πr


The
Female Spectator.

Vol. III.

Book XIII.

Picture of A. Cowley with banner above his head and a banner below reading “Printed by T. Gardner”, all surrounded by ornate wreath.

London:
Printed and published by T. Gardner, at
Cowley’s-Head, opposite St. Clement’s-Church
in the Strand. 17451745.

πv A1r

to
her grace
The
dutchess
of
Queensberry and Dover
,
this
third volume
of the
female spectator
is
Most humbly inscribed,


By
Her Grace’s
Most devoted Servants,

The Authors.

A1v
In upper foreground, which is a bed of clouds, a man sits on a throne, surrounded by the sun’s rays which form a halo around his head, leaning on a lyre and holding a book entitled The Female Spectator. On the man’s right a woman stands holding a balance and a sword; on his left one stands holding a spear and a laurel. Below the clouds, Mercury flies carrying a staff, while a lady with a fan fends him off, two men brandish swords at him, and a jester in a carriage turns away, as if wincing.
A2r


The
Female Spectator.

Book XIII.

“There is a Lust in Man no Charm can tame, Of loudly publishing his Neighbor’s Shame: On Eagles Wings immortal Scandals fly, While virtuous Actions are but born and dye.” Harv. Juv.

Nothing more plainly shews a
weak and degenerate Mind, than
taking a Delight in whispering
about every idle Story we are told,
to the Prejudice of our Neighbours:
This is a Fault charged more generally
on our Sex than the other; and, I am sorry to
say, with but too much Justice. Some will have
it, that this unlucky Propensity in us proceeds
from a greater Share of Envy and Malice in Vol. III A2 our A2v 4
our Natures; others, less severe, ascribe it meerly
to a Want of something else wherewith to
employ ourselves. This latter is certainly the
most true, because we often find Women, who in
no other Respect can be accused of Ill-nature,
yet take a prodigious Pleasure in reporting every
little Scandal they hear, even tho’ it be of Persons
whom they have neither any Quarrel against,
nor can any way be supposed to envy.

But this Motive, tho’ less criminal, is equally
shameful; and ought to make every Woman
blush, when about to repeat the little Affairs of
Persons with whom she has no manner of Concern,
to think she finds an Incapacity in herself
of attending to those of her own, and which, it
is not to be doubted, stand in sufficient need of
Regulation.

I have seen a fine Lady, who has been sunk,
as it were, in Lassitude, half dying with the
Vapours, and in such a Lethargy, both of Mind
and Body, that it seem’d painful to her even to
drawl out a Word, or lift up a Finger; yet this
Insensible to all Things else, has no sooner heard
of some new Intrigue, no Matter whether true
or false, or between Persons of her Acquaintance,
or those she only knew the Names of, than all
the Lustre has return’d into her Eyes, Smiles
have dimpled her Cheeks, and she has immediately
started up, called in a Hurry to be dress’d,
ordered her Coach, and almost killed a Pair of Horses A3r 5
Horses in galloping round the Town with this
Intelligence.

So great is the Vanity some People have of
being thought to be the first in hearing any Piece
of News, that to it they will sacrifice all Considerations
whatever, or rather Consideration is
itself absorb’d in this ridiculous Ambition:—An
Ambition did I call it?—Of what?—Of being
a Tale-bearer!—A Gossip!—A Lover of
raking into Filth!—Shameful Character even
for the lowest bred, much more so for a Woman
of Quality and Condition:—None, I believe,
will be willing to acknowledge it their own, but
too many give substantial Proofs that it is so.

I will have the Charity to suppose that some
are even ignorant themselves, that they have this
Vice in their Composition; but then I must beg
Leave to ask them why they are so?—Has an
Examination into one’s own Heart never been
recommended? Nay, has it not been often enjoin’d
as the first and greatest Study of our Lives?
—Is it not a Study which the meanest, as well
as the highest Rank of People have it in their
Power to attend to? and is it not equally necessary
to both?—All have not a Stock of Goodnature
to enable them to treat their Fellow Creatures
with that Tenderness required of us both
by Divine and Human Institutions; we ought
therefore to supply that Deficiency by Principle,
which can only flow from Reason and Recollection.

When- A3v 6

Whenever we hear any invidious Reflections
cast upon a Person, is it too much Trouble
for us just to think that there may be a Possibility
of their being false, or supposing them too
true, that it is none of our Business to censure or
condemn their Faults, even in our own Breasts,
much less to give the Liberty to others to do so
by favouring the Scandal by our Report?

Cruel in us is it to insult the Weaknesses
of Human Nature, but most base and unjust to
accuse where there is no real Matter for Accusation,
as is very often the Case:—Those who
are fond of Intelligence of this kind, should,
whenever they hear any, put this Question to
their Judgment, “May not these People tell me this
on purpose to amuse me, and because they think it
pleases me?”
Of this there is more than a
Probability; many a fair Reputation has been
blasted, meerly by the Folly I have mentioned,
of having something new to say, or through a
mean Design in the Reporters, of ingratiating
themselves with some Person, who, to his or her
Shame, was known to delight in Scandal.

Would every one resolve to give no Ear to
Informations of this Nature, how soon they
would drop!—It is by Encouragement that
Stories, derogatory to the Honour of the Persons
mention’d, gather Strength; and in my Opinion,
those who give Attention to them are equally
culpable with the Relators.—What then must
it be to repeat them? to take Pleasure in foundinging A4r 7
the Trumpet of Infamy, and exulting that
fallen Virtue, we should rather commiserate, and
use our best Endeavours to retrieve?—O there
are no Words to paint a Disposition so barbarous,
so inconsistent with the Character of Womanhood!

There are some who are possess’d of a Notion,
false and absurd as it is, that the Destruction of
other People’s Reputation is the building up of
their own;—that whatever good Qualities
they have, or would be thought to have, will be
rendered more conspicuous by throwing a Shade
over those of every Body else: But this is so far
from answering the Purpose aim’d at by it, that
it often gives the Hearers a Suspicion that the
Woman, who is so fond of expatiating on the
Faults and Follies of her Neighbour, does it only
with a View of drawing off any Attention to
her own; nor are they always mistaken who
judge in this Manner of Detraction.

But supposing the Subject of our Ridicule
be ever so just, that the Errors we condemn are
so obvious, that there is not the least room to
doubt of them, are not we certain, alas, that such
Errors will infallibly draw on the guilty Head a
Train of Misfortunes, which ought rather to excite
our Pity than our Mirth?

Besides, tho’ we may be acquainted with the
Fault, we seldom can be so with the Circumstances,
by which the Person has been, perhaps, ensnared A4v 8
ensnared into it; and it often happens, that
while we are railing at them for it, a secret Conviction
may have reach’d their Hearts; they may
judge themselves with the same Severity we do,
and resolve to attone for their past Behaviour by
the greatest Regularity of future Conduct: How
inhuman is it then to expose such a one, and, ’tis
ten to one, disappoint all their good Intentions
by so doing; since nothing is more common,
than when a Woman finds her Reputation is entirely
ruin’d by the Discovery of one Fault, she
makes no Scruple to commit more, as she cannot
suffer more than she has already done!—All
Sense of Shame grows dead within her, and she
thinks she has nothing to do but go on in Defiance
of the World, and despise the Censures she
had it not in her Power to silence.

In fine, there is no Circumstance whatever
which can justify one Person in villifying the Character
of another; and as I believe it is more often
done through a certain Wantonness of the Tongue,
than any propense Malice in the Mind, I would
have every one, who find in themselves an Inclination
that way, to keep in Memory Shakespear’s
Reflection upon it.

“Good Name in Man or Woman, Is the immediate Jewel of our Souls: Who steals my Purse, steals Trash: ’tis something,
nothing,
’Twas mine, ’tis his; and has been Slave to
thousands.
But B1r 9 But he that filches from me my good Name, Robs me of that which not enriches him, And makes me poor indeed. ”

Curiosity is the Parent of this Vice; if we
were not eager to pry into the Affairs of others
it would be impossible for us to know so much
of them as we do:—The Passion for finding
out Secrets is, in reality, so predominant in most
of us, that it requires a very great Fund of good
Sense and Consideration to enable us to subdue it:
Yet if we remember how severe the Men are
upon our Sex on Account of this Weakness, we
should not, methinks, grudge taking a little Pains
to shew it is in our Power to divest ourselves
of it.

Will the Knowledge of what other People
do make us wiser or happier?—“Yes”, some
will answer, “we may profit by taking Example by
the good Oeconomy of some, and take Warning by
the Mistakes of others, not to fall into the same.”

This Argument might be of some Weight,
indeed, were there no written Examples of both
for our Direction; but, thank Heaven, they are
numerous, and of the first Sort, are to be found
much easier in History than in present Observation:
In an Age where Vice and Folly shine with
so much Lustre, the Virtuous and the Wise chuse
to sit in the Shade rather than expose themselves
to the Influence of too warm a Sun; their Actions,
therefore, must be less conspicuous, and Vol. III. B con- B1v 10
consequently can serve as a Pattern but to a few;
and as for others, if the Monitor within our own
Bosom fails to admonish, us we are doing wrong,
no Examples from without will have sufficient
Efficacy to prevent us from falling into the very
Errors we condemn in others.

Curiosity, therefore, on this Score has a
very slender Excuse, and they who make it but
deceive themselves; nor have we any real Motive
for being solicitous in our Enquiries after
Things no way relating to us, but to gratify that
idle Vanity of reporting them, and attain the
Reputation of being one whom nothing can
escape.

The Men too, however they may condemn
it in us, are not altogether free from this Foible;
—especially those among them who affect to
be great Politicians:—Some, if they happen
to get a Secret, can neither eat nor sleep till they
have communicated it to as many as they know;
and those who pass for more wise and prudent,
tho’ they declare it not in Words, cannot help,
on any Talk of the Affair, giving significant
Shrugs, Nods, Winks, Smiles, and a thousand
Indications, that they know more than they think
proper to speak:—How do Men of this Cast
haunt the Levees of the Great, the Lobby, the
Court of Requests, think they read Meanings in
the Look of every Face they see there, and if they
chance to hear a Word en passent, compliment
their own Penetration with having discovered Wonders B2r 11
Wonders from a single Sentence; then run from
Coffee-House to Coffee-House, and with a solemn
Countenance, whisper the imaginary Secret, from
one to another quite round the Room.

But these Male-Gossips have been sufficiently
exposed already, and I should not have made any
mention of them, but to take off some Part of
the Edge of that Raillery they are so ready to
treat our Sex with on this Occasion.

The best way, however, is for us to give
them no Pretence for it; and I think nothing can
be less difficult, if we would once seriously set
about it, and reflect how much we lay ourselves
open to Censure while we are exposing others:
—How natural it is for People to return in
kind an Injury of this Sort, and that if even they
should be less severe than we in Reason can expect,
yet we are certain of incurring the Character
of a malicious Person from as many as
hear us.

’Tis strange, methinks, that this wide World,
and all the various Scenes which the Hand of
the Creator has so bounteously scatter’d through
the whole, can afford no Matter of Conversation
to an intelligent Being, without having Recourse
to degrading the most exquisite and perfect of his
Works, at least of all that Nature presents us
with beneath the Moon, or that we are able to
discover with mortal Eyes.

B2 The B2v 12

The Turks maintain that Women have no
Souls, and there are not wanting some among
Christians who lean to that Opinion: How mean
is it, therefore, in us to give any Room for Arguments
so unworthy and disgraceful to ourselves,
by behaving as if we were incapable of Thought
and Reflection, which are, indeed, the Essence
of the Soul?

The Use of Speech was given us to communicate
such Things, as Reason and Judgment
supply us with from the Storehouse of the Mind,
for the mutual Improvement of each other: Let
us not then convert this noble Benefit to Purposes
so contrary to the Intention of the Giver:—Let
not the Tongue, instead of displaying Talents
not inferior to the other Sex, be employ’d in lessening
the Dignity of our Specie by Defamation
and Evil-speaking.—What Faults we find
among ourselves, it is certainly our Business to
conceal, and palliate as much as possible; the
Men are but too quick-sighted to our Prejudice,
and while they call us Angels, are ready enough
to think us of the Number of the fallen Ones.

But, as I have before observed, the Number
of those who thro’ Envy and Malice make, or
repeat scandalous Stories, is small in Comparison
with those who do it meerly because they
find it pleases others, or for the Want of any
thing else to say; it obliges me to return to my
old Argument, of the Necessity there is for us
to have a little Retrospect into ourselves, and neverver B3r 13
to speak any more than to do, any thing of
Moment without having well deliberated on what
may be the Consequence.

The slightest Aspersion, or even an ambiguous
Hint, thrown out before Persons who may make
a cruel Advantage of it, is liable to be improv’d
into the blackest Tale, and frequently has been
so to the utter Ruin both of Character and Fortune:
—The Sails of ill Report are swell’d by
every Breath of Hate, Detraction, and Envy; even
vain Surmises help to wast the envenom’d Loading,
’till it reaches Belief, where most it will be
fatal, poisoning all Love, all Tenderness, all
Respect, between the dearest Friends or Relations.

What irreconcilable Jars has sometimes one
rash Word occasioned, what unhappy Differences
have arose, what endless Jealousies have been excited,
only to gratify the Spleen or inconsiderate
Folly of those who make or find some Matter
that will bear an ill Construuction!

What says the old Poet Brome on this Occasion:
sion: “O Reputation, darling Pride of Honour!Bright fleeting Glare! thou Idol of an Hour!How in an Instant is thy Lustre tarnish’d!Not Innocence itself has Power to shield theeFrom the black Steam Detraction issues forth:Soil’d by each Breath of Folly; Words unmeantToB3v14To reach thy crystal Sphere, oft darken it,Enveloping in misty Vapours, Virtue’s Crown:Rend’ing thy Title dubious, if not false,To Eyes of Clay which see not through the
Clouds. ”

In another Place this Author pursues the same
Theme, though with different Thoughts and
Expression. “Good Name, thou tender Bud of early Spring!How wouldst thou flourish, how shoot forth thy
Blossoms,
Did no keen Blasts shrivel thy op’ning Sweets!But e’er thy Summer comes, how often blightedBy cruel Winds, and an inclement Season!All that should charm the World, bring Praise
to thee,
Driven back into thy Self,—thy Self alone,Conscious of what thou art; and Man unblestWith thy expected Fruits.”

I cannot help here quoting another Poet,
who very emphatically complains of the Severity
of the World in Point of Fame. “How vain is Virtue, which directs our WaysThrough certain Dangers to uncertain Praise:Barren and airy Name! Thee Fortune flys,With thy lean Train the Pious and the Wise.Heav’n takes thee at thy Word without Regard,And lets thee poorly be thy own Reward.”

But B4r 15

But it is altogether needless to bring Authorities
to prove how inestimable a Jewel Reputation
is, and how manifold a Wickedness and
Cruelty all Attempts to deprive us of it have
ever been accounted:—The most common Capacity
sees into it;—the Thing speaks for itself,
and Nature and Fellow-feeling convince us above
Argument.

Why do we then so wantonly sport with the
most serious Thing in Life?—A Thing, in
which consists the greatest Happiness or Misery
of the Person concern’d?—What Shadow of an
Excuse is there for prejudicing another, in a Matter
which can afford no manner of Benefit to ourselves;
but on the contrary, renders us obnoxious
to all civil and reasonable Society ?

Were this Error only to be found where
there is a Defect in the Understanding, it would
not so much excite our Wonder; but I am troubled
to say, that there are Persons of the best
Sense, in other Respects, who suffer themselves
to fall into it, through the Instigation of some
favourite Passion, not sufficiently restrain’d by
those who had the Care of them in their early
Years, and which they are afterwards too proud,
or too indolent, to make any Efforts to combat
with.

The Mischiefs occasion’d by a Tongue delighting
in Scandal, are too well known to stand
in need of my repeating any Examples; yet I cannot B4v 16
cannot forbear giving my Readers a very recent
one, which has something in it more than ordinary
particular.

Fillamour and Zimene were look’d
upon as a very happy and agreeable Pair; they
had been married about three or four Months,
and there seem’d not the least Abatement of their
first Bridal Fondness, when Ariana, one of those
gay inconsiderate Ladies I have been describing,
came to visit Zimene, big with a Secret she had
just discovered.

Some busy Body, it seems, had inform’d her
that Sophronia, a great Pretender to Virtue, had
a private Rendezvous with a young Gentleman,
at a certain House where Masquerade Habits are
sold, or hired out occasionally:—That they met
twice every Week there, had always a fine Collation,
and never parted till late at Night.

Ariana assured Zimene that her Intelligence
was undoubted:—That Sophronia, as
much a Prude as she was, had certainly an Intrigue,
and concluded with saying, it would be a
charming Thing if they could find out the Person
who made a Conquest of that Heart, which
pretended to be so impregnable.

Zimene was no less curious, and they
presently began to contrive together what Means
would be most likely to succeed; at length they
pitched upon one which indeed carry’d with it a good C1r 17
good deal of Probability, and, in reality, answer’d
the End proposed by it.

Ariana, as least known in that Part of
the Town where the Assignation was kept, went
and took a Lodging in the House, as for a Friend
of her’s, who was expected very shortly in
Town: After having made the Agreement, she
call’d two or three Times in a Day, under the
Pretence of seeing every thing in order;—the
extravagant Rent that was to be paid excused
the continual Trouble she gave the People; but
to render it less so, she treated them whenever
she came with Tea, Wine, and Sweetmeats: —
At last, she perceiv’d they appear’d in somewhat
an unusual Hurry; great running up and down
Stairs was heard, and she found that Fires were
lighted in the Apartment over that she had taken:
—She seemed, however, not to observe
any thing of this, but stepp’d privately out, and
sent her Footman, who was always in waiting at
the End of the Street, to let Zimene know that
she found the Lovers were expected.

The other rejoiced at receiving the Summons,
and exulted within herself at the Opportunity she
should have of retorting on Sophronia some bitter
Jests she had formerly pass’d on her.

In fine, she came muffled up, as if just arriv’d
in Town, and excused her having no Servants with
her, under the Pretence that she had left them Vol. III. C with C1v 18
with her Baggage, which she said was not expected
’till two or three Days after.

The People of the House gave themselves no
Trouble to consider the Probability of all this;
they doubted not but whatever was the Motive
of her coming to lodge with them, it would turn
to their Advantage in the end; and, perhaps,
were not without some Conjecture that one, or
both these Ladies had their Favourites to meet as
well as Sophronia.

The two fair Spies, however, having order’d
that Supper should not be got ready for them
’till Ten o’Clock, shut themselves into their
Apartment, as tho’ Zimene wanted to take some
Repose till that Time after the Fatigue of her
Journey; but, indeed, to prevent any Suspicion
of their Design, which might have made those
whom they came to observe more cautious.

Being left to themselves, Ariana put out the
Lights, and having opened one of the Windows
in the Dining-Room very softly, watched there to
see who came in, while Zimene took her Post at
the Bed-Chamber Door, which opening just
against the Staircase, she could, with all the Ease
in the World, see through the Key-hole every
one who passed either up or down.

It was not long before Ariana perceived a
Chair with the Curtains close drawn stop at the
Door, and come into the Entry, and Zimene plainly C2r 19
plainly saw the Face of Sophronia by the Light
that hung on the Stair-Case:—Both were
now satisfy’d that the Intelligence Ariana had receiv’d
was true, and were not a little impatient for
the Arrival of the happy Gentleman, which would
compleat the Discovery, and enable them to
spread the Story, with all its Circumstances,
through the Town.

A few Minutes put an end to their Suspense,
which, however uneasy such a Situation may be
in some Cases, was a Heaven to that Distraction,
which in this, the cruel Certainty produced in one
of them.

Ariana having seen a second Chair come
in, with the same Privacy as the former, quitted
the Window, and ran to the Peeping-place Zimene
had all this Time occupy’d, which, however,
was large enough for them both to see
through.

But, good Heaven! the Consternation they
were in when Fillamour (for it was he) appear’d!
—The Wife could scarce believe her Eyes, and
turning to Ariana, cry’d, “Who is it?—It cannot
be my Husband !—Dear Creature, ease
me of my Torture, and convince me I am mistaken.”

“I wish I could,” reply’d Ariana, almost as much
amazed, “but the Person we saw pass, is too surely
the perfidious Fillamour!”

C2 One C2v 20

One cannot be very certain whether this Lady
was really so much troubled at the Injustice done
to her Friend as this Expression seemed to signify.
People of her Disposition being glad of any thing
to afford Matter of Conversation, even tho’ it
were to the Prejudice of those they most pretend
to esteem.

I will not say, this was directly the Case with
Ariana, but instead of reasoning with Zimene,
and perswading her to Moderation in so stabbing
a Circumstance, she omitted nothing that she
thought would exaggerate the Crime of her Husband,
and consequently heighten her Indignation
against him:—Nay, she was even for having
her apply to a Justice of the Peace, and exposing
Sophronia by those Methods, which the lowest
and most abject People take to revenge themselves,
when injured in the Manner it was plain
she was.

But tho’ the other had too much good Sense
to come into any such Measures, as only serve to
make Diversion for the Rabble, yet she had not
a sufficient Share to enable her to bear her Wrongs
with that Patience which was necessary to make
Fillamour ashamed of what he had done: —
She no sooner found that Supper was carry’d up,
than she follow’d the Person quick enough to
prevent the Door being shut;—she flew at
Sophronia, attempted to tear her Hair and Head —
clothes, and would certainly have treated her
pretty severely, had not Fillamour, confounded as C3r 21
as he was, stepp’d between with these Words: —
“No, Madam,”
cry’d he, “whatever may be your
Imaginations, or whatever Appearances may seem
to be against me, I cannot suffer you to be guilty of
a Rudeness which I am sure your cooler Thoughts
will condemn.”

He was about to add something more, when
she, turning from her Rival, pluck’d off his Wig
and threw it into the Fire,—“Monster! Villain!”
said she, “every thing is justify’d by Injuries like
mine.”

She spit at him; —she stamp’d upon the
Floor, and behaved in all her Words and Actions
like a Woman utterly deprived of Reason: —
Sophronia in the mean time was so overcome
with Shame, Apprehension, and, perhaps, Remorse,
that she fell into a Swoon: —Fillamour
seeing her in that Condition, could be restrained
by no Considerations from running to support
her; which Action aggravating the Fury Zimene
before was in, she snatch’d his Sword which lay
in the Window, and had doubtless committed
some Deed of Desperation on one or both of
them, if Ariana, who had follow’d her up Stairs,
had not catch’d hold of her Arm.

The confused Noise among them soon brought
up the People of the House, who easily perceiving
the Occasion of it, got Sophronia out of the
Room; after which the Husband and Wife continuedtinued C3v 22
a Dispute, in which the latter had the better
in every thing.

Fillamour, at first, would fain have
perswaded her that he came not to meet Sophronia
on his own Account, but on that of a
Friend; who having an honourable Passion for
her, and by an unforeseen Accident was prevented
that Evening from coming himself, and had
intreated him to make his Excuse.—But this
was a Pretense too shallow to deceive Zimene,
and was besides contradicted by Ariana, who
told him that he could not come in that private
Manner twice every Week on the Score of a
third Person.

In fine, no Subterfuge serving his Purpose,
he at last threw off all Evasion, exerted the Husband,
and threw the Blame of every thing on
Zimene:—He told her, though without the least
Foundation in Truth, that he had always perceived
her of an inquisitive jealous Nature, and
that whatever had happened between him and
the Lady in question was only out of a Principle
of Revenge, adding, that when a Wife gave herself
up to Jealousy, and shewed a Want of Confidence,
there could be no Abuse of it, nor any
Obligation on the Husband to put the least Restraint
upon his Pleasures.

This Reflection, as it well might, because
both cruel and unjust, heightened the Agitations
she before was in to such a Degree, as it is scarce possible C4r 23
possible to conceive, much less to give any Description
of:—If his attempting to evade her
Accusations, and cover his Falshood, was provoking
to her good Sense, his avowing his Crime
was much more so to her Pride; as the Poet says, “Rage has no Bounds in slighted Womankind. ”

But he stayed not long to see the Effects of
it, and flung out of the Room, leaving her to
act as she thought fit in the Affair.

The Woman of the House fearing some ill
Consequences to herself from this Adventure,
spared neither Oaths nor Imprecations to make
Zimene believe she was wholly innocent: — That
she knew not but the Gentleman and Lady were
Man and Wife:—That they had told her they
were privately married, but on the Account of
Relations were obliged to conceal it.

Zimene little regarded all she said on
this Score; and as there was a Possibility of its
being true, offer’d not to contradict it: Ariana
went home with her, and lay with her that Night,
for she was resolved to sleep no more by the Side
of a Man, who had not only wronged her in the
most tender Point, but, as she imagin’d, had
added Insult to Deceit, by taking so little Pains
to alleviate his Transgression, or obtain Forgiveness:
“He has never once vouchsafed to ask my
Pardon,”
cry’d she, in the utmost Agony of Spirit;
“he despises,—sets my just Rage at nothing, and C4v 24
and I hate him for that, even more than for his
Falshood.”

It is to be supposed she suffered Ariana to
take but little Repose that Night, too small a Punishment,
indeed, for that inquisitive talking Humour
which had occasioned all this Confusion:
All the Hours till Morning were employ’d in
consulting in what Manner would best become
Zimene to behave in so unhappy a Circumstance;
at last it was agreed, that she should quit her Husband’s
House, and retire to that of an Uncle,
who had been her Guardian; and accordingly
she pack’d up all her Jewels, Dressing-Plate, and
Cloaths, and with Ariana, her Woman, and one
Footman, went away very early:—Before her
Departure she called for Fillamour’s Valet de
Chambre
, and bad him tell his Master, that she
left his House forever, to be govern’d by the
Lady to whom he had given his Heart.

Whatever Anxieties the offended Wife endur’d,
it is easy to believe the transgressing Husband
had his Share: His Intrigue with Sophronia
was of a long Date;—the Vehemence of his
Passion for her was worn off even before his Marriage,
and he wish’d for nothing more than an
Abatement of her’s, that he might break off with
Decency; —but whenever he gave the most
distant Hint of the Inconveniences attending a
Continuation of their Acquaintance, she fell into
such Agonies as he had too much Compassion
for her to be able to endure the Sight of:—She pro- D1r 25
protested that when the dreadful Moment of parting
them should arrive it should be the last of
Life, and talk’d of nothing but Poison or Dagger:
This kind of Behaviour it was that had
alone obliged him to make a Shew of some Remains
of Attachment to her, and now to be detected
in his Fault, to be catch’d without any Possibility
of Defence, fill’d him with the most extreme
Vexation a Heart could be oppress’d with;
but then the Violence, the Outrage with which
Zimene behaved on the Occasion, alarm’d his
Pride, and as a Man, much more, as a Husband,
he thought himself above yielding to any thing
imposed on him in that arbitrary Fashion.

Unhappy Zimene! how great a Pity was it
that she could not command her Temper: —
Softness would have easily accomplished what
Rage could never bring about; and as much as
Fillamour condemn’d himself for the Injury he
had done her, he yet more condemn’d her for
the Manner in which she resented it.

On being told she was gone, and the Message
she had left for him, he was, indeed, very much
shocked on Account of her Friends, and what
the World, whom he doubted not but would be
acquainted with the whole of the Affair, would
say of him; but he found nothing of those tender
Emotions for being deprived of her Society,
as he would certainly have done, had she borne
the Detection of his Fault with more Gentleness
and Moderation.

Vol. III. D The D1v 26

The whole Transaction, as he imagined it
would be, soon became the Talk of the Town:
Zimene was loud in her Reproaches on his
Infidelity:—He, in Excuse for what he had
done, exclaimed with equal Virulence against her
ill Temper, which, he pretended, had driven him
to seek Ease Abroad:—Both now hated each
other with more Passion than they had ever lov’d:
—In vain the Kindred on both Sides endeavour’d
to make up the Matter; —they were
equally irreconcilable, —and rendered the more
so by an unhappy Punctilio in both their Tempers:
Zimene, knowing herself the injured
Person, thought the least Attonement he ought
to have made was the Acknowledgment of his
Transgression;—a solemn Promise of repeating
it no more, and an Entreaty of Pardon for what
was past.—Fillamour on the other hand, tho’
conscious of his Crime, look’d on the Means
she took to publish it as an Offence he ought as
little to forgive; the bitter Expressions her Rage
threw out against him seem’d to him yet more
inexcuseable than the Occasion he had given her
for them; and made him imagine, or at least gave
him a Pretence for doing so, that there were
Seeds of Ill-nature in her Soul, which would have
some time or other broke out, though he had
done nothing to deserve them.

In fine, none of them wanted Matter to harden
them against each other, nor could they be
brought to agree in any one thing but an Article
of Separation, which was accordingly drawn up; after D2r 27
after which Zimene retired into the Country where
she still lives; and Fillamour accepted of a Commission
in the Army, meerly to avoid the Discourses
which he could not help hearing in Town,
in all Company on this Affair.

As for Sophronia she went directly to Dunkirk,
and entered herself a Pensioner in a Monastery,
not being able to shew her Face any more in a
Place where she had been detected of a Fault
she had so severely censured in others.

Whether Ariana has been enough concern’d
at the Distraction her inquisitive Temper occasioned,
to make use of any Efforts to restrain it
for the future, I will not pretend to say; but I
hope it will be a Warning to others, neither to
busy themselves with Affairs in which they have
no Concern, nor be too fond of reporting what
Chance may discover to them.

The Behaviour of Zimene also may shew our
Sex how little is to be got by Violence, and a too
haughty Resentment:—Patience, and a silent
enduring an Infringement on those Rights which
Marriage gives us over the Heart and Person of
a Husband, is a Lesson, which, I confess, is difficult
to practise; yet, if well observed, seldom
fails of bringing on a sure Reward.—I have
more than once, in the Course of these Speculations,
recommended Softness as the most prevailing,
as well as most becoming Arms we have to
combat with; and which, even in the most provokingD2 voking D2v 28
Circumstances ought never to be thrown
aside. A Letter I mention’d in my last gives
some Proofs of the Success it has produced,
and therefore has a very good Claim to our Attention.

