π1r π1v
Fete gallante outside a Greek temple whose entrance is guarded by Athena (left) offering a crown in her right hand (left rests on shield), and a goddess holding a palm branch (Demeter?), three cherubs hovering above. A woman in the foreground is detained by two noblemen as she heads for the temple (one on either side: left holds her skirt while she turns her face and right arm to the other), each handing her a piece of writing (in Latin?).

J. Bonneau fecit.

π2r

The
Female Spectator.

Vol. IV.

“Happy alone are those that can Govern the little Empire Man; Bridle their Passions and direct their Will, Thro’ all the glitt’ring Paths of charming ill: Who in a fix’d unalterable State Smile at the doubtful Tide of Fate, And scorn alike her Friendship and her Hate.”
Stepney.

Emblazoned circular portrait of a man identified by an overhead caption “A. Cowley”, from which a fillet hangs with the words “Printed by T. Gardner”.A. Cowley.Printed by T. Gardner London:
Printed and published by T. Gardner, at
Cowley’s-Head, opposite St. Clement’s-Church
in the Strand. 1745M,DCC,XLV.

π2v π3r

To
Her Grace
The Dutchess Dowager of
Manchester
,
this
Fourth Volume
of the
Female Spectator

is
Most Humbly Inscribed,


By
Her Garace’s
Most devoted Servants,

The Authors.

π3v
A1r

The
Female Spectator.

Book XIX.

As we are desirous of preventing all
Suspicion of any Partiality in us
to one Correspondent more than
another, we established it as a
Rule at our first setting out, that
whatever we found proper to have a Place in
these Essays, should be inserted in the Order in
which it was received.

This Method, which we have all along punctually
observed, we flatter ourselves will excuse
us to the Authors of many excellent Pieces,
which have lately been communicated to us for
the Service of the Public, that we give the Preference
to that of Eumenes, as being the first
that came to Hand.

Vol. IV. A Neither A1v 4

Neither is it possible for any one to be deceived
in this Point, were we capable of attempting
it, because the Dates of the Epistles themselves
would rise up against us.

Thus much we thought it necessary to say,
because we are told some Whispers, of an Accusation
of this Nature, have been spread Abroad,
to the Prejudice of that Character of Sincerity
we are determined never to forfeit.

“To the Female Spectator. Madam, Ihave so little Pretentions to the Title of
an Author, that the Vanity which is imputed
to them would be insufferably ridiculous
in me:――I am therefore so far from being
any way disgusted at your omitting some Part
of my former Epistle, that I should have readily
excused your curtailing much more if you
had found it proper.
But how much soever I may be satisfied as
to this Point, I cannot acknowledge myself so
in another, and more material one.――I hoped
to have found the Female Spectator would
have improved on the few Hints I had given
her, and exerted the Talent she is so perfect a
Mistress of, in setting before the Eyes of my
worthy Fellow-Citizens of London, what best
becomes both their Interest and Reputation in
the World.
‘The A2r 5 The little you have said, notwithstanding,
convinces me of the true Esteem and Good-
will you bear to a Body of People, who, if
they are not at present the Envy of their
Neighbours, it is wholly owing to themselves,
and at the same Time makes me fear you said
no more, only because you find too much Reason
to apprehend, that they are so far sunk in
Luxury, and an unhappy Infatuation, as to be
ranked among the Number of the Incorrigibles.
But, Madam, to do Justice to them, as well
as to the Force of even that short, though pathetic
Remonstrance, you were pleased to make,
I must beg Leave to acquaint you, that there
is more than one Family, to my Knowledge,
who have had Sense enough to be awakened
by it from their long Lethargy, and to perceive
the Precipice they were about unwarily to
plunge into.
Many more, I am apt to flatter myself,
will be ashamed of their past Conduct; and
as I can assure you what you have said has been
in general well received, it is more than barely
possible a much greater Success will crown
your Labours in the End, than even you yourself,
with all your Spectatorial Capacity, can
foresee, or perhaps are fearful of being too
sanguine in the Expectation of.
Time has brought greater Wonders to Perfection
than this; and would you vouchsafe sometimes A2v 6
sometimes to mingle in your Lucubrations
some Admonitions for so desirable a Purpose,
I do not doubt but you will one Day see the
good Effects of it.
In the mean Time I think it highly fit I
should comply with your Request, and accordingly
send you enclosed some farther Account
of the Topsy Turvy Island, as I faithfully transcribed
it from that Book of Voyages mentioned
in my last.
If it will afford any agreeable Reflections
to your Society, or Entertainment to your Readers,
I shall think myself happy in the Power
of contributing to what I so sincerely wish, being,
with the greatest Respect,
Madam,
Yours, and your fair Associates,
Most humble and most devoted Servant, Eumenes.

The following Piece is the Transcript our
ingenious Correspondent has obliged us with;
which, it is easy to see, is composed of several
select Parts of the History, such as I suppose
he found would be most pleasing, or most proper
to be inserted in a Work of this Nature.

