has so long been lost under the Direction of unskilful, or unfaithful Pilots, a rising Sun begins to dawn upon us, and promises to dispel the horrid Gloom, calm the swelling Waves, and glad us with the near Prospect of that wish’d for Harbour we have sought, but sought in vain, for many tedious Years.

Even now while I am writing, a Messenger of Joy arrives:—Fame sounds her Golden-Trump with Energy Divine, and thus reports:――Our Island’s Genius rouses from his dreary Bed,―― shakes off inglorious Sloth, and once more active,Y2 tive Y2v 164 tive, inspires his chosen Sons with Godlike Fires to quell Oppression, save the sinking State, and recall long banish’d Virtue to her ancient Seat.

Midst all the Snares that artful Vice has laid to catch the Passions and enslave the Heart:―― Midst all the Numbers that have renounced their God, and bowed the Knee to Baal, a Patriot Band, an uncorrupted few have still remained, unawed by Frowns, unbought by Smiles, or all the glittering Toys a Court bestows; alike impregnable to Force or Fraud, Strangers at once to softning Luxury and overbearing Pride, and Foes to all Ambition but that of doing Good.

Years after Years did they behold their Country’s falling Honours, but deceived with specious Words, and outward Shews of Virtue, wise but yet unsuspicious; and fearing by vindicating public Right to do a private Wrong, they bore with Temper what they saw with Grief; ’till bold Iniquity, of her own Accord, pluck’d off the Vizard of Hypocrisy, avowed her Influence, and disclos’d the Traytors, by different Means to different Ends aspiring, but all assisting to bind Britannia in eternal Chains.

All was at Stake;—but one Step more was wanting to tread down Liberty, and erect an Idol of their own Formation in its Place:—Successful Villany had well nigh gained its horrid Point, and Y3r 165 and free born Souls had been compell’d to bend to Power illegal.

Now rise these Sons of Honour, and tho’ long disunited by the base Artifices of their common Foes, forget all petty Feuds, and resolve to stem Destruction’s Tide, or perish in the brave Effort.

O Glorious Coalition!—O Crisis, never to be forgotten!

The noble Ardour kindled in their Veins represents the Occasion such as it is, admitting no Delay, and this blest Moment they hasten to the Throne, there will they prostrate, fall, and never rise till they have wrought upon the Royal Mind to listen and give Sanction to their Suit.

This is the Boon they ask, and are determined with all becoming Decency to assert:

That his Majesty will vouchsafe Permission, that all the Impositions, Deceits, Perjuries, Oppressions, Misrepresentations, and other enormous Crimes which these State-Harpys have been guilty of to the Nation, may be laid before him; and in Consequence of a full Detection, that he will be pleas’d to render them for the future incapable of holding any Office, Post, or Employment, either in the Government or about his Person; and in fine, drive them forever from his Presence, that his Royal Ear no more may be poisoned by their Councils, nor the most faithful Sub- Y3v 166 Subjects ever Prince could boast traduced by their Insinuations.

This is the glorious Project which the Voice of Fame assures us is on Foot, and if once ripen’d into Action, how dear to the present Age, and how immortal to a long Succession of Ages, will be the Names of all who have a Share in it!

Even should any baleful Planet, Foe to England’s Glory, interpose with dark’ning Influence and blast the Attempt, the very making it is sufficient to deserve Statues more durable and more ornamented than any placed in the Capital of ancient Rome.

But let us not perplex ourselves with idle Doubts, they say, Who fears his Fate deserves it; and should we imagine his most sacred Majesty will be deaf to the united Voice of his whole People, deliver’d to him by the most faithful, noble and wise of his Subjects, it would be an Injustice to his Goodness, which sure no loyal Heart could ever forgive itself.

Let us rather rejoice in the almost certain Hope of seeing this Petition made and granted, —That those Court Moths, those Canker-Worms of State will be no longer suffered to gnaw even into the very Vitals of our Constitution, but be expell’d and driven from all the nobler Part of the Creation, and henceforth compell’d to associate only with their Fellow-Insects.

In Y4r 167

In lone Retirement let them repent, at least regret their past Abuse of Power:—Deprived of every Means to oppress or to betray the Innocent, let them upbraid and become Tormentors to each other:—Too mild a Doom for Crimes so consummate, so complicated as theirs!—For if, as Cato says, ――What Pity ’tisA Man can dye but once to serve his Country! Certainly for those Who trusted by their Country have betray’d it,To die but once is Punishment too small.

But these truly worthy Patriots retain the same Moderation with which they have ever behav’d, and shew that tho’ now oblig’d to exert themselves, they exert themselves only to save Britannia, not to destroy the very worst and most degenerate of her Sons.

What indeed can they desire less, or what is more absolutely necessary than that those should be removed, who if trusted would deceive, and if not trusted would be perpetually contriving Means to obstruct all their Measures, and render abortive their best-concerted Schemes!

No Councils without a perfect Unanimity can prosper; but when Men, tho’ of never so different Interests and Principles in other Things, shall happen to agree and pursue with Vigour one favouritevourite Y4v 168 vourite Point, be it of what kind soever, one seldom sees them miscarry in their Aim.

This Argument has a thousand Times been made use of, both within and without Doors, by a late eminent fallen Patriot; he cannot therefore take it ill, or be surpriz’d that it is now urg’d against himself, tho’ he both may and ought to be asham’d of having given the Occasion.

Oh Curio! Curio! once so admired, so lov’d! ―― Most thought thee honest,――All believed thee wise;—thou Terror of one Party, Darling and chief Dictator of the other; how do the one despise, the other hate thee now! —Verres himself less shunn’d, and more excused.

Verres, train’d up from Infancy in the low Arts of Gain,—Stranger to Ease and Affluence, yet in his Soul vain-glorious and ambitious, might easily be tempted to join in any thing to raise his Fortune; which having done, in a short Time, beyond what Hope could promise, the Sweets of ill-got Wealth, and the prosperous Success of those Crimes to which he owed it, embolden’d him to act still greater, and to stop at nothing; and when at last swell’d to enormous Size, Justice began to shake the brandish’d Sword, in order to ward off the impending Stroke, he found himself oblig’d to pursue Measures more wicked yet, more mischievous than ever:—As his Indigence therefore had led him, so his Security compell’d him to persist.

But Z1r 169

But you, O Curio! had no such Pretence; born to, and in Possession of Demesns sufficient to prevent all sordid Aims from entering your Breast:—Nurtur’d in Patriotism, long you trod the Path of Glory, and your Country’s Happiness seem’d more your Aim than ought belonging meerly to yourself; or if you wish’d Reward, it was only because it would be a Proof to after Times of British Gratitude, and shew your Labours had attain’d their End:—For more than twenty Years did you pursue this Verres;—explored his dark Designs, and oft prevented the Execution of them:—All Offers you rejected, all Menaces disdained,—and firm in the Cause of Liberty, with unwearied Zeal spoke, wrote, and acted as became a Briton:—At last, the long-desir’d,—the long-sought Time arrived, to crown your Toils with an assured Success:—Fortune herself seem’d weary of her Minion, and left him on the Verge of Ruin:――The meaner Instruments of his Oppressions already mourn’d his Fate, and trembled for their own:—Each honest Heart exulted, and Liberty secured with all its salutary Barrier Laws was now the general Hope:—This you beheld, and with what grateful Raptures each Eye look’d on you, and each Tongue spoke of you:――Every Relief from ill, every expected Blessing, they own’d chiefly to Curio owing:— Curio! the Friend of Public Good;—Curio! his Country’s Prop:—Agent of Heaven, to shield Britannia from impending Danger.

Vol. II. Z Such Z1v 170

Such Love, such Praises as were shower’d upon you might have converted even Treachery into Truth, much more confirmed the Heart inured to Honour:――Yet then, O most infatuated, most ill-starr’d of Men!—When arrived at the utmost Summit of human Perfection, you fell at once into the lowest Abyss of Infamy and Perdition:――Betray’d the People who so trusted in you;—renounced the Cause you had so long maintain’d;—favoured the Abuse, and screen’d the Abuser you had sworn never to quit till you had seen chastised.

Amazing Change! In one ill-fated Hour the Prize of your whole former Life wantonly thrown away; it cannot be call’d sold, since barter’d for a Toy you might have even commanded, illustrated with real Glories had you remain’d yourself, not daub’d and tinsell’d over such as this, which, instead of adorning, but deforms your Brows, and renders your Shame the more conspicuous.

We all remember, nor can you sure forget, how happy you seem’d to think yourself when the pernicious Scheme of the Excise was on Foot, and your Influence in the Senate had put to Shame the Minister and his Adherents!―― How true, how permanent an Honour then you thought it to make Millions happy!—And how laudable was that Ambition in you of receiving merited Applause!—When you beheld the best and wealthiest of our Citizens waiting the hop’d but Z2r 171 but fear’d Result of that important Hour:—You hasted to relieve their Anxiety, and said aloud these remarkable Words: Gentlemen! Date your Liberties from this Day.

We do,—We do, Sir, replied they with a Shout that seem’d to shake the spacious Dome: —The joyful Tidings resounded to the Gates of the Hall:—The Crowd without heard it, and eccho’d back the Cry of Liberty! Liberty! and no Excise!—Hung on your Chariot Wheels and bore you home in greater Triumph than old Rome e’er knew: While Verres, pale and trembling, sculked amidst his Guard of Hirelings, and scarce escap’d the just Resentment of a People whose Slavery he had projected.

How truly glorious for you was this Night! ―― The Fires and Illuminations which blazed in every Street less proclaim’d the general Joy for the Benefit received, than that to you we owed it.—O had this Spirit still existed in you, What might you not have been?――Shocking Reflection!—What are you now!—But I have done.—Verres and Curio link’d, compose a Prodigy such as no past Age can parallel, and all future ones will stand aghast at the Description of.

I forbear making any particular mention of the many Followers of this guilty Pair; who Z2 like Z2v 172 like their Patrons, lost in a Moment all their former Animosity, and shook Hands with those who not a Week before they had pursued to Destruction.

England, however, will reap this double Advantage from the Crimes of both Minister and Patriot:—The Detection of the One will, ’tis to be hop’d, deter all future Statesmen from treading in the same Steps; and the Apostacy of the Other serve as a Warning to the Nation not to place too entire a Confidence in any Professions whatsoever.

Those who sincerely labour for their Country’s Welfare will certainly find their Reward in the Success of their Enterprize; and if the great Work, which I hear is now in Hand, should be accomplish’d before these Lucubrations see the Light, I dare answer the Satisfaction will be too great to render stale or displeasing what I have said on the Occasion.

However, till Suspense is wholly swallowed up in Certainty, there will be Emotions in the Heart that will not suffer us to be quite compos’d: —We are, as it were, divided between Pain and Pleasure, and having been already so often deceived, are apt to cry out in the Words of the Psalmist: There is no Confidence in Man!

A Z3r 173

A Letter we have just received seems very much adapted to the fluctuating Situation of our present Expectations, and as it directs to that Side of the Question, which will render us most easy, is highly proper to be inserted in this Place.