“To the Female Spectator.
Madam,
The Story of Dorimon and Alithea at
the latter end of your first Volume, gave
me a great deal of Pleasure:—I look on the
Character of Alithea to be of the highest Value;
so exemplary a Patience under a Provocation
the most irritating to our Sex, has a just
Claim to our Admiration; but even that is yet
less difficult to be imitated than the Sweetness,
the amazing Gentleness which she conceal’d the
Knowledge of her Wrongs, not only from the
World, but from the Man who offered them.
Nothing can be so terrible a Misfortune
to a Woman who loves her Husband tenderly,
as to be conscious she has lost his Affections,
and that another triumphs in those Endearments
which are alone her Right; but when Insults
are added to Injuries, and the neglected Wife is
obliged to bear them from the very Wretch who
has supplanted her; to behave, I say, in such a
Circumstance with Decency and Complaisance,
requires not only an elevated Virtue, but a Discretion
more consummate than is ordinarily
found in our Sex;—not that we want Capacities‘ties D3r 29
to attain it, but because a due Care is wantting
to form our Minds in Youth.
The great Number of Separations and Divorces,
which we see of late, is a Testimony
that few Ladies are educated in such a Manner
as to have good Qualities sufficient to enable
them to bear so great a Disregard of themselves:
Miss is sent, indeed, to the best
School can be heard of to be brought up; but
then Mamma tells her at parting, ‘My Dear, if
every thing does not please you there; or if you
are cross’d, let me know, and I will take you
away.’
—Fine Education to be expected after
such a Promise! How can those Mothers think
that their Children will make good Wives,
when they are taught to be their own Mistresses
from the Cradle, and must learn nothing but
what they have a Mind to for fear they should
fret.—This false Indulgence, and the Want
of being a little accustomed to Contradiction
in the early Years of Life, it is, that chiefly occasions
that wild Impatience we often see in
Maturity.
But tho’ ill Habits contracted in our Youth
are difficult to be worn off, Reason and Reflection
may enable us to accomplish so glorious
a Work, if we set about it with a firm Resolution.
How great a Pleasure must that Woman
feel, who is conscious of having reclaim’d her ‘Hus D3v 30
Husband meerly by her own Sweetness of Behaviour;
—how justifiable, nay, how laudable
will be her Pride whose Merit is forcible
enough to conquer all the Follies of an ungovernable
Man, and make him own he has
been to blame!—Affections thus obtain’d are
generally more tender, more fond than ever, and
cease not but with Life:—Whatever Conflicts,
therefore, a Wife may endure within herself
in the Endeavour, and how long soever
she may suffer, the Reward at last will more
than compensate for all the Pains.
I wish this Point were more considered,
and that Ladies would take Example by your
Alithea, or that amiable Princess mentioned in
the same Book, but as too many Instances cannot
be given of Patience and Forbearance in
such a Circumstance, I beg leave to present your
Readers with a little succinct Account of two of
my particular Acquaintance, who have reclaim’d
their Husbands, and recovered the Love they
once thought wholly lost, with Interest.
The first, whom I shall call Eudosia, had
been the most unfortunate Woman upon Earth,
had she not been endu’d with an equal Share
of Patience as good Sense:—She was married
very young to Severus, a Man of a most
haughty austere Disposition, and one, who like
too many of his Sex, had got it into his Head,
that Women were created only to be the Slaves
of Men:—Her Beauty, however, and the sub- D4r 31
submissive Mildness of her Disposition, made
him very fond of her, and they lived in a great
deal of Harmony together; ’till Severus happening
to see Laconia at a public Place, became
enamour’d of her, and his Pride making him
above attempting to put any Restraint on his
Inclinations, he from that Moment resolv’d to
know her more intimately, if there was a Possibility
of doing so: By a strict Enquiry he
found who she was, and that she had no Fortune
to support her Extravagancies:—This
he so well improved that he soon accomplished
his Wishes; and tho’ after he was familiar
with her, he discovered he had not been the
first who had receiv’d her Favouurs, yet he continued
attach’d to her by an invincible Fatality.
So careless was he of what either his Wife
or the World might think of him, that both
were soon apprized of his Amour:—Those of
his own Kindred took the Liberty to reprove
him sharply for it; but Eudosia prevailed on
those of her own to be silent in the Affair, as
she herself resolved to be, well judging, that
to a Person of his Disposition, all Opposition
would but add Fewel to the Fire, and that he
would rather persist in what he knew was wrong,
than confess himself convinced by the Arguments
of others.
He very well knew she could not be ignorant
of what he took so little Pains to conceal; ‘but D4v 32
but where there is a Dislike, as during his Intrigue
with Laconia he certainly had for his
Wife, nothing can oblige,—nothing can be
acknowledged as a Virtue;—instead of
esteeming her, as he ought to have done, for
the Regard she shewed for his Peace in never
murmuring, nor upbraiding him with his Fault,
he imputed it all to a mean Timidity of Nature
in her, and only glory’d in himself for knowing
so well how to keep a Woman within what
Bounds he pleased, and render even her very
Wishes subservient to his Will.
Confident that he might now act as he
pleased, he brought Laconia into his House,
commanded Eudosia to treat her as a Lady,
whom he infinitely esteemed, and having laid
this Injuction on her, whom he look’d upon
as only his Upper Servant, gave adequate Orders
to the others.
This Creature now became the entire Mistress
of the Family, and tho’ Eudosia kept her
Place at the Head of the Table, yet nothing
was served up to it but what was ordered by
Laconia.
Some Women will look on this tame enduring
in Eudosia as wholly unworthy of a Wife,
and too great an Encouragement for other
guilty Husbands to treat their Wives in the
same Manner; but this Pattern of Prudence
and Good-nature knew very well the Temper ‘of E1r 33
of the Person she had to deal with, and that
nothing was to be gain’d by the Pursuit of any
rough Measures:—She seemed, therefore, to
think herself happy in the Company of Laconia,
carry’d her into all Company she went
into as her particular Friend, and was so perfectly
obliging to her in every Respect, that the
other, even in spite of their Rivalship, could
not help having a Regard for her, which she
testify’d in downright quarreling with Severus,
whenever he refused her any thing she asked;
and in truth, this injured Wife would frequently
have gone without many Things which her
Rank in Life demanded, had it not been for the
Intercession of Laconia.
Severe Tryal, however, for a Woman of
Virtue, and who in spite of his Injustice and
Ingratitude, still retained the most tender Affection
for her Husband, yet she bore all with
a seeming Tranquility, but while the guilty Pair
imagined her easy and resign’d to her Fate, she
was continually laying Schemes to change it:
Long she was about it, being loth to venture at
any thing which, in case of failure, might render
her Condition worse; but at last her good
Genius inspired her a little Plot, which threaten’d
nothing if the Event should not answer Expectation,
and promised much if it succeeded.
She feigned herself seized with a sudden Indisposition,
took her Bed, and so well acted her
Part, that the Physician who attended her was Vol. III E ‘deceived E1v 34
deceived by it, and reported her Condition as
dangerous.—It cannot be supposed Severus
felt any great Anxiety at hearing it, yet order’d
she should be carefully look’d to, and nothing
spared that would contribute to her Recovery:
Laconia appear’d very assiduous about her,
but whether out of a real or counterfeited Tenderness
I will not pretend to say.
It served, however, to forward Eudosia’s
Design; and one Day, seeming to come out of
a fainting Fit while the other was sitting by her
Bed-side, she called to her Maid, and bad her
bring her a Sheet of Paper, and Pen and Ink,
which being done she wrote a few Lines, and ordered
a small India Cabinet, in which she was accustomed
to keep her Jewels, and other little
Trinkets, to be held to her, in which she put
the Paper, and turned the Key with a great deal
of seeming Care to make it fast; but in truth,
to prevent it from being lock’d, so that it might
easily be opened.
‘Now,’ cry’d she, ‘I shall die in Peace, since
my dear Severus will know, when I am gone,
every thing I wish him to be sensible of:—I
beg you, Madam,’
continued she to Laconia, who
was very attentive to all she did, ‘to let my Husband
know my last Will is contained in that
Cabinet.’
With these Words she sunk down into the
Bed, as fatigued with what she had been doing, ‘and E2r 35
and the other doubted not but her last Moment
was near at Hand.
A Woman circumstanced as Laconia was,
might very well be curious to discover what
Eudosia had wrote; but not knowing how to
come at it without the help of Severus, she acquainted
him with the whole Behaviour of his
Wife on this Occasion, on which he grew little
less impatient than herself; and at a Time when
she seem’d to be asleep, took the Cabinet out of
the Room, and carry’d it into his own Closet,
resolving to examine the Contents without any
Witnesses.
Eudosia, who was very watchful for
the Success of her Project, saw well enough
what he had done; but looking on the Reception
he should give the Paper as the Crisis of
her Fate, past the Remainder of the Night in
such disturb’d Emotions, as rendered her almost
as ill in reality as she had pretended.
Severus was little less disordered after
having read the Letter, which was directed to
himself, with the Title of her Ever dear Severus,
and contained these Lines.
‘Had I Millions to bequeath, you alone
should be my Heir; but all I have, all
I am, is already yours, all but my Advice,
which living I durst not presume to give you;
but as this will not reach your Ears till I am E2 no E2v 36
no more, it may be better received:—It is
this, my Dear, that as soon as Decency permits
you will marry Laconia;—neither of
you ought to make any other Choice: —
The World, you know, has been loud in its
Censures on that Lady’s Score, I alone have
been silent:—What the Duty of a Wife
bound me to while living, I persevere to observe
in Death; my only Consolation under
inconceivable Agonies of Mind and Body, being
a Consciousness of having well and truly
discharged all the Obligations of my Station.
—I beg Heaven your second Nuptials may
be more agreeable than your first;—that she
who has so long enjoy’d your Heart may continue
to deserve it, by loving you as I have
done, and you be more happy with her than
you could possibly be with

The unfortunate Eudosia.’
He afterwards confess’d, that he read this
above an hundred Times over, and that every
Word sunk into his Soul the deeper as he examined
it the more; till quite melted into
Tenderness, he look’d back with Horror on
his past Behaviour:—All the Charms he
had formerly found in the Mind and Person of
Eudosia returned with added Force, and those
of Laconia grew dim and faded in his Eyes.
But when he reflected that he was about to
lose forever so inestimable a Treasure as he now ‘own’d E3r 37
own’d his Wife to be, and that there was the
strongest Probability that his Unkindness had
shortened her Date of Life, he fell into the bitterest
Rage against himself, and the Object of
that unlawful Flame which had occasion’d it.
Laconia, who wondered he did not
come to Bed, for he had promis’d to sleep with
her that Night, ran to his Closet, where she
found him in very great Agitations; on her
enquiring into the Cause, he sullenly told her
she was, and bid her leave him. As this was
Treatment she had not been accustomed to, she
had not Presence enough of Mind to conceal her
Resentment at it, but immediately flew into a
Rage, which his Temper was little able to endure,
and served as a Foil to set Eudosia’s Virtues
in a still fairer Light; he contented himself,
however, with making her go out of the
Room, after which he returned to his former
Meditations.
In fine, he thought so long, till Thought
made him as perfect a Convert as Eudosia
could wish; and the Imagination that he was
about to lose her, made him lose all that haughty
Tenaciousness of Humour he was wont to
use her with:—He went several Times to her
Chamber-Door, but being told she seem’d in
a Slumber returned softly back, and would not
enter till he heard she was awake, then enquired
in the tenderest Manner how she did; ‘to E3v 38
to which she answered, that his Presence had
given her more Spirits than she could have
hoped ever to have enjoyed in this World.
‘O’, cry’d he, quite charmed with her Softness,
‘if the Sight of me can afford you Comfort, never
will I quit your Chamber:—Believe me,’
continued
he, taking her Hand and pressing it,
‘My Dear Eudosia, that how much soever I have
been to blame, there is nothing so terrible as the
Thoughts of losing you:—O that my recovered
Love, and all the Tenderness that Man can feel,
could but restore your Health:—What would
I not give!—What would I not do to preserve
you!’
These Words were accompanied with
some Tears of Passion that bedew’d her Hand,
and left her no room to doubt of their Sincerity.
How much she was transported any one may
guess:—‘Now’, said she, raising herself in the
Bed and clasping him round the Neck, ‘in Life
or Death I have nothing more to wish.’
It would be endless to repeat the fond obliging
Things they said to each other; the Reader
will easily conceive by the Beginning that
nothing could be more tender on both Sides:
But what added most to Eudosia’s Satisfaction,
was the Assurance he gave her that Laconia
should quit his House that Day, and that he
never would see her more.
‘On E4r 39 On this, she insisted on his making some
Provision for her, telling him it was Punishment
sufficient for her Fault to lose the Affection she
had so long enjoy’d; and that for her Part, if
she should live to possess the Happiness his
Behaviour now seem’d to promise, it would be
damp’d if she knew any thing he had once
loved was miserable.
This Generosity engag’d new Caresses on
the Part of Severus, but he desired she would
not mention that Woman any more, but leave
it to himself to act as he thought proper.
He kept his Word; Laconia was put out
of the House that Day: In what Manner they
parted is uncertain, but it is not so that the Amour
between them was never renewed. Eudosia
having gained her Point, pretended to recover
by Degrees, and at length to be fully establish’d
in her former Health; to which now, a Vivacity
flowing from a contented Mind being added,
she became more agreeable than ever;
never was there a happier Wife, or more endearing
Husband
All their Acquaintance beheld the Change
with Astonishment, but none were entrusted
with the innocent Stratagem which brought it
about: Eudosia had the Prudence to conceal it
not only from Severus himself, but from all
others; nor till after his Death, which happened‘pened E4v 40
not in several Years, was any Person
made privy to it.
The other whom I mentioned, as a happy
Instance of recovering a decayed Affection, I
shall call Constantia; she was a young Gentlewoman
of strict Virtue but no Fortune:—She
had been courted above a Year by Tubesco, a
substantial Tradesman, before she married him,
but had not been a Wife above half the time,
when she perceived there was another much
more dear to him than herself:—She bore
it, however, with a consummate Patience, and
even after she heard that he had a Child by her
Rival, who was a wealthy Tradesman’s Daughter,
did she ever reproach him with it, or attempt
to expose it.
He had even the Folly, as well as Impudence,
to own his Intrigue before her Face; yet all
this did not move her to any unbecoming Passion:
She was not, however, insensible to such
Usage, nor without the most ardent Wishes to
reclaim him both for his and her own Sake:
Many Projects she contrived, but all without
Success, ’till a Person, who was a Friend to them
both, perswaded him to leave England, and go
to settle at Dundee, of which Place they were
Natives. Absence from his Mistress she hop’d
would make a Change in his Temper in her
Favour; but in this she was deceived, at least
for a long while:—For two long Years did he
repine, and all that time used his Wife so very ‘ill F1r 41
ill that she almost repented she had engaged
him to quit the Presence of one who she now
began to think he could live without:—To add
to her Afflictions, she was extremely ill treated
by his Relations on the Score of having brought
no Portion; but when she thought herself the
most abandoned by good Fortune, she was nearest
the Attainment of it. Heaven was pleased
that she should prove with Child, which, together
with her continued Sweetness of Behaviour,
turn’d his Heart; he became from the worst,
one of the best of Husbands, detests his former
Life, and all Women who endeavour by
their Artifices to alienate Men from their
Wives.
Constantia is now very happy, and
the more so, as she knows the Recovery of her
Husband’s Affections is chiefly owing to her
own good Conduct, and Sweetness of Behaviour.
But I have troubled you too long:—If these
Examples may serve to enforce the good Advice
you have given our Sex, it will be an infinite
Satisfaction to,

Madam,
Your most humble Servant,

1745-03-26March 26, 1745. Dorinda.”

This amiable Lady’s Letter stands in no Vol. III F need F1v 42
need of a Comment; but we think ourselves
obliged to thank her for the Zeal she testifies for
the Happiness of Society:—Could the generality
of Womankind be brought to think like
her, Marriage would no longer be a Bugbear to
the Wife, and a Laughing-stock to Fools: —
Would they, instead of reporting the Follies of
their Sex, set forth, as she has done, the bright
Examples some of them have given of Virtue
and Discretion, Men would venerate instead of
despising; we should recover that Respect we have
too much lost through our own Mismanagement
greatly, but more by our Bitterness and railing
against each other.

I confess myself extremely pleased when I hear
of a Woman, who failing by an artless Softness
to preserve the Affection of her Husband, regains
it by Wit and Address: — Had Eudosia supinely
yielded to her Fate, and combated her Husband’s
Falshood and Ingratitude only with her
Tears, she might have sunk under the Burthen of
her Wrongs; and the injurious Laconia triumph’d
over her Ashes in the unrivall’d Possession of his
Heart and Person: But by this pretty Stratagem
she shewed herself a Woman of Spirit as well as
Virtue:—What she did could not be call’d
Deceit, because her whole Character being Gentleness
and Goodness, ’tis highly probable she would
have made him the same Request had she really
thought herself dying; as being the only Attonement
he could make for having lived so long in
a criminal Conversation with Laconia; and but an- F2r 43
anticipated that Will which her forgiving Sweetness
and persevering Love would have inspired
her with before she left this World.

Neither was her Prudence in concealing
what she had done less to be admir’d:—Had
she made a Confidant of any one Person, and it
had reach’d the Ears of Severus, a Man of his
Temper would not only have been chagrin’d at
being trick’d, tho’ it were into Happiness, but
have look’d on her divulging it as a kind of Triumph
over him; and had she confess’d it only to
himself, tho’ he could not in Reason have condemn’d
her for it, yet he might not have been
well satisfy’d to think she had it in her Power to
boast of having over-reached him, and this might
have poisoned all the Sweets of that Reconciliation
which was the Reward of her Wit and
Virtue.

The mild and sweet Behaviour of Constantia
may also be a Pattern for Wives when provok’d
in the Manner she was:—To furnish Examples
of this kind is doing universal Service; and if
those Ladies, who delight in repeating every unhappy
Adventure that comes in their Way, would
imitate Dorinda, and acquaint us only with Instances
of Virtue, I am confident the World would
be better than it is.

But to use a Phrase in Scripture, “Out of the
abundance of the Heart the Mouth speaketh;”
The
Love of Scandal proceeds meerly from the Want F2 of F2v 44
of giving the Mind some more worthy Employment:
—There is a Restlessness in the Faculties
of the Soul that calls for Action, and, if we
do not take care to give them some, will chuse for
themselves, and may not probably be always such
as redound either to our own Honour or the
Emolument of our Neighbours.

There is much more in the Choice of Matter
for our Contemplation than People are generally
aware of; for without we give the thinking Faculty
some one fix’d Subject wherewith it may be
busy’d and taken up, it will be apt to run into a
Multiplicity of different Ideas, all confounding each
other, destroying Judgment and serious Reflection;
so that whatever Good we do cannot properly
be called our own, but the Effect of Chance; but
all the Ill is truly ours, for want of a proper Regulation
of those Powers by which we are solely
actuated.

But as this cannot be done without some little
Examination into the Nature of the Soul in regard
to its Direction over, and Manner of Cooperation
with the Body, I shall here present my
Readers with the Sentiments of a very ingenious
Gentleman on that Occasion.

“To the Female Spectator.
Madam,
I Read with Pleasure the Reflections on the
Soul in your Eleventh Book, and join heartily
with Platonides in thanking you for recommending‘mending F3r 45
the Study of Philosophy to the Ladies,
that is, that most useful Branch of it that
teaches the Nature of the Soul; and I must
here beg leave to recommend it to the Men,
who want it almost, if not quite, as much as
they do; and, if I am not too presumptuous,
I shall intrude so far on your Good—nature and
Indulgence, as to offer you my weak Sentiments
on it, being encourag’d by the Promise you
made at the Beginning of that Book.
The Soul I look upon as an immaterial
created Being
, whose Existence is best express’d
by these Words, ‘I think, therefore I exist’, that
is, the radical Essence of the Soul consists in
Thought:—It is a Spirit of no Shape or
Form, for these would imply a Materiality; it
is simple, not made of Parts, indivisible, whose
sole Property and Quality, as I have just now
said, are Thought and Reason.
Now that the Soul is immaterial, is easily
proved from the Properties of Matter; whose
Essence consisting of a Substance which hath a
Form or Shape, resists a Change of the State
wherein it is, whether of Rest or Motion, so
that would never change the State wherein it is
at present, if not moved or stopp’d by some external
Agent; this is open to every Man’s Capacity
who will give himself the Trouble to reflect
on it:—Let him take a Stone, or any
other Thing, and place it somewhere, that Stone
will remain there, unless moved by something ex- F3v 46
extraneous; this something, if material, must
be moved by another external Agent, and at
last we must come to that Being, which, by its
Will, can impell a Force on Matter sufficient
to move it from the Place where it is; and this
Motion, excited in Matter, would continue always,
if some external Force did not stop it;
but that thin Substance, the Air, continually resisting
Matter thus impell’d, impedes the Motion
in Proportion to the Force of the Impulse,
’till at last it stops it quite.
Since then material Substances, when once
put in Motion, cannot of themselves return to
a State of Rest, but must continue in that State
of Motion, unless hindered by something external;
and when in a State of Rest, they must
continue in that State, and cannot move unless
impelled by something external; it follows from
thence, that something immaterial must be the
Primum Mobile of material Bodies.
The Animal and Vegetable Life, when not
considered with Care, make several People deny
the Necessity of an immaterial Mover: But
what is this Life?—We should examine it
well, before we decide so positively; it consists
in a Circulation of Fluids, where Matter, originally
impell’d by some Power ab extra, acts on
Matter with a certain determined Force, which
arises solely from a Resistance to a Change of
its State; and whatever Matter were void of
that Resistance would be of no Use in a mechanical‘chanical F4r 47
Body:—There can be no Notion
more unphilosophical, than to think a Machine
can be made of such Matter, as will not resist a
Change of its State; the Pretence hath been,
that we do not know the Powers and Qualities
of Matter: ’Tis true we do not, but thus much
we know certainly, that it cannot have contradictory
Powers, and since exciting Motion in
itself depends on this, we are as certain that it is
not Self-moving, as if we knew every thing belonging
to it:—Doctor Clark observes, that
Matter is only capable of one negative Power,
‘viz. That every Part will always and necessarily
remain in the State of Rest or Motion, wherein
it at present is.’
From whence we conclude,
that Matter cannot move itself, and they torment
themselves in vain who would endeavour
to find out the mechanical Cause of the Circulation
of Blood in our Bodies, or of Fluids in
Vegetables, if by a mechanical Cause they understand
certain Powers planted in Matter, performing
this Motion without the Intervention
or Efficacy of any Cause immaterial; so that
Matter, with these Powers planted in it, of itself
continues this Motion once begun.
This is endeavouring to find out a Thing
which is not to be found out, because it is not:
For Matter when moved, will continue forever
in a strait Direction of Motion, unless an external
Force is impress’d on it, sufficient to make
it stop or change that Direction; and to cause a F4v 48
a circular Motion, that external Force must be
impress’d upon it every Instant; for nothing is
more certain than the Tendency which we see
Matter has to leave the circular Motion, and
run on in a strait Line; and, therefore, nothing
is more certain than that an extraneous
Power must be continually impress’d to overcome
this Tendency, and bring it incessantly
back: Circulation is but one, tho’ a principal
Branch of the Animal Oeconomy; for in the
Brain, Nerves, Stomach, Guts, Glands, in every
Part there is Motion; and if we should say all
this is carry’d on by Nature in a Million of
different Bodies at once, no one would except
against the Account, but think it as good as
could be given in Philosophy: But should one
say, all this is performed by the great God of
Nature, we directly fly out against it, as a Thing
absurd and impossible; for Nature, in our
Mouths, is like Chance or Fate, a Word that
serves rather to screen our Ignoraannce and Inattention
than to convey any solid Meaning. Let
us then examine a little these Matters, and confess
that the Motion which is in every Part or
Particle receives its immediate Impulse from
the Finger of Almighty God, as this one Point
is certain, that Matter is such a Substance as resists
a Change of its State:—I say, let us all
humbly, and sincerely acknowledge, that there
is a mighty Governor of the World, and of
the minutest as well as noblest created Beings;
—that it is evident he has all Power and Knowledge,‘ledge G1r 49
and that he works constantly near us,
round us, within us.
That the Soul is a created Being, and not
separated from any other Spirit, is easily shewn:
For how can any thing be taken from what has
no Parts? And how can there be Parts where
there is nothing material?—Divisibility and
Parts are only the Properties of Matter; which
having a Form or Shape, must be composed of
Parts to form this Shape; it must have inward
and outward Parts, or to speak more intelligibly,
it must have upper and lower Parts:—Let
the upper Part be separated from the lower,
and each particular Part will have the same Properties
which the Whole had; it will have an
upper Part and a lower Part, which may be divided
again, and these Parts so divided will still
retain those Properties which the Whole had;
and so on, ad infinitum. By this we see, that
material Substances, of what Bulk soever, must
be composed of Parts, and again divisible into
Parts, each of which is a solid, divisible, extended,
figured Substance, and hath the essential
Properties of the Whole, of which it is a Part,
as much as the Whole hath.
If, therefore, we should allow that the Soul
might be taken from any other Being, it infers,
that the Being from whence it is taken has
Parts, which Parts must have singly the same
Properties as the Whole; that is, they must be
active perceptive Substances, so that no Being, Vol. III G ‘taken G1v 50
taken from another can be single, which in Spirits
make an Absurdity; for in such a Case, that
separated Part too, having the same Properties
as the Whole, cannot be single, but must be an
Aggregate of infinite Numbers of distinct, active,
perceptive Substances, all which is repugnant
to Reason.
Since then, as I have slightly shewn, there
is a Necessity that something immaterial should
be within us, in order to cause a spontaneous
Motion
; and as this immaterial Being cannot be
compounded of Parts, it must be indissoluble
and incorruptible in its Nature; and since, therefore,
it has not a natural Tendency to Annihilation,
it must endlessly abide an active perceptive
Substance
, with either Fears or Hopes of dying
thro’ all Eternity.
I beg Pardon, Madam, for having troubled
you with so long an Epistle, and am afraid your
Readers, if you care to publish this, will find
fault with me, for having robb’d them of those
few Pages, which would otherwise have been so
much better employ’d by you; but as my
Motive was only to put them on thinking on so
important a Subject, I hope that will plead my
Excuse.—Doctor Clark, in his Demonstration of
the Existence and Attributes of God
; and Mr.
Baxter
, in his Enquiry into the Nature of the
Human Soul
, (from whom I have received great
Lights) have both handled this Subject so well,
that I must beg leave to recommend them to ‘your G2r 51
your Readers; however, as a great many have
not Patience to go through whole Books on any
thing, if you would shew wherein I have said
amiss, and add some few Thoughts of your
own, I believe it will be very well received by
the greatest Part of your Readers, and be a particular
Obligation to,
Madam,
Your most humble Servant,
And constant Reader,
. H.L.”

It is easy to perceive the learned and judicious
Author of the foregoing, contents himself with
proving the Immateriality, and of Consequence,
the Immortality of the Human Soul; and indeed
that is of itself sufficient to let us know the Value
we ought to set upon it: The Almighty has himself,
by giving us Free-Will, left it to ourselves to
improve this Divine Part in us to his Glory, the
common Good of Society, and our own eternal
Happiness.

Mr. Dryden elegantly expresses this Power in
us, in his Poem of the Cock and Fox: “Nothing does native Liberty restrain,But Man may either act, or may refrain;Heav’n made us Agents free to Good or Ill,And forc’d it not, tho’ he foresaw the Will. G2FreedomG2v52Freedom was first bestow’d on Human Race,And Prescience only held the second Place.If he could make such Agents wholly free,I’ll not dispute, the Point’s too high for me;For Heav’n’s unfathom’d Power what Man can
sound,
Or put to his Omnipotence a Bound?He made us to his Image, all agree,That Image is the Soul, and that must be,Or not the Maker’s Image, or be free.”

The Immortality of the Soul, as I have before
observ’d, is the great Point on which all Religion,
Virtue, and Morality depends; for it seems
an utter Impossibility, that any Man in his right
Senses can be thoroughly assured he is a Being,
which must exist to all Eternity, yet act so as to
incur the Doom of being miserable to all Eternity:
—How greatly then is the World obliged
to those who, like Mr. H.L. have both the Abilities,
and the Will to exert those Abilities for putting
a Stop to that Inundation of Scepticism, which
has of late flowed in upon us, almost to the Destruction
of every thing that can either maintain
due Order here, or entitle us to any reasonable
Hope of Happiness hereafter.

It has often made me wonder that People are
not more readily convinced of the Immortality
of the Soul, because such a Conviction is so very
flattering to our most darling Passions:—What
can so much sooth our Ambition, as an Assurance
that we are a Being incapable of Corruption, or of G3r 53
of Ending;—endued with Faculties equal to
the Angels, with whom we shall one Day be Companions,
and that we shall sit on Thrones, and
have our Heads adorned with Rays of Glory! —
What can more indulge that curious and enquiring
Disposition, which we all have some Share of,
that to think, that all those Mysteries, which the
greatest Learning at present vainly endeavors to
explore, will be laid open to our View, that nothing
will be a Secret to us, and Conjecture be
swallowed up in Certainty!

There can be none among us so stupid, so insensible,
as not to rejoice in the Assurance of enjoying
these immense Blessings:—Why do we
then raise Difficulties, and encourage any Doubts
to the contrary!—That very Ambition, —
that very Curiosity I have been speaking of, however
perverted to meaner Objects, and mean Purposes,
was questionless implanted in our Natures
for the noblest End:—That is, to shew us the
Dignity of the Soul, and make us look up to
that Heaven from which we are deriv’d, and are
form’d to possess, unless we willfully forfeit our
Pretensions.

We complain of being short-sighted in these
Matters, as indeed we are; but then that we are
so is a good deal owing to ourselves, as I believe
will appear on a very little Consideration: —
The Fault lies not so much in our Incapacity of
Comprehension, as in our confining it to narrow
Views:—We cannot resolve to look beyond the G3v 54
the Spot we tread upon;—we place our Treasure
here, and here will our Hearts be:—The
Attraction of this World chains us, as it were,
to its own Sphere, and we cannot rise above it:—
The present Tense engrosses all our Hopes and
Fears, our Expectations and Dependencies, and
one dirty Acre here is of more Value to us, than
all the Plains behind the Moon.

Thus is our Understanding darken’d, as to
the Things to come, by our too great Attachment
to those presented to us by the Senses; and
we do not behold them so clearly as we ought
and might, because of our Eagerness never to lose
Sight of the other:—So that from our own Wilfulness
our Ignorance proceeds, as the Poet justly
says: “――Our Reason was not vainly lent,Nor is a Slave, but by its own Consent. ”

Not that I would insinuate Human Reason is
sufficient to inform us what or how we shall be
hereafter; but this I must beg leave to insist upon,
that it is capable, if exerted properly, to convince
us we shall be something, and in some State, after
what we vulgarly call Life (that is, indeed, no
more than the Animal Soul) has left us.

I know there are many People either by Nature,
or want of Application, dull enough not to
apprehend the Difference between the animal and immortal Soul; but I think it is easy to conceive we G4r 55
we have not only two, but three Souls, which are
gradually instill’d into us from the Time of our
first Formation in the Womb. The greatest
of our Philosophers, Poets, and Divines have
seem’d to favour this Opinion; but I know of
none who has express’d himself more clearly and
elegantly upon it than a late Gentleman, whose
Works I have often taken the Liberty to quote;
the Person I mean is Mr. Dryden, who in his
Poem of Palemon and Arcite has it thus: “So Man, at first a Drop, dilates with Heat,Then form’d, the little Heart begins to beat;Secret he feeds, unkowing, in his Cell,At length for hatching ripe, he breaks the Shell,And struggles into Breath, and cries for Aid;Then, helpless, in his Mother’s Lap is laid:He creeps, he walks, and issuing into Man,Grudges their Life from whom his Life began.A Foe to Laws, affects to rule alone,Anxious to reign,—ev’n restless on a Throne;First vegetive, then feels, and Reason’s last,Rich in three Souls, and lives all three to waste.Some thus, but thousand more in Flow’r of Age,For few arrive to run the latter Stage.”

What indeed, before our coming into the
World, can we be justly call’d but Vegebles ?
Or what in Infancy is there that distinguishes us
above the Animals? Nay, what is term’d Instinct
in them, comes much sooner, or at least
is more plainly distinguish’d, than the Reasoning
Faculty
in us; but when it is once attained, when we G4v 56
we find in ourselves the Power of comparing, and
of judging, if we do not take care to improve it,
it must be own’d we are little worthy of possessing
it: But if we not only not acknowledge it, but rather
take Pains to depreciate the Blessing, no Words
methinks can sufficiently describe so black an Ingratitude
to the great Author of our Being, or so
monstrous an Injustice, and Indignity to our own
Nature.

Yet is this every Day done, nay and glory’d
in by those, who plume themselves on seeing
more clearly than other Men into the Works of
Nature:—They make use of Reason to argue
against Reason; and affect to be void of Partiality
or Vanity in assuming nothing, as they say,
to themselves, or ascribing more to the Specie
they are of, than to any other Parts of the Animal
World.

But true Philosophy as well as Religion will
shew us better Things:—It will not only teach
us the Nature and Excellency of our Being, but
also teach us how to avoid all such Inclinations as
have any Tendency towards degrading its native
Dignity, by throwing a Resemblance, or any way
levelling us with the inferior Creation.

Let us then devote some Part of our Time
to Study and Meditation. “When the Mind is worthily
employed,”
says a great Author, “the Body becomes
spiritualized; but when we suffer a Lassitude to H1r 57
benumn our Faculties, the very Spirit degenerates
into Matter.”

We should also be continually on our Guard,
that our Senses may not get too much Power over
us;—they frequently deceive us, and present
us with fictitious Joys when we expect real ones:
—Besides, as they are capable of shewing us
only Things near at hand, and which shortly pass
away, we should take them only en-passant, and
it must be a gross Stupidity to suffer them to engross
our Thoughts. The famous Abbe de Bellgarde
has this Maxim, among many other excellent
ones, and is worthy the Observation of all
Degrees of People.

“N’ayez de l’ Attachement de l’ Amour pour le
Monde, qu’a Proportion du Tems que vous y
devez être. Celuy qui fait Voyage, ne s’arrête
pas dans la premiere belle Ville qu’il trouve sur
sa route, il sçait qu’il doit passer outre et aller
plus loin.”

Few of my Readers, I believe, but will understand
this; however, lest any should be ignorant
of a Language so universally understood, and I
would wish so excellent a Precept should escape
no one, I will give it in English.


“Have no greater Attachment or Love for
the World, than in Proportion to the Time you
are to be in it. He who takes a Journey stops Vol. III H not H1v 58
not at the first fine City he finds in his Way;
for he knows he must pass through it, and go
farther.”

A person, ’tis certain, who keeps this always
in his Mind will never suffer himself to be wholly
taken up either with the idle fleeting Pleasures of
this World, or with the busy Cares which attend a
Pursuit of its Grandeurs:—He may enjoy the one with Moderation whenever they fall in his
Way, but will not think himself miserable in the
Want of them; and as for the other, he will
look on the short-lived Possession of them as not
worth the Time and Anxiety they must cost in
the Attainment.

How blind, how inconsiderate, how unhappy,
are those who place their Summum Bonum here,
as well those who suceed in their Endeavouurs as
those who do not; and alas, every Day’s Experience
shews us how much the Number of the
latter exceeds the former;—yet how readily
does every one lay hold on the least Shadow of
an Expectation, and waste the precious Time in
vain Dependencies, not remembering that, as Shakespear justly says. “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow,Creep in a stealing Pace from Day to Day,To the last Moment of revolving Time,And all our Yesterdays have lighted FoolsTo their eternal Homes. Life’sH2r59Life’s but a walking Shadow; a poor Play’rThat frets and struts his Hour upon a Stage,And then is heard no more. It is a TaleTold by an Idiot, full of Sound and Fury,Signifying nothing. ”

But I should disoblige three Parts in four of
my Readers, should I dwell on a Subject, which
all know, but few care to remember: Besides, these
Speculations are not publish’d with a View of depressing,
but of exhillerating the Spirits; and as
it is impossible to recommend the Value of our
immortal Part, without taking some Notice how
little the other is worthy our Attention, when compared
together, I shall add no more for fear of
being thought too grave; a Fault, now-a-days,
look’d upon as unpardonable in an Auuthor.

Mira herself confesses, that these Lucubrations
have of late lean’d a little towards that Side;
and bids me remember, that People, especially
those of Condition, are more easily laughed out
of their Follies than reasoned out of them.

Nothing indeed is more certain, than that if
a gay thoughtless Person takes up a Book, which
he imagines is composed only for Amusement,
and, before he is aware, happens to meet with
some favourite Vice of his own, artfully and merrily
exposed, he will start at the Resemblance of
himself, and perhaps be reclaimed by it; whereas
he might hear a thousand Sermons on the same H2 Oc- H2v 60
Occasion, without being moved, tho’ ever so learned,
or with the greatest Grace deliver’d.

Nor will this seem strange to any one who
considers Nature: Should our Hair turn grey, or
our Complexion yellow, without our knowing
any thing of the Change, ’till all at once we see
it in the Glass, it would have a much greater Effect
upon us, than if we perceived it gradually
coming on.

Surprize has undoubtedly a prodigious Influence
on the Mind in all Cases; and it is not,
therefore, to be wondered at, that where we expect
Lessons of Reformation they seldom do us
any Service: If we listen to them it is with Indolence,
and they make, if any at all, a very slight
Impression on us; but when we look for something
of a quite contrary Nature, it works strange
Effects.

King David listened without any conscious
Tumult in his Mind to the Parable of Nathan
concerning the Ewe-Lamb, ’till the Prophet,
emboldened by his Divine Mission, said to him
plainly,
“Thou art the Man.”

Then, indeed, touch’d by this sudden Remonstrance,
he smote his Breast and cry’d,
“I have sinned against the Lord.”

The H3r 61

The Works of a Person who is looked upon
as a Satirist, or what the Wits call a Snarler, are
taken up with a kind of Prejudice, and tho’ they
want not Readers, it is only because every one
hopes to find his Neighbour’s Follies or Vices
ridiculed there: His own are out of the Question
with him, and however they may occasion his being
laughed at by other People, he is utterly regardless
of what is pointed at chiefly in himself:
—But a Book which is not suspected of any such
Tendency, yet brings a parallel Case with that of
the Reader, has sometimes the good Fortune to
strike upon the Soul, and awaken a needful Reflection.

As we set out with an Assurance to the Public
that we should only make it our Business to depreciate
Vice, not Persons, and this Book in particular
is intended to set forth the Odiousness of exposing
Characters, we must desire our Readers
not to fix the Censure of any thing contained in
these Speculations on Individuals, whom they may
imagine we have in our Eye, but take care to avoid
that Fault in themselves they are so ready to observe
in others.

Whatever falls not under the Cognizance
of a Court of Judicature, should be exempt from
private Cavils; for in effect, no one except the
Magistracy has a right to condemn any but himself.

And yet it may be answer’d, we have Crimes
among us, or Follies, which amount almost to the same H3v 62
same thing, which the Laws take no notice of;
and it must be acknowledg’d that this Objection
is not without a solid Foundation in Facts too
flagrant to be disputed; but then it must also be
observed, that I mean not when the Transgressors
are in public Capacities, and take that Opportunity
to oppress the Body of the People; for then
every one has a right to exclaim, and to cry out
for Justice; but even then I would have the Clamour
extend no farther than the Grievance, which,
if public, stands in no need of any Repetition of
private Faults.