“The Topsy Turvy Island is so little known ‘in A3r 7
in these Parts of the World, that the Adventures
I am about to relate would seem dark
and intricate, if not fabulous to my Readers,
if I did not first give them some Idea of the
Nature of the Place in which they were transacted.
I shall therefore present them with a general
and succinct Account of such Things as came
within the Reach of my Observation, and leave
those which I confess myself to have been unable
to fathom, to be supplied by Imagination;
premising only thus much, that I will not impose
on the Understanding of any one, by pretending
to discover more than in effect I was
able to do.
As to the Geography it matters not, for
I believe few will be ambitious of taking a
Voyage thither; therefore consequently would
be of no manner of Service: Besides, indeed,
I must confess myself utterly incapable of relating
in what Degree of Latitude this remote
Country lies, arriving there by very extraordinary
Means, and in which the Compass was
entirely useless; so I shall only say, it is situated
on a Branch of that wide Ocean which
divides America from the rest of the Globe,
and passing by the Elbow, if I may so call it,
of the Pacific Sea, runs through the Heart of
that great Continent, which we, not having yet
been able to explore, call by no other Name
than that of Terra Incognita.
‘It A3v 8 It would, doubtless, be easy for me to supply
this Deficiency by Invention, and pretend
to have said the Island is North of such a
Place, and South of such a Place, being in no
Danger of being confuted by any present or
future Columbus; but I was bred in a Detestation
of all Deceit, and tho’ I am yet arrived,
after ten Years Travels, at no higher Post than
a Midshipman, could not answer to my own
Soul the Meanness of a Lye in any Shape, or
to answer any End:—I therefore flatter myself,
that the Discoveries I have been able to make
will more than attone for the Want of those,
which, with all my Endeavours, I found it impossible
to attain.
As to the Climate it is exceeding healthy,
and those not only of the Inhabitants, but
also Strangers who happen to come there, and
value Life enough to take a proper Care of
it, may live to an extreme old Age:――Nor
did Heaven ever bless a Spot of Earth with a
greater Plenty of every thing necessary for the
Support of Nature: The Meadows are covered
with the finest Cattle I ever saw, and
abound with the most excellent Pasturage for
their Nourishment:—Their Fields seldom fail
to crown the Toil of the laborious Husbandman
with a full Crop:—Rivers which may vie
with the most celebrated ones in Europe, and
afford a vast Variety of delicious Fish:—Their
Fruits are also exquisite, and the Juice of some
of them make a Wine not inferior to the best ‘Burgundy, B1r 9
Burgundy, or Frontiniac; and the Kernels of
others yield an Oil, at least equal to that of
Lucca:――Then they have such a Glut of all
kinds of Poultry, both wild and tame, that
though it is of a more delicate Relish than any
I ever tasted in these Parts of the World,
the excessive Cheapness renders it Food only
for the common People.
Their Seasons are little different from
ours, excepting that the Days are considerably
longer, and what is very strange, less sultry,
even in the Meridian of the Sun, than we feel
in its Decline:—The Air is wholly free from
all Storms and Corruscations, and whenever
any Fog arises, it is always in the Night, and
consequently of but small Annoyance.
As to their Form of Government, they
tell you, it is Republican; nor indeed, have
they any King, Matters of State being transacted
by a certain Number of Men, whom
they chuse among themselves, and pay an implicit
Obedience to, during the Time prefixed
for their Rule, which is nine Years, at the Expiration
of which they resign their Authority,
and others are called in.
This they call a State of perfect Freedom,
yet it is, in effect, the worst of Slavery; and no
Man has the Command of his own Property
any more than under those Governments Vol. IV. B ‘which B1v 10
which are looked upon as most despotic. The
Reason of it is this:
The Island, though governed by its own
Laws, is a kind of an Appendix to a great Monarch
on the Continent, by whom it had formerly
been conquered: This Prince, though
he flatters them with a Shew of Liberty, has
it always in his Power to enforce or sooth
them into Compliance with whatever he desires;
and should these pretended Rulers in
the least offer to oppose his Will, he would
come down with Fire and Sword, and lay the
whole Country waste: So that their Condition
is infinitely worse, than if it had been even under
the worst Princes of their own.
But there is little Occasion to expatiate on
this Fate, because every one knows the unhappy
Situation of a Country, which, from
being perfectly independent, is reduced to be
no more than a Province to another.
The present Race of the Topsy Turvyans
are, however, too indolent to reflect on their
Misfortunes, and being by degrees subjected to
the Yoke, seem quite contented under it: They
see, without repining, the richest of their Produce
carried every Year to the Continent; all
the Beauties of their Fields and Gardens ransacked,
what for so many Months they have
been cultivating, born away before their Eyes,
yet are content with the Gleanings of what scattered‘tered B2r 11
Remnants they can pick up for their own
Use.
I am sensible this will scarce gain Credit in
England, yet it is no more than a Truth my
own Eyes have been witness of.
As to their Laws, nothing can be better calculated
for the Happiness and well ordering
of Society; but the Execution of them is entirely
out of Use, and they hang up, like the
Skin of an Allegator in an Apothecary’s Shop,
rather for Shew than Service: Their Customs,
Manners, and Behaviour are so much the Reverse
of what they were some Ages past, that
one would think it impossible the Topsy Turvyans
I saw should ever be descended from
Persons capable of framing so excellent a Constitution,
and Statutes for supporting it.
Certain it is, notwithstanding, that they
were once a wise and gallant People; but
Avarice on the one Hand, and Luxury on the
other, have poisoned and enervated all their
nobler Passions, and rendered them, both in
public and private Life, no less deserving of
Contempt than formerly they were of Veneration
and Esteem.
The Island, though no more than an hundred
and fifty Miles in Length, and not quite
forty in Breadth, contains two Cities and several
very populous Towns: There is also an B2 University, B2v 12
University, or rather an Academy; but how
much those who are educated there, at least
those of them who are too great to submit to
Rules, profit by their Studies, the Reader may
guess, by what I have said in another Place of
their Conduct and Behaviour.
The Youth, however, pride themselves
very much on their Return from thence, and
look down with a kind of Scorn on those who
have not been allowed this seeming Advantage.
As it will doubtless be expected I should say
something of their Towns and Cities, I shall
give as exact an Account of these also as possible:
—Their Streets are, generally speaking,
very narrow, and the Buildings irregular, except
in the Capital, where somewhat more Care
and Skill seems to have been employed.
It is very plain, that Architecture is a Science
these Islanders were never practised in;
for the Palaces of their greatest Men, and even
those of the Theodo’s, or High Priests, are extremely
rude and barbarous, though adorned,
after their Manner, with precious Stones and
Gold.
I must observe, that Gold is not coined
here, as in other Countries, into Money, nor
will any that is so pass among them; but it is
used in Furniture, and bought with a kind of
mixed Metal, which we have nothing in Europe,‘rope, B3r 13
nor any where else in the known World,
that ever I heard of, that in the least resembles
it.
Their Temples are very little ornamented,
and less frequented; they are also for the
most part low-roofed, and quite overlooked
by the Palace of the Chief Theodo of that
District, who always lives near, and by his capacious
Hall seems to be superior to the Diety
he pretends to serve.
The Houses of the Nobility, and great
Officers of State, are not wanting in Richness,
whatever Deficiencies there may be in Elegance;
but those of the inferior Gentry and
Mechanics shew, by their Decay and wretched
Appearance, the Hardships and miserable
Condition their Owners labour under.
I have said there were good Laws; but
what will appear very strange, throughout the
whole Island there is not one Court of Judicature,
all Affairs relating to Meum and Tuum
being decided by the Persons at the Helm; so
that it often happens that the younger Branches
of a Family inherit, and the elder are turned
out to starve, according as Interest and Favour
directs.
But as Gaming is the chief Business, as well
as Amusement of the Topsy-Turvyans, large
Halls are erected for that Purpose, not only ‘in B3v 14
in every Quarter of the Capital, but also in
every Town, and even little Village.
The Doors of these Halls being kept continually
open, both Night and Day, it is
amazing to see what Numbers of People are
always crowding in to pay their Adorations
to the Goddess Fortune, whose Image is placed
at the upper End under a magnificent Canopy.
—All Ages, all Degrees, all Sects, unite in
this universal Worship:――All Reserve,—all
Pride of Birth,_――all Difference in Opinion is
here entirely laid aside:—The Prince and the
Pedlar,—the Lady that keeps the Chariot, and
the Drab that trowls the Wheelbarrow,—the
Prude and the avowed Prostitute,—the Ecclesiastic
and the Ballad-singer are on equal
Foot:――Nothing but Gain, dear Gain is regarded,
and the Lord has as little Remorse for
winning from the Cobler all he is Master of in
the whole World, though the Wretch hangs
himself the next Morning for the Loss, as he
would for having got the same Sum, from
him who could best spare it in the Company:
But Ruin and Destruction are with them more
Matters of Mirth and Derision than Pity or
Relief.
These are all the Edifices of Note that I
remember, except the Theatre, which indeed
is tolerable as to the Building, were it intended
for another Use, but ridiculous for that to
which it is put:――If originally erected for a B4r 15
a Play-house, as they told me it was, never
sure was so great a Blunderer as the Architect;
for the Stage being round in the Manner of a
a Cock-Pit, those of the Audience, who sit in
one half of the Circle, can only see the Actors
Backs.
I must own, indeed, that according to the
Performances exhibited there, this is little to be
regarded, for the Person who has the Management
of this very grand Affair, as it is accounted,
perceiving the Audiences begin to slacken,
and at length become so thin, that there was
seldom sufficient to defray the Expence, in
Compliance with the fantastic Humour of the
Age, and bring more Company, introduced a
new kind of Entertainment; which was to
bring twenty or thirty Asses on the Stage, dressed
in Ribbands, and hung round with Bells.
This, like all other Novelties in so capricious
a Nation, afforded infinite Satisfaction;
and when the poor Creatures, unused to such
harnessing, happened to bray, or to knock their
Heads one against the other, as they often
did, the whole House ecchoed with Acclamations,
as if some elegant Piece of Wit had been
performed.
Btut this Mode of Diversion was but of a
short Continuance; for the Actors, jealous of
these new Brothers, and fearing they should
lose their Salaries if the Animal Creation got ‘the B4v 16
the better of the Rational one, in the Approbation
of the Town, set themselves about contriving
how they should supplant them, which
they effected by the following Method.
They procured the Skins of several Sorts of
Creatures, such as Bears, Bulls, Babboons, Dogs,
and Dragons, and having transformed themselves
into the Shape, acted the Manners, of these
Animals so much to the Life, that they soon
found their Labour had not been in vain:――
Much greater Applause was given to them in
their Brute Characters than they ever had received
in those of Heroes and fine Gentlemen;
perhaps too with good Reason, but of that I
do not pretend to be positive.
They still, however, at least at my leaving
them they did so, continue to act Pieces or Interludes,
which they divide into two Classes,