To the Female Spectator. Madam, As you have hitherto seem’d to exert your speculative Capacity wholly for the Improvement of the Morals, and a due regulating the Conduct; and in order to give Success to your Endeavours, there is an absolute Necessity to begin with the Passions, I flatter myself you will not think it impertinent in me to offer to your Consideration some Reflections which casually came into my Head this Morning. Hope and Fear are the first Passions that agitate the human Mind:—In our very Infancy they find Entrance, and operate before we are capable of receiving any other:—They guide our Actions in Maturity;—retain their Vigour even to extreme old Age, and never utterly forsake us till Death and Eternity close the Scene, and leave nothing more to wish for. They are Passions, which if taken in a religious Sense seem inspired by the Creator himself; for what can more instigate us to Acts of Piety and Devotion than the everlasting Rewards which Hope presents in prospect to the Z3v 174 the virtuous Mind?—Or what Restraint from Crimes equal to that which arises from the Fear of those tremendous Punishments threatned to the guilty?—But as this is a Truth none but Free-Thinkers and Deists will deny, I shall only mention a few of those Advantages or Disadvantages, the being possess’d of them is to our temporal Satisfaction and Happiness. Hope is, in my Opinion, the most precious Good we can enjoy, our sure Defence in all the Assaults of adverse Fortune, and a main Step to the Attainment of more prosperous Events:—Whoever chides it from him, and encourages its opposite, sinks beneath the Burthen of his Fate, and is in danger of rising no more; but he who preserves it will be climbing still, and tho’ he may be oft repulsed, is untoiled with Disappointment, and never loses the Prospect of his Wish.—Our inimitable Cowley has given us a beautiful Definition of this Passion in one of his Pindarick Odes; which, tho’ I doubt not but you have read, I cannot help transcribing for the Benefit of those who may not: Hope of all Ills that Men endureThe only cheap and universal Cure!Thou Captive’s Freedom, and thou sick Man’s Health!Thou Loser’s Victory, and thou Beggar’s Wealth!Thou Manna which from Heav’n we eat;To every Taste a several Meat!ThouZ4r175Thou strong Retreat! Thou sure entailed Estate,Which nought has Power to alienate!Thou pleasant honest Flatt’rer; for noneFlatter unhappy Man but thou alone!Hope, thou First-Fruits of Happiness,Thou gentle Dawning of a bright Success,Who out of Fortune’s Reach dost stand,And art a Blessing still in Hand.Happiness itself’s all oneIn thee or in Possession.Best Apprehender of our Joys, which hastSo long a Reach, and yet can’st hold so fast!Men leave thee by obtaining, and strait fleeSome other way again to thee. It was chiefly by being strongly possess’d of this Passion that Julius Cæsar gain’d the Battle of Pharsalia; and had Cato not been entirely abandoned by it, he had persisted in his Endeavours for the Liberty of his Country, and possibly retrieved it too. Alexander the Great thought so highly of it, that when chosen General of the United States against Persia, he divided his whole Kingdom of Macedon among his Officers, giving Towns to some, Cities to others, and whole Provinces to those whose Capacities in his Judgment merited them. Parmerio, who was one that profited by this extraordinary Bounty, beheld it with Surprize, and ask’d his Majesty what he reserved for himself?――Hope! repliedplied Z4v 176 plied that Prince, implying that he esteemed it above every thing; and indeed his future Glories proved it was with Justice he did so, since it was by that encourag’d and embolden’d he acquired them. On what Pursuit soever the Soul of Man is bent, whether to the Attainment of Love, Honour, or Riches, how languid, how enervate will be the Efforts he makes, if not animated by the Hope of succeeding! Yet notwithstanding this obvious Truth, those People who judge of Things only as they appear to themselves, are apt to turn this glorious Passion into Ridicule:—They look on a Person who aims at any thing which they imagine is out of his Reach, as an Extravagant, and treat all the Schemes he proposes as so many visionary Delusions:—He is laugh’d at by his Enemies, and pity’d by his Friends, who perhaps by their mistaken Counsels avert the Inspiration of his good Genius, and turn him from the only Means by which he might arrive at Happiness. But I would fain know of these obstinate Opugners of Hope, what Reasons they can give for our endeavouring to repel the Dictates of so pleasing, and at the same time so beneficial a Passion:—For my Part I must confess it comes not within the reach of my Apprehension to conceive any thing their surly Wisdoms can offer, that would be sufficient to compensate for what we Aa1r 177 we should lose in being deprived of Hope, even tho’ it happen to be vain, because the very Deception it puts upon us is a Blessing for the Time it lasts. The ancient Philosophers have proved by Arguments, I think, unanswerable, that the real Attainment of our Wishes brings with it no Proportion of Happiness which can come in Competition with the Idea of it, while we remain in a State of Expectation:—If this is granted, it must also be confess’d, that those delightful, those rapturous Ideas are made so only by Hope, since it would be far from a Felicity to contemplate on a Good we wish, but are fearful will never be in our Possession. In fine, while we have Hope we are all we would be, and when robb’d of that, all we would not be. How many living Spectres do we see who, lost to Hope, wander about the World, so wan and pin’d with Care and Discontent, their very Souls would seem dead were it not that ever and anon their Starts and Groans discover they apprehend some worse Calamity than what they feel already?—These are the Slaves of Fear, the Antagonist of Hope, and the meanest, poorest of all Passions:――It makes the Wretch who harbours it anticipate the Ills he is doom’d to suffer, and tremble for others that Fate never intended to bring on him. Vol. II. Aa There Aa1v 178 There is indeed but one Step between this Passion and Despair, and that is made only by some Remains of Hope, which however is a very unquiet Situation, because the Mind is perpetually toss’d and knows not where to fix; ――all Joy one Moment, and all Grief the next;—sometimes lifted up to the highest Pitch of rapturous Expectation; at others sunk, abash’d, and trembling to pursue what most it wishes. But notwithstanding all I have said in the behalf of Hope, I must allow that there is Danger in indulging it too much:—Presumption, Arrogance, and Self-Conceit are as frequently Attendants on this Passion, as a mean Bashfulness, or a sneaking Behaviour, and an Inability of exerting ourselves in a proper Manner, are of its Opposite:――Hope is apt to inspire us with too great a Warmth, Fear with too much Coldness. It is therefore the first Employment we ought to give our Reason to keep a due Medium;—to moderate both these Passions, and not to suffer the One to hurry us to any Actions unbecoming of our Characters and Stations in Life, nor the Other to with-hold us from the Pursuit of any thing that in itself is laudable, because it may seem attended with some Difficulties. It Aa2r 179 It is also the Business of Wisdom to conceal, as much as possible, the natural Propensity we have to either of these Passions:―― To be conscious of having testify’d a too sanguine Hope in any thing we may chance to fail in the Attainment of, gives double Asperity to Disappointment;—and to shew we have been restrained by Fear from undertaking any thing for the Advantage either of ourselves, our Friends, or Country, which has been easily accomplish’d by another, makes us be look’d upon as unworthy the Respect or Confidence of the World. I may add to this, that Hope is apt to make us place too great a Confidence in Things and Persons, as Fear, on the other Hand, inspires us with too much Distrust:—The One sometimes renders us the Tools of our worst Enemies, and the Other guilty of Injustice to our best Friends. Dissimulation therefore in this Case is no more than Prudence:—Happy is he who can seem to have no Excess of Hope or Fear of any thing; but more happy is he who knows how to command both, and has Penetration enough to discover when, and to which he ought most to incline! There are certainly many Things we ought to fear, and others which it would be unjust for us to hope:――Virtue and good Aa2 Mo- Aa2v 180 Morality will point them out, as Wisdom will direct in a great measure how either Apprehension or Expectation may be justify’d. But because the Scale of human Probability frequently deceives us, and Events greatly depend on what we call Chance or Fortune, the safest way is not to build on any thing. To bear Prosperity with Temper, and Adversity with Fortitude, is the truest and noblest kind of Heroism, the Crown as well as Proof of Virtue, and will render us more easy to ourselves, more agreeable to our Neighbours, and more accceptable in the Sight of Heaven, than all the gilded Trophies of the Field, or Favours of a Prince. The Man then that would attain or preserve this happy Situation, let him make all Things as indifferent to him as possible, but always take care rather to hope the best than fear the worst. I am, Madam, Your very humble and Most obedient Servant. Philo-Serenitas.

The Conclusion of this Letter, tho’ perhaps not intended in a political Sense, contains the best Ad- Aa3r 181 Advice can be given us while in expectation of the Event at present depending.

The having been deceived, does not imply we shall again be so, tho’ there is a Possibility we may, because the best of Men are still but Men: ―― All have Passions of one kind or other to gratify, and none can answer for himself, that in some unguarded Hour the Fiend within him may not prove too strong for the Angel.

One of our Weekly Papers, of which a certain great Man before his Apostacy was said to be the Patron, has given us some Maxims on this Head, which ought never to be forgotten; and as they cannot therefore be too often repeated, I shall give them in his own Words:

When a Person in Power finds his best Endeavours to maintain his Popularity fruitless, if he finds his most innocent, nay meritorious Actions blasted, and what he administers for Nourishment converted into Poyson; unless he is another Socrates or Confucius, his Heart must unavoidably be turned against us; and that Affection, that Zeal, and that Fidelity which was before divided between Prince and People will center in the first only, and thenceforward he may become so much a Prey to his Passions as to lay hold on every Opportunity to distress those, whom he found it impossible to oblige. Let Aa3v 182 Let it be a Rule with us then so to behave, as, that in case those at the Helm should desert the Interest to which they owe their Greatness, they may have no Excuse for their Apostacy. Liberty is the true Palladium of our State; and the meanest Briton is as much concern’d in its Preservation as the greatest:――Let every Briton then be as watchful over it as ever:――Let a blind Confidence be placed in no Man whatever:――It is what no honest Man would desire, what no wise Man can expect, and what no wicked Man deserves. But let us not fire the Beacon, and cry out the Enemy! the Enemy! before there is any visible Danger. It is a good Thing to be upon one’s Guard: ――It is a very bad one to be in Confusion. ――He that draws to defend himself when attack’d, is both wise and brave:――He that fences with the Wind is either a Bully or a Madman. If the present Managers act up to their Pretensions, every honest Man in Great Britain will be in their Interest and at their Devotion: —If they fall short of, or act in Contradiction to them, the Prejudice in their Favour will soon wear off; their Enemies will retort their own Arguments upon them; and, what is worst of all, Aa4v 183 all, Patriotism in State Affairs will run some risque of being put on a footing with Hypocrisy in Religion, than which a more affecting Curse can hardly visit this Land of Liberty.

I need not tell my Reader that this was wrote at the Time of our late Jehu Minister’s first coming into Power, and when there were some who, as it prov’d, too justly apprehended that when he had catch’d the Fish he would throw away the Net.

We owe, however, some Obligation to him that he shewed himself so soon; a Man more artful and less daring might have proceeded by such imperceptible Degrees as, before we were aware, might have entail’d Slavery in perpetuity on these Nations.

Long were we cajoled, and flatter’d out of our very Reason by his timid Predecessor; and perhaps had he not been forced by Counsels, not his own, into some Measures which discover’d the pernicious Mark he aim’d at, he might have compleated the Destruction he had begun.

The above Rules will therefore be of excellent Sercvice to us, if well observ’d, under all Administrations, even tho’ composed of Men, who, on the Score of former Patriotism, should happen to be the greatest Darlings of the Time; for, if we may credit the Poet,

The Aa4v 184 The Court’s a golden, but a fatal Circle, Upon whose Magic Skirts a thousand Devils, In Crystal Forms, sit tempting Innocence, And beckon early Virtue from its Centre.

But I am quite weary of the unfathomable Mysteries of State, and the yet more unfathomable Depths of great Men’s Hearts:—He who sees all Things is alone able to unravel them; even Time itself cannot do it, for tho’ he brings all Actions to Light, the Motives of them frequently remain a Secret, and will do so to all Eternity.