I have often thought it strange, that in the
Election for Members of Parliament, the Commonalty,
I mean the Rabble, have such an unbridled
Licence for Defamation:—If a Candidate
has, indeed, in any former Session, or
otherwise by his Behaviour testify’d he has not
the real Good of his Country at Heart, if he has
not strenously endeavoured to preserve the just
Balance of Power between Prince and People;
if he has accepted of any Bribes either for himself
or Family, whereby Interests opposite to the common
Cause have been upheld, the meanest Man
who has a Vote, has undoubtedly a Right to declare
the Motive which obliges him to refuse it:
As to a Gentleman being a bad Oeconomist, if he
be either a Miser or a Spendthrift, there may be
some Reason to believe he will be biass’d to any
Measures which promise an Increase of his Stores,
or fresh Supplies for the Support of his Extravagancies;
and then, indeed, all the Proofs that can be H4r 63
be brought of his ill Management have a Right
to be thrown in his Teeth; but I never could find
out what the Errors of the Mother, Wife, Sister
or Daughter of such a Candidate had to do with
the Affair; yet in this Case the Faults of the
whole Family are blazon’d, as if the poor Gentleman
was to answer for the Virtue of his whole
Kindred.

The Custom of old Rome, I am told, authorizes
this Proceeding, I wish we followed that renowned
Republic in Things more worthy our
Imitation; as for this I always thought it a barbarous
one, and correspondent with the Manners
of no Nation which pretends to be civilized.

I hope I shall therefore be understood, that
when I recommend Silence as to the Miscarriages
of others, I mean it only in regard to private
Life; for as to public Injuries they may, and undoubtedly
ought to be complained of, of whatsoever
Degree the Person is who offers them, since
a Nation can no otherwise hope Redress; and to
attempt to screen or protect an Offender in this
Kind is a Treason to the People, which has no
Pretence to Forgiveness.

The Love of our Country claims our first and
chiefest Care, and whenever we discover even the
most remote Intention of an Oppression there,
tho’ it be hatching in the Breast of him who is
most dear to us, all partial Tenderness, all private
Friendships and Obligations, must give way to H4v 64
to general Safety, as Cowley says in his Justification
of Brutus. “Can we stand by, and seeOur Mother robb’d, and bound and ravish’d be:Yet not to her Assistance stir,Pleas’d with the Strength and Beauty of the
Ravisher!
Or shall we fear to kill him, if beforeThe cancell’d Name of Friend he bore?Ingrateful Brutus do they call?Ingrateful sar, who could Rome enthral!An Act more barbarous and unnatural(In th’ exact Balance of true Virtue try’d)Than his Successor Nero’s Parricide. ”

But as Discourse of National Affairs is foreign
to my present Purpose, I shall take my leave
of this Head, with recommending to the World,
especially those of my own Sex, Good-nature and
Charity, in judging the Conduct of their Neighbours,
which is the only sure way to preserve
their own from Censure, be it ever so innocent.

The Letter signed Elismonda, with the Lady’s
Revenge
, is just come to Hand, with which we
are extremely delighted, and promise it shall not
fail being inserted in our next, Time not permitting
us to give it a Place in this.


End of the Thirteenth Book.

I1r


The
Female Spectator.


Book XIV.

According to the Assurance
given in our Twelfth Book, we
shall begin the Entertainment for
this Month with the Letter from
Claribella.


“To the Authors of the Female Spectator,
Ladies,
You cannot be insensible how little Compassion
the Woes, occasioned by Love,
find from this Iron-hearted Age; nor how
ready every one is, on the least Breach of Decorum,
to censure and condemn, without considering
either the Force of that Passion, which
those who are most upon their Guard against, Vol. III. I ‘have I1v 66
have not always the Power of restraining, or
what particular Circumstances may have concurred
to ensnare a young Creature into a Forgetfulness
of what she owes herself:—Her
Fault alone engrosses the Discourse and Attention
of the Town, and few there are will take
the Pains to enquire if any Excuses may be
made for it:—All the Misfortunes her Inadvertency
brings upon her are unpity’d, and
look’d upon as a just Punishment; all her former
Merit is no more remember’d; and People
no longer allow her to be possess’d of any
Virtues, if once detected in transgressing one.
I am sure you are too just not to condemn
such a Proceeding as highly cruel, and also too
generous, not to make some Allowances for
heedless Youth, when hurry’d on by an Excess
of Passion to Things which cooler Reason disapproves.
In this Confidence I take the Liberty to give
you the Narrative of an Adventure, which,
tho’ exactly true in every Circumstance, has in
it something equally surprizing with any that
the most celebrated Romance has presented
to us.
The Heroine of it, whom I shall distinguish
by the Name of Aliena, is the Daughter of a
Gentleman descended of a very antient Family,
who, from Father to Son, had, for a long
Succession of Ages, enjoyed an Estate, not inferior‘ferior I2r 67
to some of the Nobility; but by an unhappy
Attachment, in his immediate Predecessor,
to the Race of the Stewarts, was depriv’d
of the greatest Part of it; and as he had several
Children besides this Aliena, none of them, excepting
the eldest Son, could expect any other
Fortunes than their Education, which he indeed
took care should be very liberal.
But tho’ his paternal Tenderness seemed
equally divided among them all, and Aliena
had no more Opportunities of Improvement
than her other Sisters, yet did she make a much
greater Progress in every thing she was instructed
in than any of them; and as Nature
had bestowed on her a much larger Share of
Beauty, so was also her Genius more extensive
than that which either one who was elder, and
another a Year younger than herself, had to
boast of.
In fine, dear Ladies, she was at Fourteen
one of the most charming Creatures in the
World.—As her Father lived in London,
she went frequently to public Places, and those
Diversions which were too expensive for the
Narrowness of her Circumstances were, however,
not deny’d her:—She was never without
Tickets for the Masquerades, Ridotto’s,
Operas, Concerts, and Plays presented to her
by her Friends; none of whom but thought
themselves happy in her accompanying them to
these Entertainments.
‘I I2v 68 I was intimately acquainted with her, and
have often thought her one of the happiest of
our Sex, because, whether it was owing to her
good Conduct or good Fortune, she lived without
making any Enemies:—The Sweetness
of her Behaviour charm’d all who were Witnesses
of it; and tho’ there are many equally
innocent with herself, yet some have a certain
Sourness or Haughtiness in their Deportment,
which renders People industrious to find out
something to condemn them; and those who
think themselves insulted by any Airs of that
Kind are apt enough to construe to themselves,
or at least represent to others, the most harmless
Actions as highly criminal.
But Aliena was the Darling of all that
knew her;—wherever she came a general
and unfeign’d Pleasure diffused itself in every
Face through the whole Company: ’Tis
scarce possible to say whether she was more admir’d
by the Men, or loved by the Women:
—A Thing wonderful you will own, and
what some People take upon them to say is incompatible,
yet so in reality it was.—Dear,
sweet, agreeable, entertaining Aliena, how I lament
the sad Reverse of thy Condition!
But, Ladies, I detain you too long from the
promised Narrative; compelled by the resistless
Impulse of my Commiseration for this unfortunate
Creature, I have, perhaps, too much encroach’d
upon your Patience and that of your Rea- I3r 69
Readers, for which I ask Pardon of both, and
will now come to the Point.
Among the Number of Aliena’s Admirers
there was a Commander of one of his Majesty’s
Ships, a Gentleman of good Family, agreeable
Person, and handsome Fortune, exclusive of
his Commission:—Whether he had more the
Art of Perswasion than any of his Rivals, I will
not pretend to say; but it is certain, that either
his Merit or good Fortune rendered every thing
he said to her more acceptable than the most
courtly Addresses of any other Person.
To be brief, she loved him:—His Manner,
whatever it was, ensnared her young Heart,
and the Society of her dear Captain was preferable
to her to any other Joy the World could
give.
I am very well assured his Pretensions were
on an honourable Foot, otherwise they had been
rejected at the first; all her Acquaintance expected
every Day to hear of the Completion of
their Wishes by a happy Marriage; when contrary
to her, and it may be to his Expectations,
he was order’d to sail for the West-Indies, and
to be station’d there for three Years.
How terrible a Rebuff this was to her dearest
Hopes any one may judge, and the more so as
he did not press her to complete the Marriage
before his Departure:—She thought with ‘Reason, I3v 70
Reason, that if his Passion had been equal to
his Pretensions he would have rejoiced to have
secured her to himself; but instead of that, he
seemed rather less assiduous than he had been,
and seem’d more taken up with the Vexation
of being obliged to be so long absent from his
Native Country, than from that Person, whom
he had a thousand times sworn was infinitely
more valuable to him than any thing beside,
either in that or the whole World.
I will not pretend to be so well acquainted
with her Thoughts, as to say positively he had
never loved her; but, I believe you will be of
Opinion with me, that this Behaviour was far
from being the Indication of a sincere and ardent
Passion.
She had too much Wit not to perceive this
Slight, but too much Tenderness to resent it as
she ought to have done; and when he told
her, as he sometimes vouchsafed to do, that he
depended on her Constancy, and that he should
find her at his Return with the same Inclinations
he had left her possess’d of in his Favour,
she always answer’d, that it was impossible
for Time, Absence, or any other Sollicitations,
ever to prevail on her to call back that
Heart she had given him; and confirm’d the
Promise of preserving herself entirely for him
with all the Imprecations the most violent and
faithful Passion could suggest.
‘Had K1r 71 Had there been no Possibility for him to
have implor’d, nor she to have granted stronger
Assurances for his future Happiness, he doubtless
might, and ought to have been content
with these; but as there was Consent of Friends,
Licenses, and Wedding Rings easy to be had,
and Churches, Chapels, and Clergymen plenty,
no Impediment to prevent their being join’d
forever, how could the dull Insensible entertain
one Thought of going away without having
first settled so material a Point!
But in all the tender Interviews that pass’d
between them after the Arrival of those Orders,
which were to separate them for so long a Time,
he never once ask’d her to marry him; and as
he made no Offers that way, her Modesty
would not suffer her to be the first Proposer.
At length the cruel Day of taking leave was
come:—Never parting had more the Shew
of mournful: I say the Shew, because I cannot
think the Captain had any real Grief at Heart;
but on the Side of Aliena it was truly so: Yet
did not all she express’d in his Presence come
in any Competition with what she suffered
after he was gone.—No Description can
any way equal the Distraction she was in; I
shall therefore not attempt it, but leave you to
judge of the Cause by the Consequence.
For some Days she shut herself up, gave a
loose to Tears and to Complainings, and scarce Vol. III. K could K1v 72
could be prevailed upon to take needful Nourishment:
—Her Father’s Commands, however,
and Remonstrances, how much this Conduct
would incur the Ridicule of the World, at
last made her assume a more chearful Countenance,
and she consented to see Company,
and appear Abroad as usual; but while we all
thought her Grief was abated, it preyed with
greater Violence by being restrain’d, and inspir’d
her with a Resolution to sacrifice every thing she
had once valued herself upon, rather than continue
in the Condition she was.
In fine, one Day when she was thought to be
gone on a Visit to one of her Acquaintance, she
went to a Sale-Shop, equipt herself in the Habit
of a Man, or rather Boy, for being very short,
she seem’d in that Dress not to exceed twelve
or thirteen Years of Age at most.
Thinking herself not sufficiently disguised
even by this, she made her fine Flaxen Hair be
shaved, and covered her Head with a little
brown Wig; which wrought so great a Change
in her, that had her own Father happened to
have met her he would scarce have known her
after this Transformation.
But it was not her Intention to run that Hazard,
nor had she taken all this Pains to live
conceal’d in London: —She always knew
she loved the Captain, but knew not till now
with how much Violence she did so; or that ‘for K2r 73
for the Sake of being near him, she could forgo
all that ever had or ought to have been dear
to her.
I will not detain your Attention with any
Repetition of those Conflicts which must necessarily
rend her Bosom, while going about
the Execution of a Design, the most daring
sure that ever Woman formed:—You will
naturally conceive them when I acquaint you
what it was.
Not able to support Life without the Presence
of him who had her Heart, she seem’d
with her Habit to have thrown off all the Fears
and Modesty of Womanhood:—The fatal
Softness of our Sex alone remained; and that,
guided by the Dictates of an ungovernable
Passion, made her despise all Dangers, Hardships,
Infamy, and even Death itself.
She went directly to Gravesend, where her
Lover’s Ship lay yet at Anchor, waiting his
Arrival, who was gone into the Country to take
leave of some Relations. This she knew, and
resolved, if possible, to get herself entered on
board before he came, being unwilling he
should see her till they were under sail:—Not
that, as she has since declar’d, she had any
Thoughts of discovering herself to him in
case he knew her not, but that if he should happen
to do so, she might avoid any Arguments
he might make use of to dissuade her from an K2 ‘En K2v 74
Enterprize she was determined to pursue at all
Events, and even against the Inclination of him
for whose Sake she undertook it.
She was a great Admirer of an old Play of
Beaumont and Fletcher’s, call’d Philaster; Or,
Love lies a Bleeding
:—The Character of Bellario,
who, disguised like a Page, followed and
waited on her beloved Prince in all his Adventures,
strangely charm’d her, and she thought,
as her Passion was equal to that of any Woman
in the World, it would become her to attest
it by Actions equally extravagant; and in
the midst of all those Shocks, with which Reason
and Modesty at some Times shook her
Heart, felt a Pleasure in the Thoughts of attending
her dear Captain, being always about
him, doing little Services for him, and having
an Opportunity of observing his Behaviour on
all Occasions.
As she had often heard the Captain talk of his
First Lieutenant with a great deal of Friendship,
she thought him the most proper Person to address;
accordingly she waited till he came on
Shore, and went to his Lodgings, where being
easily admitted, she told him she had a great Inclination
to the Sea, but as her Age, and Want
of Skill in the Art of Navigation rendered her
unfit as yet for any Service, excepting that of
attending some or other of the Officers, she
begg’d to be received in the Station of a Cabbin-Boy:
—She added, that she had heard such ‘ex- K3r 75
extraordinary Praises of the Captain’s Humanity
and Gentleness to all belonging to him, that she
had an extreme Ambition to attend on him, if
such a Favour might be granted her.
The Lieutenant eyed her attentively all the
Time she was speaking, and was seized with a
something which he had never felt before, and at
that time was far from being able to account
for; and this secret Impulse it was that made
him unable to refuse her Request, tho’ he knew
very well that a sufficient Number of Boys had
been already enter’d: He told her, however,
that he could not give her an Assurance of being
employed about the Captain’s Person till
he had spoke to him concerning it, but that
since she seemed so desirous of it, he would use
all his Interest with him on that Score; and added
what she knew as well as himself, that he
was absent at that Time, but was expected to
arrive the same Day.
Aliena was highly content with the
Promise he made her, and not doubted but
when she was once in the Ship with him, she
should find out some Stratagem or other to
make him take Notice of her, and also to ingratiate
herself so much with him, as to occasion
him to take her under his own Care, even
though it should be her Fate at first to be placed
with any of the inferior Officers.
She thank’d the Lieutenant a thousand Times ‘over, K3v 76
over, and was ready to fall at his Feet in Token
of her Gratitude; but entreated he would continue
his Goodness so far as to order her to be
put on Board, lest he should, in the Hurry of
his Affairs, forget the Promise he had made,
and they should sail without her. To which he
answer’d, that she had no need to be under any
Apprehensions of that Sort, for he would send
his Servant with her to a House where there
were several Boys of the same Station, and he
believed much of the same Age, and that the
Long—Boat would put them all on Board that
Evening.
This entirely eased all her Scruples, and she
was beginning afresh to testify the Sense she had
of the Favour he did her, when some Company
coming in to visit the Lieutenant, he call’d
his Man, and sent him to conduct her to the
House he had mentioned.
There she found several Youths ready
equipt for their Voyage, and whose rough
athletic Countenances and robust Behaviour became
well enough the Vocation they had taken
upon them, but rendered them very unfit Companions
for the gentle, the delicate Aliena.
The Discourse they had with each other, the
Oaths they swore, and the Tricks they played
by way of diverting themselves, frighted her
almost out of her Intention; but she was much
more so when they began to lay their Hands on ‘her K4r 77
her to make one in their boisterous Exercises:
The more abash’d and terrify’d she look’d the
more rude they grew, and pinching her on the
Ribs, as Boys frequently do to one another,
one of them found she had Breasts, and cry’d
with a great Oath, that they had got a Girl
among them:—On this they were all for being
satisfy’d, and had doubtless treated her with
the most shocking Indecency, had not her Cries
brought up the Woman of the House, who
being informed of the Occasion of this Uproar,
took Aliena from them, and was going to carry
her into another Room, in order to learn the
Truth of this Adventure, when the Lieutenant
entered, and found his new Sailor all in Tears,
and the rest in a loud Laugh.
The Cause of all this was soon explained to
him, but the greatest Mistery was still behind,
nor did he find it very easy to come at; for
tho’ Aliena confess’d to him, and to the Landlady,
after they had taken her into a private
Room, that she was a Woman, yet who she was,
and the Motive which had induced her to disguise
herself in this Manner, she seem’d determin’d
to keep from their Knowledge, and only
begged that as her Design had miscarried, by
her Sex being so unfortunately discovered, they
would permit her to go without making any
further Enquiry concerning her.
But this Request the Lieutenant would by
no Means comply with; he now no longer ‘won- K4v 78
wonder’d at those secret Emotions which had
work’d about his Heart at first Sight of her,
and avow’d the Force of Nature, which is not
to be deceiv’d, tho’ the Senses may, and frequently
are.
He now indulg’d the Admiration of her
Beauty, much more than he would give himself
the Liberty of doing while he thought her
what her Habit spoke her, and look’d so long
till he entirely look’d away his Heart:—He
was really in Love with her, but was either
asham’d of being so for a young Creature, whose
Virtue and Discretion he had no Reason to
have a very high Idea of, or was awed by that
Respect which is inseparable from a true Affection,
from declaring himself: To whichever
of these Motives it was, I will not take upon
me to determine, but he was entirely silent on
that Head, and only told her in a gay Manner,
that as he had entered her on her earnest Desire,
he could not consent to discharge her without
knowing something more of her than that
she was a Woman:—‘Nay,’ added he, ‘even
of that I am not quite assured:—I have only
the Testimony of two or three Boys, who in such
a Case are not to be depended upon:—I think
that I ought, at least, to satisfy myself in that
Point.’
In speaking these Words he offered to pluck
her towards him, and the vile Woman of the
House, who had no Regard for any thing but her L1r 79
her own Interest, in obliging her Customers,
guessing the Lieutenant’s Designs, and perhaps
thinking them worse than they were in reality,
went out of the Room and left them together.
This, indeed, quite overcame all the Resolution
of Aliena; she thought she saw something
in the Eyes of the Lieutenant that, even more
than his Words, threatened her with all a Maid
of Honour and Condition had to dread; and
after having struggled with all her Might to
get loose of the hold he had taken of her,
threw herself at his Feet, and with a Flood of
Tears, and broken trembling Voice, conjured
him to have Pity on her and suffer her to depart.
‘If ever,’ said she, ‘you were taught to
revere Virtue in another, or love the Practice
of it yourself, if you have any Kindred whose
Chastity is dear to you, for their Sakes, and for
your own, commiserate a wretched Maid, whom,
Chance and her own Folly alone have thrown
into your Power.’
These Words, the Emphasis with which
they were deliver’d, and the Action that accompany’d
them, made the Lieutenant, who,
as it luckily prov’d for her, was really a Man
of Honour, shudder as she spoke them: —
He rais’d her from the Posture she had been in
with more Respect than indeed, considering
all Things, she could in Reason have expected;
desir’d she would not be under any Apprehensions
of his behaving to her in a Manner she Vol. III. L could L1v 80
not be brought to approve; but in return for
that Self-denial, he still insisted she would make
him the Confidante of the Motive which had
oblig’d her to expose herself to the Dangers she
had done.
‘Alas, Sir,’ answer’d she, still weeping, ‘as
for the Dangers you mention, and which I have
but too cruelly experienced, I never had once a
Thought of them; and as for any I might encounter
from the Inclemency of the Winds and
Waves, I despised them:—Whatever Hardships
I should have sustain’d in the Prosecution
of my intended Enterprize, would have afforded
me more Pleasure than Pain, had Fate permitted
me to have conceal’d undergone them:—Nay,
Death itself had been welcome, had it seiz’d me
on Board that Ship my Heart was bent to live
or die in:—But endless Grief and Misery is
now my Doom, since deny’d the last, the only Satisfaction
this wide World could give me.
Yet pardon me,’ continued she, ‘if I cannot let
you into the Secret of who I am, or what induced
me to this strange Ramble:—Let it
therefore content you to know I am not of the
lowest Rank of People;—that my Reputation
is not altogether my own, since my Family
will be Sufferers by my Fault, if known; and also
that how much soever my disguising myself in this
Manner may subject me to your Censure, yet my
very Soul shrinks at Dishonour, and that this
Action, which alone can be alledg’d against me, ‘is L2r 81
is a greater Disguise to my real Principles, than
my Habit has been to my Sex.’
The Lieutenant listen’d with all the Attention
she wish’d; every Syllable she uttered
sunk into his Soul:—His Love, his Admiration,
his Astonishment, increased every Moment;
but tho’ he began to feel more pure
Flames for her, than those he testify’d at his first
Information she was a Woman, yet they were
too ardent to permit him to let her go from
him without giving him some probable Hopes
of ever seeing her more: He gave a Turn indeed
to his Manner of treating her, yet still
gave her to understand, he would not part from
her without being made privy to every thing
he wish’d to know.
To this poor Aliena answer’d little but with
Tears; and while he continued pressing, she
evading, a Sailor came in to acquaint him the
Captain was arrived; on which he hastily took
leave, but before he left the House charg’d the
Landlady, as she valued his Friendship, not to
let the seeming Boy stir out of the Room.
This Aliena was ignorant of, till imagining
herself at Liberty, she was going down Stairs,
in order to quit a Place where she had nothing
but Ruin to expect, she was met by the Woman
of the House, who obliged her to turn
back, and then lock’d her into a Room, tellingL2 ‘ing L2v 82
her she must stay till the Return of the
Lieutenant.
Now had this unfortunate Creature full Liberty
to reflect on the Mischiefs she had brought
upon herself:—Night came on, and every
Moment came loaded with new Horrors: —
The Lieutenant return’d not, but as she was in
continual Apprehensions of him, she resolv’d
not to pluck off her Cloaths, nor even venture
to lie down on the Bed, lest she should fall into
a Sleep, and by that Means be rendered incapable
of resisting any Violence that might be
offer’d to her.
All Night long did she walk about the
Chamber, in an Agony of Mind which stands
in need of no Description, nor can be reach’d
by any:—Had the Window look’d into
the Street, she would certainly have jump’d
out, but being backwards, her Escape would
have been no farther than the Yard of the same
House, which, as she was wholly ignorant of
the Passages, left her no room to hope she
could get through without Discovery.
A thousand different Ideas rose in her
almost distracted Brain:—She fear’d the Lieutenant,
and saw no way to avoid him, but by
the Protection of the Captain, and how to acquaint
him with any thing of what had pass’d
she knew not;—at last she bethought herself
of attempting to do it even by the Lieutenant ‘him- L3r 83
himself; and accordingly when he came, as he
did pretty early in the Morning, she said to
him with all the Courage she could assume,
‘Sir, You insist on knowing who I am, which
I am determined to die rather than comply with:
There is but one way, by which you have a
Chance of gratifying your Curiosity:—Be the
Bearer of a Letter from me to your Captain: —
He knows me, and if he thinks fit will inform
you of every thing.’
The Lieutenant on this began to guess
somewhat of the Truth, and agreed to do as
she desir’d, and immediately call’d for Pen,
Ink, and Paper for her; which being brought,
she was not long writing these Lines.
‘To Captain ―― Unable to support your Absence, I followed
you in Disguise, desirous of no other
Happiness than to enjoy conceal’d your Sight: —
An unlucky Accident has discover’d me:—Your
First Lieutenant, whose Prisoner I now am, can
tell you by what Means:—For Heaven’s Sake
deliver me from his Power, that I may either return
to my Father, if he will rceceive me after
this Adventure, or die with Shame of it in some
obscure Corner of the World.’
She subscrib’d no Name, nor was there indeed
any Occasion for doing it to one so well
acquainted with the Characters of her Handwriting;‘writing, L3v 84
the Lieutenant suffered her to seal it
without once asking to see the Contents, and
gave his Word and Honour to deliver it the
same Hour into the Captain’s Hands, and bring
whatever Answer should be return’d.
He now, ’tis certain, began to see a good
deal into this extraordinary Affair:—He no
longer doubted but Love of the Captain had
been the Cause; but, ’tis highly probable, imagin’d
also that more had pass’d between that
Gentleman and his fair Charge than they in
reality were guilty of.
The generous Concern he had for her Youth
and Beauty, however, made him impatient to
see in what Manner her Lover would receive
this Billet; he therefore hurry’d away to his
Lodgings where he was strangely surpriz’d to
find a great Crowd of Officers and other People
about the Door, and on his going up Stairs
saw the Captain, and three Gentlemen, whom
he knew not engaged in a very warm Dispute.
—The Cause of it was this:
The Family of Aliena had no sooner miss’d
her than strict Search was made for her all over
the Town:—Accident at last discovered where
she had exchanged her Habit, and the Disguise
she had made Choice of made them naturally
conjecture on what Design she was gone; but
not being able to imagine that so young and
artless a Maid should have undertaken an Enterprize‘terprize L4r 85
of this bold Kind, concluded she
must have her Advisers and Exciters to it, and
who but the Captain could they suspect of being
so:—They were, therefore, assured in
their own Minds, that some private Correspondence
had been carry’d on between them since
his pretended taking Leave:—Incensed against
him, as had their Thoughts been true they
would have had the highest Reason, they complain’d
of the Insult, and obtained an Order to
search the Ship, and force her from this supposed
Betrayer of her Honour:—To this end,
they brought proper Officers with them to
Gravesend, and had the Assistance of others belonging
to that Place.
Before tthey proceeded to Extremities,
however, they went to the Captain’s Lodgings,
being told on their Arrival he was not yet gone
on Board:—At first the Father, an Uncle, and
a Cousin of Aliena’s, who all came down together,
remonstrated to him, in Terms tolerably
mild, how ungentlemanlike an Action it
was to delude a young Girl of Family, and to
whom he had made an honourable Courtship,
to quit her Friends, and accompany him in so
shameful a Manner; but finding he deny’d all
they accused him of, as well he might, they began
to grow extremely rough:—The Uncle,
who had some Interest at the Board of Admiralty,
told him he would shake his Commission,
and many such like Menaces: Which the Captain,
knowing his Innocence, was little able to ‘endure, L4v 86
endure, and their mutual Rage was expressing
itself in the highest Terms when the Lieutenant
enter’d.
This Gentleman listen’d for some Moments
to what was said, without speaking, and easily
perceiving, by the Repartees on both Sides, the
Meaning of what at his first Entrance seem’d so
astonishing:—‘Hold, Gentlemen,’ cry’d he to the
Kindred of Aliena, ‘your Passion has transported
you too far, and I dare say you will hereafter own
to be guilty of an Injustice you will be ashamed
of, when once the Truth comes to be reveal’d:—I
believe,’
continued he, ‘I am the only Person capable
of clearing up this Mistery; but before I
do so, beg leave to give a Letter to my Captain,
put into my Hands this Morning, for the safe Delivery
of which I have pawn’d my Honour.’
Not only the Captain, but those who came
to accuse him were surpriz’d at what he said;
but the former taking the Letter hastily out of
his Hands, and having read it with a great deal
of real Amazement, which I have heard them
all allow was very visible in his Countenance,
walk’d several Times about the Room with a
confus’d Emotion; then paus’d,—then walk’d
again, and paus’d again, as if uncertain how he
should behave in an Exigence which, it must be
own’d, demanded some Deliberation; the Father
and the Uncle of Aliena still crying out he
must produce the Girl, and growing clamorous,
Spleen, Pettishness, or a Value for his own Character‘racter, M1r 87
more than for that of the Woman he had
once pretended to adore, made him throw the
Letter upon the Table in an abrupt Manner, and
at the same time bad them go in search of the
Person they came in quest of; adding, that
what was wanting in the young Lady was owing
to her Want of proper Education, rather
than to any Insinuations or Crafts he had practised
on her.
The Father, finding it his Daughter’s Hand,
read it with a Shock which is not to be express’d;
and having given it to his Brother,
cry’d, ‘Where,—who is this Lieutenant, into
whose Power my poor unhappy Girl has fallen?’
‘I am the Person,’ said the Lieutenant, ‘and
but to clear my Captain from any Imputation of
a base Design, should not have spoke what I now
find myself obliged to do.’
He then related in what Manner Aliena came
to him, the Earnestness with which she begg’d
to be enter’d on Board; and in fine, neither
omitted nor added to any thing of the Truth.
This struck the Kindred of Aliena into the
utmost Confusion:—Every thing prov’d the
Innocence, and as even I, dear Ladies, who am
her Friend must own, the Folly of this unhappy
Girl; all blush’d and hung down their Heads
oppress’d with conscious Shame:—The
Captain pity’d the Consternation they were in,
Vol. III. M ‘and M1v 88
and his Heart, I cannot but think, throbb’d
for the Condition of Aliena:—‘Come,’ said
he to his Lieutenant, in as gay a Manner as
the Circumstance would admit, ‘let us go visit
the Lady who it seems is your Prisoner, and see
what Ransom will be demanded for her.’
The Lieutenant made no other Answer
than a low Bow, and immediately conducted
them, where they found the unfortunate Aliena
walking about the Room in her Boy’s Cloaths,
distracted in her Mind at what Reception her
Letter would find from the Captain, but little
thinking of the new Guests who now enter’d
her Chamber.
Oh, dear Spectator, think and judge what
this poor Soul must feel, at the Sight of her
Lover, her Father, and the nearest of her Kindred
thus at once presented to her:—What
might have excused her to the one, rendered
her criminal to the other; nor could the soft
Impulse of Love, coincide with what she owed
to Duty, and the Decorum of Reputation.
At seeing them thus altogether, she fell into
Faintings, from which she was recover’d but
to relapse again, and the first Words she spoke
were—‘I am ruin’d for ever.’‘You, Sir,’ said
she to her Father, ‘can never, I am sure, forgive
the Dishonour I have brought upon our Family:
—And you,’
pursued she, turning to the
Captain, ‘what can you think of the wretched Aliena! M2r 89
Aliena! This very Proof I have given you of my
Love, the extremest, the tenderest Love that
ever Heart was capable of feeling, even you
may censure as not consistent with the Prudence
and Decorum of my Sex:—Oh wretched!—
Wretched am I every way, by all deservedly abandoned.’
The Condition they saw her in disarmed
her Kindred of great Part of the Indignation
they had before been full of, and hearing the
Captain testify abundance of tender Concern
for the Hazards to which she had expos’d
herself for his Sake, they withdrew to a Window,
and after a short Consultation, desir’d the
Captain to go with them into another Room;
which Request he readily complying with, the
Father of Aliena told him, that as he had
courted his Daughter, and so far engag’d her
Affections as to be induced by them to take a
Step so contrary to Duty and Reputation, he
thought it would become him to silence the
Reproaches of the World by marrying her before
he embark’d.
The Captain not returning an immediate
Answer to this Proposal, gave Opportunity to
the Uncle and Cousin of Aliena to second what
the Father had said; and they made use of
many Arguments to convince him, that in Honour
and Conscience he ought not to depart
and leave her to be exposed to Calumny for M2 an M2v 90
an Action, of which he had been the sole
Cause.
To all which, as soon as they had done
speaking, the Captain reply’d, that he desired
no greater Happiness in Life than being the
Husband of Aliena, provided the Duties of his
Post had not called him so suddenly away; but
as he must not only be immediately snatched
from her Arms, but also be absent thence
for so long a time, he thought it inconsistent,
either with Love or Reason, to leave her a
Wife under such Circumstances:—That
if her Affection was as well rooted as she said
it was, she would doubtless have the Patience to
wait his Return, and that if he heard nothing
on her Part which should oblige him to change
the Sentiments he at present had, he should
then himself be a Petitioner for her Hand.
On this they told him, he had no Reason to
suspect the Sincerity of her Love, she had given
but too substantial a Proof of it, by the mad
Exploit she had undertaken.
‘Do not think me ungrateful,’ answer’d he
hastily, ‘if I say it is a Proof of the Violence of
it, which I see with more Grief than Satisfaction;
because Actions of this Kind are judged by those
who view them with different Eyes, as somewhat
romantic, and occasion a good deal of idle Ridicule
among the laughing Part of the World: —
But,’
continued he, ‘as Constancy more than Vehemence‘hemence M3r 91
of Affection is requisite to render the
conjugal State a happy one, it is Time alone can
assure me of Felicity with the Lady in question:
—For which Reason I must not think of entering
into any Bonds of the Nature you mention
till after my Return.’
This Answer, determinate as it was, did
not make them give over; but all they urged
was preaching to the Wind, and the more they
seemed to resent his Refusal, the more obstinately
he persisted in it; and they were obliged to
leave Gravesend, taking with them the disconsolate
Aliena, no less dissatisfy’d in their Minds
than when they came into it.
How changed is now the Fate of this young
Lady!—The Idol once of her Acquaintance,
the Pity now of some, and the Contempt of
others.—The Search made for her in Town
after her Elopement made the Affair no Secret:
Every one talks and judges of it according to
their different Humours; but few there are who
put the best Construction:—Sensible of this,
she rarely stirs Abroad, and at Home is treated
in a Manner quite the reverse of what she was
accustomed to be before this Accident:—Her
Father and Brothers look on her as a Blemish
to their Family, and her Sisters take every Opportunity
to reproach her.—The Captain has
never wrote to her since he went, tho’ several
Letters from him have been receiv’d by others:
—In fine, ’tis impossible to paint her Situation‘tion M3v 92
so truly miserable as it is:—All I can say
gives but a faint Idea of it; yet such as it is, I
flatter myself, will be sufficient to induce you to
make her Innocence as public as possible, by
inserting this faithful Account of the whole
Affair.
I am also pretty confident that the Goodnature
which seems to sparkle through all your
Writings, besides the common Interest of our
Sex, will make you a little expatiate on the ungenerous
Proceeding of the Captain:—The
more Honour he may have in other Respects,
the less he is to be excused in regard to Aliena;
since it was that very Honour which betrayed
her into a fatal Confidence of his Love and
Sincerity.
Had he been possess’d of a much less Share
of Passion for her than he had profess’d, or had
she even been indifferent to him, Gratitude,
methinks, should have made him marry her,
since there was no other Way to heal the
Wounds she had given her Reputation for his
Sake.
But I will not anticipate your Judgments
on this Head, and after begging Pardon for this
long Letter, conclude with assuring you that

I am, Ladies,
Your sincere Well-;wisher,
And most humble Servant,

Claribella.