and call either the ‘Terrible’ or the ‘Merry’, meaning
I suppose what we do by Tragedy annd Comedy;
but I think that Distinction might very
well be laid aside in the Topsy Turvy Drama,
being equally preposterous, out of Nature, and
far from either Wit or Humour in the one, or
Truth, Justice, or Propriety in the other.
This indeed must be acknowledged, that
their Drama is a true Picture of the Times,
and so far justifiable; but how degenerate,
how depraved must be the Taste of these ‘wretched C1r 17
wretched Islanders, to be pleased with seeing
themselves in such a Mirror.
Military Discipline is much practised
among them:—Encampments and Reviews
are frequent, and they make as good a Shew
as any Nation in the World:—Better dress’d
Soldiers I never saw, but as to their Prowess I
dare not answer;――as far as I could learn, it
had not of many Years been put to any great
Tryals, for though there were five Declarations
of War against so many different Powers
during the Space of eight Months, they were
no sooner made than Overtures of Peace succeeded,
and all the mighty Preparations for
War ceased and gave way to Dancing, and
all kinds of Revels.
This might be good Policy, did it serve
to render them formidable to their Neighbours;
—but, alas, all is no more than a Bounce;――
they menace loud――they bluster for a while,
then meanly sue, and often purchase a Peace
at a dear Rate.
It is almost impossible to enumerate the many
Treaties, the Alliances, the Leagues Offensive
and Defensive, they entered into during
the three Years I was so unfortunate as to be
among them;—I say unfortunate, because,
though this Island abounds with every thing a
Man can with any Shadow of Reason desire, Vol. IV. C ‘yet C1v 18
yet are there such perpetual Alarms, that no
one, who wishes a settled State of Life, can be
easy under:—They are always threatning, yet
always in Apprehensions of something worse
happening to themselves than is in their Power
to inflict on others, and frequently reminded
me of that Passage in Holy Writ,
‘The Wicked shall fear, where no Fear is.’
But what is more amazing, if possible, than
all the rest is, that they are always under the
most Terrors where there is the least Probability
of Danger; guarding that Place in the
strongest Manner which is most distant from
the Enemy, and leaving that which is most
likely to be attack’d, wholly defenceless.
To add to this, they are certainly the most
officious busy People in the World;—they cannot
be easy without having some Hand, or
being thought to have, in all the Transactions
of the neighbouring Nations:—At one Time
you would imagine they were endeavouring
to bring about an universal Place; at another
that they were stirring up all who listen
to them to War.—This meddling Humour frequently
embroils them in Quarrels with those it
is most their Interest to be well with, and also
involves them in Wars for the Concerns of
others, while their own are totally neglected.
‘But C2r 19 But as they are never long in the same
Mind, one Campaign is sufficient to make them
as sick of War as before it they were of Peace;
and indeed if any of their Inclinations may be
said to be guided by Reason, this is, because
their Arms are generally very unsuccessful.――
Experience, however, does not make them
wise enough to avoid engaging a-fresh, as soon
as any Opportunity presents itself; and they
would long ago have been all cut to Pieces,
and their Island reduced to an Heap of Ashes,
had they not bought off the impending Ruin
with those Treasures the Frugality of their industrious
Ancestors had left them; and which
at my coming away I found were pretty near
being wholly exhausted: So that perhaps while
I am writing this Account of their Conduct,
it may have brought that Destruction on them
with which they have long since been threatned,
and it must be confessed, they but too
justly merit.
Yet notwithstanding this acting in the
general against all Rules of common Sense, I
found some few among them who had a greater
Share of Reason:—These saw the approaching
Miseries of their Country with streaming
Eyes, and Hearts overwhelmed with Anguish;
――they fail’d not to admonish, to reprove,
and to oppose with all their Might every destructive
Measure; but all they could do was
ineffectual:—Their Advice was only laugh’d
at, and their Persons treated with Contempt.
C2 ‘As C2v 20 As these Men were the only conversable Set
of Mortals I found in the whole Island, I past
my Time chiefly with them, and by that
Means became acquainted with many Things
I could not otherwise have known.
Speaking one Day of the strange Irregularity,
and capricious Contradictions in Conduct
practised by the Topsy-Turvyans, one of
those I just mentioned, pretended to account
for it by the following little Piece of History,
which, whether fabulous or true, may be an
Entertainment to the Reader.
‘Our Island’, said he, ‘was formerly governed
by Vice-Roys, who being vested with an
unlimited Authority by the Crown, we were
happy or miserable according to the Disposition
of this Delegate of Power:—All our Appeals
and Complaints to the Continent were disregarded,
so that we frequently suffered great
Impositions.――At last, being persecuted by
one, who excell’d in Cruelty and every kind
of Wickedness all his Predecessors, the People
united in a Combination against him;—his
Palace was plucked to the Ground, and himself
with all his Family destroyed:_Others after
him, attempting the same Things, were treated
in the same Manner, so that for some Time
none dar’d to exceed the Bounds a good Magistrate
ought to observe; and we enjoyed a perfect
Freedom and Tranquility for many Years.
—O! had it but continued, how happy a Na‘tion C3r 21
had we been! But alas! the Golden Days
of the Topsy-Turvyans past away, and a sad
Change came on.――O! Æra fatal to our
Glory, Interest, Virtue, Liberty, all that is
worth a brave Man’s Care, when the detested
Hiamack was sent over to be our Vice-Roy:—
Ruin, Perdition, Horror, Madness, was then
let loose among us, and everlasting Shame with
every Curse that Thought can form is now entail’d
upon us.’
Here the good old Man was obliged to
pause, and give a loose to that Torrent of Tears
which this sad Remembrance extorted from
him; and I took the Opportunity of asking,
wherefore, if Hiamack behaved so ill, the People
did not, as before, exert themselves to the
Ruin of their Oppressor? To which Question,
as soon as he had a little recovered himself, he
replied.
‘Madack,’ said he, (which is the Appellation
they give to all Strangers for whom they have
any Esteem, and come the nearest to ‘my
Lord’
in English of any Title I know of,) ‘Hiamack
was too subtle to discover himself;――he
appeared at his first coming among us to be
all Courtesy and Gentleness; and as he was
the greatest Magician perhaps that the World
ever knew, he made Use of his diabolical Art
to betray us into what he easily foresaw we
were not to be forced.’
‘Under C3v 22 ‘Under the Pretence of his great Love and
Respect for the People, he ordered Banquets
to be prepared one Day in a great Plain,
to which he invited all Degrees, not excepting
the very meanest of the Rabble:—This seeming
Hospitality and Humility charm’d the whole
Island;—all crowded to partake of it, and to
bless the new Vice-Roy.――Thousands were
served at once, and they withdrawn, fresh
thousands came, till all had swallowed down
the worse than poison’d Viands:—All but a few
who being either out of the Island at that
Time, or were detained by Sickness or other
Causes from this Feast, among which happy
Number were my Ancestors and some
others.’
‘For, O my dear Madack,’ pursued he, ‘the
curst Magician, by some infernal Recipe, had
given to this Food an infatuating Quality of
so dire and mischievous a Nature, that not
only those who eat of it, but all the Posterity
which should descend from their Loins, from
Generation to Generation, and from Age to
Age, should be deprived of all Power of judging
for themselves; of distinguishing between
what is their Interest, and what is not; and in
fine, from that Time forward become dead to
all Sense of what they were, or what they
ought to be.’
It is impossible to express the Agony this
poor honest Topsy-Turvyan fell into, in concludingcluding C4r 23
his Narrative; which, but for the Pity
I could not help feeling for him, would have
made me laugh heartily.—I could never have
expected such a Reason for the Vices, Caprices,
and Follies I had seen among these People,
and to hear it accounted for in the Manner
I now did, appear’d to me little less ridiculous
than the Behaviour he ascribed to so
out-of-the-way a Cause.
I believe he perceived by my Countenance
what my Thoughts were on this Occasion, and
therefore added many Observations to assert
the Truth of what he had been saying.――All
the others also of the ancient Topsy-Turvyans,
as they called themselves, aver’d the same, and
I found it a Tradition, which was the more
established, as it seemed impossible a whole
People should degenerate and become so directly
the opposite of what they had been, if
some supernatural Agency had not been employ’d
to work the Change.
That there are Drugs, which, without the
Help of Magic, will work upon the Brain, and
so stupify the Senses, that they have no Power
to operate; there was an Instance not many
Years past in England, of a Nobleman who
had a Potion given him by his Lady, which
render’d him for many Years incapable of
transacting any kind of Business, and it is
thought the Ideotism would have lasted as long ‘as C4v 24
as Life, had not Providence in a Manner almost
miraculously restored him to his Reason.
’Tis probable, therefore, that this Hiamack
might know the Nature of so pernicious
a Recipe, and apply it to the unfortunate Topsy-Turvyans;
but then I cannot think the Infatuation
could be of such Force as to reach
the Intellects of those who should be begot
afterwards; I rather think, as it had an Effect
to corrupt the Manners of the Fathers, the
Sons as they grew followed that Example;
their Posterity still did the same, and by this
Means the Curse which they imagined entail’d
by Necromancy, became confin’d from Generation
to Generation.
But to relate Matters, not refine upon them,
is I take it the only Business of an Historian,
so I shall leave it to the Reader to judge as he
thinks most reasonable of the Cause of this
Degeneracy of a once brave and nice People.
As to the Navigation of the Topsy-Turvyans,
it is no less comical than the rest, though
they boast much of it:――They have indeed a
great Number of Vessels, which are perpetually
swimming up and down in the Pacific
Ocean
as the Tide directs, for they have neither
Sails nor Ballast:――It is utterly impossible
to give any Description of them that would be
intelligible to an European Reader, being built
after a Form which there is nothing like in the whole D1r 25
whole World:—It must be owned there is
somewhat of Majesty and Dread in their Appearance;
—they are large and very high,
and ornamented on the Top with a prodigious
Number of Streamers, red, yellow, blue, and
white, which are fixed on Poles on above another,
and fall down, like Curls of a Perriwig,
to the Surface of the Vessel, the Sides of
which are full of long Iron Spikes, a little like
Javelins, the Points directed outwards:――
These are the Weapons by which, in Fight,
they think to annoy their Enemies; but I
never saw them tried that Way, and fancy they
would be able to do little Execution.
As they know nothing of the Compass, and
never travel out of their own Sphere, when
they would have these Vessels move to any
particular Part, they guide them with a Sort of
Paddles, thirty, forty, or sometimes fifty Topsy
Turvyans
on a Side in one Bottom.
It is thus that they convey themselves to the
Continent, whenever they have any Business to
go there, either to carry the Produce of their
own Island, or fetch what foreign Commodities
they may have occasion for.
When they are not employed in these more
necessary Avocations, they often form a kind
of a Figure, dance on the Waters, making
first a Circle, then passing between each other,
which they do with incredible Swiftness, by the Vol. IV. D ‘Help D1v 26
Help of their Paddles, the Vessels being extremely
light, and that Sea never disturbed
either with Storms from Above, or any interior
Emotion of its own.”