The Author of the following Letter, notwithstanding, seems to have a great Opinion of my Abilities this way; but I am afraid he will be of another way of thinking, when he perceives a Question, which perhaps to him may appear to be of a Nature easily answered, is in reality too puzzling for my Comprehension.

To the Female Spectator. Worthy Dame, Tho’ I never found you set up either for a British Apollo or Athenian Mercury, nor had given out any Bills or Advertisements to signify you resolv’d all lawful Questions, yet I have Dependance enough on your Capacity and Good-Nature to flatter me you will give your casting Vote in a Dispute, in which all Bb1r 185 all concern’d have agreed to submit to your Decision. I was last Night engag’d in a good deal of Company at the Bedford-Head Tavern, Covent- Garden, when, among many other fashionable Healths, Success to the Queen of Hungary went chearfully round the Table. A certain Gentleman took Occasion, on naming that Princess, to say that he thought Nature was growing frolicksome, and, swerving from her ordinary Course, had transfer’d those Souls which ought to be confined to us of the Masculine Gender into that of the Feminine: That Sex, said he, has long been encroaching on our Province of Wit, but I think it is too much they should rob us of our Glory likewise:—Some Share of Policy I am ready to allow them, but can by no means consent they should be Warriors. He then run great lengths in praise of her Hungarian Majesty, as being above the little softening Follies which are the Characteristick of Womanhood:—Intrepid, undaunted, and despising all Passions but those of Glory and Ambition.――How truly noble, continu’d he, did she behave, when News arrived that Prince Charles of Lorrain’s Army was all cut to Pieces, instead of putting Finger in Eye, as some Women would have done, and lamenting the untimely Fate of so many thousand gallant Men, Vol. II. Bb No Bb1v 186 No Matter for the Army, said she, if the General be safe.――What great Things would she not be able to accomplish at the Head of an Army if her Childing Condition did not prevent it? Another seeing him so warm, told him, that tho’ he could not but agree with him in what he said of this German Heroine, yet he thought the Queen of Spain yielded to her in none of those Points which seem’d so much to attract his Admiration:—That she was no less anxious for aggrandizing her Family;— was no less insensible of those tender Emotions which, as the Poet says, Drag Men backward from immortal Actions. That she took no less Pride in Conquest;— was no less intrepid after a Deafeat;—no less inflexible to all Offers of Accommodation, unless they tallied exactly with her Wish; and in fine, that she was in every thing as little of a Woman as the other could possibly be. This, the Champion for her Hungarian Majesty denied, and the Arguments between them continued, till by Degrees every one in the Room listed himself either on the one or the other Side:――The Numbers on both happen’d to be equal, and it was at length concluded to consult the Female Spectator, and that we should allow that Opinion to be most just which you should pronounce to be so. I Bb2r 187 I Forbear to acquaint you who I am, and also which Party I took, because I would not be thought to influence you to any Partiality in my Favour: All are Witnesses of what I write, and join to beg you will give Judgment with Freedom and Impartiality, which will confer a lasting Obligation on a Set of Gentlemen who are most of them your Subscribers, and all Admirers of your Speculations, particularly him who at present must only be known to you by the Title of Your humble Servant, The Querist. P. S. Madam, If you think it improper to insert this in your next Publication, or print any thing in Answer to it, please to favour us with your private Sentiments on the Debate, directed for me (as I have above subscribed myself) to be left at Will’s Coffee-House in Great Russel-Street, Covent-Garden.

As I can perceive no Manner of Reason which should oblige me to stifle this Epistle, unless, as I said before, my Want of Power to comply with the Request contained in it so definitely as may be expected, the Directions given in the Postscript were altogether unnecessary.

But to shew my readiness to oblige my Correspondent,Bb2 respondent, Bb2v 188 respondent, I will give my Sentiments on the Matter in Question to the best of my Judgment.

The Dispute, I think, is, whether the Queen of Hungary or of Spain may be allowed to have the greatest Share of Spirit:—A moot Point I must confess:――To consider either singly one would imagine her Equal was not to be found; but when we come to compare them, not only the Conduct of both, but the Motives also of that Conduct, ought strictly to be examined into.

The Queen of Spain being but second Wife to the present King, disdains the Sons born of her should be Subjects of a Prince who is the Issue of a former Marriage; and to establish them in some degree of Equality with their elder Brother, attempts to erect into Kingdoms certain Dominions, some of which she looks upon herself as Heiress, and set the Crowns of them upon their Heads.— The first of these Enterprizes has succeeded to her Wish:—Don Carlos is King of the Two Sicilies, and the Infant Don Philip, but for us, would be in a fair way of obtaining a no less powerful Monarchy.—It is not our Business to shew the Legality or Illegality of the Claims pretended to by this Princess; it is enough to say she pursues her Aim with the utmost Vigour and Resolution;—that no Disappointments shake her Fortitude;—no Obstacles alarm her Courage; and that by the Strength Bb3r 189 Strength of her own Genius, more than by her Royal Consort’s Armies, she has got the better of Difficulties which were look’d upon by the rest of the World as unsurmountable.

The Queen of Hungary, on the other Side, is the Heiress of a Family, which ’tis well known had always an Eye towards rendering the Imperial Crown hereditary, and entailing it on a Prince of its own:—How far such a View is consistent with the Liberties of Germany, or the Privileges and Dignity of the Electoral Princes, I will not take upon me to say, nor is it any thing to the present Purpose; the late Emperor however had it no less at Heart than his Predecessors, as ’tis plain by his not suffering even the Duke of Lornrain ain, whom he intended should marry his eldest Daughter, to be elected King of the Romans, flattering himself perhaps that he should have a Son of his own.

This was a mortal Stab to the Ambition of the Arch-Dutchess Maria Theresa, who at his Decease inheriting the vast Dominions of both the Austrias, Hungary, Bohemia, Parma, Placentia, all the Milanese, and to these a long Et cetera of Appendixes, could not support the Thought of seeing a Power above her, therefore resolved to put all she was in Possession of at Stake rather than relinquish the noble Hope of being the first Potentate in Europe: —To this end she protested against the Election of a new Emperor,—rais’d Armies to oppose him, Bb3v 190 him,—ran in Person through Bohemia, Hungary, &c. &c.—encouraging her Subjects, and at the same time solliciting, bribing, and exciting all the neighbouring Princes to espouse her Cause; —those even who by reason of their Distance, and many other Motives, she could the least depend on for Assistance, she made Tryal of, nor try’d in vain.

Tho’ oft repuls’d, and sometimes on the Brink of losing all, still her unconquerable Will remained the same;――firm to her first Resolves, she has beheld Germany, that Country, which in all her numerous Manifestos, Rescripts and Letters she calls so dear, become the Scene of Confusion and Devastation;――fearless, unmoved, while in the Road to Empire, tho’ wading thro’ whole Seas of Blood to reach the Goal.

A greater length of Time has indeed given her Majesty of Spain more Opportunities to prove her Prowess; but it is scarce to be doubted, but that if Fate prevents it not, either by cutting the Thread of Life, or throwing in her Lap whatever she has to wish, her Royal Competitor in the Fame of Female Daring will not be behind-hand with her.

It must be confess’d, that at present they seem so much on an Equality, that I do not wonder the Number of those Gentlemen who disputed on this Head should be equal too.

But Bb4r 191

But since my Opinion is absolutely insisted on, I must say, that if the Queen of Hungary has in so short a Time overtaken her Majesty of Spain in her long Race of Glory and Ambition, we may expect she will outstrip her in the End, and therefore for that very Reason, if no other, to her the Palm, as it appears to me, must necessarily be due.

Thus far in answer to the Querist; but having enter’d into this Subject I cannot take leave of it without adding some Thoughts of my own, which in spite of me force themselves into my Head whenever I hear any mention made of this enterprizing Queen.

Supposing that after having reduced all Germany, expell’d the Emperor, and seated the Grand Duke in the Imperial Throne, humbled the Power of France, and driven them from all their Holds in Flanders, she should take a Fancy to extend her Conquests to the United Provinces, is there not a Possibility Great Britain might have an unquiet Neighbour of her?――The Danger indeed is far remote, yet I think not more so than that which of late has rung so great a Peal in our Ears concerning the Designs of France against us, at least from that Quarter.

O! but were this practicable, some will say, her Majesty of Hungary is too much oblig’d to us ever to entertain any Designs to our Prejudice: To which it may be replied, that all Princes act not Bb4v 192 not upon the same Principles with private Persons; what in a Subject might be Ingratitude, Tricking, and Chicanery, is refined Policy in them, and for all the Outcry that we make against Violation of Treaties, that Prince who is entirely innocent of it may throw the first Stone.

In the mean time the Justice and Magnanimity of this Princess, methinks, would appear in a more advantageous Light, if some Equivalent were made to Great Britain for that Expence of Blood and Treasure lavish’d in her Cause, at a Time when it could so ill be spared, and when no other Power, without being largely paid for it, would espouse her Cause. Ostend, for Instance, is a Demesn she might very well afford to part with, and, as it would be of great Service to our Trade, give us a more plausible Pretence for serving her than any we yet have been able to find.

End of the Ninth Book.


The Female Spectator.

Book X.

Tho’ my late celebrated Brother, and many other Authors, have given the World their various Opinions concerning Jealousy, I fancy it will not be impertinent to add something to what has been already said on a Subject which has, and will forever continue to create the most terrible Disorder that can befal Mankind; not only because whatever may serve as a Preservative against it cannot be too often repeated, but also because, I think, with all due Deference to those who have hitherto treated on it, that they have not been so copious as might have been expected, and that the greatest Part of Vol. II. Cc them Cc1v 194 them have done it more Honour than it deserves.

What I mean by doing it more Honour than it deserves, is, that they speak of it only as the Effect of a too ardent Love and Admiration of the Object; whereas, tho’ this may sometimes be the Case, is far from being always so; and, I believe, we shall find no Difficulty to prove, that the Origin of it may more often be deduc’d from the very worst instead of the noblest Passion of the Soul:—It may, indeed, with great Propriety, be call’d the Bane of Love; but whenever it is found the Offspring, it can only be of a base and degenerate Inclination, not of that pure and refined Passion which is alone worthy of the Name of Love.

This certainly can be denied by none who allow that true Love is founded on that Esteem which the Opinion we have of the good Qualities of the Object excites in us; and, I believe, few Examples can be produc’d of the real and unfeign’d Permanence of the one, when the other wholly ceases to exist.

I believe I shall be easily understood to mean that Affection which is between Persons who are either already married, or engag’d to be so to each other by mutual Assurances of a lasting Tenderness.

For Cc2r 195

For as to that Timidity which is the natural Companion of Love in its Infancy, and before it receives Encouragement necessary to strengthen Hope, it proceeds only from a Diffidence of our own Merits, not from a Distrust of the beloved Object, and can, with no degree of Propriety, be term’d Jealousy.

As it is therefore only after being possess’d of all we had to wish, or having been flatter’d with a Belief we should infallibly be so, that those distracting Ideas, which constitute Jealousy, can find any Entrance in the Brain; I think it sufficiently justifies my Assertion, that this mischievous Passion discovers rather the meanest Opinion of the Object than a too vehement Admiration, unless suspecting a Person guilty of Perjury, Inconstancy, and the most shocking and worst kind of Deceit, can be call’d so.

There are People in the World who know not how to support Prosperity, and when arrived at the End they long have labour’d under, find in themselves something which will not suffer them to be at quiet;—they have attained all,――they have no more to wish, and, like the Macedonian Conqueror, are vex’d they have nothing farther to oppose them:—This Restlessness of Mind puts them on reflecting how, and by what means they may possibly be deprived of what they have acquired, and whatever is possible, they soon present to themselves as highly probable too; and by degreesgrees Cc2v 196 grees bring up into a downright Certainty of happening.