Of M4r 93

Of all the Letters with which the Female Spectator
has been favour’d, none gave us a greater
Mixture of Pain and Pleasure than this:—’Tis
difficult to say whether the unhappy Story it contains,
or the agreeable Manner in which it is related,
most engages our Attention; but while we
do Justice to the Historian, and pity the unfortunate
Lady, in whose Cause she has employ’d her
Pen, we must be wary how we excuse her Faults
so far as to hinder others from being upon their
Guard not to fall into the same.

Euphrosine, whose strict Adherence
to filial Duty has been taken Notice of in one of
our former Lucubrations, cannot tell how to for
give Aliena for so palpable a Breach of that, as
well as of Modesty, in quitting her Father’s
House in a manner, which, indeed, one would
imagine, the bare Thought of would strike too
much of Horror into a virtuous Mind to be able
to carry it into Execution.

It is certain that nothing can be more astonishing
than that so young a Creatuare, bred up in the
strictest Principles of Virtue, and endued with the
Perfections Claribella ascribes to her, could all at
once throw off every Consideration of what she
owed herself, —her Family, and her Sex, to expose
herself to such wild Hazards, the least of
which was worse than Death.

To M4v 94

To us it seems plain, that how much Wit soever
she may be Mistress of in Conversation, she
is altogether incapable of making any solid Reflections:
—There must be a romantic Turn
in her Mind, which may have been heighten’d by
reading those extravagant Fictions with which
some Books abound:—This Claribella seems to
think herself, by her mentioning the Fondness
her fair unhappy Friend testify’d for the Character
of Bellario:—As she thought it an amiable
one, it is not therefore to be wonder’d at that she
copy’d after it.

If Poets would consider how great an Effect
their Writings have upon the Minds of young
People, they would surely never paint whatever
is an Error in Conduct in too beautiful Colours,
nor endeavour to excite Pity on the Stage for
those Actions, which every where else justly incurr
both Punishment and Contempt; but too many of
them, as well ancient as modern, have seem’d to
employ their whole Art in touching the Passions,
without any Regard to the Morals of an Audience;
as a very judicious Italian Author once
said of them:

“Oltramontani non sono zelanti delle buone regele
de Modestia & de Prudenza.”

That is, “Those on the other Side the Mountains
make no Scruple of breaking the good
Laws of Modesty and Prudence.”

A N1r 95

A gentle, generous, tender Soul we are ready
to allow her, but must at the same time say,
that such a Disposition where it happens to be
join’d with a weak Judgment, is extremely dangerous
to the Person possess’d of it; because it
often transports such a one to Excesses, by which
the best Virtues may become Vices.

This was evidently the Case in regard of Aliena:
—Her Love for the Captain, as his Addresses
were honourable, was natural, and nothing
in it which could arraign her Prudence or her
Modesty:—The Grief she was under at the
Necessity of parting with him for so long a Time,
and even her soft Desires of being united to him
before their Separation, had something amiable in
them: Had she stuck there, and preserved her
Heart and Person till his Return, and he had
afterwards proved ungrateful or inconstant to such
Love and Sweetness, no Reproaches could have
been equal to his Crime; but I am sorry to say,
that by giving too great a loose to those Qualities,
which kept within due Limits had been
worthy Praise and Imitation, she forfeited all
Pretensions to the Esteem of the Man she lov’d,
as well as of those least interested in the Affair.

The Female Spectator must not therefore be
so far sway’d either by her own Good nature, or
the Desires of Claribella, as to attempt framing
any Excuse for those very Errors in Conduct
which these Monthly Essays are intended only to
reform.

Vol. III. N Neither N1v 96

Neither is it possible to comply with the
Request of this agreeable Correspondent in passing
too severe a Judgment on the Captain’s Behaviour:
—He might before this unhappy Incident
have had a very sincere Passion for Aliena,
yet Prudence might suggest to him many Inconveniences
attending the leaving so young a Wife
to herself immediately after Marriage:—He
imagin’d, perhaps, that in his Absence she might
be exposed to Trials her extreme Youth and Inexperience
of the World, would fail enabling her
to bear, with that Resolution and Intrepidity
which her Honour, or at least her Reputation, demanded,
and might possibly reason with himself
in this Manner. “If the Tenderness she seems to
regard me with has taken any deep Root in her
Soul, and she has really found any Thing in me worthy
of a serious Affection, she will doubtless preserve
herself for me till my Return; but if it be
light and wavering, Marriage will be too weak to
fix it, and I could with less Grief support the Inconstancy
of a Mistress than a Wife.”

Such Reflections as these, I say, were very natural
to a thinking Man:__ Marriage is a Thing
of too serious a Nature to be entered into inconsiderately
or wantonly, as the very Ceremony of it,
as establish’d in our Church, informs us; and
those who rashly take the sacred Bonds upon
them, are in very great Danger of soon growing
weary of them.

The N2r 97

The Captain’s Love for Aliena therefore might
not be less tender for its being more solid than
perhaps the Impetuousity of her Passion made her
wish it was:—For my Part, I see no Reason
that could induce him to counterfeit an Inclination
which he felt not in reality:—The Lady had no
Fortune, he aimed at nothing dishonourable, and
doubtless meant, as he said, to have made her his
Wife, had not this unexpected Separation happened.

To this Claribella may probably reply, that
whatever Doubts might have arisen in his Mind
concerning her Constancy before he took Leave
of her, the Design she afterwards form’d of accompanying
him in all his Dangers, and the Pains
she took for the Accomplishment of that Enterprize,
was a Proof that her very Life was wrapt
up in him, and that there was not the least Likelihood
she ever could be brought to regard any
thing in Competition with him.

Nobody can, indeed, deny the Greatness of
her Affection at that Time, nor affirm that it
would not have been as lasting as it was violent;
yet I have known some who have run as extravagant
Lengths, even to their own Ruin, for the
Accomplishment of their Wishes, and no sooner
were in Possession of them, than they repented
what they had done, and became indifferent, if
no worse, to the Person they but lately idolized.

N2 Be- N2v 98

Besides, as I have taken Notice in a former
Spectator, and every one may be convinced of by
a very little Observation, it rarely happens, that a
Person so young as Aliena can be a Judge of her
own Heart, and therefore the Captain may very
well deserve to be excused for not being able to
place so great a Dependance on her present Tenderness,
as I will not say but it might in reality
have demanded. The Poet tells us, “There’s no such Thing as Constancy we call;Faith tyes not Hearts, ’tis Inclination all:Some Wit deformed, or Beauty much decay’d,First, Constancy in Love, a Virtue made:From Friendship they that Land-Mark did remove,And
falsely plac’d it on the Bounds of Love. ”

Upon the whole it is the concurrent Opinion
of our Society, that how much soever the making
her his Wife, under such Circumstances, might
have magnify’d his Love, it would have lessened
his Prudence; and had she in so long an Absence
behaved with more Conduct than could be well
expected, from a Woman who had the strongest
Passions, and had testify’d she regarded nothing
but the Gratification of them, the Reputation of
his Wisdom, in running so great a Hazard, must
however have suffer’d very much.

These Reasons oblige us to acquit the Captain
of all Ingratitude, so far as relates to the main Point; N3r 99
Point; but we cannot do so, as to his not writing
to her:—He ought certainly to have taken
all the Opportunities which the Distance between
them would admit, to console her under
Afflictions, which he must be sensible were unavoidable
in Circumstances such as hers; and that
he has not done so looks as if the Gravesend Affair
had made an Alteration in the Sentiments he
once had in her Favour.

If it has happened thus, as there is too much
Probability it has, the greatest Act of Friendship
to Aliena, is to wean her as much as possible from
all Remembrance of their former Loves; and perhaps
this is the very Reason that her Relations
treat her with so much Harshness, since nothing
so much contributes to give one a Distaste to
what has been too dear, as to be perpetually
teaz’d and reproach’d for it by those we live
with, and whom it is our Interest to keep well
with:—I can by no other Motive account for,
or excuse the Cruelty of her Brothers and Sisters,
since it is certain her innate Griefs are a sufficient
Punishment for her Transgression, without any
Addition from another Quarter.

I would have them, however, be cautious,
and not try the Experiment too far, lest they
should drive her to such Extremes, as would make
them afterwards repent being the Cause of.

Numbers of unhappy Creatures now groan
under lasting Infamy, who, had their first Fault been N3v 100
been forgiven, and as much as possible conceal’d
from the Knowledge of the World, perhaps had,
by a future Regularity of Conduct, attoned for
the Errors of the Past, and been as great a Comfort
to their Families as they have since been a
Disgrace.

Instances of young People who, after the
first Wound given to their Reputation, have
thought themselves under no manner of Restraint,
and abandon’d all Sense of Shame, are so flagrant,
that I wonder any Parent or Relation should not
tremble at publishing a Fault, which, if conceal’d,
might possibly be the last; but if divulg’d, is, for
the most Part, but the Beginning or Prelude to a
continued Series of Vice and Ignominy.

I am very much afraid of the Friends of Aliena
have been too forgetful of this so necessary a
Maxim:—The Surprize and Indignation at her
Elopement, when they first discovered it, hurry’d
them, perhaps, to Enquiries, which, tho’ they
could not be blam’d for making, should, notwithstanding,
have been done with all the Privacy
imaginable.

If I mistake their Behaviour in this Point, I
heartily ask Pardon; but am led into it by Claribella’s
Letter, who, by desiring me to insert the
Story in Vindication of her Friend’s Innocence,
gives me Reason to believe it has been but too
publickly aspersed; for when any thing of that
Nature comes to be the Talk of the Town, it is always N4r 101
always sure to appear in its worst Colours. As
Hudibras ludicrously says: “Honour is like that glassy Bubble,Which gives Philosophers such Trouble:Whose least Part flaw’d, the whole does fly,And Wits are crack’d to find out why. ”

I would therefore advise, that Aliena should,
for the future, be used with more Gentleness; if
one may judge of her Dispositions by the Expressions
she made use of to the Lieutenant after the
Discovery of her Sex, she is sufficiently ashamed
of her Folly, and needs no Upbraidings to convince
her of it:—Her Condition, in my Opinion,
now requires Balsams nor Corrosives; for
tho’ ill Usage may bring her to hate the Remembrance
of him, and of that Passion which has subjected
her to it, it may also bring her, in time, to
hate every thing else, even her own Life, and fall
into a Despair, which, I presume, none of them
would wish to see.

The Sincerity and Good-nature of Claribella
can never be too much applauded; and however
partial we may think her in this Affair, as the
Warmth of Friendship could only sway a Lady
of her fine Understanding to be so, the Cause
renders the Effect rather amiable than the contrary.
—We shall always receive with Pleasure
whatever we shall be favour’d with from so agreeable
ble a Correspondent, and wish she may find in all
those who are so happy to enjoy her Conversation the N4v 202102
the same Zeal and Generosity, as it is easy to perceive
by her Manner of writing her own Soul
abounds with.

Whether these Monthly Esssays answer the
great End proposed by them, of conducing in some
Measure to that Rectification of Manners which
this Age stands in so much need of, we cannot yet
be able to determine; but of this we are certain,
by the Letters we receive, that Wit, and the
Love of Virtue are not altogether banish’d the
Realm: The following, as well as many we already
have had the Pleasure of transmitting to
the Public, is a Proof of it.

“To the Female Spectator.
Madam,
As I perceive you intersperse your moral
Reflections with such Adventures as
promise either Instruction or Entertainment to
your Readers, I take the Liberty of enclosing
a little Narrative, which I can answer is a recent
Transaction, and the Truth of it known
to a great many others as well as myself.
I shall make no Apology for any Blunders
in Stile, having drawn up as well as I
could, and leave the Correction and Amendment
to your more elegant and judicious Pen,
which I am well convinced can smooth the harshest O1r 103
harshest Expression, and extract even Gold from
the coarsest Metal.—I am, with the most
perfect Admiration and good Wishes for your
Undertaking,

Madam,
Your very humble Servant,
And Subscriber,
Elismonda.”

TheLady’s Revenge.

Among the Number of those gay Gallants
who pride themselves on being distinguish’d
at all public Places, none had more Reason
to boast of the modish Accomplishments than
Ziphranes: He sung, danc’d, dress’d well;—had
the Knack of setting off, to the best Advantage,
his Family, his Fortune, and his Person: —
Knew how to trace his Ancestors long before the
Conquest; to discover some particular Perfection
in every Acre of his Land, and to give all his
Limbs and Features such Gestures as his Glass
inform’d him would be most becoming:—In
fine, he was what we Women call a mighty pretty
Fellow: For as the Poet too justly says of us, “Our thoughtless Sex is caught by outward FormAnd empty Noise, and loves itself in Man. ”

As he either found or thought himself admir’d vol. III. O by O1v 104
by all the Ladies he conversed with, he in Return
seem’d to admire them all:—Many Friendships
were broke, and great Annimosities have
arose on the Score of this Almanzor in Love,
who triumph’d wherever he came, without giving
any of the fair Contenders for his Heart leave
to think she had the Power of entirely subduing
it:—If one seem’d to have the Advantage over
him Today, she was sure of yielding it Tomorrow
to some other Beauty, who again lost it in her
Turn:—Nay, sometimes in the same Hour he
would press one Lady by the Hand, whisper a
soft thing in the Ear of another, look dying on
a third, and present a Love Sonnet of his own
composing to a fourth.

In this Manner did he divide his Favours till
he became acquainted with Barsina, a Lady of a
good Fortune and very agreeable Person:—She
lived mostly in the Country, and when she was in
Town kept but little Company, and seldom appear’d
in any public Place:—She was, indeed,
more reserved than any one I ever knew of her
Age and Circumstances; and tho’ she had an Infinity
of Wit, chose rather to be thought to have
none, than to expose it by speaking more than she
thought consistent with that Modesty, which she
set the higher Value upon, as she saw others value
it so little.

It was, perhaps, as much owing to this Character
of Reserve as to any other Perfection in
her, tho’ few Women can boast of greater, that made O2r 105
made the Conquest of her Heart more flattering
to the Vanity of Ziphranes, than any he had yet
gain’d:—But be that as it may, he approach’d
her with a different kind of Homage to what he
had ever paid to any other Woman; and not only
gave her that Proof of his serious Attachment,
but also a much greater, which was this: He entirely
gave over his Gallantries to every former
Object of them, and confined his Addresses to
her alone, to the Astonishment of all his Acquaintance,
who spoke of it as a Prodigy, and cry’d,
“Who would have believ’d it—Ziphranes is
grown constant!”

This Change in his Behaviour, join’d with a
secret liking of his Person, and the Sanction of a
near Relation’s Perswasion, who had introduced
him to her, and thought they would be a proper
Match for one another, engag’d her to receive
him in quality of a Lover; tho’ long it was before
he could prevail on her to acknowledge she
did so through any other Motive than meerly in
Compliance with the Request of a Person so nearly
allied to her.

To make Trial of his Perseverance, she pretended
Business call’d her into the Country; he
begg’d Leave to accompany her, but that not
being permitted, he follow’d to her Retirement,
took Lodgings as near her as he could, and visited
her every Day, renewing the Declarations he had
made in Town, nor would return till she had
fixed the Day for coming also.

O2 As O2v 106

As she came in the Stage-Coach, she could not
prevent him from doing so too, if she had been
affected enough to attempt it: Yet could not all
his Assiduity, his Vows, his Protestations, meet
any farther Reward than the bare Acceptance of
them.

By Degrees, however, he gain’d further on
her, and got the better of that cruel Caution
which had given him so much Trouble; and she
at last confess’d, that she thought him worthy of
every thing a Woman of Honour could bestow.

With what Rapture he express’d himself at
hearing these long wish’d-for Words any one may
judge, by the Pains he had taken to induce her
to speak them.—He had now nothing to do
but to press for the Confirmation of his Happiness,
and in the most tender Terms beseech’d her
to settle a Day for that Purpose; to which she
blushing answer’d, he must depend for that on
the Gentleman who first brought them acquainted,
and had always been so much his Friend.

This he seem’d very well satisfy’d with, as
she doubted not but he would, and as she knew
the Person she mention’d had greatly promoted
the Interest of his Love; and she now began to
set herself to think seriously on Marriage, as of a
State she should soon enter into.—Some Days,
however, pass’d over without her hearing any
thing of the Matter, than that Ziphranes told
her, that he had been to wait on her Cousin, but had O3r 107
had not the good Fortune to meet with him at
home.

Prepossessed as she was in favour of this
Lover, it seem’d a little strange to her, that the
Vehemence of the Passion he profess’d, should
not influence him to watch Night and Day for
the Sight of a Person to whom she had refer’d
the Grant of what he had seemed so ardently to
desire:—Besides, she very well knew there
could have been no Difficulty in finding him, had
the other attempted it in good earnest; and this,
with the Imagination that she observed somewhat
of a less Tenderness than usual in his Looks and
Behaviour to her, fill’d her with very perplexing
Agitations.

A week was hardly elaps’d, since she made
him that soft Concession above recited, when he
sent to acquaint her, he was extremely indisposed
with a Cold, and could not have the Pleasure of
waiting on her.

This Message, and the Manner in which it
was deliver’d, heighten’d her Suspicions, that she
had deceiv’d herself in an Opinion either of his
Love or Honour:—“I am betray’d,” cry’d she
in a good deal of Agony of Spirit, “it is owing to
the Coldness of his own Heart, not any the Inclemency
of the Season has inflicted on him, that he
absents himself.”

She kept her Vexation conceal’d however, and tho’ O3v 108
tho’ her Relation had visited her several Times
since she had seen Ziphranes, she never once mentioned
any thing concerning him, till that Gentleman
one Day, in a gay Humour, said to her,
“Well, Cousin, how thrive my Friend’s Hopes? —
When are we to see you a Bride?”
On which, before
she was aware, she cry’d, “I am not the proper
Person to be ask’d that Question:—What does
Ziphranes say?”

“I cannot expect that Confidence from him,
which you so near a Relation deny,”
answer’d he;
“but indeed I wanted to talk a little seriously to you
on that Head:—I am afraid there is some
Brulêe between you, for I have met him two or
three Times, and he rather seems to shun than
court my Company.”

To hear he was abroad at the Time he had
pretended Sickness, and that he had seen the very
Person to whom she had consign’d the disposing
of herself, without speaking any thing to him of
the Affair, was sufficient to have opened the Eyes
of a Woman of much less Penetration and Judgment
than she was:—She was at once convinced
of his Falshood and Ingratitude, and the Indignation
of having been so basely imposed upon was
about to shew itself, by telling the whole Story
to her Cousin, when some Ladies that Instant
coming in to visit her prevented it.

No Opportunity offering that Night to disburthen
the inward Agony she was inflam’d with, by O4r 109
by reason her Cousin went away before the rest
of the Company took Leave, she pass’d the
Hours till Morning in a Situation more easy to
be conceiv’d than describ’d.

She would have given the World, had she been
Mistress of it, to have been able to have assign’d,
some Reason for so sudden a Change in a Person,
whose Love and Constancy she had as many Testimonies
of as were in the Power of Man to give:
—The more she reflected on his past and present
Behaviour, the more she was confounded; and
how far soever he had insinuated himself into her
Heart, she suffered yet more from her Astonishment
than she did from her abused Affection.

The Greatness of her Spirit, as well as her natural
Modesty and Reserve, would not permit
her either to write, or send to know the Meaning
of his Absence; and her Cousin not happening to
come again, she had none on whose Discretion
she could enough rely to make a Confidant on in
an Affair, which she look’d upon as so shameful
to herself; and endur’d for three Days longer a
Suspence more painful than the Certainty which
the fourth produced had the Power of inflicting.

As soon as she rung her Bell in the Morning,
her Maid brought a Letter which she told her
was left for her very early, by a Servant belonging
to Ziphranes.—“Ziphranes”, cry’d Barsina, with
a Hurry of Spirits which that Moment she had
not Command enough over herself to be able either O4v 110
either to repel or to conceal,—“What is it he can
say?”

“To Barsina.
Madam,
Since I had last the Honour of waiting
on you, a Proposal of Marriage was
made to me, which I found is very much to
my Convenience to accept; and I did so the
rather, as I knew there was too little Love on
your Side to render it any Disappointment: —
I thought myself obliged to acquaint you with
it before you heard it from any other Hand;
and wish you as happy with some more deserving
Man as I hope this Morning will make
me:—I shall always continue to think of
you with the greatest Respect, and am,
Madam,
Your most humble,
And most obedient Servant.
Ziphranes.”

What she felt on reading this Letter any Woman
who, without Love, has the least Pride or
Sense of Resentment may judge; but as Barsina
had certainly once a very great Share of Regard
for this perfidious Prophaner of the most ardent
Vows and Protestations, her Affliction must be
violent indeed, at the first News of his Inconstancy.

But P1r 111

But whatever it was, with her usual Prudence,
she confin’d it to her own Breast, and tho’ that
Day, and several succeeding ones, she heard of
nothing but Ziphranes’s Marriage, and the Wonder
every one express’d at the Suddenness of it,
as well as that it was to any other than herself;
yet did she so well stifle all the Emotions of her
Soul, that none could perceive she was the least
disturb’d at it.

His ungenerous Behaviour had doubtless turn’d
her Heart entirely against him:—She soon grew
to despise him much more than ever she had
loved; but then the Thought how much she had
been deceiv’d in him, and that he had it in his
Power to boast that he had made an Impression
on her, gave her the most poignant Anguish.

In fine, all the Passion she now had for him was
Revenge, and by what Method she should inflict
a Punishment, in some measure proportionable to
his Crime, took up her whole Thoughts; and at
last having hit on one to her Mind, was not long
before she accomplish’d it.

She knew he was accustomed to walk every
Day in the Park, and being informed that since
his Marriage he continued to do so, she made it
her Business to throw herself in his Way; and
meeting him according to her Wish, accompany’d
only with an old Gentleman, who did not seem
to be a Person of any very great Consequence,
she went directly up to him, and told him she Vol. III. P desir’d P1v 112
desir’d to speak with him, on which the other immediately
took Leave.

Ziphranes was so confounded at the
Sight of her, that he was scarce able to return the
Salutation she gave him with the Complaisance
of a Gentleman; which she perceiving, to add to
his Mortification, told him she did so, but added
with a great deal of seeming Gaiety, that he had
no Reason to be under any manner of Concern;
for tho’ his quitting her for another was extremely
cruel, he had it in his Power to attone, and it
was for that End she came to seek him.

All this, which he could not but look on as
Raillery, was very surprizing to him from a Woman
of her serious and reserved Temper: —
And his Confusion both at that, and meeting her,
was still so great, that he could not answer it in
kind as he would have done, had he been more
Master of himself, and it was but with a stammering
Voice he at last drawled out, that he should
rejoice to oblige her in any thing he could.

What a Force has conscious Guilt!—How
mean, how cowardly does a base Action render
one!—He who found it easy to commit the
Crime, trembled at the Reproaches it deserv’d: —
Barsina felt a gloomy Satisfaction in her Mind at
the Pain he was in, but that was little to what her
Resentment demanded; and it was necessary to
ease his present Disquiets, in order to have it in her P2r 113
her Power to inflict on him others of a more terrible
Nature.

She therefore assumed as much Softness in her
Eyes and Voice, as a Person not accustomed to
Dissimulation could possibly put on, and with a
half Sigh, “Well, Ziphranes, I accuse you not,” said
she; “Love I know is an involuntary Passion, and besides
I have heard say there is a Fate in Marriage
which is not to be withstood:—I only think the
long Acquaintance we had together ought not to
have been so abruptly broke off:—I might
have expected you would have taken one tender
Leave of me at least!”

He was beginning to make some pitiful Excuse
or other for his Behaviour in this Point, but
she would not suffer him to go on:—“Say nothing
of it,”
interrupted she, “what is done is past
Recall; but if you would have me think you ever
meant me fair, or that all the Vows you made were
but to ensnare and triumph over my artless Innocence,
you must comply with the Request I now
make you, which is to let me see you once more at
my Lodgings:—You may depend on hearing no
Upbraidings:—I desire no more than to take
a last Farewel, and if you gratify me in this, which
I know you will think, and I confess, is but a Whim,
I give you my solemn Promise never more to trouble
you.”

Such an Invitation, and deliver’d in this Manner
from a Mouth, whom he had Reason to believeP2 lieve P2v 114
would have been filled with Expressions of a
vastly different Sort, might very well amaze him:
—He thought her Behaviour, as indeed it was,
a little out of Nature, and quite the reverse of
that Reserve and perfect Modesty she had formerly
treated him with; but to whatever Source this
Change in her was owing, he could not be so unpolite
as to refuse what she desir’d of him, and
it was agreed between them that he should breakfast
with her the next Morning.

Accordingly he came; she received him
with great Civility, but somewhat more serious
and more like herself than the Day before: —
Chocolate was served up, and the Maid attending
while they breakfasted, Barsina entertain’d
him only with Discourses on ordinary Affairs. —
When they had done, she order’d a Bottle of Cyprus
Wine to be set upon the Table, and made a
Sign to her Servant to leave the Room.

Now being alone together she fill’d out two
Glasses, and presented one to Ziphranes, but he
desir’d to be excused, telling her he never drank
any Sort of Wine in a Morning.—“You must break
through that Custom for once,”
said she smiling;
“and to engage you to do so, as well as to shew I
have not the least Animosity to the Lady who has
supplanted me in your Affections, the Toast shall
be Health and Happiness to your Bride. This,
sure, you will not offer to refuse.”

With these Words she put the Glass a second Time P3r 115
Time into his Hand, “Well, Madam,” answer’d he,
“it would not become me to disobey you, since you so
much insist upon it:—I will do myself the Honour
to pledge you.”

She then drank the above-mention’d Health,
and he having drain’d his Glass to the same, “Now
I am satisfy’d”
, cry’d she, “tho’ my cruel Stars deny’d
me the Pleasure of living with you, we shall
die together, at least:—I drank my happy Rival’s
Health sincerely, and may she enjoy long Life, and
many prosperous Days, if she can do so without Ziphranes,
but for a little, a very little longer shall
she triumph with him over the forsaken Barsina.”

“What is it you mean, Madam!” said he
hastily. “That you have drank your Bane,” answer’d
she: “The Wine I gave you, and partook of myself,
was mix’d with the most deadly Poyson, nor is it
in the Power of Art to save the Life of either
of us.”

“You would not do so sure!” cry’d he: “What
could I do but die”
, reply’d she, “when your Inconstancy
had made Life a Burthen not to be borne?
and to have dy’d without you would have been
mean and poor, unworthy of my Love or my Revenge:
—Now both are gratify’d.”

’Tis a Question whether these last Words
reach’d his Ears, for before she had quite given
over speaking, he started up and ran out of the
Room like a Man distracted, uttering a Volley of P3v 116
of Curses on her, and on himself, as he went
down the Stairs.

What Effect the Draught had on Barsina,
and what kind of Reflections enter’d her Head,
when left to think seriously on what she had done,
the Reader shall hereafter be inform’d at full; but
we must now follow Ziphranes, who had not the
least Inclination to die, and see how he behav’d
in a Situation so terrible to him.

The Moment he got within his own Doors he
sent for a Physician, told him he had swallowed
Poyson, and that he had Reason to fear it was of
the most mortal Kind; tho’ by whom administer’d,
and for what Cause, he kept a Secret, not
to alarm his Wife.—Oyl was the first Thing
judged necessary, great Quantities of which he
took; but nothing appearing but what any Stomach
thus agitated might disgorge, more powerful
Emetics were prescrib’d; but even these had
no other Effect than to throw him into fainting
Fits:—Yet low and weak as he was, he continually
cry’d out, “Have I yet evacuated the Poyson?”
and being answer’d in the Negative, told
the Doctor and Apothecary that they were ignorant
Fellows, and he would have others sent for.

It was in vain, the one assured him that
there was not in the whole Materia Medica a
more efficacious Medicine than what he had prescrib’d;
or that the other alledg’d, his Shop affordedforded P4r 117
the very best Drugs in Town; he still
called out for better Advice, and accordingly two
others of the same Faculty were sent for.

These said that it was possible the Poyson
might be lodg’d in some of the secretory Passages,
and therefore the former Prescription, which
could reach no farther than the Primæ Viæ, wanted
its due Effect:—That there was a Necessity
for the whole Viscera to be cleansed;—that
every Gland must be deterg’d;—all the Meanders
of the Mesentery penetrated;—not a Fibre,
or Membrane, even to the Capillary Vessels, but
must suffer an Evacuation;—and the whole Mass
of Nervous Fluid also rarify’d; and that after all
this was over, he must go through a Course of
Alternatives, which should pass with the Chile into
the subclavian Vein, in order to purify the Blood
and abrade the Points of any sharp or viscious Particles
which the Poyson might have thrown into
it, and were not to be eradicated by any other
Methods.

This, and a great deal more learned Cant,
which it was impossible for any one not practised
in Physick either to understand or remember,
our Patient listened to with the utmost Attention,
and looking on this second Doctor as an
Esculapius, told him, he rely’d upon the great
Judgment he found he was Master of, and put
himself wholly under his Direction.

Glisters, Cathartics, and Diaphoretics in abun-P4v118
abundance were now prescrib’d, all which Ziphranes
readily submitted to, and went through
their different Operations with a consummate Resignation,
till, to avoid Death, he was brought
even to the Gates of it; and when reduced to
such a Condition as not to be able to move a Finger,
or speak articulately, it was thought proper,
in order not to lose so good a Patient, that some
Intermission of his Tortures should be permitted,
and in their room Balsamic Cordials, and all
manner of Restoratives administer’d.

As Youth, and a good Consitution help’d him
to sustain the Asperity of the first Medicines, so
it also greatly added to the Efficacy of these latter
ones, and he was in a few Days able to sit
up in Bed, and take nourishing Food, pretty frequently,
tho’ in small Quantities.

The Fears of his own Death dissipated, he began
to have a Curiosity to know what was become
of Barsina, and accordingly sent privately
to enquire after her in the Neighbourhood where
she lived.

The Person charged with this Trust, brought
him Word that she was dead, and had been buried
in a very private Manner about three Weeks
past; and that some of those he had questioned
concerning her, spoke, as if ’twas whisper’d she
had been guilty of her own Death; but as to that
they could not be positive, tho’ they were so as
to her Decease; and that they saw her Coffin put into Q1r 119
into a Hearse and Six at five o’Clock the very
next Morning after they heard of her Death, attended
by one Mourning Coach with only her
Maid in it and that it was supposed they carry’d
her out of Town.

This Intelligence made him hug himself for
the Precautions he had taken, to which alone he
thought he owed the Preservation of his own
Life; but then at the same time he shudder’d at
the Reflection of the Danger he had escaped.

He did not, however, enjoy any Calm of Mind
but for a short while, a Friend of his who came
to visit him unluckily happened to mention Doctor
Mead’s
Treatise on Poysons, which maintaining
that there was a Possibility for the Venom to lurk
in some Parts of the Body, for many Years after
it was thought to be entirely expell’d, and then
break out with a Fierceness which no Art could
subdue, the poor unhappy Ziphranes presently
imagined that might be his Case, and could not
be at rest till he had again consulted his Physician.

Few People chuse to argue against their own
Interest; Ziphranes had been too liberal of his
Fees for the Doctor to offer any thing in Opposition
to this Tenet; but on the contrary favour’d
it obliquely by asking him if he did not sometimes
feel little Twitches in his Head, his Back,
or about his Heart? Which he answering with
great Concern that he did (as indeed it was impossible
he should not, after the violent Operations Vol. III. Q he Q1v 120
he had undergone) “Alas! Alas!” cry’d the Empyric,
shaking his Head, “these are bad Symptoms:
—You must have more Physic:—I am afraid
indeed the Venom is not quite expunged.”
And then
run on a long Discourse on the Nature and Subtilty
of some Poysons, till he had terrify’d his Patient
almost out of his Senses.

Whether the same Medicines as were before
prescrib’d, or others of a different Kind were now
administer’d, I will not pretend to say; but whatever
they were, they brought him into such a
Condition that his Life was despair’d of; and the
Doctor was obliged indeed to have recourse to
all his Art to save him.

But not to be too tedious in so disagreeable
a Part of my Story, I shall only say, that Fate
had not yet decreed to call him hence:—He
once more recovered, and seemed to want only
Change of Air to re-establish his former Health.

As he was thought too weak to travel so far as
his own Country Seat, which was near a hundred
Miles from London, Lodgings were hired for him
at a little Village call’d Casehaughton, the Air of
which was judged extremely proper for his Condition
by his Doctor, as being neither thick nor
too pure for one so much weaken’d as he had
been.

He soon experienced the good Effect of it, or
of having entirely left off even the most palatable Com- Q2r 121
Compositions of the Apothecary’s Shops:—And
in a few Days was able to walk about the Gardens,
every Morning bringing him an Increase
of Strength, of Appetite, and Spirits.

In fine, he grew in a very small Time so perfectly
well, that he was beginning to think of returning
home, when an odd and surprizing Accident
happened to throw both his Mind and Body
into fresh Disorders, equal, at least, I may say, to
any he had before experienced.

He was indulging the pleasing Meditations of
his Recovery, one Evening, in a fine Lane at a
little Distance from the Village, when as he was
walking on he saw a Lady dress’d all in white,
leaning over a Gate that opened into some Fields
belonging to a Gentleman in that Part of the
Country:—He thought nothing of this Adventure,
but pass’d forward, when being advanc’d
within twenty or thirty Paces of the Gate he imagin’d
he beheld the Figure of Barsina, her Shape,
her Stature, her Face, the very She in every Part.
—He started back and stopp’d, all Horror and
Amazement; but unwilling to be deceiv’d by
Similitude, summon’d up all his Courage, and
still look’d attentively, till the Object of his Terror
turned full upon him, which before it had
not, and crying out Ziphranes! immediately vanish’d
from his Sight, or rather his Sight forsook
his Optics, for he fell into a Swoon the Instant he
heard his Name pronounced, and by a Voice so Q2 exactly Q2v 122
exactly the same with that of Barsina, that he was
certain it could proceed from no other than her
Ghost.

Unluckily for him he had gone out this
Evening entirely alone, which since his Illness he
had never done before; and had not the Diligence
of one of his Servants, who fearing, as the Night
was drawing on, the Air might be prejudicial to
him, made him come in search of him, he had
probably lain in that Condition till some worse
Accident had befallen him.