This is all Eumenes has thought to give us
of that remote Country, and, it must be acknowledged,
is sufficient to satisfy the Curiosity of any
one who is not desirous of taking a Voyage
thither; as I believe few will, who have this
Idea of their Manners and Customs.

There are some Things so infinitely diverting
in the Description, that we found it utterly
impossible to forbear laughing, though at the
same time were filled with the greatest Compassion
for a People so lost and so undone by their
own Indolence and Luxury; for I am altogether
of the same Mind with the Writer of the
Account, that it scarcely happened by any supernatural
Means.

When a Nation devotes itself to such Studies
and Amusements as can no way contribute to the
Glory or Interest of their Country, or to their
own particular Reputation, they will infallibly
become by degrees divested of all Sense of Virtue,
and, like the Topsy Turvyans, grow the
Slaves of Vice and Folly.

I believe the World could never yet produce
one Instance where true Spirit subsisted
after Honour was no more:—The one, indeed, is D2r 27
is the natural Consequence of the other; for a
brave and honest Mind will be ever firm, constant,
and unshaken; it will dare all the Menaces
of unwarrantable Power, and despise all
undermining Artifices;—equally Proof against
Force or Flattery: But, when once Vice gets
Possession of the Soul, it becomes mean and abject;
it has no longer any Will, any Inclination
of its own; the ready Tool of every soothing
Offer, and lowly submissive to every Command
that shall be given.

It behoves, therefore, every Individual of
every Country in the World, whatever may be
told them, or how much seeming Cause soever
they may have to flatter themselves with an Assurance
of Freedom, not to neglect searching,
with the most enquiring and impartial Eye, into
all that passes; to examine into the most hidden
Motives; and, disdaining to be guided by Appearances
and fair Pretences, judge for themselves,
and boldly declare their Approbation or
Disapprobation of what is doing.

This alone is true Liberty; for where Freedom
of judging or speaking is a Crime, all
other Indulgencies are but so many downy Linings,
which at first may make the Yoke of Slavery
seem soft and easy to be borne, which will
wear away, when worn for any Length of Time,
and then the rugged galling Load be felt with
double Weight.

I D2v 28

I do not at all wonder that a People, who
have no Ideas of the Christian Religion, or
indeed of any other that is consistent with Reason,
and are equally Strangers to every thing
civilized and polite, should be so ready to ascribe
all extraordinary Revolutions to Art Magic; since,
even here in England, it was common, a very few
Years since, to imagine Storms, Shipwrecks, and
almost all Manner of ill Accidents, were occasioned
by the Force of wicked Spells: And the
old Romans, who valued themselves so much on
their Understanding, as to look on all other Nations
as barbarous and savage, were so addicted
to this Opinion, that they imputed every thing
that befel from the greatest, down to the most
minute Events, to the Power of Charms. As
witness Virgil: “Pale Phœbe, drawn by Spells from Heav’n descends,And
Circe chang’d by Charms Ulysses’ Friends,Spells break the Ground and penetrate the Brake,And in the winding Cavern splits the Snake;Spells fire the frozen Veins.――”

And again, “By his dread Art the Negromancer boasts,To call from forth their Caverns stalking
Ghosts,
And from the Roots to tear the standing Corn,Which whirl’d aloft to distant Fields is born,Such is the Strength of Spells.――”

Our own Poets also, it is plain, have upheld
the same Tenet: Shakespear in all his Plays is full D3r 29
full of it, not even this Historical ones exempt.
The great Revolution in Scotland he ascribes to
the Promise made by the Witches to Macbeth;
and likewise brings that great, though wicked
Man to shew an entire Dependance on them,
and to consult them in every thing, as we see by
his earnest adjuring them to speak to him. “If you can look into the Seeds of Time,And see which Grain will grow, and which will
not,
I conjure you, by that which you profess,To answer me.Tho’ you untie the Winds, and let them fightAgainst the Churches; though the yesty WavesConfound and swallow Navigation up;Tho’ Castles topple on their Warder’s Heads;Tho’ Palaces and Pyramids do slopeTheir Heads to their Foundations,Even till Destructions sicken; answer me.”

Dryden too, of much later Ages, was no
less possessed of these Ideas, and in a great many
of his Dramatic Pieces, as well as other Writings,
shews himself very fond of giving Abundance
of Power to Witches and Sorcerers. See
what he says in his Tragedy of Tyranic Love. “Him have I seen (on Ister’s Banks he stood,Where last we wintered) bind the Headlong
Flood
In sudden Ice, and where most swift it flows,In Chrystal Nets, the wond’ring Fishes close;Then,D3v30Then, with a Moment’s Thaw the Streams enlarge,And
from the Masks the twinkling Guests discharge.In
a deep Vale, or near some ruin’d Wall,He would the Ghosts of slaughter’d Soldiers
call;
Who slow, to mangled Bodies did repair,And loth to enter shiver’d in the Air;These his dread Wand did to short Life compel,And forc’d the Fate of Battles to foretel.In a lone Tent, all hung with Black, I sawWhere in a Square he did a Circle draw:Four Angles made by that Circumference,Bore holy Words inscrib’d of mystic Sense:When first a hollow Wind began to blow,The Sky grew black, and belly’d down more low.Around the Field did nimble Light’nings play,Which offer’d us by Fits, then snatch’d the Day.’Midst this was heard the shrill and tender CryOf well-pleas’d Ghosts, that in the Storm did
fly;
Danc’d to and fro, and skim’d along the Ground,Till to the Magic Circle they were bound.”

In fine, the Poets of all Ages, but the present,
by their Writings have greatly contributed to
the Continuance of that Superstition, which
Priests in the more dark and uninformed Times
for their own Interest began.

These Kingdoms are, however, now entirely
freed from their former Errors on this Side; the Ex- D4r 31
Example of the great World have put a Stop to
all such Follies in their Inferiors, which testifies
the Influence they have. If they do not therefore
endeavour to give as great a Check to Propensities
of a yet more dangerous Nature, the
Faults of all those beneath them, may, but with
too much Justice, be laid to their Charge.

Let then those of both Sexes, who shine in
the higher Sphere of Life, become Models of
Virtue to the rest; and I dare answer, that in
this imitating Age there will be few fond enough
of Vice to be out of the Fashion.

For, in fine, as I have already taken Notice, it
is being wicked that renders us weak, and liable
to fall into any Infatuation whatever; and when
once perverted in our Principles and Understanding,
what but Ruin must ensue!

But I fear growing too grave for the Generality
of my Readers, and shall therefore close
this Subject with the Words of the Poet. “Quem vult Deus perdere prius diementat.”

We must not, however, forget to render
Eumenes our most grateful Acknowledgments
for the Favour he has conferred upon us; nor to
assure him, that some Time before the Conclusion
of these Lucubrations, we shall comply with
what he seems to expect from us, as far as is in the
Power of our Capacities; nothing being more dear D4v 32
dear to us than the Honour and Interest of the
City of London, and nothing consequently more
afflicting to us, than when we find Reason to believe
any Numbers of it act in a Manner different
from what might be expected from them.

But I doubt not by this Time the Town is
sufficiently impatient for what our learned Correspondent
Philo Naturæ has thought fit to convey
to them by the Female Spectator; and it
would be the utmost Injustice to delay the Satisfaction
of a Curiosity so truly laudable, for any
thing we might have to offer of our own.

Without then any farther Prelude, we shall
give his Sentiments in the exact Words we received
them.