Fancy is a creative Faculty, and when agitated by Fear, can work Wonders:—It forms Apparitions, and then shews them as real Substances;—it turns what is, into what is not, and converts nothing into something;—it levels the Mountain, and exalts the Vale;—it unites the greatest Contraries, and divides the firmest and most cemented Bodies;—in a word, it either makes or overthrows whenever it pleases, destroys the Order of all Things, and performs what Nature has not the Power to do. When Reason sleeps, our mimic Fancy wakes,Supplies her Part, and wild Ideas takes,From Words and Things ill-suited and misjoin’d,The Anarchy of Thought, and Chaos of the Mind.

Thus by an Impatience of Temper, and the Force of Imagination, are many misled to ruin their own Peace, and that of the Person they pretend to love; yet is this the least unpardonable Source from which Jealousy proceeds, because it may, as the Poet says, be taken For the high Pulse of Passion in a Fever!

And if the Faults of Love by Love are to be justified, those who are rendered uneasy on this Score Cc3r 197 Score may the more readily excuse the Effects, in consideration of the Cause.

But what have they to alledge in Vindication of the Discontent they occasion, in whom No Sign of Love remains,But that which sick Men have of Life, their Pains!

Many there are, Heaven knows, too many of such, whom a moderate Share of Observation may point out:—There are those who, without being capable of feeling one tender Emotion, or having any true Regard even for the Person of him or her to whom they happen to be join’d, have discovered a Jealousy, which has rendered all within the reach of its Effects, extremely miserable.

This is, indeed, so common a Case, unnatural as it may seem, that I dare answer there is not one into whose Hands the Female Spectator may fall, that have not some time or other in their Lives had an Acquaintance with Families where it has happen’d; but following the received Maxim, that Jealousy is the Effect of Love, have rather pity’d than condemn’d the Extravagancies they may have seen occasioned by it.

But well may a disinterested Person judge in this Manner, when those most concern’d, and best able Cc3v 198 able to discover the Truth, have frequently been deceived; and when treated in the most cruel and injurious Manner have submitted to it with a secret Satisfaction, and even plumed themselves upon the Force of a Passion, which they imagin’d excited only by an Excess of Inclination.

This kind of Infatuation puts me in Mind of a Story I have heard of the Russian Women, who, they say, look on Blows as the greatest Proof of Affection their Husbands can bestow upon them; and if they are not well beaten, once a Day at least, will run to their Friends and complain of the Injustice they are treated with.――Whether there is any Truth in this I will not pretend to say, having never yet employed any Silph in the Examination; but according to the Delicacy of my Country-Women in other Respects, it appears full as odd to me, that any of them can be pleased with such Words and Actions as may justly be look’d upon in England equally injurious with Blows in the Territories of Russia.

But as Vanity, and a high Opinion of Self- Merit, sometimes renders one Party easy and contented, nay, as I before observed, even delighted with Reproaches and ill Usage; so is it Pride, and an over-bearing Arrogance in the other, which will not suffer them to endure the least innocent Civility to be paid to any but themselves:—The Person to whom they have vouchsafed to give their Hand must not dare to think of any thing but pleasing them;—no Merit but their Dd1r 199 their own must be taken Notice of;――they must forgo all Complaisance, all Decency, and be rude and savage to every one beside;――a Smile, a Courtesy, is a Crime deserving the most opprobrious Reflections, and they must behave in such a manner, as to deserve the Hatred and Contempt of all the rest of the World, to engage a tolerable Regard from this over tenacious Partner for Life.

Another Humour there is also which very much prevails in some People, and that is, to avoid being thought weak and incapable of diving to the Bottom of Things, they affect to find out Mysteries in every thing;――they construe into Meanings the most insignificant Trifles;— their Eyes, their Ears are perpetually upon the Watch, and interpret the very humming over a Tune, and even the Gait of the suspected Person, as Indications of some latent Plot to delude their Penetration.

Thus by endeavouring to be wiser than their Neighbours, they become the veryest Fools in Nature; and while they imagine every Body stands in awe of their Discernment, are the Jest and Ridicule of as many as have any Acquaintance with them.

I must confess these over-cunning People are, of all others, most my Aversion, and certainly must be the most troublesome to have any Concern with.—I once knew a Gentleman of this Vol. II. Dd Cast, Dd1v 200 Cast, who had a very agreeable, and I dare answer, a very virtuous Woman for his Wife; but the poor Soul could not keep a Thread-Paper without his examining into it:—If a Servant happen’d to come into the Room, and whisper’d her on any domestic Affair, she must immediately repeat the Words that had been spoke; yet this was not thought sufficient to be certain of not being imposed upon; he would go immediately out of the Room, call for the Servant, and oblige her or him, whichever it were, to tell him on what Occasion that Whisper had been; and if every Word did not exactly agree with the Report his Wife had made, he presently concludes there was some Design on Foot between them, to the Prejudice of his Honour, for the Prevention of which the Servant was that Instant discharg’d, and his Wife confin’d to her Chamber:—Nobody could ever knock at the Door without his running to the Window, then half way down Stairs, list’ning to what was said: If too low a Voice deprived him of the desir’d Intelligence, he would go into the Hall, and oblige the Person, whoever it was, to relate the whole Purport of their Errand in his Presence:—In fine, it is impossible for any Family to suffer greater Persecutions than what his did, through this Peculiarity of Temper, for in other Things he behav’d well enough.

There are still a third Sort, industrious to torment themselves and all about them:—Conscious of former Crimes, they judge the Virtue of Dd2r 201 of others by the Standard of their own; and imagine nobody has the Power of resisting a Temptation to which themselves have yielded:—These are not to be satisfied by any Means that can be put in Practice;—tho’ Locks and Bars secure the Body, still will they believe the Mind is roving, and be jealous of Intention:――the more is said, and the greater Care is taken to eradicate these Apprehensions, the deeper Root they take;—all is look’d upon as Hypocrisy and Dissimulation, and resented as an Aggravation of the Crime, and an Affront to their Understanding.

After all, what but Pride in the Women, and a too nice Sense of Honour in the Men, occasions most of the Jealousies we hear of!――Love inspires a noble Confidence, both gives and takes all decent Liberties, sets every Action in the fairest Light, nor will believe itself imposed upon but by Conviction.

How great an Injustice is it therefore to this Passion to annex to it another of so pernicious a kind:—A late noble Poet has, in my Judgment, excellently describ’d the Nature and Happiness of a virtuous Love in these Words: Love, the most gen’rous Passion of the Mind,The softest Refuge Innocence can find:The safe Director of unguided Youth,Fraught with kind Wishes, and secur’d by Truth. Dd2TheDd2v202The Cordial Drop Heav’n in our Cup has thrown,To make the nauseous Draught of Life go down:On which one only Blessing God might raise,In Lands of Atheists, Subsidies of Praise:For none did e’er so dull and stupid prove,But felt a God, and bless’d his Power in Love.

Nobody will deny that this illustrious Author was perfectly acquainted with Human Nature, and all the Passions incident to it, nor that Mr. Congreve was less so, who having occasion to mention Jealousy, has these Words: Vile Doubts and Fears to Jealousy will turn;The hottest Hell in which a Heart can burn.

Had this judicious Gentleman thought that Jealousy was any Consequence of Love, he would doubtless have said, A Love too fierce to Jealousy will turn:

Whereas he says, Vile Doubts and Fears, &c.――Which, I think, plainly indicates he means a mean Distrust, a Restlessness of Nature, and an unsatisfied Disposition, are the chief Materials on which Jealousy is built.

But we need not quote Authorities, nor ransack Texts, to prove a Truth, which, whoever takes Reason for their Guide, may easily explore on any Examination into their own Hearts.

For Dd3r 203

For my Part, tho’ I should be extremely sorry for the Sake of those happy few whom Love has join’d in Marriage, that Jealousy were a kind of Appendix to that Passion, yet I should be equally rejoic’d to find wherever there is Jealousy there were some Love, in consideration of Millions who have all the Bitters of the One without any Mixture of the Sweets of the Other.

Aurelia had lived to the Age of Twenty-six, had known all the Gaities of Life, some say was not unacquainted with the Gallantries of it, taken in the worst Sense of the Word:—She then married with Lucilius, because it was for her Interest and Reputation to do so, but without feeling for him the least Spark of tender Inclination; yet had he not been two Months her Husband before she became excessively jealous of him;—any little Civility he paid to our Sex, tho’ before her Face, gave her the Vapours; but to be told he visited any Woman of what Condition soever, threw her into Fits:—A Pinch of Snuff offered by him to a Cousin-German one Day occasion’d a Quarrel between them, which she would by no means make up till he had sworn never to speak to that Lady more:—She sent Spies after him to watch wherever he went, and if inform’d he was at any Place she did not happen to approve of his frequenting, work’d herself up into such Agonies as terminated into real or feign’d Convulsions, which he was sure to bear his Part of at his Return.

Fa- Dd3v 204

Fatiguing as such a Life must nec essarily be for a Time, he bore it with a Temper which surpriz’d all who knew him;――humoured her tender Foibles, as he term’d them, to make her easy; debarr’d himself of every thing which he thought would give her the least Subject for Discontent; and imputing all she did to the Excess of her Love for him, not to seem ungrateful to it, counterfeited a Tenderness for her which his Heart had never avowed; for, in effect, there was as small a Share of Inclination on the one as on the other Side.

The Matter was this:――An Uncle of Aurelia’s had in it his Power to be extremely serviceable to Lucilius in a Post he enjoyed under him and the old Gentleman thinking it necessary his Neice should have the Sanction of Marriage to cover some Liberties which, to him, seem’d not becoming in a Virgin State, took upon him to make the Match between them.—The Thing was no sooner proposed than agreed to by both, as conformable to their several Interests; so that all the Protestations they made each other, during the small Space of Courtship, were of a Piece with those they continued after Marriage, unfelt by themselves, and equally untouching to those they were address’d.

It was therefore wholly owing to the Good- Nature of Lucilius that he submitted to obey whatever was dictated by the preposterous Jealousy of his Wife, as that Jealousy had indeed no Dd4r 205 no other Source than what he least imputed it to, an Extravagance of Pride and Vanity, to shew the World she had Charms which could render a Husband even more obsequious than a Lover.

As she found her Account in treating him in this Manner, she would doubtless have persisted in it, but how long his Patience and Philosophy would have enabled him to sustain it is altogether uncertain;――an Accident happened which put an End to their mutual Dissimulation, and shewed those sublime Scenes of dying Love between them to be no more than Farce and Buffoonry.

It was a Custom with Lucilius to rise early, and walk an Hour or two before Breakfast, in the Park, into which their House had a Back- Door:—In one of those Mornings he took it into his Head to call on a Friend who lived in the Neighbourhood, for which Reason he made a Circuit, and return’d Home by the Street-Way; —He was within three or four Yards of his own Door, when he saw the Footman, that waited on his Wife, come out of the House reading the Superscription of a Letter he had in his Hand, and which, on the first Glimpse he had of his Master, he put hastily into his Pocket.