The Fellow seeing him prostrate and motionless,
at first thought him dead, but rubbing his
Temples, and partly raising him, perceiv’d his
Mistake, and with much ado brought him to himself;
the first Words he spoke seem’d strangely
incoherent, for he talk’d of nothing but Ghosts
and Death, and said it was not his Fault that she
killed herself:—Recollecting his Senses, however,
by Degrees, he ceased these Exclamations,
but ask’d his Man if he had seen nothing, to
which he answering that he had not; “No”, cry’d
Ziphranes wildly again, “’tis only myself that both
alive and dead must be persecuted by her.”

He was at last perswaded to go to his Lodgings
where he immediately went to Bed, but made
his Servant sit in the Room near his Bed-side, who
was amaz’d to find that instead of sleeping he
talk’d all Night to himself in so odd a Manner,
that the other believ’d him delirious, as indeed he Q3r 123
he was; the Fright he had sustain’d had thrown
him into a high Fever, and the next Morning
the Physician was sent for once more.

In his Ravings he discovered to every Body
that came near him all that had pass’d between
Barsina and himself, and how not content with
attempting to poyson, her Spirit had appear’d
and call’d to him:—Nay, so strongly did the
Remembrance of what he had seen work on his
distemper’d Mind, that he frequently imagin’d
he heard her Voice crying out to him, Ziphranes!

In this unhappy Situation let us leave him for
a while, and return to the Authoress of it, the injured,
but well reveng’d Barsina.

After she found herself forsaken for another,
at a Time when she thought herself most secured
of her Lover’s Affections, she bewail’d not the
Loss with Tears, but bent her whole Thoughts on
gratifying her Resentment for the Affront: —
To this end she affected to appear so passive, neither
upbraiding his Infidelity, nor discovering any
Surprize at it, till she prevail’d with him, as I
have already related, to come to her Lodgings,
when she indeed frightened him to some Purpose.
The Wine she gave him was just as it came from
the Merchant, unmix’d with any poisonous
Drugs, but as she judg’d it happen’d:—Conscious
he deserved all the Vengeance she could
inflict on him, he easily believed she had in reality
done as she said, and the Terrors he was in, which he Q3v 124
he in vain strove to conceal under a Shew of
Rage, as he went from her, gave her the highest
Satisfaction.

She made her Kinsman and her Maid privy to
the Plot she had laid, and between them they
found Means to get Intelligence how he behav’d,
and the cruel Operations he submitted to in order
to get rid of the supposed Poison, all which gave
her a Diversion beyond what can be express’d.

Not thinking him yet sufficiently punish’d,
she order’d it to be given out she was dead, and
to strengthen the Report, caus’d a Coffin to be
carry’d from the House she lived in, attended by
her Maid.—The Reader knows already the
Effect this Stratagem produced, therefore it would
be impertinent to make a Repetition.

To prevent all Possibility of his being undeceiv’d,
she retired to a Place where she was not
at all known, and happen’d to be near that very
Village where Ziphranes went for the Recovery
of his Health.

Chance in the very Choice of her Situation
assisted her Revenge, when she was beginning to
grow weary of prosecuting it any farther:—As
she admitted no Company but her Cousin, who
had provided that Recess for her, and sometimes
came down to visit her, she frequently walk’d
about the Fields belonging to the House without
any Body with her; and as if every thing concurr’d to Q4r 125
to favour the undesign’d Deception, she happen’d
to have a white loose Robe de Chamber on, when
in one of those little Excursions she saw, and was
seen by her perfidious Lover: As she had not
heard he was so near a Neighbour, the unexpected
Sight of him made her shriek out Ziphranes,
without any Design of renewing his Terrors; nor
did she immediately know the Effect it had upon
him, for she flew back into the House with all the
Speed she could, not caring to run the Hazard of
what Treatment she might receive from him in
a solitary Place, by way of Retort for the Plagues
she had given him.

The next Day, however, afforded her sufficient
Matter to have gratify’d her Spleen, had
any remain’d in her against a Man, now too much
her Contempt to be any longer the Object of her
Hate:—Every one’s Mouth was full of the
News, that a Gentleman had seen a Spirit over
the Gate by the Lane, and that he was run mad
upon it.

Impossible was it for her to refrain being
merry at the first Part of this Intelligence; but
mean and base as he was, she could not avoid affording
him some Share of Pity as to the last: —
She resolv’d, however, not to give herself any farther
Trouble concerning him, and having gratify’d
the just Resentment she had against him,
even more than she had expected to do, returned
to Town, and appear’d with all her former Serenity
and Good-humour.

Tho’ Q4v 126

Tho’, as I have already observed, she never
kept a great deal of Company, she was yet
seen by enough to have it known every where
that she was alive.

The whole Transaction afterwards got Wind,
’till it was in the Mouth of all their Acquaintance:
Those who loved Barsina highly approved of the
Method she took to punish his Inconstancy, and
even the Friends of Ziphranes could not condemn
it.

It was some Time before he could be brought
to believe what he was told from every Quarter,
and even when his Fever left him, and he grew
perfectly restored, as to his Bodily Health, yet
still his Mind continued in a very disturb’d Situation;
and after being with great Difficulty convinced
of the Truth, the Raillery he found
himself treated with wherever he came, on the
Subject of poisoning, and having seen a Spirit, so
much soured his Temper, that from being that
gay, polite, entertaining Companion I at first describ’d
him, he is now one of the most morose
ill-natur’d Men in the World.

Disregarded by his Wife, ridiculed by his
Acquaintance, and uneasy in himself, he lives an
Example of that Vengeance which Heaven seldom
fails to take on Perjury and Ingratitude;
and even Barsina, tho’ the Instrument of inflicting
it, almost pities his Condition, and confesses the R1r 119
the Consequences of her Stratagem, are more severe
than she either wish’d or intended.

I heartily wish, however, that all Women
who have been abandoned and betrayed by
Men, either through a determin’d Baseness, or Caprice
of Nature, would assume the Spirit she did,
and rather contrive some Means to render the
ungrateful Lover the Object of Contempt, than
themselves, by giving way to a fruitless Grief,
which few will commiserate, and which greatly
adds to the Triumph of the more happy Rival, if
she can be call’d happy, whose Felicity consists in
the Possession of a Heart that has once been false,
and consequently can never be depended upon.

This Story, for which Elismonda has the very
sincere Thanks of all the Members of our little
Society, gave us a double Pleasure in the reading,
not only for the agreeable Manner in which it is
related, but also, as we were before acquainted
with some Part of it from common Report, we
were glad to be inform’d in the Particulars of so
extraordinary an Adventure, by a Person, who, it
is easy to be seen, is well acquainted with even the
most minute of them.

The Force of Imagination has employed the
Pens of many learned Authors; and indeed there
cannot be a Subject more worthy the Consideration
of a philosophic Genius, as it is common to every Vol. III. R one, R1v 120
one, and makes a great Part of our Happiness or
Misery:—It not only enhances all our Pains
and Pleasures, but is of that prolific Nature as to
produce, from one single Hint, a thousand and
ten thousand subsequent Ideas:—It also imposes
upon our Senses, or to speak more properly, renders
them subservient to its own creative Faculty,
so as to make us call them in for Witnesses to
Things that never were; and we really believe we
hear, see, or touch what is most remote from us,
and oftentimes what is not, nor cannot be in Nature.

It is not therefore to be wondered at, that the
Plot contrived, and so artfully executed by Barsina,
had such an Effect on Ziphranes: A Man of
more solid Judgment than his Character denotes,
might have been deceiv’d, by the same Means,
into the Horrors he testify’d; and also having
once receiv’d them, suffered their Dissipation
with as much Difficulty.

In this respect the Body discovers a more quick
Sensation than the Mind:—After enduring any exquisite
Torture, such as the Stone, Gout, Sciatica,
and many other Persecutors of the Human System,
the Moment as the Fit is over how does the afflicted
Person cry out, in a Transport of Joy, “That
he is eased! That he is in Heaven!”
and soon loses
the Memory of his former Pains:—Whereas
those Agonies that have once invaded the Mind
are hard to be erased, and when one is even convinced
that the Cause of them is entirely vanish’d, they R2r 121
they still leave a heavy Langour on the Spirits,
which continues for a long Time, and sometimes
is never wholly dispersed.

The Reason of this is plain; the Body being
endued only with sensative Faculties can suffer
no longer than it feels, but the Mind, of which
Memory is a Part, cannot be wholly at rest, till
Reason, which, tho’ sure, is flow in its Operation,
exerts its Power to chace all dark Ideas thence.
As old Massenger says: “My Memory, too faithful to its Trust,Brings my past Woes forever present to me. ”

Indeed, when we have once got the better
of that Melancholly which past Ills have left
behind, and begin to grow thankful for recovered
Peace, we then are doubly happy, and enjoy the
present Blessings with a much higher Relish; as
after a long Famine every thing is a Delicate.

But this can only be when the Misfortunes
we have sustain’d have not been brought upon us
by any base Action of our own, and we have rather
suffered through the Faults of others than
ourselves; then, and never but then, we look
back with Pleasure on the Tempests we have
escap’d, give all due Praises to protecting Heaven,
and laudably exult in our own good Fortune.

R2 As R2v 122

As for Ziphranes, he can indulge no such pleasing
Meditations, and I do not think it at all strange,
either that he should so easily believe his Condition
as bad, or even worse, than it was represented
to him, or that he was so hard to be convinced
that the Danger was over, even when those about
him found it their Interest he should be so.

In fine, wherever there is Guilt there will be
Fear:—We naturally expect what we are conscious
we deserve:—So true are Dryden’s
Words:
“Fear ever argues a degen’rate Mind.”

It must be own’d Barsina acted her Part admirably
well; yet still the first Scene of this Tragi-Comedy
was only her’s;—the rest was performed
by his own Apprehensions, which gave
Scope to the Physicians to exert their Talents for
making the most they could of him.

In ordinary Distempers, indeed, nothing is
more frequent than for People to take a Load of
Drugs, improperly called Medicines, till they
destroy that Life they are endeavouring to preserve;
but in the Case of Poison the common
Opinion is, that it must be immediately expell’d, or
not at all; and doubtless to give him one sudden
Shock was all the Lady intended by her Stratagem,
or could have expected from it; it succeeded,
however, in a Manner which made not only
his Guilt, but the Meanness and Cowardice of his Mind, R3r 123
Mind exposed, so as to render him an Object of
public Contempt; and had he even fallen a Sacrifice
to the Force of his own Imaginations and
the Practices of his Physicians, I cannot look on
Barsina, but the Crime he was guilty of, as the
primary Occasion of his Death; to which, as she
did not design it, she could have been no more
than innocently accessory.

I am glad, notwithstanding, for her Sake, that
it happened otherwise, because had he dy’d in
reality, I know not but there might have been
People malicious and cruel enough to have suggested
that the Wine she gave him was actually
poisoned, and that she had secured herself by taking
an Antidote, from any Effect the partaking
it with him would otherwise have produced.

Had no worse ensued than barely the spreading
about Insinuations of this Sort, it would
have been a Circumstance very disagreeable to a
Woman of that Character we find her in all respects
so tenacious of preserving.

I also believe, tho’ Elismonda has been silent
on that Head, that she would have repented, even
to a Degree of Affliction, what she had done, had
the short Punishment she intended him proved
of that fatal Consequence it was so near accomplishing.

It therefore must be acknowledg’d that this
Adventure adds one demonstrative Proof to the Num- R3v 124
Numbers which are every Day produced, how
ready we are to judge of every Action by its Success:
—From the greatest down to the most
minute Affair, the Praise or Blame depends on the
Event:—Heaven and Fate, which alone sees
the secret Springs of every Heart, and either forwards
or controuls our Purposes, can alone determine
how far they are laudable, or the contrary.

Hudibras, in his whimsical Way, gives
us a very just Idea of the Mistakes the World is
guilty of on this Account.

“Success, the Mark no mortal Wit, Or surest Hand can always hit: For whatsoe’er we perpetrate, We do but row, we’re steer’d by Fate, Which in Success oft’ disinherits, For spurious Causes, noblest Merits; Great Actions are not always true Sons Of great and mighty Resolutions: Nor do the very best bring forth Events still equal to their Worth. But sometimes fail, and in their stead. Fortune and Cowardice succeed. ”

We therefore join to congratulate the amiable
Barsina, for an Event which so abundantly answer’d
all her Purposes, and at the same time secured
her Reputation from Censure.

I doubt not, having mentioned the great
Force of Imagination, but my Readers will expectpect R4r 125
I should say something on so copious a Subject,
and endeavour at least to display what an Infinity
of Happiness or Misery we are capable of
receiving by it; to the end that every one, by the
the Strength of Reason and Reflection, might
either indulge or correct it, so as to procure the
one, and avoid falling into the other State.

But besides, that this has been so frequently
and so well treated on by other Hands, that it is
scarce possible to add any thing new; every one
who is possess’d of common Understanding must
know enough of his own Temper as to be sensible
whether it inclines him most to pleasing or to melancholly
Images; in fine, whether Hope or Fear
be the most prevailing Passion in him; and this
Knowledge, without the Help of any Rules or
Precepts, will make him, unless he is very much
his own Enemy indeed, use his utmost Efforts to
cherish the one, and dissipate the other.

It is certain, that on any Menace of immediate
Death, the Soul catches the Alarm; those Apprehensions
which Nature has implanted in every
one of us, in a more or less Degree, on the Score
of Dissolution, puts all our Faculties in a Hurry,
and we have not then the Power of exerting our
Reason in such a Manner as is necessary for the
dreadful Occasion:—It is Religion, and an absolute
Resignation to the Divine Will, which can
alone support us under that Shock:—I shall there- R4v 126
therefore conclude with the Words of Horace, as
translated by the late Lord Roscommon. “Virtue, dear Friend, needs no Defence,Our surest Guard is Innocence;None knew till Guilt created Fear,What Darts, or poison’d Arrows were. ”

The Letter signed Philo-Natura came Yesterday
to our Publisher; we have just read it, and
think ourselves obliged to thank the ingenious
Author for the Favour he does us in that useful
Essay, more especially as he promises to continue
a Correspondence with us on a Topic which,
in his agreeable Manner of treating, cannot fail
being of general Service.


End of the Fourteenth Book.

S1r


The
Female Spectator.


Book XV.

That there is no Account to be
given for Taste, is a Maxim we
hear commonly repeated; and
that it is so seldom disputed is because
we see such Variety of odd
Whims take Place, each of which are, by its Followers,
supported with Vehemence: But this will
be found of no Weight with any one who takes
the Pains to distinguish between that Taste which
is guided by the Senses, and that which is purely
the Effect of the Mind.—In our Food, in our
Apparel, our Equipages, the building or furnishing
our Houses, there is doubtless a true and false
Taste; nor is it always that the most shewy and
expensive merit the greatest Approbation: But
all these are of small Moment when put in CompetitionVol. III. S petition S1v 128
with other more essential Matters, which
are equally in our Choice; for tho’ better Judges
may find Fault with our Inelegance in these Particulars,
yet we shall not be the less virtuous, nor
worse Members of Society, for being mistaken in
any or all of them.

But it is not so with that kind of Taste,
which flows from Thought and Reflection: By
this we judge of others, and are judged ourselves;
by this we merit the Esteem or Censure of the
World. The Character of a fine Taste stands in
need of no Addition;—it implies whatever is
great and valuable, and a bad one every thing
that is mean and contemptible.

Many there are who flatter themselves with
being possessed of this amiable Talent in the
most refined Degree, and such, generally speaking,
know the least of it of any People:—They
imagine they are eminently displaying it, while in
Fact they are only following the Dictates of some
irregular Propensity and Caprice.—It is almost
impossible to cure those who have gone on for a
long Time in this Course of Self-deception, because
of the Repugnance they have to be convinced
they have ever been in the wrong.

How much, therefore, does it behove all who
are entrusted with the Government of Youth, to
take the greatest Care in forming the yet docile
and tractable Mind in this important Point! —
In effect, nothing can be called a true Taste, that S2r 129
that is not regulated by Reason, and which does
not incline us to what will render us better and
wiser: For, indeed, these two Qualities are inseparable;
to be good is to be wise, in the most
just Sense of the Word, and if we are wise we
cannot fail of being good.

They certainly argue extremely wrong, who
maintain that there are some Tempers so morose,
so rugged, and perverse, even from their very Infancy,
that all Efforts to render them obliging,
soft, or pliable, are entirely thrown away: It was
always my Opinion, that even the most disagreeable
behaved Person in the World was not so by
Nature; and I find every Day fresh Reasons to
confirm me in it. It is only ill Habits contracted
in our Youth, which, not sufficiently check’d by
those who have the Power, become rooted in us,
and make as it were a Part of our very Soul.

But an early Knowledge of ourselves, and
of the World, will prevent any ill Humours from
getting the better of us; and, as we rise towards
Maturity, produce that distinguishing Power in
us which we express by the Name of true Taste:
Without being tolerably versed in the first, we
shall never be able to attain to any degree of
Perfection in the latter:—Our Understanding
will be but wavering at best, perhaps, be led
astray:—We shall be liable either to be dazzled
with the Lustre of our own Talents, so far as to
be regardless of the Merit of others; or, depending
too much on the first Impression we may happen S2v 130
to take, be rendered partial and unjust; frequently
condemning what is right, and applauding what
ought to be censured:—It is from this false
Taste
are derived those little Affectations in Behaviour,
—those over Delicacies, which make us
fancy every thing offensive:—From this proceeds
the running into such Extremes in our liking, or
disliking, whatever is presented to us; and hence
it is that so many Fopperies are espoused, while
all that would contribute to our own Haappiness,
as well as that of others, is in a manner totally
neglected.

There is undoubtedly a great deal of Pity
owing to those whose Parents have either by a
mistaken Indulgence, or a Want of knowing better
themselves, humoured them in Follies they
ought rather to have corrected: Such, as I have
already said, it is scarce possible for Precept or
Example to reform. The Change, if it comes at
all, must come wholly from themselves; and it
is little to be expected, that a Person, who has
been taught to think whatever she does is becoming,
will take the Trouble to examine whether
the Applause she is flattered with is really her
Due.

A long Habitude of any favourite Passion,
Manner, or Custom, requires the utmost Exertion
of one’s Reason to throw off; the Reproofs
we have from Abroad, only serve to teize, and
sometimes harden us:—How often have I
heard a Person, when admonish’d in the most friendly S3r 131
friendly and candid Manner of some gross Solecism
in Behaviour, cry out, “For Heaven’s Sake,
don’t preach to me! It is in my Nature, and I
can’t help it.”

It is this that frequently deters those who have
a right to put a Check on our Inclinations from
making any Attempts that way:—They will
tell you they cannot approve of such or such
Things in the Person they have under their Care;
—that they are sorry to see them so untractable,
but that there is no more a Possibility of changing
the Temper than the Features of the Face,
or the Make of the Body; and this Excuse for
an Indolence, which is unpardonable, gives a kind
of Sanction to half the Errors we daily see committted.

But I must take the Liberty to answer, that
tho’ there is no converting what is really deformed,
either by Nature or long Custom, which is
in effect the same Thing, into perfect Beauty,
yet if the Mind were attended to with the same
Care as is the Body, it might be brought nearer to
what is lovely:—Those who are the least
anxious about their personal Charms, can find
means to purify their Complexions, to take out
Pimples, Freckles, and Morphew from the Skin:
—Their Glasses instruct them how to add Softness
to their Eyes, and Graces to their Smiles,
the Taylor’s Art reforms the Shape; and the
Dancing-Master the Motions of the whole
Frame:—And will not Reason and Reflection enable S3v 132
enable us to erase whatever is a Blemish in the
Mind?—Surely they will:—They have it in
their Power, and it is only a firm Resolution to
call them to our Aid, and to be wholly guided
by them, that is wanting to render us worthy of
that Character, which we all are amibitious of attaining,
though for the most part we pursue it by
very wrong Methods.

There are three Things in which our good
or bad Taste are chiefly discoverable; and these
are,

1st, In the Judgment we give of whatever is
submitted to it.

2dly, In the Distribution and Manner of conferring
Favours.

3dly, In the Choice we make of our Amusements,
Diversions, and Employments.

As to the first;—A true Taste will never take
any thing upon the Credit of others:—It will
examine for itself, judge according as it finds, and
continue firm to its first Sentence; whereas the
false, is wholly govern’d by Prejudice, will cry
up or depreciate whatever is the Mode, and as
often as that changes, change also.

The One is timid, and slow in censuring what
it cannot approve;—The Other is decisive,
imperious, and takes Pleasure in condemning.

The T1r 133

The One will never transport us beyond our
Sphere, but rather deter us from interfering in
Matters where we have no Concern.—The
Other is assuming, and pretends a right to know,
and to regulate the Affairs of every one.

The One is polite, modest, affable and gentle:
The Other haughty, tenacious, over-bearing and
disdainful.

The One affects to know rather less than it
does; the Other infinitely more.

The second Distinction between the true and
the false Taste is not so generally obvious as the
former:—Gratitude and Self-Interest will make
those who reap any Advantage from our Good-
Will, full of Praises on our distinguishing Capacity;
and those who are not admitted to our
Confidence, partake not of our Bounties, or any
other Testimony of Favour, will, perhaps, with
equal Injustice, rail at our Partiality:—It is
only such, therefore, as are entirely disinterested,
that can judge of us in this Particular, and to
do it with any Certainty, the Character of the
Person obliged, as well as that of the Obliger,
must be examined.

A fine Taste is quick in discerning Merit, whereever
it is concealed; is industrious in rendering
it conspicuous, and its Professor happy:—The
gross Taste seeks nothing but its own Adulation:
—The Flatterer, the Sycophant, the Timeserver,Vol.III. T server, T1v 134
without Birth, Parts, Integrity, or any one
worthy Quality, is, by a Patron of this worthy
Turn of Mind, caressed, protected, and frequently
promoted even to ridiculous Heights.—Heaven
knows we can look but into few Places without
being convinced of this:—O, how can Persons
of Condition, who have it so largely in their
Power to cherish Wit and Virtue, and discourage
Vice and Folly, pretend to any Degree of true
Taste
, while they suffer the One to languish in Obscurity,
perhaps in all the Miseries that Penury
and cold Neglect can inflict; and at the same
time reward the Other with Smiles and Benefactions!
—How many Wretches do we see
have a Seat at the Tables, and in the Coaches of
those, whose Stables or Kitchens, they are, by
Birth, Education, and Behaviour, muuch more
qualified to serve in.

I know the general Excuse is, that Creatures,
such as I have described, are only entertained in
order to make Diversion for the rest of the Company:
—If you ask a Nobleman, or a Lady
of Quality, how they can suffer any thing so unworthy
in their Presence, they will presently answer,
“Why to make me laugh”:—And this serves
as a sufficient Pretence, because in former Times,
not only Kings, but great Men, had their Jesters
or Buffoons, who were permitted to say or do almost
any thing; but then our modern Lovers
of laughing forget that those Jesters were always
Men of Wit, and made use of the Privilege allowed
them to reprove as well as to divert their Pa- T2r 135
Patrons; a Thing that at present wou’d not be at
all relished.

History is full of many notable Admonitions
given by these Jesters, which had oftentimes
more Effect on those they were intended to reform,
than the most serious Advice coming from
any other Quarter.—Our inimitable Shakespear,
who was perfectly well versed in the Humour of
the Age he lived in, and also in many past, before
he had a Being, in most of his Plays introduced
a Clown or Buffoon, who, under the Shew
of Simplicity, spoke the boldest and the wittiest
Things of any Person in the Drama.

But whether this be the Motive which influences
some of our great Pretenders to fine
Taste
, in the Choice of their Companions, I appeal
to common Observation.

Nor is it only in great Things that the true
good Taste
displays itself;—the meanest Acts
of Charity we do are so many Testimonies of it:
A Person may be liberal, even to Profusion, but
if he makes no Distinction in his Bounties he
cannot be said to be possessed of it:—Reason
and Judgment should direct Compassion, not only
on whom to bestow what we have to give, but
also to bestow it so as to be of real Service to the
unhappy Object:—Abandoned Infancy, decrepid
Age, the Sick, and the Prisoner, have all an indisputable
Claim to Pity and Relief.—These will
be the first Care of a Person of true Taste, and R2T2 such T2v 136
such a one of what Rank soever, will not be
above examining into the Calamities of the imploring
Wretch, and endeavour to suit the Benefaction
to the Condition. To throw Money
among a Crowd that hover about our Doors,
without any Regard who picks it up, in my Opinion,
has somewhat of Ostentation in it; and
though it may be said, that Heaven bestows its
Sunshine and its refreshing Dews on all alike,
yet as the most wealthy, here below, has not the
same inexhaustible Fund, true Charity and true
Taste
oblige us to be more particular.

The Manner also in which we confer Favours
of any kind, whether great or small, is a plain
Indication either of our good or bad Taste; and
this, I may say, is one of the principal Tests, at
least, if we allow Good-Nature and good Breeding
to be some of the Requisites of a good Taste, as
certainly they are:—One may do a very essential
Kindness to a Friend, yet do it so as to make him
repine at the Necessity of being obliged:—And
one may order it so, that the smallest Concession
in his Behalf, shall be esteem’d by him as an infinite
Favour.—There is a peculiar Softness in
true Taste, which, notwithstanding, loses no Part
of its Dignity, that enhances the Value of every
thing we do, doubles the Price of every Grant,
and renders our very Refusals pleasing.

I am very well aware, that by many of my Readers
this will be thought going too far, and that
according to my Definition of a good Taste, it is morally T3r 137
morally impossible for any one to be possessed of
it: But this is an Argument which the third Proposition
I laid down will immediately confute,
and it may easily be shewn, that the Choice of
our Amusements, Recreations, and Employments
is not only a Proof of having a good Taste, but
will also enable those to acquire it who have it not
by Nature.

Wherever we see a Person lavish away
Time in Trifles, and fond only of such Amusements
as can be no way improving to the Mind,
we may be certain that such a one has not a Taste
for any thing more elegant, and also that he never
will; because by the very indulging those
low and gross Ideas, he puts it out of the Power
of the Thinking-Faculty to exert itself, and Reason,
by Degrees, loses its native Force:—The
Mind, as well as Body, will grow weak and feeble
without proper Exercise, and become no more
than the Grave of its own Perfections.

But as great an Enemy as Indolence is to our
spirituous Part, Activity in Things unfit is yet
much more so:—To be vehement in supporting
any Prejudices, whether imbib’d in our Infancy,
or adopted by us in Maturity, it matters
not;—or, on the contrary, to have no settled
Opinion of our own, but to be continually fluctuating,
and espousing the last we hear of others.
—To be transported with every new Caprice,
and incessantly hurrying from one Folly to another,other, T3v 138
soon confounds the best Understanding,
and makes a kind of Chaos in the Mind.

But they who can once resolve to employ
themselves in such a manner as becomes a Person
of fine Taste, however repugnant they may be at
first, will, by Degrees, be brought insensibly to
have it in reality.

It is one very great Step towards acquiring a
good Taste, to be sensible of our Deficiencies that
way; it will at least prevent us from doing those
Things which would discover us to have one
eminently bad.—It is therefore the Business of
every one to examine their own Hearts: —
By this means they may know how to conceal,
if not rectify those Propensities which are opposite
to Reason. But I again repeat it as my
firm Opinion, that whoever has Fortitude enough
to forbear putting into Action a vicious Inclination
for any time, will at last be able to conquer
that Inclination, and become virtuous out of
Choice as well as Principle.

But as ill Customs are so difficult to be worn
off, and it must cost the Person who endeavours,
by the Force of Reflection, to get the better of
them, many a severe Pang before the Work can
be accomplished; it is the utmost Cruelty in Parents
and Governors, to neglect accustoming us
betimes to love and revere those Things, which
it will become us to practise in our riper Years.

Cu- T4r 139

Curiosity is the first and most natural Passion
of the Human Soul: We begin no sooner to think
than we discover an Eagerness of Knowledge,
and on the Direction and well Management of
this, depends, in a great measure, the Praises we
hereafter may deserve:—If therefore a wrong
Turn be given to it, if we are allowed only to pry
into such Things as had better to be forever unknown
to us, it is no wonder that we should be
devoted to Vanity and Trifles our whole Lives.

If we become early Connoisseurs in the Mode,
can make smart Remarks on the Dress of every
one we see at the Ball, the Court, the Opera, or
any other public Place, take so much Delight in
hearing and reporting every little Accident that
happens in Families we are acquainted with,—how
much more Pleasure should we find in examining
the various and beautiful Habits with which Natures
cloaths those Plants and Flowers which adorn
our Gardens, and in making ourselves acquainted
with those great and wonderful Events which
History presents us with, and the yet more surprizing
Adventures, Dangers, Escapes, and Hardships
which Books of Voyages and Travels afford.

These are Entertainments which we may partake
while in our Hanging-Sleeves; and though
we should run them over never so cursorily, as
Children are apt to do, they would still prepare the
Mind for more solid Reflections afterwards; they
could not fail of enlarging the Ideas, informing the T4v 140
the Understanding, and above all, of inspiring in
us a Love and Reverence for the great Author,
Director, and sole Disposer of every thing in Nature.

By beginning to pass our Time in this manner,
we shall prevent all those unruly and disorderly
Passions from getting the better of us, which
afterward cost so much labour to supress, and
are of such ill Consequence if indulg’d.

We shall become acquainted with the World
before we have any thing to do with it, and
know how to regulate our Conduct so as neither
to give Offence to others, nor be in Danger of
receiving any ourselves.

We shall be enabled to prize every thing according
to its real Value, and be entirely free
from all Prejudice and partial Attachments.

In fine, we shall be possessed of all those useful
and agreeable Talents, which in their Assemblage
compose what may justly be called the true
fine Taste
; for though many People are so unhappy
as to degenerate from a religious Education,
and put in Practise the Reverse of every
thing they have been taught; yet I am apt to
believe it is because the Precepts of Piety and
Virtue have been inculcated in a rough and undelicate
Manner:—It is not every one has the Art of
rendering Instruction pleasing; besides, as Youth
is naturally headstrong, and submits to Constraint but U1r 141
but with Pain, it seldoms retains what is imposed
upon it, those Rules are sure therefore to make
the deepest Impression which are not laid down
to us as such, but disguised under the Shew of
Amusements and Recreation:—It is only then
we love them, and pursue with Eagerness what
otherwise we should hate and avoid, as much as
possible, the Thought of.

I am very certain the most profitable Parts of
Learning may be attained, by such Means as
would afford us as much Delight, while in the
Study of them, as Honour in the Acquisition.

But I shall postpone what I have to say farther
on this Head, in order to oblige my Readers
with that ingenious Letter which my last
gave the Promise of, and which our Society takes
a particular Pleasure in publishing; as it agrees so
exactly with our own Sentiments, and is what we
would wish to say ourselves upon the same Occasion.