“To the Female Spectator. Madam, The obliging Care you were so good to
take, in so early inserting the former
Epistle, I did myself the Honour to send you,
makes me vain enough to imagine a second
will find a no less favourable Reception.
According to my Promise, therefore, I
now venture to renew the Subject I before recommended,
as the most pleasing as well as
useful Amusement the Mind can be employed
in; and which will always afford Matter to
speak, to think, and write upon; since in all ‘Seasons E1r 33
Seasons of the Year, and in all Places whether
Abroad or at Home, we shall always find
something new if we attend to it, which will
consequently furnish us with new Ideas.
The Earth, the Air, the Water, and even
the common Fire we burn upon our Hearths,
will, in a thinking Mind, produce abundant
Theme for Speculation.
I know not, Madam, if it were in your
Time or not, but I remember, when I was a
a Boy, the good Ladies were accustomed about
this Season of the Year, to be extremely busy
in drying and preserving certain Herbs and
Fruits, and distilling others, according to the
Nature of the Plants, and the Uses they were
intended for, which I found every Woman of
Condition then plumed herself very much on
a perfect Understanding in.
Wonderful Cures have I seen performed
by the Help of Simples prepared in a proper
Manner by these good Housewifes; and many
an elegant Desert served up in the midst of
Winter, without the Help of a Confectioner:
But such Avocations in these politer Days, are
beneath the Attention of a fine Lady, and Heaven
forbid that, old as I am, I should render
myself so obnoxious to the most charming Part
of the Creation, as to advise them to return to
that old-fashioned Way of spending Time.
Vol. IV. E But E1v 34 But, methinks, it should not be disagreeable
to them to enquire a little into the Nature
of those Herbs, which are commonly
made Use of either in Food or Medicine.—
The cooling Plantaine, the cardiac Angelica,
the restoring Comfrey, the purifying Cresses
and Tresoil, and the Health-giving Sage, merit
some Care to be taken of them, much more
than any foreign Drugs whatever, which only
serve to swell the Apothecary’s Bill: For the
Reputation of the true Physician is owing
merely to Simples, which are at last called in
to rectify the Disorders which more expensive
Prescriptions perhaps may have occasioned.
I would not by this be understood to perswade
the Ladies to turn Physicians; they
may amuse themselves with considering the
Nature and Use of those Plants, which grow
every Day before their Eyes the whole Year
round, without entering into any laborious Study
about them.
By observing the Product of the Earth, one
may see, that God has made nothing in vain;
for even those very Weeds which we imagine
shoot up spontaneously, and whose Uses either
in Food or Physic, if they really are indued
with any, are not yet discovered by us, serve,
however, for Nourishment and Shelter to many
Animals, to whom the human System is
very much indebted. They afford also a pleasing
Variety to the Eye, as they grow up and ‘mingle E2r 35
mingle with the more valuable Plants, and
sometimes extract Juices from the Earth, which
would be prejudicial to those Things the Gardener
makes it most his Care to cultivate.
And now I have touched upon this Head,
I cannot leave it without taking some Notice
of a Weed which grows in such Plenty, and
scatters Seed in such abundance, that there is
hardly a Possibility of eradicating it totally
from any Ground it once has taken Possession
of.
Yet does not Nature, among all that Profusion
of Blessings she bestows, present us with
any one Simple of such universal Benefit in medicinal
Prescriptions, since there is scarce any
Disease in which it does not help, and is in most
a Specific.
Nobody, who has the least Understanding
in Physic, but will know I mean the Nettle:
Since there are many excellent Herbs whose Virtues
must be allowed for the Cure of particular
Disorders; yet it is generally the Case, that
what relieves in one, shall be prejudicial to another.
Whereas the Nettle, if taken in Time,
prevents those Ailments to which the human
System is most incident, and even after a too
long Neglect of it, gives a certain Ease in what
it is intended, without the least ill Consequence
to any other Complaint with which
the Patient may happen to be afflicted.
E2 E2v 36 Of this Plant, for I cannot bring myself to
affront it so far as to call it a Weed, there are two
known Sorts, the one has the Name of Dead
Nettle
or Archangel, the other is the Stinging
Nettle
, to which latter the Preference undoubtedly
is due, as of more general Service, tho’
the other is a sovereign Remedy in many Cases.
I have often thought the Qualities of the
Stinging Nettle might be justly enough compared
to those of good Advice proceeding from
an honest Heart, but delivered in Terms
which, at first, seem to have too much Asperity
in them, and at first is not well relished,
but when reflected on maturely, the Merits of
it will have their due Weight, and excite Gratitude
and Love.
A little Time, therefore, given to Consideration
of these, which are by a vulgar Eye
looked upon as the most insignificant Works
of Nature, could not fail leading us to Contemplations
of a more elevated Kind, and be
one great Step towards rendering our Ideas
sublime, refined, and pure, and fit to travel
through the immense Wonders of those starry
Heavens, which we behold with so much Admiration.
I cannot, Madam, but greatly lament that
Interruption which deprived you and your fair
Friends of a farther Prosecution of those Enquiries
you were about to make of the Planetary‘tary 37 E3r
Worlds.—There, is indeed a Theme for
the noblest Speculations.――There, may the
most extensive Genius be absorbed and swallowed
up in a seraphic Contemplation.—How
must the Soul be dissolved in humble Gratitude,
and in Astonishment at the Power and
Wisdom of that Almighty and Incomprehensible
Being, who not only formed those glorious
Orbs, but preserves them in such an exact
Order, that none of them shall transgress their
Limits, or become prejudicial to the others.
I must confess myself to be intirely of that
Gentleman’s Opinion, who supposes all the
Planets to be so many habitable Worlds; and
that short, but plain Reason he gives of it, of
their being all illumined may, I think, convince
any one who is not resolved to adhere to
no Tenets but his own.
Had you past more Time, than I perceive
you did, or at least renewed your Visit to the
Telescope, when Saturn could be seen with the
greatest Advantage, you would plainly have
discovered that Ring or Circle with which he
is encompassed, to be of a much greater Brightness
than the Moon at Full appears to us, near
as she is to the Earth.
But I cannot help dissenting from your ingenious
Friend in one Particular, which is, that
the Distance of this Planet would involve it
in a most horrible Darkness for near half the ‘Year; E3v 38
Year; and this Reason I give for contradicting
what I know very well is not only his
own, but also a received Opinion with most
People.
The farther this vast Planet is removed
from our Sun, the nearer by Consequence he
must be placed to some other; for I think it
has been agreed on by the most judicious Enquirers
into the Heavens, that the fixed Stars,
as we call them, are in reality so many Suns,
which give Light to Planets of their own, and
to whom that of ours appears as they do to
us, no more than a fixed Star, whose Twinkle
is scarce perceivable.
Saturn, therefore, having this Advantage
above all other Planets of our System,
instead of being that dark, gloomy World we
have all along believed him, must be the most
enlightened of any.—Since one half of the
Year he has our Sun, as all the Rules of Astronomy
confess, and the other half is played
upon by another Sun, which to us is scarce
perceptible;――this, together with his own
gorgeous Circle of Moons, must give him in
a manner perpetual Day.
This Opinion of Plurality of Worlds seems
to me so far from being inconsistent with the
Principles of Religion, that it very much enlarges
our Ideas of the Almighty Wisdom;
and I cannot think but the Philosophers of ‘former E4r 39
former Ages, who imagined the Creation terminated
with what they were able to discern,
had very confined Notions of the great Author
of Nature, and also an adequate Share of Vanity
to flatter themselves, that all those great
Orbs, which roll above our Heads, were made
only to delight the Eye of Man.
But every Age producing new Discoveries
by the continual Improvement of that
most useful Invention the Telescope, have made
these later Times more wise; I mean those of
us who do not wilfully shut our Eyes to keep
the Truth from gaining Entrance, and are afraid
of being convinced.
Among the Number of these, I once was
acquainted with an Ecclesiastic, a very good
Man, but of a moderate Understanding: Talking
one Day upon this Topic, he said, that
to maintain there were any more Worlds than
this we live in, was prophane and irreligious,
and directly opposite to the Christian Faith;
‘for’, cried he, ‘if Christ died for us alone, what
must become of all the Souls in those other
Worlds you talk of?’
To which I answered, though not without
a Smile, which I found myself unable to
restrain, and made, I could perceive, the good
Clergyman entertain yet a worse Opinion of
my Piety than he had before, that it was possible
those Worlds might not have had Adams, ‘who E4v 40
who had sinned like our Forefather, and consequently
could not stand in need of the same
extraordinary Manner of Redemption.
This put him out of all Patience, and his
Zeal carried him such Lengths in the Arguments
he made Use of, as nothing but a perfect
Acquaintance with the Integrity of his
Heart, could have made me pardon, or indeed
have borne with any Temper.
It is very strange, methinks, that People
should be so fond of lugging Religion into
Disputes where it has no Kind of Concern.—
Whether these Worlds have any Occasion for
a Saviour, or by what sort of Creatures they
are inhabited, is not the Question;—the Matter
is, that it is reasonable to suppose, that they
are inhabited by some Sort or other, either of
a superior or inferior Nature to us, and also
that every one of them is different from the
other.
Nature delights in Variety; every Element
abounds with Species of a different Kind.
A thousand, and ten thousand Sorts of Birds
wing the Regions of the Air.――The Waters
produce as great a Number of different Kinds
of finny Inhabitants.—The Earth of Reptiles,
Insects, and Beasts; and even Men, when born
in different Climates, differ in Colour, Shape,
and Manners from each other, almost as much
as from the Brutes.
‘Ridiculous, F1r 41 Ridiculous, therefore, would it be for us
to imagine, the People of these foreign Worlds
are like any thing we have ever seen, or can
possibly have any Notion of:――God is
infinite in all, and we may plainly see that no
two of his Works have a perfect Resemblance
with each other.
To be too inquisitive, however, into Things
in which we have no Concern, and which,
with the utmost Labour, assisted by the greatest
Learning and strongest Capacity, we can never
be able to penetrate, is doubtless both a Sin
and a Folly:――Heaven has given us sufficient
Matter for Contemplation in the World
we live in, and we ought not to pry into the
Secrets of those hid from us; but still the Opposers
of the Belief of a Plurality of Worlds
are not to infer from thence that we should refuse
giving Credit to so reasonable a Tenet:—