Lucilius either saw, or imagin’d he saw, a strange Confusion in the Fellow’s Face; and tho’ Jealousy was a Passion he was wholly unacquainted with, yet there was a secret something,thing, Dd4v 206 thing, which he knew not how to account for, at that Instant push’d him on to inform himself to whom that Letter was directed:—In order to do this, without being taken notice of by any Persons who might possibly be at their Windows, he stepp’d into a narrow Passage, which led into another Street, and having beckoned the Man to come to him, commanded him to deliver the Letter he had seen in his Hand:—The Fellow durst not refuse, and Lucilius was no less amaz’d than shock’d to find it his Wife’s Hand, and directed to one of the most dissolute and notorious Libertines, tho’ a Man of Quality, in Town:— As that was not a proper Place to examine the Contents, he made the Fellow follow him into an adjacent Tavern, where he hastily broke the Seal, and found it contain’d these Lines.

To the Agreeable Miramount. Sir, I Have considered on your Request, and my Pity has at last prevail’d upon me to grant it;――all Things indeed seem favourable to your Wishes, Lucilius is engag’d for this Evening with Company, who, I know, will keep him late; but as I am under some Apprehensions of being known at the Place mention’d in your’s, desire our Rendezvous may be at the Bagnio in Long-Acre, where you may depend I shall come to you about Six:—Yet, dear Miramount, be assured, that nothing less than the Preservation of a Life so valuable to the Ee1r 207 the World as yours is, should make me injure a Husband who adores me to Distraction.—I rely on your Honour as to an inviolable Secrecy, and every thing else that can render me perfectly happy in being Your’s, Aurelia.

Had Lucilius really loved, how wretched must such a Discovery of her Levity, Perfidy and Deceit have made him!—All indifferent as he was to her Charms, the Consideration of his own Honour was too dear to him not to take all possible Methods to put it out of her Power to sacrifice it.

After giving some Moments to Reflection, he examined the Fellow as to what he knew of his Lady’s Acquaintance with Miramount, when and where it had began, and how long there had been a Correspondence between them.

These Enquiries were enforc’d by such terrible Menaces, mingled with Assurances of Protection and Rewards if he reveal’d the whole Truth, that a Person of more Resolution and Courage than could be expected in one of his Station, would have been won to answer every thing demanded of him.

He inform’d Lucilius, that he believed his Lady first saw the Gentleman in Question at the House Vol. II. Ee of Ee1v 208 of Clelia, where she frequently went to play at Cards;—and this, to the best of his Remembrance, was about three Weeks past; that they afterwards had met, either by Chance or Appointment, in the Mall, and that he had carry’d no more than one Letter to him, in answer, as he supposed, to one she had received from him; that when she delivered to him the foregoing, and that which his Honour had now intercepted, she had given him Money, and the strictest Charge never to mention that there was any Intercourse between her and Miramount; and promised him, if he were found faithful in this Affair, he should be taken out of Livery and handsomely provided for.

Lucilius listen’d to all with Agitations which it is easy for any one to conceive, but recovering himself as soon as he could, he call’d for Pen and Paper, and imitating his Wife’s Hand tolerably well, he copy’d her Letter Word for Word, only chang’d the Place of Assignation, from the Bagnio in Long-Acre, to the Swan at Chelsea, and having seal’d it, order’d the Fellow to carry that to Miramount, and bring what Answer he should send to him, who would wait his Return at the Tavern where they now were.

The Footman had now no Inducement to be insincere to his Master, for as the Affair was discover’d he had nothing to expect from Miramount in case he should let him know what had happen’d, but was sure to suffer all that the Rage of Ee2r 209 of Lucilius could inflict on him if he were found to have acted contrary to the Orders he had given him.

The Answer which Miramount return’d was such as might be expected, full of Acknowledgments and Protestations of an everlasting Constancy and Love.—This Lucilius put into his Pocket, and bid the Man tell his Lady that her Lover had a great deal of Company with him, and could have no Opportunity to write without being taken Notice of, but that she might be sure of his obeying her with the utmost Punctuality.

Lucilius then went Home, breakfasted as usual with his Lady, and so well conceal’d his Discontent, that she had no Cause to suspect any thing of what had happen’d: He staid with her however as short a Time as possible;—he dress’d, and having soon determin’d within himself what Course to take, went directly to her Uncle, and acquainted him with the Discovery he had made, and produc’d the Letter Aurelia had wrote to Miramount, with his Answer to it.

’Tis hard to say, whether the old Gentleman’s Surprize or Rage was most predominant; he was truly a worthy honest Person, and tho’ he had thought his Neice’s Conduct not altogether so prudent as he could have wish’d before Marriage, yet he never suspected she would have gone such Lengths after being a Wife:――He was Ee2 for Ee2v 210 for going with Lucilius, and joining with him in those Reproaches her Guilt thus plainly proved might justify; but this injur’d Husband would by no Means consent to that:—He thought all they could say would have less Force, and the Shock of being detected lose half its Force, if not given her at the very Place where she intended to perpetrate her Crime:—He therefore proposed that they should go together to the Bagnio somewhat before the Hour in which she had promised Miramount to come, and when expecting to be received with open Arms by a fond Lover, she should be saluted with the Frowns and Upbraidings of a wronged Husband and incensed Parent.

This the Uncle agreed to, and after Dinner was over at Home Lucilius perform’d his last Act of Dissimulation towards his Wife by embracing her in the most seeming tender Manner, when he took Leave of her, in order to go, as she imagined, to those Friends, with whom, as she had wrote to Miramount, he had promised to pass that Evening; she behaved to him with no less Softness, and conjured him not to leave her too long alone, but to return as soon as he could possibly disengage himself with Decency.

How wretched, how contemptible a Figure did she now make in his Eyes! But he conceal’d the Disdain of his Heart under a fervent Kiss, feeling however a kind of gloomy Satisfaction in his Mind at the Thoughts that now there would be an End of Ee3r 211 of all Constraint, and he should no more be under the Necessity of feigning Ardors to which his Nature had ever been repugnant.

Both, tho’ from very different Motives, were impatient enough for the appointed Hour; which being arrived, and the Uncle and Husband waiting her Approach, the Clock had but just struck when a Hackney-Chair brought the too punctual Fair into the Entry, whence she was shewed up Stairs by a Waiter who had Orders what to do: ――How she was confounded, when tripping gaily into the Room she found who were there to receive her, any one may judge.

All her natural Assurance, of which few Women had a greater Share, was too little to enable her to bear up against a Sight more dreadful, more alarming to her guilty Mind than had a Messenger from the other World appear’d to admonish her of her Crime.

In the first Emotions of her Fright she was about to run out of the Room, and with one Jump had got as far as the Door, when Lucilius took hold of her Arm and oblig’d her to come back,—Tho’ Madam, said he with the most stabb niing Sneer, the agreeable Miramount is not here, and you are disappointed of the Entertainment you expected, such as a Husband and an Uncle, who have both of them a due Sense of your Merit, can afford, you may be sure to find.

She Ee3v 212

She made no Answer to these Words, but threw herself into a Chair with a Look that shewed an inward Rancour, and would have made her pass with any one who had been present and unacquainted with her Crime rather for the Person injur’d than the guilty one; so true is this Sentiment of the Poet: Forgiveness to the Injur’d does belong,But they ne’er pardon who have done the wrong.

But however the Greatness of her Spirit might have supported her against the Reproaches of a Husband, those her Uncle loaded her with, and the Sight of her own Letter wholly subdued her; and finding there was no Evasion nor Possibility either of denying or excusing what she had done, she fell on her Knees, and with a Shower of undissembled Tears, confess’d her Fault, and begg’d to be forgiven.

After having endeavoured to make her sensible of her Fault, they acquainted her with the Resolution they had mutually agreed to pursue, which was, that in consideration of her Family no public Noise should be made of it; but that to prevent her taking any future Steps to the Prejudice of her Reputation, and consequently to the Honour of her Husband, she must pass some time with an old Relation who lived at a great Distance from London, nor hope to return till she had given evident Proofs of her Conversion:――Thission: Ee4r 213 sion:――This her Uncle told her it would become her not only to consent to, but also to go with a Chearfulness which should make every Body think it an Act of Choice.

It was to no Purpose she entreated, in the most submissive Terms, a Remission of a Sentence she acknowldg’d she had but too justly incur’d:— In vain she made the most solemn Vows and passionate Imprecations never to be guilty of any future Miscarriage in Conduct; Lucilius was inexorable to all, nor did her Uncle attempt to render him more pliable:—She was that Night carefully watch’d, and early the next Morning sent down into the Country with a Person, whose Integrity her Husband could confide in, to attend her, and at the same time to keep a strict Eye over her Behaviour.

It must be confess’d, that the Precautions taken to keep this Affair a Secret were perfectly prudent; for as the Crime of Aurelia had been only in Intention, the Law would not have allowed of a Divorce, yet that Intention was sufficient to have rendered both of them the Subject of Ridicule; nor indeed was there any Possibility of their living together in any Harmony after such a Discovery, even tho’ there had been a Certainty of her becoming a real Penitent.

Whether she were so or not Heaven only can determine; but I am inform’d, that she had not been many Weeks in that Retirement to which Ee4v 214 which she was banish’d, before the Grief and Shame either of being guilty, or of having been detected in it, threw her into a violent Fever, of which she died, and left Lucilius no inconsolable Widower.

The Truth of this Affair had however remain’d a Secret, had her Lover been endu’d with the same Discretion as her Husband; but that vain Man finding she came not to the Swan as he expected, and on sending the next Day to her House being told she was gone into the Couuntry, made him not doubt but that some Accident had discover’d their Correspondence to Lucilius, and that he had taken this Method to prevent their Meeting; on which, partly instigated by Revenge against the Husband, and partly by the Vanity of being thought to be too well with the Wife, he made a Jest, among his Companions, of the Jealousy of the One and the Levity of the Other, and even scrupled not to expose the Letters of that unfortunate Lady as a Proof of what he said.

He had so little Circumspection as to whom he talk’d in this Manner, that it soon reach’d the Ears of Lucilius, who, unable to endure with Patience this Aggravation of the Insult offer’d to his Honour, sent him a Challenge, which the other was too gallant a Man not to accept.— They met and fought, both were very much hurt, especially Miramount, whose Wounds at first were reckon’d dangerous, but he recover’d of them as Ff1r 215 as well as Lucilius, and had Honour enough, after he did so, to confess himself every way the Aggressor, and ask Pardon for the Injury he had intended him, as well as for his foolish boasting of it afterwards:—As all this happened before the Death of Aurelia, ’tis possible she might, some way or other, be inform’d of it, and that might be one great Means of hastening on her Fate.— She was a Woman of Understanding, and being such, and in a Place where she had no Enchantments to lull asleep Reflection, could not be without a lively Sense of that Shame she had brought on herself and Family; for, as Mr. Waller elegantly expresses it, Our Passions gone, and Reason in the Throne,Amaz’d we see the Mischiefs we have done.After a Tempest, when the Winds are laid,The calm Sea wonders at the Wrecks it made.

But it is not to my present Purpose to make any farther Comments on this Story, than as it proves the Assertion for which I related it, that there may be a great deal of Jealousy without one Spark of Love:—Happy had it been for Aurelia had she known the one as well as the other; for tho’ the former of these Passions might have been troublesome to her Husband, yet the latter would have secured him from receiving any Injustice from her, or Outrage from the World, and sav’d herself from falling into the Infamy she did.