“To the Female Spectator.
Madam,
As it is very evident those Monthly Essays,
with which you oblige the Public, are
calculated for no other End than the Improvement
of the Morals and Manners of an Age
which stands in the utmost need of so agreeable
a Monitor; I flatter myself you will pardon my
offering you a small Hint, whereby they may Vol.III. U ‘be U1v 142
be rendered yet more effectual for the Accomplishment
of so laudable an Undertaking.
Your Predecessor, the never too much admir’d
Spectator, used frequently to adapt his
Lucubrations to the Season of the Year; and I
am of the Opinion his Thought in it was extremely
just, because we are much more sensibly affected
with what is said on Things which are that
Moment present to us, than we can be with
any thing past, or to come.
London, Madam, is now growing a
perfect Wilderness:—The Play,—the Opera,
—the Masquerade and Ball, no longer attract
the Attention of the gay and polite World: —
Scenes pencilled by Heaven’s own Hand begin,
in this beauteous Month, to be displayed, and
every one hastens to partake the Charms of
a rural Life.
Those hurrying Pleasures that so lately
seemed to monopolize our Time, and every
busy Care, from which the Greatest are not
wholly exempt, left all behind, what Advantages
might not the Mind receive amidst
that Variety of Amusements the Country affords,
did we contemplate Nature as we ought!
But if we cursorily pass them over, and enjoy,
without Attention, the rich Regale prepared
for every Sense, we deprive ourselves of the
greatest, noblest, Satisfaction, and contradict
the Purpose of the all-beneficent Bestower.’
It U2r 143 It is not enough that we behold those
Fields, Meadows, and Pastures, which but a
few Months past appear’d a dreary Waste,
now plentifully stored with Food for Man
and Beast:—Those Gardens so lately destitute
of every Ornament, save only here and
there a solitary Yew, perhaps, or Cypress, that
stood nodding over the naked Plots, now clad
in Colours which no Art can imitate, and even
surpassing the celestial Bow;—nor that we
smell the Odours of ten thousand different
Flowers gently wafted to us by the ambient
Air;—nor that the Taste is gratified with
the luscious Strawberry, the blushing Cherry,
the refreshing Sallad, and all those early Products
of the useful Olitory:—Nor that our
ravished Ears are from every Grove saluted
with Notes more melodious than those of Handel
or Bononcini, though warbled through the
Throat of Farinelli or Curzoni:—Nor even
is it enough that we have Gratitude to acknowledge
and be thankful for the Blessings which
every where surround us:—There is still a
Something wanting to render our Felicity compleat,
a Something which is not in the Gift of
Heaven, because we are furnished with the
Means of enjoying it in ourselves, and therefore
depends wholly on ourselves.
You will easily conceive, Madam, I mean
the Study of Natural Philosophy; but, though
Contemplation on any thing may be called a
Study in a more or less Degree, I would not be U2 thought U2v 144
thought to recommend to the Ladies (for
whose Use I take your Lucubrations to be
chiefly intended that severe and abstruse Part
which would rob them of any Portion of their
Gaity:—On the contrary, I would not advise
them to fill their Heads with the Propositions
of an Aldrovandus, a Malbranche,
or a Newton:—The Ideas of those great
Men are not suited to every Capacity;—they
require a Depth of Learning, a Strength of
Judgment, and a Length of Time, to be ranged
and digested so as to render them either pleasing
or beneficial.
Not that I presume to deny, but that there
are some Ladies every way qualified for the most
arduous Labour of the Brain; but then I shall
find little Forgiveness from my own Sex to
persuade those Enliveners of Society to any
thing which would deprive us of their Company
for any long Time.
No, no, I am not so great an Enemy to myself:
—What I mean by the Study of Natural
Philosophy, is only so much as Nature herself
teaches, and every one’s Curiosity, if indulged,
would excite a Desire to be instructed
in.
Methinks, I would not have them, when
the uncommon Beauty of any Plant strikes the
Eye, content themselves with admiring its superficial
Perfections, but pass from thence to ‘the U3r 145
the Reflection with what wonderful Fertility it
is endowed, and what Numbers in another
Season will be produced from its prolific and
Self-generating Seed:—Even the most common,
which springs beneath their Feet as they
are walking, has in it some particular Vertue,
which it would not be unbecoming them to be
acquainted with; if they do not all contribute
immediately to our Nourishment, or to the
Cure of those Diseases to which Mankind is
incident, they at least serve for Subsistence to
many Animals, and even Insects to whom we
owe a great Deal.
We cannot walk or throw our Eyes Abroad
without seeing ten thousand and ten thousand
living Creatures, all curious in their Kind, all
created for our Use, and which no less testify
the Almighty Wisdom and Goodness than the
greatest and most noble of his Works.
Even those Worms which appear most
despicable in our Eyes, if examin’d into, will
excite our Admiration:—To see how in those
little Creatures Bodies are cased in Bodies: —
How, when one Form grows withered and decayed,
the happy Insect has another in Reserve,
and, shaking off the old, appears again in all the
Freshness and Vigour of Youth:—What
would a certain Lady, often taken Notice of
in your Essays, and many other antiquated
Beauties, give, they had the same Power?
Can U3v 146 Can there be a more agreeable Amusement,
than to observe how those flying Insects,
which are most pleasing to the Eye, spring from
such as but a few Days past crawled upon the
Earth?—We admire the Beauty of the gaudy
Butterfly, but reflect not how it rises from the
grovelling Caterpillar, nor how that Worm,
after having changed its Skin several Times,
takes a different Shape, assumes Wings painted
in that gorgeous Manner, and skims over the
Tops of those tall Trees, whose Branches he
before ascended but with Difficulty and Length
of Time.
There is something extremely curious and
well worthy Observation in the Death and Resurrection
of these Insects:—If you put one
of them into a Box with small Holes at the
Top to let in Air, and take care to supply
them with Leaves proper for their Sustenance,
you will perceive that after a certain Time
they will cease to eat, and begin to build themselves
a Kind of Sepulchre; as there are various
Sorts of Caterpillars, they have various
Ways of making this Inclosure, but all in general
compleat it by a certain Glue out of their
own Bowels, which, by their Manner of spinning
and winding it round their Bodies, becomes
a hard Consistence, and the Head
Paws, and hairy Skin, being work’d into it,
form a Kind of Shell, which incloses the Embryo
of the Butterfly; this Shell is by the Learned
called a Crysalis, it lies wholly inanimate the U4r 147
the whole Winter, and in the Beginning of
Summer bursts at one End and discovers the
Butterfly, which, having fluttered about and enjoyed
itself for a Season, lays its Eggs for the
Produce of a new Generation of Caterpillars.
This, the Ladies who keep Silk-worms,
which are indeed of the same Nature, though
more useful and beautiful, are no Strangers to:
—They will tell you those pretty Creatures,
from whose Bowels so much Finery is derived,
after having finished their Work, erect themselves
little Tombs, such as I have mentioned,
and then revive in Butterflies in order to propagate
their Species.
But all those Curiosities, which are discoverable
by the naked Eye, are infinitely short of
those beyond it:—Nature has not given to
our Sight the Power of discerning the Wonders
of the minute Creation:—Art, therefore,
must supply that Deficiency:—There are
Microscopes which will shew us such magnificent
Apparel, and such delicate Trimming
about the smallest Insects, as would disgrace
the Splendor of a Birth-day:—Several
of them are adorned with Crowns upon
their Heads, have their Wings fringed with
Colours of the most lively Dye, and their
Coats embroidered with Purple and with Gold.
—Even the common Fly, black as it is, is
not without its Beauties, whether you consider
the Structure of its Frame, the curious Glazing‘ing U4v 148
of its transparent Wings, or the Workmanship
round the Edges of them:—But,
above all, the Eyes deserve Attention:—They
are like two Half-Moons encompassing the
Head, both which are full of an infinite Number
of small Eyes, which at once penetrate
above, below, on each Side, and behind, thereby
fully gratifying the Curiosity of the Creature,
if that Term may be allowed to Insects,
and enabling it to defend itself from any threatening
Danger.
The Glasses which afford us so much Satisfaction
are as portable as a Snuff-Box, and I
am surprized the Ladies do not make more
Use of them in the little Excursions they make
in the Fields, Meadows, and Gardens.
There is, indeed, no Part of this Terrestrial
Globe, but what affords an infinite Variety of
living Creatures, which, though not regarded,
or even not discernible as we pass by, or, perhaps,
tread over them, would very much enlarge
our Understanding, as well as give a present
agreeable Amusement, if viewed distinctly
through one of those Magnifiers.
Every Body has Heard of the Ant; its
Oeconomy, its Industry, and its wonderful
Foresight, has employed the Pens of many
learned Authors; I am therefore surprized that
such Numbers of People can trample over the
little Mounds they with indefatigable Labour ‘throw X1r 149
throw up in the Earth, without a Desire of examining
how and by what Means they are enabled
to effect it, and for what Purposes they
take all this Pains.
Man, when he would erect or pluck
down a Building,—when he would furrow or
make plain the Earth, or, in fine, do any thing
for his Pleasure, Convenience, or Defence, is
supplied by Art with Tools and Instruments
proper for the Design he undertakes; but the
Ant is indebted to Nature alone for all the
Helps it enjoys:—These Creatures are incased
in a Coat perfectly resembling that of Mail,
and by this are defended from any Hurt their
tender Bodies would receive from a too great
Weight of Earth falling in upon them; —
they have Claws which they can extend whenever
they please, and withal so sharp, that they
will fasten into any thing;—they have two
Horns before, and as many behind, and these
serve as Ears to give them Intelligence of every
thing;—they have little Trunks or Proboscis’s,
which penetrate into the hardest Earth,
and a Kind of Saw to each Leg, that by constant
Working enlarges the Cavity; and, as several
Thousands work together, they soon build
themselves subterraneous Mansions, into which
they run on the Appearance of any Danger,
and make the Repository of their Winter
Stores; here also they lay their Eggs, breed
up their Young, and take Repose after their
long Fatigues.
Vol. III. X Their X1v 150 Their Sagacity, as well as the Order they
preserve in every thing, is thus finely expressed
by Mr. Dryden in his Translation of Virgil:
‘Thus in Battalia march embodied Ants, Fearful of Winter and of future Wants; T’ invade the Corn and to their Cells convey The plunder’d Forage of their yellow Prey. The sable Troops, along the narrow Tracks, Scarce bear the weighty Burthen on their
Backs:
Some set their Shoulders to the pond’rous
Grain,
Some guard the Spoil, some lash the lagging
Train:
All ply their different Tasks, and equal
Toil sustain. ’
All the ancient Poets were full of the Virtues
of these little Insects. Horace, as english’d
by our Famous Cowley, says of them: ‘The little Drudge does trot about and sweat,Nor will he strait devour all he can get;But in his temperate Mouth carries it Home:A Stock for Winter which he knows must come. ’
But if the Ants with so much Justice claim
our Admiration, what shall we think of the
Bees?—Those who have been curious enough
to prepare for them a Glass Hive will tell you
such Wonders of the Oeconomy, Order, and ‘Policy X2r 151
Policy as might render them Patterns for the
best regulated Government.
We could not, indeed, do better than to become
their Imitators, since what we call Instinct
in them is, in Fact, the immediate Direction
of Divine Providence, which impels
them with a resistless Force to do all those
Things which are necessary for the common
Good of their whole Community, as well as that
of each particular Individual:—It has furnished
them with Arms offensive and defensive;
it has given them Bags to contain and
carry Home the Food they labour for, and also
for that poisonous Juice which they so easily
dart out on their Assailants; but then they
never exercise that Power without being first
attacked.
On Man the Almighty Wisdom has bestowed
Reason, ‘that Sovereign Power,’ as the
Poet says, ‘of knowing Right from Wrong;’ but,
when we find it is in Danger of being led
astray by the Influence of ill Passions, as it too
often is, let us have Recourse to the Bees, and
reflect that it is our Duty, and befits the Dignity
of our Nature, to do those Things by our
own Choice which they do by an unavoidable
Impulse:—Ambition, Lust, and Avarice, those
Fiends that persecute and lay waste half the
Human Species, pervert the beauteous Order
of Nature, and render all her Works a Chaos,
would then be banish’d from among us, and X2 this X2v 152
this great Hive, the World, enjoy the same
Tranquillity we behold in each Repository of
those happy Insects.
But I forget that it is to your Female Readers
I address myself, none of whom I can susspect
of being the Authors of any of those
Mischiefs which happen in the World; except
those few whose Lot it is to become Sovereign
Princesses;—then indeed it is not to be greatly
wondered at if they throw off all Womanhood,
despise the Softness of their Sex, can behold
whole Provinces depopulated, and, for the
Sake of that false Glory, which is too often the
Appendix of Royalty, rejoice and fatten in
the Blood of slaughter’d Millions.—Such was
Semiramis, Descendant of the first Tyrant
and Oppressor of the Earth, Nimrod:—Such
was Thomyris of Scythia, and such, I grieve to
say, may even in this Age be found: Yet all
of the Fair Sex who have worn Crowns have
not been so:—England can boast of two glorious
Princesses who preferred the Works of
Mercy to the Charms of Conquest:—Elizabeth,
of immortal Memory, had the happy
Art of rendering herself formidable to her
Enemies without Bloodshed; and her late
Majesty Queen Anne rejoiced more in putting
an End to a long, though successful War, than
ever she did in all the Victories gain’d by her
Arms.
You will pardon this short Digression, Madam,‘dam, X3r 153
which a sudden Thought, which came I
know not how into my Head, enforced from
me, and led me into a Subject very foreign to
my Purpose:—I was going to observe, that
though there are but few Ladies who, I may
suppose, can have any Occasion to regulate
their Passions by the Example of the moderate
Bees; yet those who are Lovers of Oeconomy
and Temperance will certainly be pleased to
perceive the Occupation of these Animals,
delightful, though toilsome to themselves, and
so full of Utility to us.
Their Magazines of Wax and Honey
ought, and I think cannot but interest us in Favour
of those from whom we receive such
Benefits, and at the same time inspire us with
the most exalted Love, Reverence, and Gratitude
to the Divine Goodness which created us
so many Slaves, and which also feeds, cloaths
and instructs them to work for us, and for us
alone, while we sit at Ease, and enjoy the
Fruit of their Labours without Care and without
Expence.
The Contemplation therefore on the Works
of Nature affords not only a most pleasing
Amusement, but it is the best Lesson of Instruction
we can read, whether it be applied to
the Improvement of our Divine or Moral
Virtues.
It also furnishes Matter for agreeable Conversation,‘versation, X3v 154
especially for the Ladies, who cannot
always be furnished with Discourse on the Article
of Dress, or the Repetition of what fine
Things have been said to them by their Admirers;
but here they never can want Matter: —
New Subjects of Astonishment will every Day,
every Hour start up before them, and those of
the greatest Volubility will much sooner want
Words than Occasions to make Use of them.
As Ladies frequently walk out in the Country
in little Troops, if every one of them
would take with her a Magnifying Glass, what
a pretty Emulation there would be among
them, to make fresh Discoveries?—They
would doubtless perceive Animals which are
not to be found in the most accurate Volumes
of Natural Philosophy; and the Royal Society
might be indebted to every fair Columbus
for a new World of Beings to employ
their Speculations.
To have their Names set down on this Occasion,
in the Memoirs and Transactions of that
learned Body, would be gratifying a laudable
Ambition, and a far greater Addition to
their Charms than the Reputation of having
been the first in the Mode, or even of being
the Inventress of the most becoming and best
fancied Trimming or Embroidery, that ever
engrossed the Attention of her own Sex, or
the Admiration of ours.
‘All X4r 155 All this Pleasure, this Honour, this even
deathless Fame, may be acquir’d without the
least Trouble or Study:—We need but look
to be informed of all that Books can teach us
of this Part of Natural Philosophy; and it
must, for that Reason, be extremely proper for
such of the Fair, who are too volatile to have
Patience to go through those tedious Volumes,
which are requisite for the understanding all
other Sciences.
In this, one Summer is sufficient to make
them perfect Mistresses, and furnish a Stock of
beautiful Ideas for their whole Lives:—Not
but when we once have entertain’d a Desire of
Knowledge, and been in any Measure gratified
in that Desire, it rests not there, but extends
itself in Proportion to the Objects that excite it.
Whoever, therefore, has a true Taste for
the Researches I have been speaking of, will
never cease their Enquiries, because the Theme
is boundless, and they will still wish to fathom
it: So that, whenever the chearing Spring begins
to call the latent Sap forth from the Roots
of Vegetables, and kindles the hidden Embryo
dormant in its Cell into new Life, the fair
Philosopher will be eager to survey the Resurrection,
and see what Form will now display
itself; and whether the seeming Death, both
Plants and Insects have passed through, have
wrought any Transformation in either:—In
the former she will find no more than a Renovation‘vation X4v 156
of that State she saw them in before; but
in almost every Species of the second she will
find amazing Transformations:—And how
lively an Idea this gives of something yet more
demanding Consideration, it is easy to conceive.
That, however, I will not take upon me
mention, for fear of rendering the Subject too
grave; but of itself it will occur, and prove,
to a Demonstration, that the Study of Nature
is the Study of Divinity.—None, versed in
the One, I am confident, will act contrary to
the Principles of the Other, and that all your
fair Readers will make the Experiment is the
Wish of,
Madam,
A sincere Admirer of your Productions,
And consequently your most devoted,
Faithful, humble Servant,
Philo-naturæ.
P.S. Madam, if you think this worthy of
a Place in your next Essay, or that it will be
agreeable to your Readers, I shall hereafter send
you some loose Thoughts, as they may happen
to occur to me, either on the same Subject, or
any other that I shall think will be acceptable
to you, or useful to the Public.”

I Y1r 157

I believe there are none into whose Hands
this Piece may fall, but will readily join with us
in allowing it to be extremely just:—Our Sex,
in particular, are infinitely obliged to the ingenious
Author, and I flatter myself there are a
great many will testify the Sense they have of
this Advice by putting it in Practice:—He may,
at least, assure himself of this, that our little Society,
who have agreed to pass a few Days at a
Country Seat, belonging to our President, the excellent
Mira, will not go unfurnished with Microscopes,
and other proper Glasses, in order to
make those Inspections he recommends.

At our Return, or as soon as Leisure permits,
we shall be glad to find the Performance of his
Promise; since Admonitions, delivered in that
polite and elegant Manner, he is so perfect a
Master of, cannot fail of making all the Impression
they are intended for.

It must certainly be confessed, that there is
nothing more entertaining, or more profitable to
the Mind, than the Study of Natural Philosophy,
or that is with so little Difficulty attained.

We may be enabled by it to entertain ourselves
with the most agreeable Ideas, and to entertain
others so as to render our Conversation valuable
to all who enjoy it:—We shall be led insensibly
into the highest Notions of the Dignity of Human
Nature, and all Coldness, all Indifference,
for that supreme and omnipotent Power, who Vol. III. Y gave Y1v 158
gave Being to such innumerable Creatures for
our Use, be intirely banished from our Hearts.

In fine, a sincere and ardent Love of God
would be conveyed to us through our Admiration
of his Works, and the Benefit we receive
by them; and wherever that is once truly established,
it is impossible for Vice to take any deep
Root:—Swerve we may from Virtue, the best
have done it, but can never wholly deviate: —
Though we stumble, we shall not fall, at least
beyond the Power of rising:—The Vision, with
which we were near being intoxicated, will vanish,
and we shall cry out with Solomon,
“All is Vanity and Vexation of Spirit.”

So great is the Emolument and innate Satisfaction
in passing one’s Time in those Employments
Philo-Naturæ recommends, and in some
others, which I shall hereafter mention, that I am
pretty confident there are scarce any so lost in
Vanities, but, if they would prevail on themselves
to make Trial of the Change, would never more
relapse into those absurd and ridiculous Follies,
which at present too much engross their Hours.

The Love of Reading, like the Love of
Virtue, is so laudable, that few are hardy enough
to avow their Disgust to it.—I know Ladies
who, though they never had Patience to go
through a single Page of any thing, except an
Opera or Oratorio, have always a Book of some Estima- Y2r 159
Estimation in the World lying near them, which,
on hearing any Company coming into the Room,
they will immediately snatch up, as though their
Thoughts had been engaged on the Contents of
that, when, perhaps, they had only been taken
up in contriving some new Ornament for their
Dress, or debating within themselves which of
the various Assemblies, they frequented, should
have the Honour of their Company that Night.

None, indeed, but those who accustom themselves
to Reading, can conceive the Pleasure
which some Sort of Books are capable of affording:
—A young Lady, whose Head is full of the
gay Objects of the World, is too apt to imagine,
it is losing more Time than she has to spare to
make Trial of this Amusement; but in that Case
I would have her make her Woman read to her,
while she is dressing, or at such Hours when, after
being hurried and fatigued with Diversions, a
Kind of Indolence falls upon her, and she grows
peevish, and in a Kind of Anxiety for something
new to kill the tedious Time.

In those Moments, if she have a Person about
her of Discretion enough, to make Choice of
some interesting Part of History, it will insensibly
engage her Attention:—She will grow
fond of Knowledge in those Things which are
truly worth knowing, and the very Novelty at
first endear that to her, which a more perfect Understanding
of its Value afterward will make her
unable to neglect.

Y2 What Y2v 160

What I mean, when I say some interesting
Part of History, is the Relation of some Event
which may be most interesting to the Person who
is to hear it; as there is scarce any Circumstance
or Character in modern Life, that has not its Parallel
in Antiquity, I would have her begin with
what affords Examples of such Events as there
is a Possibility may happen to herself, or those
Persons for whom she has the most tender Concern:
—By this her noblest Passions will be
awaked;—she will forget every thing beside;—
she will rejoice, or weep, according as the different
Accidents excite;—her whole Soul will take
a new Turn, and become all Generosity and Gentleness.

This is going a great Way toward acquiring
that fine Taste which is so much talked of, and
so little understood; but the Way to be possessed
intirely of it is not to stop here.

When the Mind is once prepared by these,
other Kinds of Reading will become no less agreeable:
—The Person, who is happily a Convert to
that improving and most delightful Amusement,
will always find some Excitement to continue it:
—She will never hear Mention made of any
great Author, but she will have a Desire to examine
his Works, in order to know if they
do Justice to his Merit, or have over-rated it: —
When she hears of any notable Transaction in
the Field or Cabinet, she will be impatient to
look over the Annals of past Times, to find if the Y3r 161
the present really excel all that have gone before,
or whether it be, as the Wise-Man before
quoted says, that, in Fact,
“There is nothing new under the Sun.”

Neither will she be content with knowing
that such and such Things were done; she must
also pry into the Motives by which they were
brought about, and as far as is in her Power inform
herself whether they were such as deserved
Praise, or the contrary:—And by this Means she
will be enabled to judge of Affairs, not by their
Success, but by the Intentions of those who conducted
them.

Not that I would have any one become so devoted
to Books as to be lost to their Friends and
Acquaintance; two or three Hours every Day
employed that Way will be sufficient, provided
the Matter we have been reading be well digested;
that, our own Reflexions on it when we
happen to be alone, or blending it in any Conversation
we fall into, will easily accomplish: —
We may read a Multitude of Authors, without
being the better, or even remembering one of
them, if we do not read with Attention, and a
Desire of being instructed; but, if we are once
strongly possessed of that Desire, every Trifle
we take up will be of some Advantage to us.

However, as it requires a great deal of Judgment
to know what we should endeavour to retain,tain, Y3v 162
and what is better forgotten than remembered,
happy is it for those who make Choice of
such Books as lay them under no Necessity of
picking the Wheat from among the Tares: —
Of this Kind, after the inspired Writings, are
Histories, Voyages, Travels, and the Lives of
eminent Persons; but even here great Care
must be taken to select those Authors on whose
Veracity there is most Reason to depend.

Fabulous Accounts of real Facts, instead of
informing the Mind, are the most dangerous
Corrupters of it, and are much worse than Romances,
because their very Titles warn us from
giving any Credit to them; and the others attempt
to beguile our Understanding, and too often succeed
by the Cloke of Simplicity and Truth.

Next to Matters of Faith, it behoves us not
to be imposed on in those Events which History
relates:—Fiction ordinarily wears a more pleasing
Garb than Truth, as indeed it stands in need of
Flourishes which the other scorns, and therefore
is apt to make a very deep Impression; or,
more properly speaking, creates a Prejudice in
us, which sometimes shuts our Eyes against Conviction,
and we will not be convinced, because we
do not care to be so.

To various People, and under various Circumstances,
some particular Parts of History may be
most useful; but as to the Ladies, who have no
Occasion to make any one their Study, but only to Y4r 163
to have a general Notion of all, I advise them to
cast their Eyes back to the Creation in its Infancy;
it will give them an infinite Pleasure to survey the
Manners of that Age which justly may be called
a golden one:—How, for the Space of Eighteen
Hundred Years, Man lived in a perfect Liberty
and Independency on each other:—How every
Family was then a little separate State, of whom
the Father was sole Head, and knew no other
Superior.—Then, from those Times of Peace
and Plenty, our Thoughts may descend to the
Change, which happened in the World
soon after the Deluge:—Scarce was it re-peopled,
and began to wear the same Face it had done before
that tremendous Waste, when Avarice and
Ambition, Vices till then unknown, entered the
Hearts of this new Race:—All Faith, all Unity,
all Brotherly Affection ceased:—The Lust
of Power prevailed;—those Arms invented for
their Defence against wild Beasts, with savage Fury,
were turned against each other, and made the
Instruments of enslaving their Fellow-Creatures.

Nimrod, mentioned by Philo-Naturæ,
was, indeed the first who, finding himself stronger
than his Neighbours, seized on their Territories,
and erected himself into a Monarch:—His
Example emboldened others to do the same, who
also became Kings at the Expence of public Liberty;
for, whatever some Writers have taken
upon them to assert, it is certain that it was not
by Choice that the People submitted to the Yoke of Y4v 164
of Servitude, but by the Force and Violence of
the first Conquerors.

Thus began the famous Assyrian Empire,
which lasted thirteen Centuries, and fell at last
by the Indolence and Luxury which Sardanapalus
introduced: Three potent Monarchies
rose out of the Ruins of this unweildy State,
and they again were destroyed and plundered by
the Jews, by Alexander the Great, and by the
Romans:—To these last all became a Prey, and
they were Sovereign Masters of the conquered
World, till they fell into the Vices and Effeminacies
of those they had subdued, and were themselves
undone by their own Victories.

It is not, however, on those remote Ages of
the World that I would have the Mind to dwell
too much:—A cursory View of them will be
sufficient to enable us to make Comparisons, and
give Employment for our Judgment.

The lower we go, and approach nearer to
our own Times, every thing will be more interesting:
—From the Æra I have mentioned
down to the present Now, we shall find scarce
any thing but amazing Revolutions.—Sure
there cannot be a more delightful Subject for
Contemplation, than the Rise and Fall of Empires:
—From what minute Accidents they arrived
at the utmost Pitch of Human Greatness;
and by others, seemingly as inconsiderable, sunk, and Z1r 165
and became in a Manner Provinces to other Nations,
who triumphed in their Turn.

Thus it has ever been, since Ambition in
great Men has been ranked among the Number
of magnanimous Qualities, and Virtue has been
thought to consist in the Acquisition of new Conquests.
For, as Mr. Otway justly observes, “Ambition is a Lust that’s never quench’d,Grows more inflam’d, and madder by Enjoyment.”

How wretched a Figure in Life would a Man
make, who should be found totally unacquainted
with History!—He would, indeed, be unqualified
for any Post or Employment of Consequence,
and likewise equally so for Conversation; but
though Custom, and too little Attention to the
Education of our Sex, had rendered this Want
in us less contemptible than in them, yet, as we
have reasonable Souls as well as they, it would,
methinks, be a laudable Pride in us to exert ourselves
on this Occasion, and lay hold of every
Means to attain what will render us the more
conspicuous, as it is the less expected.

Pleasure innate, Applause deserved, and
Virtue unaffected, are the sure Rewards of our
Researches after Knowledge while on Earth; and
nothing can be more certain, than that, the
greater Degree of Perfection we arrive at here,
the more we shall be capable of relishing those Vol. III. Z incom- Z1v 166
incomprehensible Objects of Joy, which are to
be our Portion in another World.

I once heard a Gentleman, pretty famous
for his whimsical Comparisons, say, “That, were a
dull stupid Fellow to be taken up into Heaven,
with all his Imperfections about him, he would
behave there like a Cow at an Opera, and want
to get down again, to Things more adapted to his
Understanding.”

I am very sensible, that the Ignorance, which
the greatest Part of our Sex are in of the dead
Languages, is looked upon as an Impediment to
our being well read in History; because, though
most of the Greek and Latin Authors are translated
either into English or French, which is,
now, pretty equal with People of any tolerable
Education, yet we cannot expect them in the
same Purity as if we understood the Originals;
but this Objection is of no Force, because, even
in those that are the worst done, we still find Facts
such as they were, and it is the Knowledge of
them, not Rhetoric, I am recommending to the
Ladies.

Suppose they do not find the Eloquence of
Cicero in his Letters to his Friend Atticus, yet
by them may be discovered those secret Causes
which brought about the wonderful Events of
those Times.

Velleius Paterculus is Sort of an Abridg- Z2r 167
Abridgment of all History, from the Commencement
of the World to the sixteenth Year
of Tiberius Cæsar, and the least Praise that can
be given it is, that it is an excellent Preparation
for the reading other Authors.

The Conspiracy of Catiline, and the whole
Conduct of that dark and mysterious Affair, is, in
the most masterly Manner, laid open by Sallust;
and, though his Work can be looked upon as no
other than a Collection of some Parcels of History,
yet are they such as are extremely edifying,
and afford a most pleasing Entertainment.

Herodotus, Thucydides, Dion, and
Xenophon, present us with Transactions so wonderful
as stand in need of no less Authority than
theirs, to gain Credit in these latter and more degenerate
Ages.

In Herodian you will find a Continuation of
that History Dion had pursued but through somewhat
more than two Centuries, with a Detail also
of many Things omitted by that Author.

Suetonius gives you the Lives of the
Twelve first sars, and Plutarch of the most
illustrious Men of Greece and Rome.

Josephus, in his Antiquities of the Jews,
and the War made on that People by Vespasian,
intersperses many curious and entertaining Occurrences
that happened in other Nations.

Z2 Titus Z2v 168

Titus Livius, Justin, Lucius Florus, Tacitus,
have all an undoubted Claim to our Attention;
but I would not, like some Physicians, load
my Patients with too many Preparations, nor do
I think it necessary that the Ladies should allow
too much Time to the reading the long Accounts
which some Authors give of Battles and Sieges:
—War is out of our Province intirely, and
it is enough for us to know, that there were such
Things, and who they were that had the Victory,
without examining into the Secrets of an Art
we never shall be called to the Practice of.

It is easy to see, that it is not my Ambition
to render my Sex what is called deeply learned;
I only want them to have a general Understanding
in the Affairs of the World, as they have
happened from the Beginning till the present
Times; to the End they may be enabled to
make an agreeable Part in Conversation, be qualified
to judge for themselves, and divested of
all Partiality and Prejudice as to their own Conduct,
as well as that of others.

As it is, therefore, meerly for Information I
would have them read History, let them not
throw aside any Book, because the Facts contained
in them are not delivered in so florid a
Manner as, perhaps, the Subject merits: —
We should not be angry with a Fellow who
comes to bring us News of some unexpected
great Accession to our Fortune, though he should
tell it us in the most unpolite Terms:—Sure, then, Z3r 169
then, that Intelligence, which gives an Increase to
our Understanding, ought to be well received in
what Phrase soever it is conveyed.

In Poetry, indeed, there is a wide Difference,
for, that being an Art intended only to harmonize
the Soul, and raise in us sublime Ideas, the
End is wholly lost if the Sentiment or Expression
be deficient.—Weak or discordant Verse
is, in my Opinion, the worst Kind of reading in
which the Time can be spent:—Our Choice,
therefore, of the Moderns as well as those translated
from the Ancients, ought to be very delicate.
Much good Paper has been spoiled with measured
Syllables, dignified in the Title-Pages with
the Name of Verse; and Rhymers in Abundance
daily crowd the Press; but a true Poet
is a Kind of Prodigy in this Age, and hard is it
to meet with one that answers the Description
Dryden gives of Persius: “Not fierce, but awful, is his manly Page;Bold is his Strength, but sober is his Rage. ”

It is certainly a very great Misfortune, both
to themselves and to the World, when People
mistake their own Talents so far as to be continually
scribbling Poetry without any Manner of
Genius for it; yet these are infinitely more worthy
of Forgiveness than those who endeavour
to put off their own base Metal for the real
Bullion of the greatest Authors of Antiquity.

It Z3v 170

It is not, because a Man understands Greek,
that he is able to do Justice to Hesiod; nor will
being perfectly well versed in the Latin qualify
him to give us Horace or Virgil, such as they are
in their Originals.

It is one thing to know the Words of an Author,
and another to enter into his Spirit:—He
alone who can write like Horace is fit to translate
him.

I am afraid I shall have little Quarter from
the Poets, for giving my Judgment with so
much Freedom; but the Truth is so very evident
to every Body but themselves, that I think
it will be much the best Policy in them to be
silent on the Occasion.

I have done with them, however, but, as I
am on the Subject of Good and Bad Taste, could
not avoid giving a Caution which is so necessary,
in order to improve the one, and hinder the
Growth of the other.

Next to History, I prefer those Accounts
which are to be depended on of Voyages and
Travels;—The Wonders related by those who
plough the Deep, and get their Bread upon the
great Waters, are not only extremely pleasing,
but also raise in us the most lively Ideas of the
Power and Goodness of Divine Providence.

Besides, Z4r 171

Besides, a Sense of Gratitude, methinks,
should influence us to interest ourselves in the
Safety and Welfare of the gallant Sailors in
whatever Capacity employed; whether in Ships
of War, or in those of Commerce, we cannot
disown the Obligations we have to them above
all other Occupations whatever.

To the Royal Navy we are indebted for the
Preservation of every Thing the World calls
dear;—they are the Bulwark of our Laws, our
Liberties, our Religion, our Estates, and very
Lives:—By them we sleep securely, undreading
all Incursions and foreign Depredations:—To
them Brittania owes her Empire over the Seas,
and, with her awful Trident, commands the
Homage of her proudest Neighbours.

To the industrious Merchantmen we owe
every Delight that Peace and Plenty bring: —
Our Island, though stored with Necessaries for the
Support of Life, boasts of no Delicacy within
itself, to render that Life agreeable;—the very
Fruits, which now grow in our Orchards, are not
originally our own, but have been gradually imported
from foreign Climates, and by the Gardener’s
Art naturaliz’d, as it were, to ours; nor
will our Sun and Soil assist his Labour so far as
yet to enrich us with those luscious Juices which
the Citron, the Pomegranate, the Orange, the
Lemon, and many other exotic Fruits afford.
How could the nice and distinguishing Appetite
supply the Deficiency of Tea, Coffee, Chocolate, Sago, Z4v 172
Sago, Spices, Oils, and Wines? And what an indifferent
Appearance would both our Persons
and Houses make without those Ornaments of
Dress and Furniture, with which we are supplied
from China, Persia, Russia, France, Holland, and
Brussels?

In fine, all our Pleasures, all our Elegancies
flow from foreign Parts, and are wafted to us
by the hardy Sailor, who ventures his Life, endures
the Extreams of both the Zones, and dares
the Fury of the Winds and Waves, to gratify
our each luxuriant Wish.

The least we can do, therefore, is to commiserate
their Sufferings, and rejoice in their Escapes,
from those imminent Dangers with which
they are continually surrounded, even in those
Voyages which have the most prosperous Event.

Books of Travels also are very beneficial to
the Understanding, and enable us to relish and
retain History the better, as they give us a great
Insight into Geography, and render us acquainted
with the Places where those Events happened
we read of in the other.

Mottray is extremely accurate in his
Descriptions, and there is scarce any Place of
Note, either in Europe, Asia, or great Part of
Africa, but what one may fancy one’s self in, in
Reading him.

Mount-Aa1r173
Mountfaucon is yet more particular,
and descends even to give us a View of
all the Curiosities, whether of Art or Nature,
that were to be found in all those Parts, through
which he had passed.

I would not be thought to mention the
Works of these Gentlemen with a Design to depreciate
those of others.—Dampiere, the Pere
du Halde
, Missin, L’Brune, Tavernier, Sir John
Chardin
, and a great many more, may have their
equal Merit; but then the Accounts they give
are most of them very concise, or of such Parts
of the World as are not so interesting to an
ordinary Reader; but those of them which afford
least Pleasure, are yet all of them very exact
in their Geography, and therefore answer one
very important End.

There are yet some other Books I would
fain take upon me to recommend; but our noble
Widow tells me she fears I have been already
too ample in my Detail, and that the
Crowd of Authors I have mentioned will be apt
to fright some Ladies from taking up any one of
them.

I could wish to have a better Opinion of
my Sex; but must yield to the superior Judgment
of that Lady; If then this should happen
to be the Case, I will venture to Name one
more as the Summary of them all, which is
Bailey’s Dictionary, and is, indeed, a Library of
itself, since there never was Place, Person, not Vol. III. Aa Action, Aa1v 174
Action, of any Note, from the Creation down
to the Time of its being publish’d, but what it
gives a general Account of.—Those who read
only this cannot be call’d Ignorant, and if they
have a Curiosity for knowing greater Particulars
of any Transaction, they may afterwards have
recourse to other more circumstantial Records.

These are the chief Methods by which we
may attain that amiable Quality, in which are
comprehended all other good Qualities and Accomplishments;
for when we have a perfect
good Taste in Essentials, we cannot be without it
in Things of a more trifling Nature.—The
Knowledge of Nature, of the World, and of
Ourselves, will enable us to judge of all around
us.—Even the Furniture of our Houses, our Equipages,
our Apparel will have an exact Propriety
without our taking any Pains to render them
so; and it will be next to an Impossibility for us
to chuse any Thing that is not becoming either
of our Age, our Station, or our Circumstances
in any Respect whatever.

Our Actions will be endearing, our Behaviour
engaging, to all who are Witnesses of it;
and our very Pleasures have a decent Gallantry
in them, no less worthy Imitation than our serious
Avocations.

Vain as we are apt to be of our personal
Perfections, would it not be a more laudable
Pride to render those of the Mind so conspicuous,ous, Aa2r 175
that Beauty, in the most lovely among us,
should claim but the second Place in the Admiration
of the Men: As the late incomparable Mr.
Addison
makes his Juba say of Mareia, “’Tis not a Set of Features, or Complection,The Tincture of a Skin, that I admire:Beauty soon grows familiar to the Lover,Fades in his Eye, and palls upon the Sense,The virtuous Mareia tours above her Sex:True, She is Fair;—Oh, how divinely Fair!But then the lovely Maid improves her CharmsWith inward Greatness, unaffected by Wisdom,And Sanctity of Manners.—Cato’s SoulShines out in every Thing She acts, or speaks,While winning Mildness, and attractive Smiles,Dwell in her Looks, and, with becoming Grace,Soften the Rigour of her Father’s Virtue. ”

In fine, a good Taste gives a Grace to every
Thing, and displays itself in even the least
Word, or Look, or Motion, and, as it is not out
of the reach of any one of a tolerable Understanding,
I would have every one attempt to acquire
it.