We may sure allow that there are such Worlds,
without wasting our Time in vain Conjectures
by whom peopled, or what Employments are
in Fashion there.
Should any one be presuming enough to
pretend, that all the Wonders of the Universe
had been shewn to him by Revelation, the Imposition
would immediately discover itself to
be such, since no Human Invention, how prolific
soever, would be able to form any Ideas,
much less to bring them into Description, of
the thousandth or ten thousandth Part of that Vol. IV. F ‘immense F1v 42
immense Number of Worlds, whose Suns even
we discover the Glimmers of through our Tellescopes:
――What then lie farther buried in
the Bosom of Infinity!—Incomprehensible!
—Unfathomable, as the Almighty Former!
We are, therefore, in no Danger of having
our Understanding beguiled by any pretended
Prophet on that Score; and to go about to deceive
ourselves, by the Formation of imaginary
Systems, would be an Infatuation, even
greater than any the present Age is guilty of.
But the Goodness of Heaven has put
enough within our Reach to compensate for
the Want of what is beyond it; and if we
neglect, and think beneath our Notice those
Things God has given us a Capacity to comprehend,
it is a Fault, I think, equal to that of
endeavouring to explore what he has thought
fit to conceal from us.
‘Take Care’, says the Marquis de St. Clou,
in one of his Epistles to his Son, ‘that you do
not lose the present Opportunities allowed you
for Knowledge, in idly waiting for those which
may never happen to be presented to you.’
You, Madam, and those Ladies who are
your Associates, are highly to be commended,
that in a Season which presented you no more
agreeable Objects to employ your Speculations,
you chose, rather than be inactive, to observe ‘the F2r 43
the Progress of the Growth of Snails, which,
indeed, to a great many in the World, who
fancy themselves very discerning too, appears
too contemptible to merit any Portion of Regard.
Methinks, I see you busying your fair
Fingers in sorting and sprinkling fine Clods of
Earth, that your Nursery might be protected
by them from the too severe Approaches of
the Air:――I hear the Charge you give, that
no one might disturb the Bed you had so carefully
prepared for them:—With Pleasure I
conceive the Assiduity with which you ran
every Morning to examine if your Commands
had been punctually obeyed, and how the little
Animals throve under your Direction.—
Let our polite Ladies and Gentlemen laugh at
this Amusement, I admire it, and wish it may
find many Imitators.
I am also of your Opinion, that a Snail, if
strictly examined, is not without its Beauties,
especially that Sort of them which feed chiefly
on Flowers; nothing being more certain,
than that they owe great Part of their Tincture
from the Colour of what they eat; as we
may see by those who live in Cellars, and on
old Walls, which have a dirty muddy Hue,
conformable to the Places they inhabit, and
from which they draw their Sustenance.
But I cannot pass over this Subject withoutF2 ‘out F2v 44
acquainting you with an Experiment made
by a certain Virtuoso, a Friend of mine, on
one of these Creatures:—Having observed
that their Colour was in a great measure owing
to their Food, he put one of them in a Box,
and took Care to supply it every Day with fresh
Flowers, of the most beautiful Kind the Garden
would produce; but keeping it in a Room,
where it had not the Benefit of the open Air,
the Animal improved but little in its Beauty:
He was at length sensible of the Deficiency,
and carried it Abroad when the Sun shone out
in the greatest Brightness, and let it glide at
Pleasure, over the Greens, the Fruits, and
Flowers, still following and keeping it in his
Eye:――This Pains did he take for several
Weeks together, and had the Satisfaction to
observe his Labour was not wholly lost:――
The Creature did really grow more clear and
transparent, and also seemed stronger, and more
lively, if the Motion of a Snail can properly
be called so.
It came also into his Head to make a second
Experiment, which was this:—He had
observed, that several Snails had a kind of
Swellings or Inequality in their Shells, and
some had them cased in many Places like
other little Shells growing out of the former:
He took one of these, and making a small
Puncture in it, without hurting the Body of
the Snail, he presently found a Froth rise from
it, which in a small Time became a Consistence, and F3r 45
and hardened so as to seem of a Piece with
the main Shell:――He then broke off some
Part of the Contour, by which the Animal
appeared as it were half naked, but Nature
had provided her with a Store within herself
to repair her Mansion, and the same viscous
Juice, which he had seen fill up the Puncture,
now rose and transpired from every Pore,
which thickening by degrees, became like the
rest of the Shell, and rendered it as large and
as circular as before:—He perceived also a little
Ridge between the new and old Parts, exactly
resembling such as were in that Part
which had not been broke; from whence he
concluded, that the Shell was not entirely
formed at first, or had any thing in itself which
could increase its Dimensions; but that the
Power was wholly lodged in the Body of the
Snail, which, as it increased in Strength and
Bulk, threw out that Fluid which formed so
many different Contours as there were Ridges;
and that this also was the Cause of that Variety
of Colours which we often see in the
same Shell, but always ranged between these
Ridges, or Piecings, as one may call them, the
one never interfering with the other.
But you will, perhaps, say, that the Gentletleman
I have been speaking of, as well as
myself who relate these Experiments, might
both of us have employed our Time better:
If you do, Madam, I shall readily agree to your
Opinion, because we ought not to be so assiduousduous F3v 46
in gratifying a meer Curiosity, as to
neglect those Researches which might be of
real Utility.
These Things, indeed, are Amusements
perfectly innocent, and if of no great Service
to the World, or to ourselves, are far from
being any Prejudice to either:—It were to be
wished that others of a more dangerous Nature
were exchanged for them.
As I have already taken Notice, a Mind
eager to enquire into the minutest Works of
Nature, will be insensibly led to a Contemplation
on the greatest; and in all we shall
find sufficient for our Astonishment, and the
exciting in us such Ideas of the great Author
of Nature, as cannot fail to fill us with the
highest Sense of the Infinity of his Goodness
to all his Creatures, and to us in particular, to
whom alone, of all sublunary Beings, he has
given the Power of Reason and Reflection.
The meanest Creature, therefore, that the
Air, the Earth, or Sea, or any Part of this
great World affords, is not beneath our Consideration.
We can no where cast our Eyes without
beholding something to admire; and tho’
to dwell too long on any one would be an Injury
to the rest, yet none should be passed by
without some Portion of our Notice.
What I mean is, that I would have every ‘Gentleman F4r 47
Gentleman and Lady, who have Leisure to
gratify their Curiosity, and at the same time
improve their Understanding, to take, as it
were, a superficial View of the whole Creation,
as far as lies in their Power, or they have Opportunities
for; and though they are not enabled
to give a particular Account of the Structure
of any one Part, they will, notwithstanding,
have very just Notions of the whole; and
also be convinced, by the little they can
make familiar to their Observation, what Wonders
lie beyond the reach of it.
The vast, the indeed infinite Variety which
a Study of this kind presents us with, should,
methinks, stand in need of no other Recomcommendation:
—How do we run madding
after Novelties, which are so far from giving
us either Profit or Improvement, that they
ruin our Fortunes, and corrupt our Morals and
Understanding, while Natural Philosophy,
every Day, every Season, and in every Place,
affords us fresh Subjects to entertain and to
instruct.
All Capacities, all Degrees, all Ages may in
proportion be delighted, and made better by it.
It is as Massenger, a very good Poet of his
Time, elegantly expresses it. ‘An universal Good,To Princes dearer than the Crowns they wear,Yet to the meanest Peasant not deny’d.‘Nature,F4v48Nature, impartial, opens all her StoresTo all alike;—who not partakes the BlessingRobs his own Soul.――’
But I am in very great Hopes, that as the
Female Spectator has led the Way, a great
many, not only of her own, but our Sex likewise,
will follow her in these so beneficial Enquiries.
I was about to conclude this tedious Epistle,
but cannot do it till I have added a Word or
two concerning Caterpillars:――I fancy, Madam,
among the various Sorts you mentioned,
you never happened to take Notice of one,
pretty remarkable in its Kind, and is, in my
Opinion, the most perfect Emblem of gaudy
Slavery the whole Brute Creation presents us
with.
The Caterpillar I mean, Madam, is of a
dark Olive Colour, has two golden Lists
down its Back, and is in many Places sprinkled
with little Specks of the same gorgeous Hue:
――It would, indeed, be by much the most
beautiful of the whole Species (not excepting
those you mention with the Amber Heads)
were it not, that on its Neck Nature has placed
a high Ridge exactly resembling a Yoke:――
Of what Service this is to the Insect I never
could find out, nor could my speculative
Friend inform me; but to those who look upon
it, it appears a heavy Burthen, which impedes ‘their G1r 49
their Motion, and often stops them when in
Pursuit of any Advantage, so that it answers
the Comparison I just now thought on, of a
People gay, glittering in all the outward Shew
of Magnificence, but, in effect, Slaves, and
Beasts tramelled with a Load, which all the
World besides themselves behold with Pity
and Contempt.
The next Excursion you make into the
Country, I beg you will bestow a little Examination
into these Insects: To a Lady of
your way of Thinking I imagine it will afford
Matter for Reflections that may be useful to
the Public, to see how these poor Creatures,
after toiling and labouring to reach some favourite
Bough, are obstructed by what they
carry on their own Necks, and liable to be
thrown down by every little Twig that hangs
cowring from above.
As all the Decrees of Providence are wise
and good, in relation even to the meanest
Animal, we must suppose that these have not
a Sense of the Miseries entailed upon them,
otherwise it would seem as they were created
only to be wretched.
What a Degree of Instinct they have is
not, however, in our Power to comprehend;
but as they are ordained by Nature to wear this
Mark of Servitude, and never knew a State of
Liberty, nor did, by any Inadvertency or Folly Vol. IV. G ‘of G1v 50
of their own, consent to put it on, it is not to be
doubted but that they are entirely easy under it.
But I shall leave this Point to be discussed
by the Female Spectator, when she has given
herself the Trouble to consider it, and am,
with the greatest good Wishes for the Success
of your Endeavours,
Madam,
Your most humble Servant,
and Admirer, Philo-Naturæ.
P. S. I remember, Madam, your Seventeenth
Book gave us some Expectation of a
Letter from that worthy Gentleman, from
whose Turret you had the Pleasure of beholding
the Planetary Regions: Not only myself,
but a great many of your Readers to my Knowledge,
are impatient for it, and I doubt not,
but according to your Promise, you will favour
us with it, as soon as it comes to Hand.”

