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.

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

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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.

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.

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.

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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 ing 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.

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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 ver 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: 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.

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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!

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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 tinued 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.

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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 voking 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 ties 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 pened 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 mending 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 chanical 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 ledge, 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 mour 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.


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 ferior 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 ing 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 writing; 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 terprize 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 racter 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 hemence 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 tion 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 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 lieve 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 forded 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 pect 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.


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 CompetitionIII. S petition S1v 128 petition 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 commi ttted.

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 server, 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 other, 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 Nature s 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 ing 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 dam, 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 versation, 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 vation 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 tain, 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 ous, 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.


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 son, 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 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 vation 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 dies, 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 complish 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 bly 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;III. Ii low; Ii1v 236 low; 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 excessive Modesty which makes them fearful of incurring the Ridicule of those they converse with, though it be for behaving in a Manner which they are well satisfied within themselves is right;—They are afraid of being laughed at for not doing as they see others do, and therefore yield a blind Compliance in every thing proposed to them.

I cannot help quoting on this occasion a Passage out of that Poem Eumenes took some Lines from, called An Essay on Satire: After mentioning the Force of Example, and the foolish Timidity of quitting a bad Custom, he goes on, For sure the deadliest Foe to Virtue’s Flame,Our worst of Evils is perverted Shame.Beneath this Yoke what abject Millions groan,The shackl’d Slaves of Follies not their own. TheIi3r239The Demon Shame paints strong the Ridicule,And whispers close,――The World will call you Fool!Each Tool to hood-wink’d Pride, so poorly great,That pines in splendid Wretchedness of State,Tir’d in Ambition’s Chase would nobly yield,And but for Shame, like Sylla, quit the Field.Behold yon Wretch to impious Madness driv’n,Believes and trembles, while he scoffs at Heaven:By Weakness strong, and bold thro’ Fear alone,He dreads the Sneer by shallow Coxcombs thrown;Dauntless pursues the Path Spinosa trod,To Man a Coward,—a Bravo to God.

Much might be said on this Subject, but we must now think of Amonia, whose Letter the last Female Spectator gave her some Reason to expect would be inserted in this.