I doubt not but a great many of my Readers
will say to themselves, what need of this
Injunction? the Female Spectator may be assured
there are none so stupid as not to be ambitious
of a Qualification so desirable.

Aa2 To Aa2v 176

To this I am ready to agree, but then they
take, for the most part, Steps quite contrary to
those that would lead them to the Possession of
their Wish, as a late noble Lord justly said, “The World’s a Wood where most mistake their
Way,
Tho’ by a different Path each goes astray. ”

A Letter has been left for us at our Publisher’s
from Mrs. Sarah Oldfashion, the first Correspondent
the Female Spectator was favoured
with; but we do not think proper to insert this,
because the Contents can be of no Manner of
Service to the Public.

She reproaches me bitterly for the Advice I
gave her to send Miss Biddy into the Country,
where she fell passionately in Love with the
Groom of a neighbouring Gentleman, and has
privately married him.—To this I think myself
obliged to answer, that she has not followed
my Advice, but her own:—Whoever will give
themselves the Trouble to turn back to the Fifth
Book of the Female Spectator, will find I was
totally averse to her sending the young Lady into
a Place, where she could meet with no Diversions
to compensate for the Want of those she left behind.
—The good old Gentlewoman confesses
also, that, instead of ordering she should be indulg’d
in all those innocent Sports a rural Life
affords, she gave a strict Charge to the Person
who had the Care of her, to keep her continually at Aa3r 177
at Work, and threatened herself with very severe
Punishments, if she did not embroider the Hanging
of a very large Drawing-Room before the
Summer was elapsed.

This was taking a very improper Method,
indeed, to make her forget the dear Delights of
Ranelagh, and the fine Things which doubtless
were said her, not only there, but in all other
public Places.

Nor can I by any means approve of compelling
young Ladies of Fortune to make so
much Use of the Needle, as they did in former
Days, and some few continue to do:—There
are enough whose Necessities oblige them to live
wholly by it; and it is a Kind of Robbery to
those unhappy Persons to do that ourselves which
is their whole Support:—In my Opinion, a Lady
of Condition should learn just as much of
Cookery and of Work, as to know when she is
imposed upon by those she employs in both those
necessary Occasions, but no more:—To pass
too much of her Time in them may acquire her
the Reputation of a notable House-wife, but not
of a Woman of fine Taste, or any way qualify
her for polite Conversation, or of entertaining
herself agreeably when alone.

It always makes me smile, when I hear the
Mother of several fine Daughters cry,—“I always
keep my Girls at their Needle.”
—One, perhaps, is
working her a Gown, another a Quilt for a Bed, and Aa3v 178
and a third engaged to make a whole Dozen of
Shirts for her Father:—And then, when she has
carried you into the Nursery, and shewn you them
all, add, “It is good to keep them out of Idleness,
when young People have nothing to do, they naturally
wish to do something they ought not.”

All this is very true; but then there are certainly
Avocations to take up the Mind, which
are of a more pleasing as well as more improving
Kind:—Such as those I mentioned, and I will
appeal to any young Lady, under the above-mentioned
Confinement, if she had not rather apply
to Reading and Philosophy than to Threading of
Needles.

It is not enough, that we are cautious in training
up Youth in the Principles of Virtue and
Morality, and that we entirely debar them from
those dangerous Diversions in Fashion, and
which have been the Ruin of so many, in order
to make them remember that Education we have
given them, and to conduct themselves according
to it when they come to be their own Managers;
we should endeavour to make them wise, and
also to render Virtue so pleasing to them, that they
could not deviate from it in the least Degree
without the utmost Repugnance. “Children, like tender Osiers, take the Bow,And as they first are fashion’d always grow. ”

It Aa4r 179

It is not encouraging the natural Haughtiness
of a young and beautiful Girl, and flattering her
with the Opinion that she deserves every Thing,
and may command every Thing, that will stem
the Torrent of Inclinations, if it once fixes on a
Man beneath or unworthy of her; but inspiring
her with those just Notions, which will prevent
her from giving way at first to any Inclinations
unbefitting her Rank and Station in Life: —
In fine, it is cultivating her Genius, improving
her Understanding, finding such Employments
for her as will rectify her Mind, and bring her to
that good Taste, which will not suffer her to approve
of, or be pleased with any Thing that is indecent
or unbecoming, even in the most minute,
much less in any important Thing.

On this Occasion a Letter, lately come to our
Hands, claims a Place:—Not that the Matter it
contains is of any great Moment, any farther than
it proves, that in the most trifling Things, one
can possibly imagine, a good or bad Taste may be
discovered:—We shall therefore for that Reason
present our Readers with it.

“To the Female Spectator.
Dear Female Moralizer,
You have not a Reader in the World more
inclined to wish you well than myself; yet
I must tell you, that I am a little angry with
you, and so are several others of my Acquaintance,
that you confine all your Satire to our ‘Sex, Aa4v 180
Sex, without giving One Fling at the Men,
who, I am sure, deserve it as much to the full,
if not more than we do.
I defy the most strict Examiner to find
any one Folly in us, that they do not abound
with in an equal Degree:—If we have our
Milleners, Mantua-makers, and Tire-women
to take up our Time, have they not their
Taylors, Barbers; aye, and their Face-menders
too, to engross as much of theirs?—Are
there not as many Implements on the Toylet
of a Beau, as there can be on one of the greatest
Coquet among us?—Does he not take the
same Pains to attract, and is as much fond and
proud of Admiration?—Are not the Men in
general affected with every new Mode, and
do they not pursue it with equal Eagerness?
—Are there any of the fashionable Diversions
(call them as absurd as you will) that they do
not lead into by their Example?—If we affect
a little of the Rusticity of a Country
Maid in our Walk and Motions, do not they
shoulder into all public Places with the Air and
Mein of a German Hussar?—If we sometimes
put on the Romp, I am sure they act the Part
of the Russian to the Life.
I will tell you how I was served the other
Day in the Mall:—There were five of us perfectly
well dress’d; for my Part I had a new
Suit of Cloaths on, I had never wore before,
and every body says is the sweetest fancied ‘Thing Bb1r 181
Thing in the World:—To speak Truth we took
up the whole Breadth of the Walk; unfortunately
for me, I happened to be on the outside,
when a Creature, who I afterward heard was a
Dettingem Hero, came hurrying along, with a
Sword as long as himself, hanging dangling at
his Knee, and pushing roughly by me, his ugly
Weapon hitched in the pink’d Trimming of
my Petticoat, and tore it in the most rueful
Manner imaginable.
I am so happy as not to be enough concern’d
for any of that Sex to give myself any Sort of
Pain, how ridiculous soever they make themselves:
—I only laughed at the Khevenhuller
Cock of the Hat, so much the Fashion a little
Time ago, and the fierce Arm-a-kembo Air in
a Fellow that would run away at the Sight of
a Pot-gun. As the Poet says, ‘All these Things moved not me. ’
But as my whole Sex, and myself in particular,
have been aggrieved by Swords of this
enormous Size, and the Manner in which they
are worn, I could not help communicating my
Thoughts to you on the Occasion, which I
beg you will not fail to insert in your next Publication.
If you are really as impartial as you would be
thought, you will add something of your own,
to make the Men ashamed of appearing in a Vol. III. Bb ‘Country Bb1v 182
Country which, thank Heaven, is at present at
Peace within itself, as if they were in a Field of
Battle, just going upon an Engagement.
A Touch also upon some other of their
Follies and Affectations I am very confident
will be extreamly agreeable to all your Female
Readers, and in a particular Manner oblige her
who is,
With the greatest Good Will,
Madam,
Your humble, and
Most obedient Servant,
Leucothea.
P.S.Just as I had finished the above, a
young Lady came to visit me, and, on my
shewing her what I had wrote to you, desired I
would hint something about the Men loitering
away so many Hours at Coffee-house Windows,
meerly to make their Observations, and
ridicule every one that passes by; but as this
Subject is too copious for a Postscript, and I am
too lazy to begin my Letter anew, if you bestow
a few Pages on the Folly of such a Behaviour,
it will add to the Favour of giving this
a Place.—Adieu for this Time, good Female
Spectator
, if any Thing worth your Acceptance
falls in my way hereafter, you may depend on
hearing from me.”

I Bb2r 183

I own myself under an Obligation to the
good Wishes of this Correspondent; but must
take the Liberty to say she is guilty of some Injustice
in her Accusation:—Vanity, Affectation,
and all Errors of that Nature are infinitely less
excuseable in the Men than in the Woman, as
they have so much greater Opportunities than we
have of knowing better.

If therefore I have directed my Advice in a
peculiar Manner to those of my own Sex, it proceeded
from two Reasons, First, because, as I am a
Woman, I am more interested in their Happiness:
And secondly, I had not a sufficient Idea of my
own Capacity, to imagine, that any Thing offered
by a Female Censor would have so much Weight
with the Men as is requisite to make that Change
in their Conduct and Oeconomy, which, I cannot
help acknowledging, a great many of them stand
in very great need of.

As to the Grievance she complains of, it is a
common Observation, that in Time of War the
very Boys in the Street get on Grenadier Caps,
hang wooden Swords by their Sides, and form
themselves into little Battalio’s:—Why then
should she be surprized that Boys of more Years,
but not older in their Understanding, should affect
to look like Warriors for the Queen of Hungary,
and equip themselves as much as possible
after the Mode of those who fight the Battles of
that famous German Heroine.

Bb2 Many Bb2v 184

Many have already made a Campaign in her
Service, and possibly it is in the Ambition of
others to do so, if the War continues, as in all
Likelihood it will, and they are now but practising
the first Rudiments of Fierceness, as the
Curtsy precedes the Dance.

One of the distinguishing Marks of a bad
Taste
in either Sex, is the Affectation of any Virtue
without the Attempt to practise it; for it shews
that we regard only what we are thought to be,
not what we really are:—A rough boisterous Air
is no more a Proof of Courage in a Man, than
a demure, prim Look is of Modesty in a Woman.

These long Swords, which give so much Offence
to Leucothea, might be, perhaps, of great
Service at the late Battle of Fontenoy, because
each would serve his Master for a Crutch upon
Occasion; but here, at London, in my Opinion,
and according to my Notion of Dress, they are
not only troublesome to others, but extreamly unbecoming,
because unnecessary to those that wear
them.

I believe, however, that if the Ladies
would retrench a Yard or two of those extended
Hoops they now wear, they would be much less
liable, not only to the Inconveniences my Correspondent
mentions, but also to many other
Embarassments one frequently beholds them in
when walking the Streets.

How Bb3r 185

How often do the angular Corners of such
immense Machines, as we sometimes see, though
held up almost to the Arm-pit, catch hold of
those little Poles that support the numerous Stalls
with which this populace City abounds, and throw
down, or at least indanger the whole Fabrick, to
the great Damage of the Fruiterer, Fishmonger,
Comb and Buckle-Sellers, and others of those
small Chapmen.

Many very ugly Accidents of this Kind
have lately happened, but I was an Eye-witness
from my Window of one, which may serve as
a Warning to my Sex, either to take Chair or
Coach, or to leave their enormous Hoops at
Home, whenever they have any Occasion to go
out on a Monday, or Friday, especially in the
Morning.

It was on one of the former of those unhappy
Days, that a young Creature, who, I dare
answer, had no occasion to leave any one at
Home to look after her best Cloaths, came tripping
by with one of those Mischief-making
Hoops, which spread itself from the Steps of my
Door quite to the Posts placed to keep off the
Coaches and Carts; a large Flock of Sheep
were that Instant driving to the Slaughter-
House, and an old Ram, who was the foremost,
being put out of his Way by some Accident,
ran full-butt into the Foot-way, where his
Horns were immediately entangled in the Hoop
of this fine Lady, as she was holding it up on one Bb3v 186
one side, as the genteel Fashion is, and indeed
the Make of it requires:—In her Fright she
let it fall down, which still the more encumbered
him, as it fix’d upon his Neck;—she attempted
to run, he to disengage himself,—which
neither being able to do, she shriek’d, he baa’d,
the rest of the Sheep echo’d the Cry, and the
Dog, who follow’d the Flock, bark’d, so that altogether
made a most hideous Sound:—Down
fell the Lady, unable to sustain the forcible Efforts
the Ram made to obtain his Liberty;—a
Crowd of Mob, who were gathered in an Instant,
shouted.—At last the Driver, who was at a
good Distance behind, came up, and assisted in
setting free his Beast, and raising the Lady; but
never was Finery so demolished:—The late Rains
had made the Place so excessive dirty, that her
Gown and Petticoat, which before were yellow,
the Colour so much revered in Hanover, and so
much the Mode in England, at present, were now
most barbarously painted with a filthy Brown; —
her Gause Cap half off her Head in the Scuffle,
and her Tete de Mutton hanging down on one
Shoulder. The rude Populace, instead of pitying,
insulted her Misfortune, and continued their
Shouts till she got into a Chair, and was quite
out of Sight.

These are Incidents which, I confess, are beneath
the Dignity of a Female Spectator to take
notice of; but I was led into it by the Complaint
of Leucothea, and the Earnestness she discovers
to have her Letter inserted.

It Bb4r 187

It is not, however, improper to shew how
even in such a trivial Thing as Dress, a good or
bad Taste may be discerned, and into what strange
Inconveniencies we are liable to fall by the latter.

Of this we may be certain that wherever
there is an Impropriety, there is a manifest Want
of good Taste;—if we survey the Works of
the divine Source and Origine of all Excellence,
we shall find them full of an exact Order and
Harmony,—no jostling Atoms disturb the
Motion of each other,—every Thing above,
below, and about us is restrain’d by a perfect
Regularity:—Let us all then endeavour to follow
Nature as closely as we can, even in the
Things which seem least to merit Consideration,
as well as in those which are the most allowed to
demand it, and I am very sure we shall be in no
Danger of incurring the Censure of the World,
for having a bad Taste.

A great Pacquet of Letters is just now
brought us by our Publisher, of which we yet
have only Time to read three;—that from Eumenes
deserves some Consideration, and if, on
weighing more maturely the Affair, we can assure
ourselves it will be no ways offensive, it shall
have a Place in our next, with some Reflections
on the Matter it contains.

As for Pisistrata’s Invective (we hope she
will pardon the Expression) as it is a Rule with us Bb4v 188
us never to enter into private Scandal, we are surprized
she could expect to see a Story of that
Kind propagated by the Female Spectator.

Amonia’s Remonstrance claims more of
our Attention, and that Lady may assure herself,
that a proper Notice will be taken of it, provided
those others, which we yet have not had
the Pleasure of looking over, oblige us not to
defer making our proper Acknowledgments till
the ensuing Month.


End of the Fifteenth Book.

Cc1r


The
Female Spectator.


Book XVI.

Being returned from that little
Excursion we made into the Country,
it was our Design to have presented
our Readers with what
Observations this dreary Season
would permit us to make; but some Letters,
contained in that Pacquet mentioned in our last,
seem to us of too general Service to be postponed
for any Speculations, not so immediately tending
to the Rectification of such Errors, as render
those, who might be most easy in private Life,
miserable in themselves, and troublesome to all
about them.

As, therefore, Hints of this Nature are conducive
to bring about the main End, for which Vol. III. Cc these Cc1v 190
these Essays are published, our Correspondents
may always depend, that on the receiving any
such, whatever we had purposed to say of ourselves
shall give Place, in order for them to appear.

The first we shall insert is on a Subject, than
which scarce any thing occasions more Discourse
in the World, or is the Cause of greater Dissention
among private Families.

“To the ingenious Authors of the Female
Spectator
.
Ladies, As it was easy to perceive from the Beginning,
that your Works were intended
to correct all ill Habits, whether natural
or acquired, particularly those which are a Disturbance
to Society; I have been impatient for
every new Publication of the Female Spectator,
in Hope it would touch on the ungenerous and
cruel Behaviour some of our Sex are guilty of
after they become Step-Mothers.
Nothing, in my Opinion, can be more
incongruous, than for a Woman to pretend an
Affection for her Husband, yet treat his Children
with all the Marks of Hatred; yet this
is so common a Thing, that we shall scarce
find one, whose Father has made a second Venture,
without having Reason for Complaint of
the sad Alteration in their Fate, even though ‘the Cc2r 191
the Person, who is put in the Place of her that
bore them, has all those Qualifications which,
in the Eye of the World, may justify the
Choice made of her.
It must certainly be a mean Envy of the
Dead, or a ridiculous Distrust of the Living,
that can make a Wife look with an evil Eye
on those Tokens of Tenderness her Husband
bestows on the Children he had by a former
Marriage; and I am amazed any Man, who
perceives this Disposition in his Wife, can depend
either on her having a sincere Affection
for himself, or that she will discharge any Part
of the Duty expected from her to those he
has put under her Care.
I wonder, therefore, any Woman can be
so impolitic as to shew her Ill-nature in this
Point, since if the Husband have one Grain
of Tenderness to those that owe their Being
to him, he cannot but be extremely offended
at it:—If Dissimulation can ever be excused,
it certainly might in a Circumstance of this
kind; since good Usage, though not flowing
from the Heart, would render the Persons, who
experienced it, easy in their Situation.
But how shocking is it for a young Creature,
accustomed to Tenderness, and arrived at
sufficient Years to know the Value of that Tenderness,
to be, all at once, obliged to submit to
the insolent and morose Behaviour of a Person,son, Cc2v 192
who was an entire Stranger in the Family
till Marriage set her at the Head of it!—A
Son, indeed, has less to apprehend, because the
Manner of his Education renders him less at
Home, and consequently not so much exposed
to the Insults of a barbarous Step-Mother; yet
does he often suffer in the Want of many
Things, by the sly Insinuations and Misrepresentations
she makes of his most innocent Actions
to perhaps a too believing Father: But a
poor Girl, who must be continually under the
Eye of a Person, invested with full Power
over her, resolved to approve of nothing she
does, and takes Delight in finding Fault, is in
a Condition truly miserable:—Want of proper
Encouragement prevents her making the
Progress she might do in those Things she is
permitted to be instructed in, and then she is
reproached with Stupidity, and an Incapacity
of learning, and very often, under this Pretence,
all future Means of Improvement are
denied to her.
Then as to her Dress; that is sure to be
not only such as will be least becoming to her,
but also such as will soonest wear out, to give
the artful Step-Mother an Opportunity of accusing
her of ill Housewifry and Slatterness.
It is impossible to enumerate the various
Stratagems put in Practice to render a young
Creature unhappy:—First, she is represented
as unworthy of Regard, and ten to one but ‘after- Cc3r 193
afterwards made so in reality by her very Nature
being perverted by ill Usage.
But this is a Circumstance which, I dare say,
Ladies, you cannot but have frequently observed
much more than I can pretend to do,
though you have not yet thought fit to make
any mention of it.—It is not, however, unbecoming
your Consideration, as it is so great a
Grievance in private Life, and is sometimes attended
with the worst Consequences that can
possibly happen in Families.
How many young Ladies, meerly to avoid
the Severity and Arrogance of their Mother-
in-laws, have thrown themselves into the Arms
of Men whose Addresses they would otherwise
have despised; and afterwards, finding
they had but exchanged one Slavery for another,
either broke through the Chain by the
most unwarrantable Means, or pined themselves
almost to Death under the Weight
of it!
Others again, who have had a greater
Share of Spirit and Resolution, or, perhaps,
were so happy as not to be tempted with any
Offers of Delivery from their present Thraldom
to go into a worse, have thought themselves
not obliged to bear any Insults from a Person
whom only a blind Partiality had set over them:
—These, returning every Affront given them,
and combating the Authority they refuse to ‘acknow- Cc3v 194
acknowledge, have armed the Tongues of all
their Kindred, on the Mother’s Side at least,
with the sharpest Invectives:—The Family
has been divided,—at Enmity with each other,
and the House become a perfect Babel.
I was once an Eye-witness of an Example
of this kind, where I went to pass the Summer,
at the Country Seat of a Gentleman, whose
Family, till his second Marriage, was all Harmony
and Concord; but soon after became
the Scene of Confusion and Distraction,
through the Aversion his Wife immediately
conceived against his Children, who being pretty
well grown up, repaid in kind every Indignity
she treated them with;—This, on her complaining
of it, highly incensed the Father; he
reproved them with the utmost Severity, which
yet not satisfying the Pride of his new Choice,
she converted her late Endearments into Reproaches,
no less severe on him than them. —
The young Family had the Good-Will and Affection
of all the neighbouring Gentry, who
failed not to remonstrate to him the Injustice
of their Step-Mother:—Blind as his Passion
at first had rendered him, he began at last to
be convinced, and fain would have exerted the
Power of a Husband to bring her to more
Reason; but he soon found she had too much
been accustomed to command, to be easily
brought to obey:—She turned a kind of
Fury,—made loud Complaints to all her Relations,
who espousing her Cause against him ‘and Dd1r 195
and his Children, there ensued such a Civil
War of Words, that all disinterested Persons,
and who loved Peace, avoided the House. —
I, for my Part, left it much sooner than I intended,
as I found there was no Possibility of
being barely civil to one Party without incurring
ing the Resentment of the other; and, indeed,
being exposed to such Marks of it, as I did not
think myself under any Obligation to bear.
I have since heard most dismal Accounts
from that Quarter:—The eldest Son, who
had a small Estate left him by his Grandmother,
independant of his Father, retired to it;
and falling into mean Company, was drawn in
to marry a Girl very much beneath him, and
of no good Character as to her Conduct:—The
second, no more able to endure the perpetual
Jars at Home than his Brother had been, came
to London, where he was perswaded to go into
the Army, and fell, with many other brave
Men, at the fatal Battle at Fontenoy.—One of
the Daughters threw herself away on a Fellow
that belonged to a Company of strolling Players;
another married a man of neither Fortune
nor Abilities to acquire any; and a third
of a Disposition yet more gay, indulged herself,
by way of Relaxation from the Domestic
Persecutions, in going so often to an Assembly
held at a neighbouring Town, that she was seduced
by a young Nobleman to quit the Country
before the Family did so, and come up to
London with him, where she soon proved with Vol. III. Dd ‘Child; Dd1v 196
Child; was afterward abandoned by him, and
in that dreadful Condition, ashamed and fearful
of having any recourse to her Father or
Friends, entered herself for Bread into one of
those Houses which are the Shops of Beauty,
and was let out for Hire to the best Bidder.
So many Misfortunes happening, one on the
Back of another, in his Family, has almost
broke the Heart of the old Gentleman, and are
rendered the more severe to him, as his Wife
lays the Fault of them entirely on his having
formerly used his Children with too much Lenity,
and he is now thoroughly convinced that
the Miscarriages they have been guilty of
are wholly owing to the Cruelty of her Behaviour,
which drove them from his House and
Protection.
Dear Ladies, be so good to insert this in
your next Publication, and as I am certain you
cannot be without a great Number of Instances
of the like Nature, if you would please to add
some few of them by way of corroborating the
Truth of this, and setting forth the ill Effects
of using unkindly the Children of a Husband
by a former Marriage, I am of Opinion it
would be of great Service towards remedying
this general Complaint.
I do assure you, I have been instigated to
troubling you with the above by no other
Motive than my good Wishes for the Preservation‘vation Dd2r 197
of Peace and Unity in Families, and
the same will, I doubt not, have an Effect on
yourselves, and influence you to draw your Pen
in Defence of those who stand in need of such
an Advocate against the Barbarity of Step-Mothers;
in which Confidence I take the Liberty
to subscribe myself,

With the greatest Respect,
Ladies,
Your most humble, and
Most obedient Servant,

Philenia.
P.S. Ladies, The Hardships I have mentioned
are still more cruel when exercised on Infants,
who are incapable of making any Sort of
Defence for themselves; and that Step-Mother
who makes an ill Use of her Power over such
helpless Innocence, ought, methinks, to be obnoxious
to the World, and shun’d like a Serpent,
by all those of her own Sex, who are of a
different Disposition, till, ashamed of what she
has done, she repairs the past by future Kindness:
—But I flatter myself you will not leave
this Point untouched, and it would be Folly
to anticipate any Meaning you are so infinitely
more capable of expressing in Terms proper to
reach the Soul.—Adieu, therefore, good Ladies,Dd2 ‘dies, Dd2v 198
pardon this additional Intrusion, and believe
me, as above,

Sincerely Yours, &c. &c.”

It is impossible to converse, or indeed to live
at all in the World, without being sensible of the
Truth Philenia has advanced; and every one must
own, with her, that there cannot be a more melancholy
Circumstance than what she so pathetically
describes.—Every Tongue is full of the
Barbarity of Step-Mothers; nor is there any
Act of Cruelty more universally condemned by
the World, or which doubtless is more detestable
in the Sight of Heaven, than that we sometimes
see practised upon Children, by those Women
whose Duty it is to nurture and protect them.

Yet ought we not to think that all Step-Mothers
are bad because many have been so; nor suffer
ourselves to be prejudiced by a Name without farther
Examination: I am very certain it is impossible
for a Woman of real Sense and Virtue in other
Things, to be guilty of a Failure in this:—I do
not say she will feel all that Warmth of Affection
for her Husband’s Children, by another Wife,
as she would do for those born of herself; but
she will act by them in the same Manner, and if
there should be any Deficiency in the Tenderness
she has for them, it will be made up with a double
Portion of Care over them:—Conscious of
the Apprehensions they may be under on her
Score, and how liable to Suspicion is the Character
she bears, she will be industrious to remove both Dd3r 199
both the one and the other, and behave in such a
Manner, as to make them and the World perceive
no Difference between their Way of Life under
their natural Mother or their Mother-in-law.

Thus far Prudence and Good-nature will go;
but where there is an extraordinary Tenderness,
or what we call the Passion of Love for the Husband,
it will carry a Woman yet greater Lengths
towards his Children; the being his will endear
them to her, the same as if she had an equal
Part in them herself:—She will have all the
Fondness as well as the Care of a Mother for
them, and do that by Inclination which she is
bound to do by Duty.

How happy must a Man think himself when
he finds such a Proof of Affection in the Woman
he has made Choice of!—Such Instances
are, however, very rarely to be met with, and
both Husband and Children ought to be content,
when a Step-Mother acts in every thing like a
Mother, and not too scrutinously enquire into
her Heart for the Sentiments of one.

But there is one Misfortune which frequently
destroys that Union which ought to subsist between
Persons thus allied;—which is this: —
Children, by a former Venture, are too apt to suspect
the Sincerity of any good Office they receive
from a Mother-in-law; and this unhappy
Delicacy being for the most Part heightened by
the foolish Pity of their Acquaintance, makes them Dd3v 200
them receive with Coldness all the Testimonies
she gives them of her Love. This occasions a Dissatisfaction
in her:—If they in their Hearts accuse
her of Hypocrisy, her’s reproaches them with
Ingratitude:—A mutual Discontent grows up on
both Sides, which at length discovers itself in piquant
Words and little Sarcasms:—These by
frequent Repetitions become sharper and sharper,
till they end in an open and avowed Quarrel, and
involve the whole Family in Confusion.

Prejudice and Prepossession misconstrues
every thing, and while that remains, it is an Impossibility
for the best-meant Actions to be well
received; and I am of Opinion, that if we strictly
examine into the Origin of most of these
Family-Dissentions, we shall find them, in reality,
derived from no other Source.

Children are apt, on the first mention of
their Father’s marrying again, to conceive a Hatred
for the Person intended for his Wife: —
They run over, in their Minds, all the possible
Disadvantages she may occasion to them, and
then fix themselves in a Belief, that the worst
they can imagine will certainly befal them.

The Woman, on the other hand, thinking it
natural for them to be displeased with the Power
about to be given her over them, assures herself
that they are so, concludes all the Respect they treat
her with is enforced, and returns it too often either
with a haughty Sullenness, or such an Indifference as Dd4r 201
as makes them see they are suspected by her: —
Both Parties being thus prepared for Animosity,
they no sooner come together than the Flame
breaks out. As Doctor Garth justly observes, “Dissentions, like small Streams, at first begun,Scarce seen they rise, but gather as they run:So Lines that from their Parallel decline,More they advance the more they still disjoin. ”

In fine, these Sort of Conjunctions can never
be rendered happy, without all the Parties concerned
in them are endued with a greater Share
of Good-Sense and Good-Nature than is ordinarily
to be found; for if any one of them happens
to be repugnant, the Peace of the other
will infallibly be destroyed, and Contention
spread itself through the whole Family by Degrees.

For this Reason, I must confess, I never could
approve of second Marriages where there are
Children by the first, nor think any of the various
Pretences made by those who enter into
them, of sufficient Weight to overbalance the almost
sure Destruction of their Peace of Mind, if
not, as is but too frequently the Case, that also
of their Fortune and Reputation in the World.

But all the Inconveniences above-recited are
infinitely aggravated when the Step-Mother happens
to bring a new Race into the World, to
claim an equal Share of the Father’s Care and Fondness: Dd4v 202
Fondness:—All the Kindred of the first, and
present Wife then interest themselves in the
Cause of those of their own Blood, and are jealous
of every thing he does for the others. How
equally soever he may behave himself between
them, he will still be accused of Partiality by
both Parties; and the World will always look
on the Children of the Deceased as Objects of
Compassion, and condemn every Indulgence he
shews to those he has by their Step-Mother as so
many Acts of Injustice.

The poor Lady, guilty or not guilty, will yet
be treated with more Severity:—She will be
loaded with every thing that Scandal can invent,
and have so much to sour her Disposition, as if
good before, may in Time render her, in reality,
what she is said to be.

For my Part, it has ever been a Matter of
the greatest Astonishment to me, that any Woman
can have Courage enough to venture on becoming
a Mother the first Day of her Marriage:
—It would be endless to repeat the many Impediments
in her Way to Happiness in such a
Station, and if she has the good Fortune to surmount
them, it ought to be recorded as a
Prodigy.

I say the good Fortune, for I think it easy
to be proved from every Day’s Observation, that
the most benign, affable, and disinterested Behaviour
on her Part, will not have its due Reward, either Ee1r 203
either with those of the Family to whom she is
joined, or from the Character of the World.

I should be sorry, however, to find that any
thing I have said should be construed into an Intent
to vindicate the Barbarity of such Step-Mothers,
who, by their ungenerous Treatment of
those committed to their Care, draw a general
Odium on all Women who are under the same
Circumstances.

On the contrary, I think, with Philenia, that
they deserve the severest Censure;—that there
is not any Crime, not excepting those which incur
the heaviest Penalty of the Law, can render
the guilty Person more hateful both to God and
Man, especially when committed on helpless Infancy:
—Those who are arrived at sufficient
Years to be sensible how little Right a Step-Mother
has to use them ill, can, and will, as it is natural,
exert themselves, and return the Insults they
receive; but for those little dear Innocents whose
Smiles would turn even Fury itself into Mildness,
who can only testify their Wants by their Cries;
when they, I say, are injured, and injured by the
Person who now lies in their Father’s Bosom,
what Words can paint out, as it merits, the Enormity
of the Fact!

That some such Step-Mothers there are I
am but too well convinced, and to these all Admonitions
would be vain:—Those who are
neither sensible of the Duties of their Station, Vol. III Ee nor Ee1v 204
nor of what Religion, nay even common Morality
exacts from them, and are divested of that
Softness and Commiseration which ought to be
the Characteristick of Womanhood, will never
be moved with any thing that can be urged by
an exterior Monitor.

But how much soever a Woman is to be condemned
who uses ill the Children of her Predecessor,
I cannot help being of Opinion, that she
who puts it in the Power of a Man to treat her
own with Inhumanity, is yet more so:—There
is something, which to me seems shockingly unnatural,
in giving up the dear Pledges of a former
Tenderness as a kind of Sacrifice to a second
Passion; and I am surprized any Woman who
has Children, at least such as are unprovided for,
and are not entirely out of the Reach of those
Injustices it is in the Power of a Step-Father to
inflict, can entertain even a Thought of subjecting
them in that Manner.

Every one knows a Wife is but the second
Person in the Family:—A Husband is the absolute
Head of it;—can act in every thing as he
pleases, and though it is a great Misfortune to
lose either of our Parents while young, and unable
to take Care of ourselves, yet is the Danger
much greater when the Place of a Father is fill’d
up by a Stranger, than it can be under a Mother
in-law:—The Reason is obvious;—the one
can do of himself, what the other can only accomplishcomplish Ee2r 205
by the Influence she has over her Husband.

I am very well aware that those of my Readers,
of both Sexes, who have ventured on a second
Marriage, having Children by the first, will
think themselves too severely dealt with in what
I have advanced on this Head.—The Mirror
that sets our Blemishes before our Eyes is seldom
pleasing; but if these Remonstrances may be
efficacious enough to remind any one Person of
his or her Parental Duty, the Female Spectator
will be absolved for being the Instrument of giving
some little Pain to those conscious of having
swerved from it.

It would be judging with too much Ill-nature
to imagine, that any Parent, who marries a second
Time, foresees the bad Consequences that
may arise from such a Venture:—It often is
the very Reverse, and they are made to believe,
that in quitting their State of Widowhood they
shall do a greater Service to their Children than
they could do by continuing in it.

As many seeming Reasons may contribute to
form such an Appearance of a Change for the
better in their Condition, as there are different
Circumstances and Characters in the World;
therefore, though one may venture to say, that
though all Persons who marry twice (having Ee2 Children) Ee2v 206
Children) merit Compassion, yet all are not equally
to be condemned.

The greatest Prudence is not always sufficient
to keep us from being led astray by those Illusions
which play before our Eyes, and bar the
Prospect of that Path we ought to take; for
though, according to Cowley, “’Tis our own Wisdom moulds our State:Our Faults or Virtues make our Fate. ”

Yet there are Faults which we sometimes are
not able to avoid;—we are driven, as it were,
by an irresistible Impulse into Things which
would excite our Wonder to see others guilty of,
and perceive not the Error in ourselves till we
feel the Punishment of it.

A truly tender Parent will, however,
keep a continual Guard, not only on the Senses,
but also on their very Thoughts:—They will
repulse in the Beginning, even the least Prelude
to an Overture for a second Marriage:—They
will shut up all the Avenues of the Soul against
those imaginary Advantages may be offered to it:
—They will be blind and deaf to all the Allurements
of Birth, Beauty, Wit, or Fortune,
and place their sole Happiness, their sole Glory,
in being constant to the Memory of their first
Love, and the dear Remains of the deceased
Partner of their Joys.