Though the ingenious Author of this Letter
can write nothing amiss, and every thing he
has said demands the most grateful Acknowledgments,
yet our Society are, above all, charmed
with the convincing Defence he has made of an
Opinion some Zealots and Enthusiasts so much
cry down, and endeavour to explode as unchristianstian G2r 51
and fabulous: I mean that of Plurality of
Worlds, which I never yet could hear any one
good Reason to condemn.

To make it, indeed, one of the Articles of
our Faith would be a Fault, because we have no
Assurance given us of it, either in sacred Writ,
or by Tradition; but in a Matter of meer Indifference
to Salvation, I think our Understanding
may have Liberty to direct our Judgment, without
any Danger of becoming too presuming.

It is sufficient certainly to content the Pride
of Man, that all Things in this World were
created for his Use; and it seems to be the extremest
Arrogance, as well as Vanity, to imagine,
that so many Orbs, vastly larger than this
we inhabit, should be formed only to delight the
Wantonness of Sight, in looking at them in a
clear Starry Night, and are in reality of no other
Benefit to us.

But supposing it were even so, and that the
Almighty Former of the wide Universe should
have really ordained all that the Eye can reach
entirely for our Pleasure, the Inventions of Art
have presented us with Objects which Nature
had concealed:—We see, by the Help of Glasses,
a Multitude of Massy Globes of Light, which,
by their Remoteness, are not discernable by the
naked Eye, and could not, consequently, be intended
for our Speculation:—These then were
not created either to light, to warm, or to chear G2 us G2v 52
us with their Lustre, since they are not to be
felt or seen by us without the Pains of examining
them through Tellescopes, and then so faintly
as to be but just distinguishable.

All that can justly be objected against any
Arguments made Use of to prove the Reasonableness
of the Belief of a Plurality of Worlds,
is, that to us who live in this, it is of no Manner
of Concern, since there is not a Possibility of
our travelling to them, or of ever becoming acquainted
with the Inhabitants.

I have, indeed, heard some People foolish
enough to maintain, that there will come a Time,
in which the Ingenuity of Man shall invent
Machines to carry him through the Air with the
same Ease as we now pass the Seas; which, they
cry, seemed doubtless as impracticable at first as
this does at present.

But those who talked in this Manner affect
to forget who was the first Navigator:――That
God himself directed Noah how to build the
Ark, which was to save the Remnant of the Creation,
and also how to steer it, so as not to be
swallowed up by those Waters which laid waste
every thing beside:――It cannot, nor ought not
be denied, that the same Almighty Power could
not, if he pleased, instruct us in the Art of flying
through the Air, by some Vehicle proper for our
Conveyance; but then we are to consider, that
he never works by supernatural Means, but when G3r 53
when some extraordinary Exigence requires it, and
without some Cause therefore, at least adequate
to that of the Deluge, we are not to expect such
Miracles.

Could the Regions of Air, indeed, afford any
Shelter from that all-devouring Fire which, we
are told, shall consume the Earth, there might
be some little Shadow of a Hope, that the Race
of Man might be preserved a second Time by
Means no less surprizing than the first: But of
what Advantage would it be for us to fly, even
though we had the Wings of an Eagle, or could
soar with the King of Birds, at a Time, when
the Heavens themselves, at least what we call so,
shall be shrivelled up like a Parchment, when
the Sun, and Moon, and Stars shall be dissolved,
and all become one general Conflagration!

But granting even all their wild Imaginations
can suggest:――Supposing that some Carriage
could really be found out to bear us through the
Air from Kingdom to Kingdom, or to whatever
Place we pleased of the Globe, we still should be
able to discover as little of any other World as
we do now standing upon the Earth.

Every Orb has its own impenetrable Atmosphere;
—a Boundary which nothing that is mortal
can overleap or pass through; and whether,
even when we have thrown off this Clog of Flesh,
the Soul will receive any Gratification of its enquiringquiring G3v 54
Nature in this Point, lies only in the
Power of him who gave it to determine.

Here Reason is of no farther Use, it is
wholly lost in the Abyss of Eternity, as the Poet
truly says, “Can Finite measure what is infinite?Reason, alas! is blind even to itself:Yet Man, vain Man, would with this shortlin’d
Plummet,
Fathom the vast Abyss of Heav’nly Wisdom.”

Pleased as I am, therefore, in the Contemplation
of innumerable Worlds, all created by
one omnipotent omnipresent Power, and consistent
with those Notions we have, or ought to have
of the Deity, as I think the Belief of them to
be, I dare not presume to put it in my Creed:
Whether there are, or are not any other habitable
Spheres is, I confess, not material; nor
do I entertain the less Regard for those who may
happen to differ from me in this Opinion: I only
say, that to indulge it, gives an innate Satisfaction;
and, I think, enlarges those Ideas it becomes
every one to encourage.

I shall, however, urge the Topic no farther,
but as to an Examination into the Nature of
those Things which are in the Compass of our
Comprehension, and of which we daily receive
the Benefit, I think no one can be excused who
neglects an Opportunity of making it.

This G4r 55

This is, in effect, the most useful Branch of
that Study which the worthy Philo-Naturæ,
both in his former Letter, as well as this, so strenuously
recommends to all Degrees of People
in Proportion to their Circumstances and Avocations;
for it is not to be supposed that either
he, or any who wishes the Good of Mankind,
would advise a Person to pass that Time in inspecting
the Root of a Vegetable, or the Organs
of an Insect, which should be employed in getting
Bread for his Family.

Such Speculations, it is certain, best befit
those of the great World, or at least such as
have Fortunes independent on Business, who
have a Sufficiency of Leisure, and will hardly find
a more beneficial Way of filling up their vacant
Moments.

Yet, though these happy few have it in their
Power to make a greater Progress in learning
the Beauties of Nature, there are scarce any who
may not find some little Time, if they would be
perswaded to lay hold of it, in tracing the Outlines,
as one may call them, of her Perfections:
_―― The meanest Artificer allows himself some
Holidays in the Year;—he walks the Fields,
perhaps has a little Garden himself, and in the
smallest Spot of Earth may find enough to afford
him some Degree of Improvement and
Pleasure.

The Country Dame need not neglect her Dairy, G4v 56
Dairy, yet be acquainted with the Properties of
those Simples which grow about her very Door:
――The Beasts themselves instruct us in the
Virtues of many Vegetables, by their making
Choice of the most proper in any Disease, to
which their Kind is incident; and Hipocrates
himself owed the Discovery of the wonderful
Effects of an Elk’s Hoof, by perceiving that
Creature, when sick, always held his Foot for a
long Time close to his Ear.

As most of our worst Disorders spring originally
from the Head, this great Phliilosopher and
Physician presently imagined, that the Foot of this
Animal might not only be of Service in any Obstruction
of the capillary Vessels, but also in others,
which in fact are occasioned by the same Cause;
and as he knew it could not be of any Prejudice
to the Persons on whom he made the Experiment,
tried it with a Success, which all succeeding Ages
have had Reason to bless him for.

Many other great and valuable Secrets have
been found out by an Observation of the Animal
Creation:—For Example; the Virtues of the
Plantain might, perhaps, have to this Day been
unknown to us, had we not seen the Toad,
when bloated and almost bursting with its own
Venom, crawl to that healing Plant, and immediately
regain Ease and recover Vigour.

But these are Reflections which the gay Part
of my Sex, whether old or young, will tell me are H1r 57
are not worth their Notice: If they find themselves
any way disordered, they have their Physicians
to apply to; and have no Occasion to
trouble themselves with any thing relating to
Medicine.

This I readily grant to be true, as to the
higher Class; but for the more inferior Part of
Womankind, I think the World will allow that
it would be no Diminution to them to know a
little of these Matters.