Vol. II. Ff It Ff1v 216

It is, doubtless, a very melancholly Thing when a Woman of real Virtue, and who has a tender Affection for the Man to whom she is married, either has, or imagines she has, any justifiable Cause to suspect he returns not the Love she bears him with an equal Degree of Warmth; but much more so when she fears he transfers those Ardors, to which she has an undoubted Right, to any other Object: Yet, excuseable as Jealousy may seem in such a Circumstance, it is to be wish’d, that every Wife would endeavour to discourage rather than listen to any Reports made her from Abroad, that might tend to increase those Suspicions her too tender Passion may suggest:—To arm herself against any Insinuations of that Kind, either from her own Heart, or the Malice, Folly, or mistaken Zeal of those she converses with; I would wish her to do Justice to herself, and consider, that if even it were certain that her Husband gave a loose to an inordinate and temporary Pleasure, her Mortification would be but momentary, and terminate to her Advantage:—He would, when once the hurry of a fleeting Passion was over, consider the Merits of a Woman of Virtue, and who had Love enough for him not only to forgive, but overlook those Failings which every Man has not always the Power to avoid falling into.

He that most loves Company finds a Pleasure in a comfortable Recess from it, at sometimes, with his Wife and Family; but if he meets with Reproaches there, how justly soever he may deserve them, Ff2r 217 them, thinks the Dignity of his Nature affronted, and flies out again, and perhaps in Revenge runs into worse Evils than those for which he was before upbraided:—I know not if there can be a more lively Picture how little Force Female Arguments can have on a transgressing Husband, than is given us by Mr. Dryden, in his Play of Aurenzebe, where he puts into the Emperor’s Mouth these Words: What can be sweeter than our native Home!Thither for Ease and soft Repose we come:Home is the sacred Refuge of our Life,Secured from all Approaches but a Wife:If thence we fly, the Cause admits no Doubt,None but an inmate Foe could drive us out:Clamours our Privacies uneasy make,Birds leave their Nests disturb’d, and Beasts their Haunts forsake.

Few Men of any Condition are gross in their Amours, and wherever there is room to hope the best, a Wife ought never to harbour Fears of the worst:—A thousand Accidents may happen to which Rumour and Imagination may give the Face of Guilt, that in themselves are perfectly innocent, but even when the Appearances are most strong, it is Wisdom to overlook them.

Besides, there is one Thing which in my Opinion should deter a Woman of Virtue from discovering any Marks of Jealousy, even where the most fragrant Proofs of the roving Inclination Ff2 of Ff2v 218 of her Husband might, according to some People’s way of thinking, be a Justification of it; and that is, because the most abandon’d Prostitutes of the Town, tho’ known to make Sale of their Endearments to any Purchaser without Distinction, no sooner find a Man weak enough to treat them in a manner to which their way of Living has no Claim, than they give themselves an Air, on every little Absence, to be extremely jealous;— they have Tears at Command;—can fall into Fits, and sometimes play the Roxana, and menace the offending Keeper with a drawn Dagger: —Some Instances we have had where they have carry’d the Matter yet farther, and pierced in reality the Breast that durst refuse Obedience to the most unreasonable or extravagant of their Demands:――A modest Wife should therefore never affect the Virago, and for her own Sake be wary, even when most provok’d, that nothing in her Behaviour should bear the least Resemb lance with such Wretches.—I have in a former Spectator taken Notice, that it is not by Force our Sex can hope to maintain their Influence over the Men, and I again repeat it as the most infallible Maxim, that whenever we would truly conquer we must seem to yield.

To be jealous without a Cause, is such an Injury to the suspected Person as requires the utmost Affection and Good-Nature to forgive; because it wounds them in the two most tender Parts, their Reputation and Peace of Mind; lays them under Restraints the most irksome to Human Nature, or Ff3r 219 or in a manner obliges them to Measures which are the Destruction of all Harmony.

Those few therefore who truly love, are in Possession of the Object of their Wishes, and yet suffer this poisonous Passion to disturb the Tranquility of their Lives, may be compar’d to Misers that pine amidst their Stores, and are incapable of enjoying a present Plenty through the Fears of future Want.

That Desire of prying into every thing a Husband does, and even into his very Thoughts, appears to me rather a childish Fondness than a noble generous Passion; and tho’ it may be pleasing enough to a Man in the first Months of his Marriage, will afterwards grow tiresome and insipid to him, as well as render both of them ridiculous to others.

We may depend on this, that the most innocent Persons in the World, in some Humours, or unguarded Moments, may happen to say or do something which might not be altogether pleasing to us to be inform’d of:—How mad a Thing then is it to seek out Occasions of Disquiet! Yet this too many Women are ingenious in doing, and afterwards no less industrious in throwing fresh Matter on the Mole-hill they have discovered, till they raise it to a Mountain:— Trifles perhaps too light to retain any Place in the Husband’s Memory, and no sooner over than forgotten, or if of Consequence enough to be remember’d by him, are thought on with Re- Ff3v 220 Remorse, are reviv’d by Reproaches, and made seem less faulty than they are, by the Wife’s attempting to represent them as more so.

Nor is this all: Upbraidings when most just, if too often repeated, lose their Force, and he to whom they are given becomes harden’d; but if wantonly thrown out, and to gratify a spleenatick or naturally suspicious Temper, without any solid Foundation, they are intolerable to him, make him grow peevish, perverse, and not seldom drive him to be in effect guilty of that which, without being guilty, he daily receives the Punishment of.

On the whole then, since Jealousy is the worst Rack the Heart that harbours it can possibly sustain, is it not better to cease those Enquiries which can never give us a perfect Satisfaction, and as there is no proving what has no Existence may be as lasting as our Lives; or if which should chance to end in a Certainty of what is so dreadful to us in the Apprehension, must confirm us for ever miserable!

Many a Man has been guilty of an Error, and on Reflection sincerely repented of it, and become a more endearing Husband than before; for it is by the Tribunal in our own Bosoms we alone are justify’d or condemn’d;—all Efforts from without are ineffectual to convince us we have done amiss, if Conscience does not take a Part in the Accusation; and as Human Nature is Ff4r 221 is averse to all Compulsion, especially from those we think have no Authority over us, as in the Case of Husband and Wife, the Pride of Contradiction has perhaps, more often than Inclination, occasion’d that to happen which otherwise might have never been.

I have been sorry to observe, that even among my own Sex, where an Error of this Kind is less excusable than in the other, Revenge for having been unjustly suspected, join’d with the Pride of being able to disappoint all the Precautions of a jealous Husband, has sometimes been too strong for that Virtue, which, without these additional Excitements, might never have been subdued.

Sabina was educated in the strictest Principles of Virtue, and in a Family where she saw nothing but Examples of it before her Eyes; and Manilius, to whom she was married very young, received the sincerest Congratulations of his Friends for having obtained a Lady who, they thought, could not but render him extremely happy; and there is no doubt but her Behaviour had every way answered the most sanguine of their Expectations, had not his own imprudent Carriage to her, in that respect I have been speaking of, perverted in her those generous Sentiments she receiv’d from Nature and from Precept.

When one would bring a Person of a Spirit off from any Propensity, which either is, or we think Ff4v 222 think a Fault, the greatest Care ought to be taken that they may not imagine we take a Pleasure in opposing them;—we ought rather to make them believe it is with the utmost Grief of Heart we cannot find in ourselves the Power of approving what they do, and endeavour to win them by Endearments, not attempt to controul them by Authority.

Manilius had been a Man of Pleasure, always professed an Aversion to Marriage, and nothing but the extremest Passion could have made him change his Resolution;—he was fifteen Years older than Sabina when she became his Wife, and the Conciousness of this Disparity, join’d with the too great Success he had formerly met with in his Amours, rendered him less confident than was consistent with his Peace of Mind of the Virtue of this young Lady:—It had always been a Maxim with him that all Women were to be won, and that a Husband should never be too secure; and this made him, even from the first, keep a watchful Eye over all her Actions, Words, and Looks.

As she was perfectly innocent, she was ignorant of Circumspection; nor ever had once a Thought of restraining herself from any of those Liberties she saw others take:――It was enough for her she did no ill, and was alas too thoughtless what Pretences Ill-Nature might form to judge by Appearances:—She fell soon after her Marriage into Gg1r 223 into Acquaintance, which took a greater Latitude than she had been accustomed to see while in her Virgin State; but they were People of Condition, and Reputation too, and therefore she made no Scruple of doing as they did:—She went frequently to the Public Diversions of the Town,— and made one at most of the Assemblies;— Cards sometimes engross’d a good Part of the Night; yet did she not think all this an Error, because she perceiv’d it was the Fashion:—Her Youth might easily have excused the inadvertent Steps she took, since they were far from being guilty ones in reality, or in the Opinion of any other than Manilius; and had he in gentle Terms reminded her, that the less she were seen at any of those Places, the more it would redound to her Praise; and in the lieu of those dangerous Amusements prepared others to entertain the Sprightliness of her Humour, it would doubtless have been no difficult Task to have rendered her Conduct by degrees such as he most desired it should be.

But instead of taking proper Measures to sooth her from those Pleasures, so enchanting to our early Years of Life,――he received her with Frowns whenever she happened to stay more late Abroad than he approv’d of; and at length finding that was not effectual, plainly told her, that if she desired to live well with him, she must not only keep better Houurs, but also entirely refrain all Conversation with some particular Persons of both Sexes, whom he nam’d to her.

Vol. II. Gg The Gg1v 224

The abrupt Manner in which he laid this Injunction was more disobliging to her than the Injunction itself, unjust and cruel as it seem’d;— she knew not how to support such an assuming and majesterial Behaviour from a Man who, but a few Months past, had seem’d to have no Will but her’s, nor could conceive any Reason why the Name of Husband should convert the Slave into the Tyrant:――Her good Sense, as well as the Precepts that had been given her on her Marriage, made her know the Man had a Superiority over his Wife, but then she never imagined he was to exert it where nothing of an essential Wrong was done, and in such Trifles as these Manilius took upon him to condemn:—She saw that all the Ladies of her Acquaintance allowed themselves greater Liberties after they became Wives than they were permited to do before, and stung to the quick at this arbitrary Proceeding, reply’d to him, that he was extremely in the wrong to marry a Person whom he did not think capable of governing herself without his Direction;――that while she could answer to herself what she did, nor gave the World any Reason to call her Conduct in question, she did not look on herself under any Obligation to incur the Ridicule of as many as knew her, and live like a Recluse, meerly to humour the Caprice of any one Person, even tho’ it were a Husband.

This resolute Answer, which was also accompanied with a Look and Tone of Voice denoting the Displeasure she was in, made him repent he had not Gg2r 225 not testify’d his Dislike of her Behaviour with somewhat less Austerity;—he excused it however as well as he could, but as he stuck to his Point, and insisted on her keeping only such Company as should be approved by him, all he could say was far from abating her Discontent, and the Affection she had for him too weak to hinder her from conceiving a Spite that made her take a Pleasure in contradicting him.

In fine, his Remonstrances had so ill an Effect, that instead of complying with the least of his Desires she acted in every thing the very reverse: —He interpreted all she did in the worst Sense, and never Man was more uneasy.

Those who knew the very Soul of Sabina aver, that it was impossible for any one to be more free from all guilty Inclinations; and tho’, it must be own’d, she gave, more than became a Woman of strict Honour, into all the Gaities of Life, yet they will have it, that she did so more in Revenge to her Husband, and to shew both him and the World that she disdain’d any Proofs of Submission to a Will which she thought too arbitrary, than to any vicious Propensity in herself.

’Tis certain, indeed, that his Proceeding contributed a great deal towards bringing on the Misfortune he so much dreaded; because it not only by degrees destroy’d all the Respect and Tenderness she had for him, and render’d him Gg2 weak Gg2v 226 weak and contemptible in her Eyes, but also gave Encouragement to Addresses, which no Man of Sense will make to a Woman who lives in Harmony with her Husband.

She was yet too young not to be pleased with Adoration, and being entertain’d Abroad with those tender Declarations which Manilius, tho’ he still lov’d her to Distraction, was too sullen and discontented to flatter her with at Home:—His Presence and his House grew every Day more disagreeable, and she was never easy but when in other Company.