If Ee3r 207

If any one should take it into their Heads to
disapprove what I have said, by producing some
particular Instances of second Marriages that
have been fortunate, though there were Children
by the first, I shall give only this Reply;—That
a Thing being possible does not infer that it is
probable:—It would be, I think, the highest Madness
to assure ourselves of being blessed meerly
because it is not out of the Power of Fate to
make us so:—It is an Opinion rooted in me, and
confirmed by a long and watchful Observation,
that there is no State of Life which in general
is more full of Confusion. The Poet says, “There have been fewer Friends on Earth than
Kings. ”

And I will venture to maintain, (with this
Proviso, where there are Children by the first)
that there have been fewer happy second Marriages
than Blazing Stars.

But I shall now take leave of a Subject, some
may think I have dwelt too long upon, and present
the Public with a Letter from Eumenes,
omitting only one Paragraph, which we flatter
ourselves he will excuse, as we feared it might be
taken as aimed at a particular Lady, whose
many excellent Qualities may very well serve to
screen from Reflection one small Error, especially
as it is of no manner of Prejudice to any
but herself.

To Ee3v 208

“To the Female Spectator.
Madam,
If I remember right you said, in one of your
former Essays, that Vice was more easily reformed
than Folly:—Nothing certainly can be
more just; because in Matters where Conscience
does not intermeddle, we do not pay Regard
enough to what the World may say of
us, to quit any thing that we find a Pleasure in
pursuing.
Though all the various Affectations of
Dress, Speech, and Behaviour were to be practised
by one Person, they would still not amount
to a Crime; and, therefore, while we continue
to fancy they become us, we shall hardly be
prevailed upon to abandon them, either by the
most poignant Satire, or most friendly Admonitions.
If our good Sense informs us, that what we
are reproved for is in itself a Foible, yet it will
appear to us an agreeable Foible, and such as
sets off our real Perfections with greater Lustre,
and makes us be more taken Notice of in
Company. An Ambition which we shall not
find many Persons wholly free from.
Harmless, however, as we may flatter
ourselves all kinds of Affectation are, there are
some which, by being indulg’d, may insensibly‘bly Ee4r 209
corrupt the Mind so far as to draw us into
Vice:—This is would be easy for me to
prove in many Branches, but I am determined
to confine myself to one, and shall leave it to
you, who, I am certain, are very able to do it
to expatiate on the others.
I am always extremely sorry when I see one
fine Lady deform the loveliest Features ever
were moulded by the Hand of Nature, by
screwing her Mouth into a thousand disagreeable
Forms, and roll her Eyes into a Squint,
under the Imagination she adds new Graces to
them:—Or when I hear another happy in a
Voice all Harmony and distinct Sweetness,
counterfeit a Lisp that renders what she says inarticulate,
and painful to the Listeners:—I pity
the fair Ideot, who distorts her well-turned
Limbs, and seems to rival the antic Postures
of the Buffoon and Mountebank:—The Masculine
Robust
, who aims to charm us with a
High German Jut, or the Over-delicate, who,
like the Arms of a Nobleman, is never seen
without her two Supporters, I view with the
same Bowels of Compassion:—I blush to hear
the Soldier boast of Wounds he never felt,
and condemn the ill Direction of Campaigns
without ever having been in one:—I fly out of
the Church, when I perceive the Divine in the
Pulpit endeavours to edify his Congregation
more by the Exaltation of his Hands and Eyes
than by the Doctrine he delivers to them:—I
am sick of Law, when I see a Pleader at the ‘Bar Ee4v 210
Bar more solicitous about the Curls of his Wig,
and the adjusting his Band, than the Cause of
his Client; and am ready to forswear all Medicines
when the Physician, instead of examining
into the Constitution of his Patient, entertains
him with a long Harangue concerning the
Opinions of Galen and Hypocrates.
But these are little Vanities, which will,
doubtless, some time or other, fall under your
Consideration; that kind of Affectation which
provoked me to draw my Pen, a Thing (I
must tell you by the way) I am not over fond
of doing, is very different from those I have
mentioned:—It is of a Gigantick Size, and,
like the great People of the World, is seldom
unattended with a numerous Retinue of the
smaller and more inconsiderable Race.
What I mean, Madam, is the preposterous
Affectation of appearing as different as
we can from what we are; or, in other Words,
going out of our own Sphere, and acting a
Part, the very reverse of that which Nature
has instructed us in.
You will say, perhaps, that this is Pride,
and that it is common to all People to aim
at being thought more wealthy, wise, virtuous,
or beautiful than they truly are.
But, good Lady Spectator, such an Ambition
or Pride, call it as you will, ridiculous as ‘it Ff1r 211
it is, comes yet infinitely short of the Folly I
have in View:—That which I am about to
define, tho’ it makes People of mean Degree
run all Manner of Risques to look like those
whom Fate has placed above them, yet it also
influences those of the highest Birth to forego
all the Pride of Blood and Titles, divest themselves
of every Mark of Nobility, and endeavour
to appear, as near as possible, like the
most abject of the Populace.
I doubt not but you have read a late Poem,
entitled An Essay on Satire in which it is
likely too you may have taken Notice of these
Lines: ‘――Th’ ambitious Peer,That mounts the Box, and shines a Charioteer,For Glory warm, the Leathern Belt puts on,And smacks the Whip with Art, and rivals
John. ’
This, Madam, is sufficient to make you
easily comprehend what I mean by going out
of one’s own Sphere, and I believe you will
readily own that nothing is now-a-days more
commonly practised.
I have now by me an old Book of Voyages,
in which, among many other Places, the Author
gives the Description of a little Republic
in the Atlantic Ocean , called the Topsy-Turvy
Island
: After having given an Account of its Vol. III. Ff Situation, Ff1v 212
Situation, Extent, Climate, Produce, and other
Things, foreign to my present Purpose, he thus
speaks of the Inhabitants:
The Natives of this Island are of a sanguine
fair Complexion; the Men, for the
most Part, are admirably well proportioned,
though they say of a more puny Constitution
and lower Stature than they were in former
Times, by Reason of the Vices, which of
late Years have spread through all Degrees of
People, and very much debilitated the whole
Species:—The Women are so perfectly beautiful,
that did they not disguise their Charms
by an awkward way of Dressing and Deportment,
those who pass there for least agreeable,
would in any other Country be celebrated
Toasts:—Nor can either Sex accuse Nature
for not having endued them with sufficient Capacity
to render their Conversation equally
pleasing to the Ear, as their Persons are to the
Eye; but such a general Indolence hangs upon
them, or, what is still worse, an Inclination to
study only such Things as are far from being
any Improvement to their Understandings, that
a Stranger, on his first coming among them, is
apt to take them for a Nation of Lunatics: —
Their very Habits and Recreations seem to denote
them Enemies, not only to common Sense,
but also to Nature:—The Men affecting to wear
soft effeminate Garb, and the Women one altogether
masculine:—Their Heroes sit for three
Hours together, sipping warm Water and Sugar, ‘and Ff2r 213
and their Virgins breakfast upon Brandy: —
The Nobility take a Pride in driving Coaches,
or running like Lackeys by the Side of them;
and the Mechanics forsake their Shops, to ride
about the Town in State like so many Magnifico’s.
As to their Religion, they pretend to adore
one Supreme Being, and after him (I might
have said beyond him) a great Number of subordinate
Deities, such as Power, Pleasure, and
Fame, to whom they think he delegates the
Means of bestowing every thing they have to
wish: But though they have several fine Temples,
and what they call an established Rule
for Worship, it is so loosely attended to, and so
great a Latitude given in Matters of Faith,
that every one, who is inclined to pray at all, is
at Liberty to chuse his own God; so that, in
effect, there are as many Religions among them
as there are Men of inventive Faculties to
form them. The true Reason of this Diversity
of Opinions owes its Rise chiefly from the
Ambition and Avarice of the Theodo’s or
Priests, who (quite contrary to the Practice of
the European Ecclesiasticks) concerning themselves
more with Temporal than Spiritual Affairs,
act in so direct a Contradiction to the
Doctrine they preach, as makes both themselves
and Precepts almost wholly disregarded by the
Laiety; and while this Behaviour in the Teachers
give Birth to an infinite Number of Sects,
it at the same time makes others imagine that Ff2 ‘all Ff2v 214
all Religions are the same;—meer Priest-
Craft and outside Shew, and that after this Life
there is nothing either to be hoped or feared.
Wherever this melancholy Depravity in
Religious Principles prevails, it cannot be expected
that Morality should flourish:—All
Gratitude, Faith, Honour, Hospitality, Charity,
and Public-Spirit seem entirely banished
from these People; even natural Affection
has no longer any Weight among them, and
if any one is hardy enough to make the least
Attempt for the Revival of those antiquated
Virtues, he is looked on as a Fool and a Madman,
and hissed out of the Society of all who
would be thought polite.
Arts and Sciences are much talked of in
this Island, and indeed but talked of, for no
Encouragement being given but to the Propagators
of Pleasures of a grosser kind, deters
all who have any View of Profit from the
Pursuit of them:—Philosophy is professed by
very few, and even those few employ their Time
in only frivolous Enquiries, and such as are of
no manner of Service to Mankind:—Poetry
also labours under a most miserable Decay,
for though there are not wanting some Men
of fine Genius’s among them, yet they are
obliged to fold up their Talents in a Napkin,
for Reasons which will be very obvious to my
Reader when I come to speak of their Government
and Policy.
‘Thus Ff3r 215 Thus far my Author, whose Words I have
quoted to shew that there have been other
Times and other Nations no less fond and even
proud of Absurdities than ours.
One would be apt, however, to imagine,
that in some Particulars we had copied from
the Manners of those People, especially in that
Article which relates to the Delight they take
in apeing whatever is most distant from their
real selves.
Who that sees a young Nobleman trotting
round the Park with his running Footman’s
little Staff and Cap, or driving his Chariot
through the Streets with all the Fury of a
Hackney-Coachman on a rainy Day, but
would believe he had learned those Avocations
in the Topsy-Turvy Island!
How agreeable a Figure does the Wife of
an eminent and wealthy Citizen make in her
own House, where every thing discovers her
Opulence and Plenty; and how despicable
does she appear when dangling after a Court,
and the Jest of every little Dependant or sneering
Maid of Honour there, who, perhaps, has
not so much for her whole Fortune as was expended
on the other’s Wedding-Dinner! —
Yet some there are who fancy themselves extremely
sick till they can breathe the Air of
St. James’s, or Leicester-Fields, and prefer the
Ridicule, if not gross Insults, they are sure to ‘meet Ff3v 216
meet with there, to all the cordial Friendship
and Respect they are treated wtih among their
Neighbours.
What Affectation, nay, what Infatuation
is this! All other Creatures, except the Human
Species, are uneasy out of their own Element,
and seem rather to shun than covet the
Society of different Animals; but one of these
‘Brutes of Reason’, as the Poet justly calls them,
restless to be what it is not, mimicks, as much
as it can, the Looks and Actions of the darling
Object, even to its own Infamy and Ruin.
Two Couplets, which I have somewhere
read, recoil upon my Mind, as being perfectly
descriptive of this unhappy Disposition: ‘Blind to ourselves, Cause of our own Unrest,We seek our Virtues in each other’s Breast:Meanly adopt another’s wild Caprice,Another’s Weakness, or another’s Vice. ’
There are a thousand Instances in which it
might be proved, that the wild Affectation of
being more like other People than what we
ought to be ourselves, infallibly occasions our
falling into Vices we thought not of at first: —
The ill Customs of those whose Company we
frequent with Pleasure, will certainly infect our
own:—Yet this is not all; what is laudable
in some Persons would be highly blameable
in others of a different Station:—There are Ff4r 217
are Things which are meerly indifferent in
themselves, and take the Name of Virtue or
of Vice entirely from the Circumstance and
Character of the Person that puts them in
Practice:—Good Oeconomy and Frugality
in a private Man, is mean Avarice in a Prince:
—What is no more in a Nobleman than acting
up to the Dignity of his Birth, would be
Ostentation in a private Person; and so of the
rest.
In a Word, wherever People behave in a
Fashion unbecoming of their Rank, and what
is expected from them by the World, assuming
Characters not their own, whether they attempt
to exalt or demean themselves, it is equally the
same:—A ridiculous Affectation, and brings
innumerable Inconveniencies on all who are
guilty of it.
But as I am more particularly concerned
for the Reputation, Interest, and Happiness of
the Citizens of London, than for any other Division
or Degree of People in his Majesty’s
Dominions, my Family, for a long Generation,
having had the Honour to be of the Number,
and I myself now am, I would fain engage the
Female Spectator to make it her Endeavour to
convince them, that there is nothing on the
other Side Temple-Bar which it will be for
their Advantage to imitate.
London Ff4v 218 London has been called a second Rome,
and we have flattered ourselves that the Comparison
was just; but pray Heaven we may
never be too like it in its Decline; let us remember
from what an envy’d Height that famous
City fell, when Luxury and Pride debased the
Minds of its Inhabitants:—When the Men
became the Followers of Pomp and Power,
under the all-engrossing sars; and the
Women imitated the Manners of Julia and
Poppea.
No Theme, in my Judgment, Madam, can
more answer the Intent of your Lucubrations:
Pursue it, therefore, with all the Spirit and Vigour
in your Power, and second the generous
Aim of the Satyrist I before mentioned, whom
I once more take the Liberty to quote on this
Occasion. ‘Bid Britain’s Heroes (awful Shades) arise,And ancient Honour beam on modern Vice:Point back, to Minds ingenious, Actions fair,’Till the Sons blush at what their Fathers
were:
E’er yet ’twas Begg’ry the Great to trust;E’er yet ’twas quite a Scandal to be just;When vulgar Sharpers only dar’d a Lye,Or falsify’d the Card, or cogg’d the Die,Or Vice look’d big in Plumes of Freedom
dress’d.
Or public Spirit was the public Jest. ’
‘It Gg1r 219 It is certainly a very great Misfortune, that
the Errors which now reign among us, were
not perceived and struck at in their Beginning;
many of our Children, who are now become Parents
themselves, were bred up under their influence,
and Custom has now rendered them
a second Nature:—Arduous is the Task,
and requires a more than Herculean Strength
to bring about a Reformation; but to Minds
resolved nothing appears too difficult.
That Spirit and Good-will to Mankind
which seems to inspire all the Writings of the
Female Spectator, will, I hope, not permit her
to be silent on so copious a Subject, and which
the present Depravity of the Times calls so
loudly to be touched upon.
In the firm Belief, therefore, that I shall see
not only those loose Thoughts inserted as soon
you have room for them, but also a full Compliance
with my Request, I remain,

With all possible Regard,
Madam,
Your constant Reader, and
Most humble Servant,
Eumenes.

Those who do not look on the City of London,
as the Fountain-Head, from which all Vol. III. Gg the Gg1v 220
the Conveniences of the whole Kingdom flow,
know little of it; but nothing can be more surprizing
to me, than that those, who owe their present
great Fortunes to it, can, with any Degree
of Patience, converse with those who take a
Pleasure in ridiculing, not only its Customs and
Manners, but also its most valuable Privileges.

The Observation Eumenes makes, that there
is a Possibility for Affectation, from a meer Folly
at first, to grow up into a Vice by Degrees, is
extremely just:—We have a flagrant Instance
of it before our Eyes, and indeed too obvious
both to Court and City, in a Person who,
while she contented herself with the Customs
and Manners in which she had been educated,
and for many Years continued to practice, was
one of the most amiable Characters in Life: —
Her Name was never mentioned without an Encomium
on her Prudence, Affability, Hospirality,
Charity, or some other shining Virtue;
but how are now all those charming Qualities
erased, and others, altogether the reverse, conspicuous
in her Behaviour!—How easily has she
been drawn to think she had been all this while
in an Error!—To change that Sweetness of Deportment,
which had so much endeared her to all
that had the Pleasure of her Acquaintance, into
one all proud and disdainful!—To lavish in
Luxury those Sums she was accustomed to dispose
of in Acts of Benevolence to the Distressed;
and that yet more precious Time, once set apart for Gg2r 221
for her Devotions, in Gaming, Masquerades, and
other such like Assemblies!

A great Courtier now become, she looks
with Contempt on her former Fellow-Citizens;
joins in the Laugh Coquets and Beaus set up
whenever any of them appear, and sees not that
herself is equally an Object of Ridicule to those
she is so vain of imitating.

Thus despising and despised, without one real
Friend, she lives a gawdy, glittering, worthless
Member of Society, and endured by those whose
Example has rendered her such, on no other
Account than that immense Wealth, which they
find Means to share with her, while she imagines
they are doing her an Honour.

Unhappy Woman!—Yet I wish to God she
was the sole Object of our Pity on this Occasion!
—Too many, alas! tread in the same Steps, and
order their Coaches so often to St. James’s, that
it is much to be feared they will, in a short Time,
have no Horses to draw them.

I will not presume to say, that all the Misfortunes
the City of London at present labours
under are owing to their preposterous Fondness
of following the Fashions of the Court; but that
they are in a great Measure so, I believe, most
People will readily enough agree.

Yet must not the whole Blame of this light Gg2 upon Gg2v 222
upon our Sex; I do not see but the Men are as
eager to quit their Compting-Houses, and strut in
the Drawing-Room, disguised in a long Sword
and Tupee-Wig, as the Women can be in a new
Brocade, exactly the same Pattern with that of one
of the Princesses:—The Infection has spread
itself pretty equally through both Sexes:—And
the Husband has little to reproach the Wife with,
or the Wife the Husband, but what each are guilty
of in the same Degree.

There is something so agreeable in the Description
of the Topsy-Turvy Island, that we could
wish Eumenes had favoured us with more of it:
—Their Government, their Policy, the Execution
of their Laws, their Negotiations, Treaties,
and their Conduct in War and in Peace, must,
doubtless, favour of the same Discretion as their
Behaviour in private Life, and their Elegancy of
Taste in those Things he has thought fit to acquaint
us with; and consequently would have
afforded a most pleasing Entertainment to our
Readers.

If he is not too much offended at the Liberty
we have taken in omitting those few Lines in his
Letter, which we feared might be looked upon
as a personal Reflection, and draw upon us a
Censure we have always been careful to avoid,
he will, on the unanimous Request of every
Member of our little Society, oblige us, at his
Leisure, with some farther Account of that extraordinary
Place and People.

As Gg3r 223

As to Affectation in general, we shall hereafter
give some Instances how all kinds of it demean
and render trifling the Persons who are guilty of
it:—The Subject is indeed sufficiently copious,
and the Folly too much indulg’d by all Ranks of
People, not to demand Attention from the Female
Spectator
; but we are now obliged to delay
so necessary a Work, and proceed to the
third Letter in our Pacquet, which contains these
Lines.

“To the Female Spectator.
Madam,
It is only in Persons of high Extraction
that we expect to find high Virtues, because
we are apt to imagine, that the Education they
receive, and the illustrious Patterns set them
by their Predecessors, will not suffer any Ideas,
but such as are great, noble, and generous, to
enter into their Minds:—If those of a mean
Birth and humble Breeding behave with common
Honesty, and avoid being guilty of any
enormous Crime, we think it is all they are capable
of, and look for no more from them: —
When any extraordinary Action is perform’d
by one of these, we are unjust enough to consider
it as the meer Effect of Chance, without
ascribing any Sort of Merit, or having any more
Regard for the Person who performs it than we
had before, and are with very great Difficulty
brought to believe, there can be any intrinsick Value Gg3v 224
Value in that Jewel which we find set in a base
and common Metal.
Yet that there have been shining Instances
of an exalted Virtue, before any Titles of Distinction
between Man and Man were invented,
is demonstrable by those very Titles being invented,
and bestowed at first as the Reward of
exemplary Virtues:—But no Words of mine
can so well set forth this Truth as these few
admirable Lines, which I transcribe from Mr.
Dryden’s Poem of Sigismond and Guiscard.
‘Search we the secret Springs, And backward trace the Principles of Things; There shall we find that when the World began,
One common Mass compos’d the Mould of Man; One Paste of Flesh on all Degrees bestow’d, And kneaded up alike with moist’ning Blood. The same Almighty Pow’r inspired the Frame With kindled Life, and form’d the Souls the
same:
The Faculties of Intellect and Will, Dispers’d with equal Hand, dispos’d with
equal Skill:
Like Liberty indulg’d, with Choice of Good
or Ill.
Thus born alike, from Virtue first began The Difference that distinguish’d Man from
Man:
He claimed no Title from Descent of Blood; But that which made him noble, made him
good.
Warm’d Gg4r 225 Warm’d with more Particles of Heav’nly
Flame,
He wing’d his upward Flight, and soar’d
to Fame;
The rest remain’d below, a Tribe without
a Name.
This Law, though Custom now diverts the
Course,
As Nature’s Institute is yet in Force, Uncancell’d, tho’ disus’d: And he, whose
Mind
Is virtuous, is alone of noble Kind: Tho’ poor in Fortune, of celestial Race: And he commits the Crime who calls him base. True Greatness has its Center in the Soul; Not given by Fate, nor under Fate’s Controul. ’
If Sons tralienate from their Father’s Virtues,
and each successive Race degenerates
from the former, like Streams that grow weaker
the farther from their Source, in vain we
hope to receive any of those Benefits from
them, for the conferring of which their Ancestors
were dignify’d.
But it is neither my Business nor Inclination
to depreciate the Merit of noble Blood: I
would only not have Virtue too partially confined
to those of high Birth, and perswade the
World to see and to respect it when found even
in the lowest Rank of People.
I was led into a Reflection on this Matter, by Gg4v 226
by being an Eye-witness of an Accident, which
I flatter myself may afford as agreeable an Entertainment
to your Readers in the Relation, as
it did me in the beholding; for which Reason
I venture to present it to you.
I am, Madam, a Man of Peace, and far
from taking any Delight in the Accounts, whether
true or false, our News-Papers give us of
Battles, Skirmishes, or Sieges; yet, not withstanding
the little Inclination I have to enquire into
the Business of the War, on being told there
was a fresh Draught to be made out of the
Troops, in order to fill the Places of those lost
at Fontenoy, I had a Curiosity to see in what
Manner those on whom the Lot should fall
would take it.
Accordingly I went, on the Day I
had heard was appointed for it, about Five in
the Morning into St. James’s Park, where I
found several Companies drawn out, and Thousands
of People looking on, some excited by
the same Motive as myself, and others by their
Concern for the Choice that should be made
of Men to send away.
Among this latter Number was a young
Person, whose Age appeared to me not to exceed
Sixteen, and so extremely pretty, that had
her plain Country Habit been exchanged for
one more advantageous, she could not but have
attracted all the Eyes present.
‘The Hh1r 227 The Innocence of her Countenance, however,
and the Anxiety that discovered itself in
all her Features and Motions, as I saw she was
talking with two or three Men who stood near
her, and seemed also to be Country People,
made me desirous of knowing whether it was
for a Brother or a Lover she was so deeply interested.
I therefore made my Way through the
Crowd that interposed, and with much-a-do
got near enough to hear what Discourse passed
between her and her little Company; by which
I soon found that it was neither of the Relatives
I had imagined, but one allied to her by
a much dearer Tie, for whom her tender Soul
was dissolved in Fears and Impatience.
In fine, I soon perceived, by what I heard
her say, and afterwards had a more full Information
of, that she was married about five
Months since to the Son of a Farmer in Wiltshire,
who had unhappily been drawn in to enlist
himself a Soldier soon after he became a Husband:
—That his Father had offered very
considerably for his Discharge; but his Officer,
on Account of his Youth, Stature, and
Strength, would not be prevailed upon to part
with him, and his Friends now trembled, that
those very Abilities would be the Occasion of
his being one of those picked out to be sent
Abroad.
Vol. III. Hh ‘The Hh1v 228 The Terms in which this poor Creature
expressed herself were truly pathetic, and
touched the Soul the more as they were purely
natural, and void of all the Ornaments of
Speech:—She wept, but strove to hide her
Tears; and while with an Excess of Passion
she protested never to abandon him, but partake
of all his Dangers and Hardships, she
blushed at finding she was heard by any beside
those to whom she made this Declaration.
I must confess, that I never in my Life
had so great an Opportunity of viewing Nature
in its Perfection, that is, as it came from
the Hand of the Creator, as in the Struggles
I discovered here between Modesty and Tenderness.
One of those, to whom she directed her
Discourse, I found was a Relation of her own,
and the other a great Friend and Companion
of her Husband’s; and both had accompanied
his Father up to London, in order to attempt
his Discharge, which failing to do, the old Man
was returned home with an aking Heart, and
these staid to wait the Event.
A great many were draughted off, several
of whom seemed to regret the Preference
given them:—The foolish Pity and Murmurs
of the Populace heightened their Concern,
and the Cries and Lamentations of the ‘Parents Hh2r 229
Parents, Wives, and Children rendered some
among them quite unman’d.
At last the Officers came up to a Rank,
among whom was a more than ordinary tall,
handsome, young Fellow:—The Moment I
cast my Eye upon him I imagined him the
Husband of my pretty Neighbour, and soon
found I was not deceived in my Conjecture,
by the additional Confusion I now saw in her
Face, and in those of her Companions:—I
trembled for her, and expected no less than that
he would be among the Number of the Chosen,
as indeed he immediately was, and marched
off to the others, who were draughted before:
—She gave a great Shriek, attempted to
to speak, but had not the Power, and fell into
a Swoon.
By the Assistance of her Friends, and several
others who stood near and seemed to commiserate
her Condition, she recovered; and no
sooner was so, than the Extremity of her Grief
banishing all Sense of Shame, she flew to the
Captain, threw herself at his Feet, conjured
him to pity her, and spare her Husband: —
Her Cousin, and the other young Man joined
their Tears and Prayers with hers, but the Officer
was too much accustomed to Petitions of
this Nature to be much moved at what they
said, and repulsed them with more Roughness
than I then thought I could have done, had I
been in his Place; but I have since considered, Hh2 ‘that Hh2v 230
that in some Circumstances it is necessary to
harden one’s Heart, or at least to seem as if
one did so; and that if a Gentleman in his Situation
was to give Ear to all the Applications
made on the same Score, it would be impossible
for him to perform the Duties of his
Function.
All being in vain, the disconsolate Husband
advanced, from the rest of his Fellows, to bid
adieu to his fair Wife, who persisted in her Resolution
of accompanying him; but he would
by no Means listen to such a Proposal, and
there ensued between them such a tender Contest,
as Persons bred in much higher Life need
not have been ashamed to have been engaged
in.
The young Countryman stood for some
Time in a musing Posture, and at length coming
out of it, went directly to the Captain, and
with a Resolution in his Countenance I shall
never forget, spoke to him in this Manner:
Your Honour sees, said he, the Distress of
these two young People, they have loved one
another from Children, are but lately married,
and she is with Child, if they should be separated
it would break both their Hearts; I beg
your Honour will give him his Discharge, and
take me in his Room:—I have no Wife nor
Father to lament me, and if I die the Loss
will not be much:—I beseech you therefore ‘to Hh3r 231
to grant my Request:—I am as strong and as
able to serve my King and Country as he is,
and I shall go with Pleasure, if by it I can leave
this Couple happy.
To this he added somewhat more by way of
enforcing his Request, which so astonished the
Captain and all who heard him, that nobody
went about to interrupt him.
After he had given over speaking, one of
the Officers asked him if he had an Inclination
to the Army; for if you have, said he, we will
give you the listing Money, and you may go
with the rest.
No, Sir, replied he boldly, I never till now
had a Thought of being a Soldier, nor would
I enter myself on any Terms but to serve Tom,
and I am out of the Reach of the Press-Act,
having above ten Pounds a Year of my own
in Land; and therefore if you think well of
me give him his Discharge, and I am ready to
take his Coat without your listing Money.
Such an Act of Generosity occasioned a
Shout of Applause; all the Gentlemen were
charmed with it, and the Captain was contented
to take him at his Word; and ordering the
Muster-Roll to be brought to him, erased Tom,
and put in the Name of his kind Redeemer,
which was William; and then wrote the Discharge
in the usual Form.
But Hh3v 232 But when Tom was called, and informed of
what had been done for him, he could scarce
be prevailed upon to accept his Liberty on
such Terms; he argued, that the Offer of the
other was the highest Proof of Friendship,
yet it would be ungrateful and unworthy in
him to abuse such Goodness, by exposing so
generous a Friend to Danger for his Sake.
The Tears of his Wife, however, and the
Perswasions of every Body that were Witness
of this generous Debate, at length got the better
of his Scruples, which, though in a mean Man,
I will venture to call Delicacy:—He received
his Discharge, and gave up his Cloaths and
Musket, which the other immediately equipt
himself in, with the greatest Resolution and Intrepidity:
—The Officers clapped their Hands,
and the Mob huzza’d, and cried he would
beat ten French Men, while others shook their
Heads, and said it was Pity so brave and honest
a Fellow should be Food for Powder and
Ball.
It would have afforded me an infinite Satisfaction
to have seen their Parting, but that
being impracticable, as I heard the now happy
Pair were resolved not to quit that dear Friend
till his Embarkation; so I lost them after they
got into one of the Boats that waited at Whitehall,
and returned Home so full of Admiration
at the Adventure, that for several Days I
thought on little else.
‘Now Hh4r 233 Now, Madam, I appeal to you if Theseus,
Peritheos, or any other celebrated Friend, whether
antient or modern, could have given a
greater Instance of Generosity than this plain
Country William, or could have accepted it
with a better Grace than Tom? For my Part,
I am convinced in my own Mind, that if these
two Men had been blest with a polite and liberal
Education, the Obscurity of their Birth
would have been no Obstruction to their making
very shining Figures in Life.
Yet, how cruelly have some, to whom I
have reported this Action, misconstrued it!
One would have it that William was got drunk,
and knew not what he did:—Another, that
what he did was only a Bravado, and both were
certain that he would afterward repent it. But
I, who had a watchful Eye over his Behaviour,
am as certain, as I can be of any thing that
passes in another’s Breast, that he was neither
the one nor the other;—that the Offer he
made was the Result of a serious Deliberation
within himself;—and that he was excited to it
by his natural Generosity, his Friendship to
Tom, and Pity for his Wife: The Reason he
gave the Captain, that as he had neither Father
nor Wife to grieve for him in case any
Accident happened to him, his Loss would
be of less Consequence, may serve, I think, to
confute any Opinion to his Prejudice.
Yet Hh4v 234 Yet are there People, who will rather discredit
the Testimony of their own Eyes, and
forfeit their own Judgment, than allow that
any thing great and noble can proceed from a
Person in an abject Station:—Though this
methinks is flying in the Face of all Truth,
Reason, and Philosophy, which teach us, that
the Soul is the same in all Degrees of Men, and
would actuate in all alike were not this divine
Part in us obstructed by some Defect in the
Organs:—Though exterior Accomplishments
may polish and add a Lustre to all we
do, yet the Want of them will not prevent us
from doing the same as if we had them:—Every
Man’s Ideas are his own:—His Notions
of Right and Wrong are lodged within himself;
and I believe with that great Philosopher
and Divine, the Archbishop of Cambray, that
there are Savages in Canada who think in the
same Manner with the Philosophers of Greece
and Rome.
The Manner in which we do good Actions
is indeed to be learned from Precept and Education,
but the Will to do them must be born
with us, or all that comes from us will have an
enforced Air, and savour strongly of the
School.
A proper Education is, however, a very
valuable Thing; it not only improves our
good Qualities, but enables us to repel the Dictates
of those ill ones, which our Passions are ‘apt Ii1r 235
apt to inspire in us; but I would not ascribe
more to it than is its real Due. For, as a famous
French Author says, ‘Education but polishes, not makes the Diamond.’
But I fear, Madam, I have troubled you too
long, and shall therefore conclude with assuring
you that I am an Admirer of your Works,
and,

Madam,
Your most humble Servant,
And Subscriber,
R.S.
P.S. If you think this worthy to be admitted
into your next Book I shall be extremely
pleased, because the Adventure mentioned in
it, as it was so public, may be represented to
the World by some other Hand, in a less advantageous
Light than it deserves.”

It must be confessed there is something very
tender in the Incident Mr. R.S. has given us:
—The Character of William is truly great and
magnanimous, and it would be the highest Injustice
not to acknowledge it. For my Part,
were I his Captain, I should interest myself in a
particular Manner for the Fate of so brave a Fellow;Vol. III. Ii low; Ii1v 236
but so great is the Partiality of the World,
that Virtue does not seem Virtue when not placed
at the Top of Fortune’s Wheel.

I doubt not but there have been many gallant
Things performed by Persons of mean Station,
which either have been buried in Obscurity,
or the Glory of them ascribed to others.

I will also go so far as to give it as my Opinion,
that in the Education of a young Person,
if great Care is not taken to instil a high Regard
and even Love for Virtue, with the Rudiments of
fine Breeding, the former would be in Danger of
being corrupted by the latter; and I would sooner
trust to the Honesty and Generosity of a Man,
who knows no more than just what he received
from Nature, than to one who knows every
thing beside, but has unhappily forgot those Notions
and Ideas which Heaven has planted in the
Soul of every one, though they are often extinguished
by giving way to vicious Passions and
corrupt Habits.

The humble Cottager, therefore, if he has
seen no Ill, but acts meerly from the Principles
in his own Breast, and which were born with
him, will certainly act conformable to Justice and
to Reason.

It is the Prevalence of Example, alas! and of
those Examples which we imagine it is a kind of
Merit in us to follow, that lead us all astray; from Ii2r 237
from whence we may justly enough infer, that
those who live at the greatest Distance from them
are the most likely to tread in the right Path.

Sir Charles Sedley says, with a great deal
of Truth, and what every Day’s Experience may
convince us of, that “Example is a living Law, whose Sway,Men more than all the written Laws obey. ”

Persons of a narrow Education are apt to
think they cannot do better than to imitate, as
well as they can, the Manners of those who have
been favoured with a more liberal one; and so
far they certainly are right, but then I would
wish them to make use of that Reason which
every one is blessed with, and examine into the
Actions of whoever they happen to take for
their Pattern, to the end they may copy after
them only in such Things as are commendable,
and avoid whatever they find is the reverse.

I remember that in one of my former Essays
I undertook to prove, that it was not Nature
but the Perversion of Nature that occasions
all our Faults and our Mistakes.

The generous Behaviour of Country (uninstructed)
William shews what we are able to do
of ourselves:—All who hear what he did must
allow it to be truly great; but if, after having
so well proved the Nobleness of his Soul, he Ii2 should Ii2v 238
should degenerate, and become hereafter selfinterested,
deceitful, or in fine, any way base, it
must be owned it was the ill Example of others
that makes him so.

But there is one unhappy Turn in some People’s
Tempers, which, it must be confessed, is
Nature, and in some Cases would be a Virtue, but
in this that I am going to mention is highly to
be condemned.

What I mean, is that exces