To the Worthy Authoress of the Female Spectator. Madam, Marriage being the general Business of the World, the mutual Desire of both Sexes, and the Dye on which the Happiness or Misery of our whole Lives depends, the Choice of a Partner in that important State requires the utmost Attention. ‘When Ii3v 240 When we are young it cannot be expected we should be able to judge truly of what is best for us: Passions many times over-rule our Reason, and shut our Eyes against every thing that should deter us from too rashly venturing on that uncertain Sea, and an unjust Prejudice as often hinders us from accepting what would perfect our Felicity. Those, therefore, who dispose of themselves without the Advice of such Friends as ought to be consulted on the Occasion, and have afterward Cause to repent of their Inadvertency, though they deserve our Pity, have no Claim to our Excuse. But when we are deliberately made miserable, nay even compelled by the Authority of our Parents to enter into Bonds from which Death alone can set us free, the Blame must lie on them, though the Misfortune is all our own. This, Madam, is my Case, and as it also may be that of many others, I thought it would not be looked upon as an improper Subject for the Female Spectator. I doubt not but you will imagine that the Person allotted for me was one to whom I had an utter Distaste, or if not so, that there were some other who possessed more of my Inclinations; but neither of these it was that rendered‘dered Ii4r 241 dered my Marriage so unhappy:—If I had no great Passion for him who is now my Husba hnd, I had at least no Aversion, nor had I even the most remote Desire for any other:—I may truly say, that neither before my being his Wife, nor since, I ever saw that Man whom I could wish to exchange for him; yet is our Union the greatest Misfortune to both of us, and could I have foreseen the continual Distractions there would be between us, I would have chose my Grave rather than my Marriage Bed. The Calamities I labour under flow from a more grievous Source than Dislike, for that, by Time and good Usage, might have been worn of, but this increases daily, and every Moment of my Life gives some additional Wretchedness. But not to be too tedious: This Bar to the Happiness of us both is, that we are of different Opinions in Matters of Faith; and tho’ it was stipulated in the Marriage-Articles, that I should enjoy my own Way of Devotion, and also that what Daughters happened to be born should be baptized and educated in the same, as the Sons should be of that of their Father; yet he has been so ill satisfied with these Conditions, that from the first Month of our Marriage he has tried all the Means in his Power to oblige me to relinquish them. I, who was bred up in the strictest Principles‘ples Ii4v 242 ples of my Religion, can never be brought to change it for any other, and he is so great a Bigot to his, that he looks on every one as a Heathen that is of a contrary way of Thinking. We have two Sons and three Daughters, who, inheriting their Parents Principles, live in continual Discord and Upbraidings of each other; but I suffer the most, having not only my own but a Share of each their several Discontents. My poor Girls know nothing of a Father’s Tenderness; if they implore his Blessing he tells them he has none to give them while they continue to obey their Mother’s Precepts; and my Boys are taught to think of me as of a Creature to whom no manner of Duty or Affection is owing. As for his own Behaviour to me, the best of it is Pity for my eternal State, mixed with a kind of Contempt of my Ignorance and Infatuation, as he calls my persisting in the Way of Worship I was bred in; and when any thing Abroad happens to sour his Temper, he is sure to vent his ill Humour on me and my Religion. Sunday, which is a Day of Peace in all other Families, is certain of renewing Contention in ours; while dressing in order to go to ‘our Kk1r 243 our different Places of Devotion, instead of preparing ourselves, as we ought to do, with Thoughts all serene and composed, we take Care to fill each others Minds with all the troubled Emotions we are capable of inspiring; and on our Return from thence, all our Discourse is larded with the most piquant Reflections. You will say, perhaps, I am to blame in returning any Answer to whatever injurious Treatment I may receive from him; but to prevent your passing so unjust a Censure on me, I must assure you, that for a long Time I combated his Reproaches only with my Tears; but, finding Mildness was so far from obliging him to desist, that it rather encouraged him to go on, because it flattered him with a Belief he should in Time make a Convert of me, I thought it best to assume all the Spirit I could, and shew him that I was neither to be cajoled nor frighted from my Faith. In fine, as I knew myself in the right, and he, no doubt, is strongly possessed of an Opinion that he is so, we mutually condemn each other; and if we do not actually hate, as yet we do not, we cannot bear that Good-will which we ought to do, and Heaven only knows to how great a Height these present Animosities may at length arrive. I remember to have read, in one of your Vol. III. Kk ‘former Kk1v 244 former Lucubrations, that it was utterly impossible for any Marriage to be happy where there was not a perfect Conformity of Sentiments and Humours in both Parties, even in those Things which are looked upon as meer Trifles:—What must it then be, when the Husband and Wife differ in Matters on which Eternity depends?—When each looks on the other as in a State of Perdition? Thinks it almost a Crime to indulge any tender Sentiment, lest it should prove a Temptation to Apostacy, and are in continual Apprehensions, that by fulfilling their conjugal Duties they should be drawn from those of their Religion? In what an unhappy Circumstance are also the Children of such a Marriage! They are not only sure of being disregarded by one of their Parents, but also Aliens to each other in Love and Affection, as they are in Principles. The very Servants in such a Family are uneasy, know not well whose Commands they should obey; and in a word, the whole House is divided against itself, and all is in an inextricable Confusion. This, Madam, is the true and melancholy Condition of me and my Family; but though to a Mind oppressed like mine complaining is some Ease, it was not that self-interested Motive alone that excited me to give you the Trouble of this Epistle:—My Misfortunes have not so ‘far Kk2r 245 far extinguished all generous Sentiments in me, as not to make me wish my Fate may be a Warnin