When a Woman once comes to be pleased with hearing fine Things said to her, she is in great Danger of being too much pleased with him that says them; and as I would have all Husbands take Warning by Manilius, not to urge or exasperate a Wife too much, so I would have all Wives beware how on any little Discontent at Home they seek a Consolation Abroad: —There are always sly Seducers, who, like the Serpent in Eden, are on the Watch to betray Innocence; these no sooner find any Dissatisfaction between the wedded Pair, than they improve it by a thousand subtle Insinuations, till they have entirely stole into the Heart, and usurp’d the Place of him who is the lawful, and ought to be the sole Lord thereof.

But to return:――Among the many who took Advantage of the Disagreement betweentween Gg3r 227 tween Sabina and her Husband, there was one whose Person and Address gave a double Weight to the Arguments he made use of in order to widen the Breach;――she found a secret yielding in her Heart to all he said, and wishing to be totally convinced, easily became so:—Manilius long indifferent became disagreeable, and at length hateful;――the Thoughts of living with him grew insupportable, and on Perswasion of him who was the present Object of her softer Inclinations, she one Night pack’d up all her Jewels, and the richest of her Cloaths, and quitted forever his House and Presence:――To avoid all Prosecutions, her Lover prevail’d on her to go with him to Boulogne in France, where, changing their Names, they eluded all Enquiry.

Manilius raved like a Madman, spared no Expence, of Pains or Money, to find the Place of her Retreat, or who it was that had seduced her; but all his Efforts were fruitless, ’till the Person, at whom his Revenge was levell’d, was no more.

Sabina enjoy’d but a very short Time the Pleasures of her guilty Flame;—her Lover fell into a Fever and dyed at Boulogne in less than two Months after her Elopement:――Those Friends who were trusted with the Affair, in order to remit Money for the Expences of these self-exil’d Pair, and inform them how Matters went, now thought themselves no longer under any Obligations of Secrecy, and made no Scruple of Gg3v 228 of divulging all that had been reposed in them, so that too late for the Gratification of the only Passion now remaining in him, that of Revenge, he heard by whom he had been injur’d.

As for Sabina, the Sight of Death, and that of one so fatally dear to her, brought her to a more just way of Reason than she had for some time past accustom’d herself; and resolving to abandon the World, its destructive Pleasures, its Follies, and the Shame which sooner or later overtakes all those who yield to its Allurements, she entered into a Monastery, where she still lives a Pensioner, but with the same Strictness as those who are profess’d Nuns and have taken the Veil.

These were the sad Consequences of a Jealousy, which most People will cry arose from an Excess of Love, but I still take upon me to maintain the contrary:—Manilius loved Sabina ’tis certain, yet was it not his Love, but the ill Opinion he had of Womenkind in general, which put him on those mistaken Measures to secure her to himself.

For my Part, I cannot help thinking but that this unfortunate Lady has a great Plea for Compassion; for tho’ no ill Usage of what kind soever from a Husband can excuse us from revenging it in the Manner she did, yet when one considers the Frailty of Human Nature, and how prevalent, especially in our Sex, is that false Pride which prompts us to return Injury for Injury; we Gg4r 229 we may justly say, that it is Pity a Mind of itself not disposed to ill, should receive any Provocations to be so.

Sabina, indeed, was bred up in the utmost Abhorrence of Vice; those who had the Care of her Education told her what she must do in order to acquire the Love and Esteem of this World, and the Happiness promised to the Virtuous in the other; but then they indulg’d her in all the modish Amusements of the present Age, and suffered her to lavish on them too much of that Time which ought to have been employ’d in improving her Understanding;――in fine, she was train’d up in the Ways young Ladies in England ordinarily are; her Relations following the common Opinion, that to sing, dance, play on the Spinet, and work at her Needle, are Accomplishments sufficient for a Woman:—Wit she had enough, but was never taught that to accustom herself to Reflection was necessary to ripen that Wit into Wisdom; and every one knows, that the One without the Other, like a Ship with too much Ballast, is liable to sink with its own Weight.

We were beginning to lament the Misfortunes our Sex frequently fall into through the Want of those Improvements we are, doubtless, capable of, when a Letter, left for us at our Publisher’s, was brought in, which happening to be on that Subject, cannot any where be more properly insert ted than in this Place.

To Gg4v 230

To the Female Spectator. Ladies, Permit me to thank you for the kind and generous Task you have undertaken in endeavouring to improve the Minds and Manners of our unthinking Sex:—It is the noblest Act of Charity you could exercise in an Age like ours, where the Sense of Good and Evil is almost extinguish’d, and People desire to appear more vicious than they really are, that so they may be less unfashionable: This Humour, which is too prevalent in the Female Sex, is the true Occasion of the many Evils and Dangers to which they are daily exposed: —No wonder the Men of Sense disregard us! and the Dissolute triumph over that Virtue they ought to protect! Yet, I think, it would be cruel to charge the Ladies with all the Errors they commit; it is most commonly the Fault of a wrong Education, which makes them frequently do amiss, while they think they not only act innocently but uprightly;—it is therefore only the Men, and the Men of Understanding too, who, in effect, merit the Blame of this, and are answerable for all the Misconduct we are guilty of:—Why do they call us silly Women, and not endeavour to make us otherwise?—God and Nature has endued them with Means, and Custom has establishedblished Hh1r 231 blished them in the Power of rendering our Minds such as they ought to be;――how highly ungenerous is it then to give us a wrong turn, and then despise us for it! The Mahometans, indeed, enslave their Women, but then they teach them to believe their Inferiority will extend to Eternity; but our Case is even worse than this, for while we live in a free Country, and are assured from our excellent Christian Principles that we are capable of those refined Pleasures which last to Immortality, our Minds, our better Parts, are wholly left uncultivated, and, like a rich Soil neglected, bring forth nothing but noxious Weeds. There is, undoubtedly, no Sexes in Souls, and we are as able to receive and practise the Impressions, not only of Virtue and Religion, but also of those Sciences which the Men engross to themselves, as they can be:—Surely our Bodies were not form’d by the great Creator out of the finest Mould, that our Souls might be neglected like the coarsest of the Clay! O! would too imperious, and too tenacious Man, be so just to the World as to be more careful of the Education of those Females to whom they are Parents or Guardians!―― Would they convince them in their Infancy that Dress and Shew are not the Essentials of a fine Lady, and that true Beauty is seated in the Vol. II. Hh Mind; Hh1v 232 Mind; how soon should we see our Sex retrieve the many Virtues which false Taste has bury’d in Oblivion!—Strange Infatuation! to refuse us what would so much contribute to their own Felicity!—Would not themselves reap the Benefit of our Amendment? Should we not be more obedient Daughters, more faithful Wives, more tender Mothers, more sincere Friends, and more valuable in every other Station of Life? But, I find, I have let my Pen run a much greater Length than I at first intended:――If I have said any thing worthy your Notice, or what you think the Truth of the Case, I hope you will mention this Subject in some of your future Essays; or if you find I have any way err’d in my Judgment, to set me right will be the greatest Favour you can confer on, Ladies, Your constant Reader, And humble Servant, Cleora.

After thanking this Lady for the Favour of her obliging Letter, we think it our Duty to congratulate her on being one of those happy Few who have been blest with that Sort of Education which she so pathetically laments the Want of in the greatest Part of our Sex.

Those Hh2r 233

Those Men are certainly guilty of a great deal of Injustice who think, that all the Learning becoming in a Woman is confined to the Management of her Family; that is, to give Orders concerning the Table, take care of her Children in their Infancy, and observe that her Servants do not neglect their Business:—All this no doubt is very necessary, but would it not be better if she performs those Duties more through Principle than Custom? and will she be less punctual in her Observance of them, after she becomes a Wife, for being perfectly convinced, before she is so, of the Reasonableness of them, and why they are expected from her?

Many Women have not been inspired with the least Notion of even those Requisites in a Wife, and when they become so, continue the same loitering, lolloping, idle Creatures they were before; and then the Men are ready enough to condemn those who had the Care of their Education.

Terrible is it, indeed, for the Husband, especially if he be a Tradesman, or Gentleman of small Estate, who marries with a Woman of this Stamp, whatever Fortune she brings will immediately run out, and ’tis well if all his own does not follow:—Even Persons of the highest Rank in Life will suffer greatly both in their Circumstances and Peace of Mind, when she, who ought to be the Mistress of the Family, lives in it like a Stranger,Hh2 ger, Hh2v 234 ger, and perhaps knows no more of what those about her do than an Alien.

But supposing her an excellent Oeconomist, in every Respect what the World calls a notable Woman, methinks the Husband would be yet infinitely happier were she endued with other good Qualities as well as a perfect Understanding in Houshold Affairs:—The Governess of a Family, or what is commonly call’d Houskeeper, provided she be honest and careful, might discharge this Trust as well as a Wife; but there is, doubtless, somewhat more to be expected by a Man from that Woman whom the Ceremony of Marriage has made Part of himself:—She is, or ought to be, if qualified for it, the Repository of his dearest Secrets, the Moderator of his fiercer Passions, the Softner of his most anxious Cares, and the constantly chearful and entertaining Companion of his more unbended Moments.

To be all this she must be endued with a consummate Prudence, a perfect Eveness of Temper, an unshaken Fortitude, a gentle affable Behaviour, and a sprightly Wit:—The Foundation of these Virtues must be indeed in Nature, but Nature may be perverted by ill Customs, or, if not so, still want many Embellishments from Education; without which, however valuable in itself, it would appear rude and barbarous to others, and lose more than half the Effect it ought to have.

The Hh3r 235

The younger Dryden’s Translation of that admirable Satire of Juvenal has these Words: Children, like tender Oziers, take the Bow,And as they first are fashion’d always grow:For what we learn in Youth, to that alone,In Age we are by second Nature prone.

How much therefore does it behove those who have the Care of Youth, to mould their tender Minds to that Shape which will best become those Stations in Life they may be expected to fill.

Outr Sex, from their very Infancy, are encourag’d to dress and fondle their Babies; a Custom not improper, because it gives an early Idea of that Care and Tenderness we ought to shew those real Babes to whom we may happen to be Mothers: But I am apt to think, that without this Prepossession, Nature would inform us what was owing from us to those whom we have given Being:—The very Look and innocent Crys of those little Images of ourselves would be more prevailing than any Rules could be:—This the meerest Savages who live without Precept, and are utterly ignorant of all moral Virtues, may inform us;――nay, for Conviction in this Point, we may descend yet lower, and only observe the tender Care which the Beasts of the Field and the Fowls of the Air take of their young ones.

To Hh3v 236

To be good Mothers, therefore, tho’ a Duty incumbent on all who are so, requires fewer Lessons than to be good Wives:――We all groan under the Curse entail’d upon us for the Transgression of Eve.

Thy Desire shall be to thy Husband, and he shall rule over thee.

But we are not taught enough how to lighten this Burthen, and render ourselves such as would make him asham’d to exert that Authority, he thinks he has a Right to, over us.

Were that Time which is taken up in instructing us in Accomplishments, which, however taking at first Sight, conduce little to our essential Happiness, employ’d in studying the Rules of Wisdom, in well informing us what we are, and what we ought to be, it would doubtless inspire those, to whom we should happen to be united, with a Reverence which would not permit them to treat us with that Lightness and Contempt, which, tho’ some of us may justly enough incur, often drives not only such, but the most innocent of us, to Extravagancies that render ourselves, and those concern’d with us equally miserable.

Why then, as Cleora says, do the Men, who are and will be the sole Arbitrators in this Case, refuse us all Opportunities of enlarging our Minds, and improving those Talents we have received from Hh4r 237 from God and Nature; and which, if put in our Power to exert in a proper Manner, would make no less their own Happiness than our Glory?

They cry, of what use can Learning be to us, when Custom, and the Modesty of our Sex, forbids us to speak in public Places?—’Tis true that it would not befit us to go into the Pulpit, nor harangue at the Bar; but this is a weak and trifling Argument against our being qualify’d for either, since all Men who are so were never intended for the Service of the Church, nor put on the long Robe; and by the same Rule therefore the Sons as well as Daughters of good Families should be bred up in Ignorance.

Knowledge is a light Burthen, and, I believe, no one was ever the worse for being skilled in a great many Things, tho’ he might never have occasion for any of them.

But of all Kinds of Learning the Study of Philosophy is certainly the most pleasant and profitable:—It corrects all the vicious Humours of the Mind, and inspires the noblest Virtues;—it enlarges our Understanding;—it brings us acquainted with ourselves, and with every thing that is in Nature; and the more we arrive at a Proficiency in it, the more happy and the more worthy we are.—Mr. Prior tells us, On Hh4v 238 On its best Steps each Age and Sex may rise,’Tis like the Ladder in the Patriarch’s Dream,Its Foot on Earth, its Height beyond the Skies.

Many Examples have there been of Ladies who have attained to very great Perfection in this sublime and useful Science; and doubtless the Number had been greatly increased but for the Discouragement our Sex meets with, when we aim at any thing beyond the Needle.

The World would infallibly be more happy than it is, were Women more knowing than they generally are; and very well worth the while of those who have the Interest of the Female Part of their Family at Heart, to instruct them early in some of the most necessary Rudiments of Philosophy:—All those little Follies now ascrib’d to us, and which, indeed, we but too much incur the Censure of, would then vanish, and the Dignity of Human Nature shine forth in us, I will venture to say, with, at least, as much Splendor as in the other Sex.

All that Restlessness of Temper we are accused of, that perpetual Inclination for gadding from Place to Place;—those Vapours, those Disquiets we often feel meerly for want of some material Cause of Disquiet, would be no more, when once the Mind was employ’d in the pleasing Enquiries of Philosophy;—a Search that well rewards the Pains we take in it, were we even to make no considerable Progress; because even the most Ii1r 239 most minute Discovery affords Matter for Reflection and Admiration.

Whether our Speculations extend to the greatest and most tremendous Objects, or pry into the smallest Works of the Creation, new Scenes of Wonder every Moment open to our Eyes; and as Love and Reverence to the Deity is by every one allowed to be the Ground-Work of all Virtues and Religion, it is, methinks, no less impolitick than unjust to deny us the Means of becoming more good as well as more wise.

From the Brute Creation we may learn Industry, Patience, Tenderness, and a thousand Qualities, which tho’ the Human Soul possesses in an infinitely larger Degree, yet the Observation how exercis’d by Creatures of inferior Specie, will oblige us to look into ourselves, and blush at the Remembrance, that for want of Reflection we have sometimes forgot what we are, and perhaps acted beneath those very Animals we despise, and think on as no more than the Dust from which they sprung.

It is certainly a very great Misfortune as well as a Fault in us, that we are apt to have Pride enough to value ourselves highly on the Dignity of our Nature, but yet have not enough to act up in any Measure to it:――This is, methinks, paying too great a Regard to Names, and neglecting Essentials.

Vol. II. Ii The Ii1v 240

The Men in this respect are, indeed, as much to blame as we, nay, much more so, those at least of a liberal Education, who having those Advantages of Learning, which are deny’d to us, behave as tho’ they had never been instructed in any thing but how to indulge the Senses in the most elegant Manner.

The Women, at worst, could but act as many of the Men do who are refused no Improvements; ――they ought, therefore, to make Tryal of us, and not grudge the Expence of Books and Masters to the one Sex any more than to the other.

If, by the Texture of the Brain, as some pretend to alledge, we are less capable of deep Meditations, and have a Multiplicity of volatile Ideas, which, continually wandering, naturally prevent our fixing on any one Thing; the more Care should be taken to improve such as may be of Service, and suppress those that have a contrary Tendency.

That this is possible to be done, I believe, those who reason most strongly this way, and pretend to understand the Mechanism of our Formation best, will not deny.

But I agree no farther than in Supposition to this Common-Place Argument, made use of by the Enemies of our Sex:――The Delicacy of those numerous Filaments which contain, and separate from each other what are call’d the Seats of Invention,vention, Ii2r 241 vention, Memory, and Judgment, may not, for any thing they can prove to the contrary, render them less strong; but as I am not Anatomist enough to know whether there is really any such Difference or not between the Male and Female Brain, I will not pretend to reason on this Point.

I have an Opinion of my own, which, being approv’d of by Mira and Euprosine, I will venture to declare, tho’ our noble Widow laughs at us all for it.――It is this:

The Vivacity of our Ideas,—the Quickness of our Apprehensions, and those ready Turns which most Women, much more than Men, have on any sudden Exigence, seem to me to proceed from a greater Redundance of the animal Spirits; and if they sometimes appear too confus’d and huddled, as it were, together, it is but like a Crowd of Mob round the Stage of a Mountebank, where all endeavouring to be foremost, obstruct the Passage of each other.

If this should happen to be the Case, as I shall always believe ’till convinced, by very good Reasons, of the contrary, it is easy to check the too great Velocity of these Particles, by laying down one great Point, into which, as to a Center, they might all direct their Course.

The most subtil Spirits may be fixed by that Sovereign Chymist, solid Reflection:—Thought will give them a due Weight, and prevent their Ii2 Evapo- Ii2v 242 Evaporation; but then the Subject must be delightful as well as serious, or the Mind may be in Danger of an opposite Extreme, and from being too giddy, become irrecoverably mop’d.

Philosophy is, therefore, the Toil which can never tire the Person engag’d in it;—all its Ways are strewed with Roses, and the farther you go, the more enchanting Objects appear before you, and invite you on.

That this Science is not too abstruse for our Sex to arrive at a great Perfection in, none can presume to deny; because many known Examples, both in ancient and modern Times, prove the Certainty of it.

Who has not heard of the fam’d Hypatia, who read Lectures of Philosophy in the Public Schools in Alexandria, and of whose Eloquence and Wisdom, St. Cyril, then Bishop of that Place, stood so much in Awe, that finding it impossible to bring her over to his Opinion in Matters of Religion, he never rested till he had found Means to take away her Life:――An Action for which he has been severely reproach’d by after and less bigotted Ages.

Many others acquired an equal Share of Reputation with this fair Greek, but there is no need of searching Antiquity for that which the present Age gives an unquestionable Proof of in the celebrated Donna Lawra, who has not only disputedputed Ii3r 243 puted with, but also confuted the most learned Doctors in Italy, in those Points on which they happen’d to differ from her.

Some Branches of the Mathematicks are also very agreeable and improving Amusements for young Ladies, particular Geography, in which they may travel the World over, be acquainted with all its Parts, and find new Matter to adore the Infinite Wisdom, which presiding over and throughout such a Diversity of contrary Climes, suits every one so as to be most pleasing and convenient to the Inhabitants.

History must not be omitted, as it cannot fail engaging the Mind to Attention, and affordding the strongest Precept by Example:—The Rise and Fall of Monarchies;—the Fate of Princes, the Sources from which their good or ill Fortune may be deduc’d;――the various Events which the Struggles for Liberty against arbitrary Power have produc’d, and the wonderful Effects which the Heroism of particular Persons has obtained, both to curb Oppression in the Tyrant, and Sedition in the Subject, affords an ample Field for Contemplation, and at the same time too much Pleasure to leave room for any Amusements of a low and trifling Nature.

These are what I would have the serious Employments of a young Lady’s Mind:――Music, Dancing, and the reading of Poetry and Novels may Ii3v 244 may sometimes come in by way of Relaxation, but ought not to be too much indulg’d.

But any Study, any Amusement, should be suited to the Genius and Capacity of the Person to whom it’s prescrib’d:—I only mention these as worthy Employments of the Mind; there are others which perhaps may be equally so, and are to be adhered to, or rejected, according to the Judgment of those who have the Government of Youth.

All I insist on, and all I believe that Cleora, or any other Well wisher to our Sex, and through us to the Happiness of Mankind in general, can desire, is, that the Talents with which we are born may not be stifled by a wrong Education.

I cannot, however, take leave of this Subject without answering one Objection which I have heard made against Learning in our Sex, which is, that the politer Studies take us off from those that are more necessary, tho’ less ornamental.

I believe many well-meaning People may be deceived into this Opinion, which, notwithstanding, is very unjust:—Those Improvements which I have mention’d, sublime as they are, will never be of Prejudice to our attending to those lower Occupations of Life, which are not to be dispensed with except in those of the great World. —They will rather, by making a Woman more sensible than she could otherwise be, of what is either Ii4r 245 either her Duty, or becoming in her to do, that she will be doubly industrious and careful, not to give any Excuse for Reproaches, either from her own Conscience, or the Tongues of those who would suffer by her Transgression.

In a word, it is entirely owing to a narrow Education that we either give our Husbands room to find fault with our Conduct, or that we have Leisure to pry too scrutinously into theirs:—Happy would it be for both, were this almost sole Cause of all our Errors once reform’d; and I am not without some Glimmerings of Hope that it will one Day be so.

The Ladies themselves, methinks, begin to seem sensible of the Injustice which has long been done them, and find a Vacuum in their Minds, which, to fill up, they, of their own accord, invented the way of sticking little Pictures on Cabinets, Screens, Dressing-Tables, and other little Pieces of Chamber-Furniture, and then varnishing them over so as to look like one Piece of Painting; and they now have got into the Art of turning Ivory into whatever Utensils they fancy:—There is no doubt but a Pair of Globes will make a better Figure in their Anti-Chambers than the Vice and Wheel; but great Revolutions are not to be expected at once, and if they once take it in their Heads to prefer Works of Ingenuity, tho’ in the most trifling Matters, to Dress, Gaming and rambling Abroad, they will, it is to be hop’d, proceed to more noble and elevated Studies.

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If the married Ladies of Distinction begin the Change, and bring Learning into Fashion, the younger will never cease solliciting their Parents and Guardians for the Means of following it, and every Toilet in the Kingdom be loaded with Materials for beautifying the Mind more than the Face of its Owner.

The Objection, therefore, that I have heard made by some Men, that Learning would make us too assuming, is weak and unjust in itself, because there is nothing would so much cure us of those Vanities we are accused of, as Knowledge.

A beautiful well dress’d Lady, who is acquainted with no other Merit than Appearance, never looks in her Glass without thinking all the Adoration can be paid to her, is too small a Tribute to her Charms; and even those of our Sex, who seem most plain in the Eyes of other People, never fail to see something in themselves worthy of attracting the most tender Homage.

It is meerly want of Consideration, and the living, as most of us do, in a blind Ignorance of what we truly are, or what we ought reasonably to expect from the World, that gives us that Pride, for which those, who to our Faces treat us with the greatest Respect, laugh at, and despise us for behind our Backs.

It has ever been agreed, by Men of the best Understanding, that the farther they go in the won- Kk1r 247 wonderful Researches of Nature, the more abash’d and humble they are:—They see the unfathomable Depth before them, and with it the Insufficiency of human Penetration:—The little they are able to discover convinces them that there are Things still out of their reach, and even beyond their Comprehension; and while it raises their Ideas of the Almighty Wi