But, however incongruous it may be with the
Character of a fine Lady to busy herself about
Vegetables, used either in the Kitchen or Distillery,
it cannot be so to have a little Concern for
those that so much gratify her Smell and Sight;
――those which she wears in her own Bosom,
and in her Hair, and are her most becoming Ornaments,
even amidst the Blaze of Jewels, and
the glowing Gold of the richest and best fancied
Brocade or Embroidery.

Flowers, and those aromatic Greens with
which our Gardens are covered, may be justly
called the Regale that Nature presents us with;
and sure, of all those innumerable Pleasures she
bestows upon us, none can be said to be more
exquisite.

The Jonquil, the Rose, the Jessamin, the
Orange-Flower, the Auricula, and a thousand
others, ravish two of our Senses with their Vol. IV. H Beauty, H1v 58
Beauty, and the Fragrancy of their Odour.――
Scarce any Person so stupid as not to be charm’d
with them.—They are, I think, the universal
Taste;――we not only see them in Gardens, but
preserved in Pots and China Basons in Ladies
Chambers; and, when deprived of the Originals
by the cold Blasts of Winter, we have them copied
in Painting, in Japanning, and in Embroidery.

How then can we forbear visiting our Green-
Houses sometimes, and observing the Production,
the gradual Growth, and the Preservation
of those Plants and Flowers, which afford
us so much Pleasure!

Why should our Gardeners be wiser than
ourselves?――Why should we put it in their
Power to deceive us, and not be able to detect
either their Negligence or Want of Skill in the
cultivating a Produce we are so proud of, when
brought to Perfection?

What can be more beautiful than an Assemblage
of various Flowers, all growing on the
same Tree; and, while we delight our Eyes
with beholding it, would not our Pleasure be
still more elegant in knowing how it comes to
pass?

Would it not furnish agreeable Matter for
Conversation, both to inform those less knowing
than ourselves, and to be able to argue with those H2r 59
those as pretend to greater Skill, on the wonderful
Progress of the distinct Sap which feeds
every different Flower, proceeding from so
many Arms of the same Stem?

Among all the Occupations of Gardening,
there is none so astonishing as Grafting; and we
never can too much admire the Force of that
Genial Juice, which, in a small Sprig taken off
one Tree and grafted into another, still retains
its primitive Nature; and even tho’ twenty
various Kinds should be inoculated in the same
Manner, all of them would preserve their native
Purity without the least Confusion, or blending
with each other:――So that the Flowers, sent
forth by these grafted Scions, no way differ in
Colour, Scent, or Figure, from those of their
own Species, which grow naturally from one
Stem.

Methinks it is a most becoming Amusement,
to Persons of my Sex, to sit by while the
Gardener is performing so curious an Operation,
nor in the least beneath the Dignity of the greatest
Lady to assist his Work:――It requires the
utmost Gentleness and Delicacy to cut the little
Scion exactly to tally with the Cleft made in the
Bark of that Stock in which it is intended to be
grafted; and also afterwards to close and swathe
up the Trunk, that no chilling Air or Rain may
penetrate, and prevent the Union of the one
with the other, till an outer Bark shall grow over
and cement them.

H2 I know H2v 60

I know that there are a great many People
who have an Aversion to grafting Scions of
different Natures, such as the Apple and the
Plumb, the Medlar and the Grape, or the Rose
and the Tulip, the Carnation and the Lilly, on
the same Tree:――They cry it is an Absurdity,
something of a monstrous Appearance, instead
of a pleasing Wonder; and that every different
Fruit and Flower looks most agreeable, when
supplied from its own Root, as ordained by Nature;
any Innovation, or Breaking-in upon, of
which, are of all things to be avoided.

But these Objections seem to me as proceeding
only from a sour cinical Disposition: The
Trial how far Art may be reconciled with Nature,
is, in my Opinion, perfectly harmless;
affords an innocent Amusement; sharpens Invention;
and, as to its offending the Eye instead
of pleasing it, one may as well say that a Nosegay,
or a Bough-Pot, does so, which are always
composed of as many different Flowers as the
Season will permit.

I wonder People, who talk in this manner,
do not condemn Nature herself for bestowing
on the Orange-Tree Fruit in its Maturity, quite
green, and even in Blossom, all at the same
Time; or explode the Plant, and turn it out of
their Collections and Gardens, as an Absurdity
and a monstrous Appearance.

Or rather, why do these Enemies to Art, in this H3r 61
this Point, allow of it in others? Why do they
form so many Parterres, Arcades, Trees cut in
such Variety of Figures, and Shrubs rounded in
such a manner by the Gardener’s Scissars, as not
to seem they ever had been the Productions of
Nature?—Why do they not suffer every thing
to grow in that Luxuriancy and Wildness as we
see in Forrests, and uncultivated Desarts?――
The Order and Regularity of a Garden seems,
methinks, not to be correspondent with their
Notions.――Away with all Terrasses, Cascades,
Palisades, Bowers, and those other Arrangements,
which make the Difference between the
Ground possessed by a Nobleman and that of a
Peasant:――Let every thing grow as the Soil
and Air directs, and savage Simplicity be the
only Beauties of a Rural Scene.

But, supposing we put all this out of the
Question, and confine our Speculations intirely
to what is merely natural, we shall then never
want a vast Sufficiency to entertain us:――The
Circulation of that Fluid in Vegetables, which,
with a regular and uninterrupted Motion, like
the Blood in our own Veins, fills every little
Twig with Spiral Vigour, if considered with
the least Attention, must excite in us a pleasing
Astonishment.

To behold the Progress of a Flower from its
Infant Bud, then gradually increasing, and at
last opening its long-hid Beauties to our View,
and charming us at the same Time with its refresh- H3v 62
refreshing Odour, is certainly well worthy our
Observation.

But the Senses, methinks, ought not to ingross
so glorious a Benefit: The Mind should
certainly come in for a much greater Part, and
explore those Wonders in them, which cannot
fail of ravishing all its Faculties.

Every Tree of the Forrest, and Herbage
of the Field, as well as those nobler Plants
which gain Admission into our Gardens, are all
crown’d with Flowers, more or less beautiful.
These Flowers produce a Seed which perpetuate
the Species.—Some Seeds are inclosed in Fruits,
others in Chives, which, when the Flower is
withered, and in a manner dying, scatter themselves
into the Earth, and the next Year revive
again in Plants.

To content ourselves with tasting the Relish
of those luscious Fruits, which, from Month to
Month, are successively presented to us;――to
smell the Fragrancy of some Flowers, and to
look upon the variegated Beauty of others, is
beneath the Dignity of a rational Being. If we
go no farther than this, the Birds of the Air,
the Beasts of the Field, and even every creeping
Insect, enjoys the Charms of Nature in as
great Perfection as we do.

Perhaps too, even the meanest Reptile may
out-rival us in this Point; for, I think, it is agreed H4r 63
agreed on by the Learned, that the Animal
Creation in general have a quicker and more
poignant Sensation than is bestowed upon us.

It is in our Reason, and the Power of contemplating
on the Blessings we receive, that the
chief Happiness of possessing them consists.

It is that, more than his outward Form, which
distinguishes Man from the rest of sublunary
Beings: It is that which crowns him Lord of
all; and if he wilfully degrades himself, and puts
himself on a Level with his Subjects, he is unworthy
of the Honour conferred upon his Species,
and ungrateful to the Divine Bestower.

Can it be supposed that the Almighty Wisdom
gave such a Profusion of Varieties merely
to feast the Senses of Mankind!――Senses, which
all the different Religions in the known World,
the Mahometan not excepted, agree to teach us
that we ought not to indulge to an Excess:—
No, certainly;—no one who permits himself
but a Moment’s Consideration, will venture to
affirm it.――They were, without all Question,
destined for a much nobler and exalted Purpose,
to convey Instruction through the Canal of Pleasure;
――to inspire us with the highest Ideas
Human Nature is capable of conceiving, of that
Divine Bounty to which we are indebted for
them; to harmonize the Soul, and at the same
Time to enable it to pour forth a due Tribute of
Praise and Adoration.

How H4v 64

How strangely incongruous is it, then, with
Reason, or even with Common Sense, to imagine,
that all those vast Bodies we see glitter in
the Firmament, and even those we do not see,
are made wholly to serve us, yet think nothing
of those about us, the Benefits of which we
receive every Moment, and of which we have
the sole Sovereignty; since we alone enjoy the
Whole of what all other Creatures share but
their different Parts.

Man, if he surveys and reflects as he ought
to do, on the innumerable Advantages, Conveniencies,
and Pleasures, which, wherever he steps
or casts his Eyes, incessantly surround him, has
sufficient in this World to gratify his Pride,
without arrogantly pretending a Right over those
he knows nothing of.

Of this we are certain, that the Good Things
of this World are given us for our Use and Contemplation,
and to us alone, as alone capable of
enjoying them truly.

But I shall now take my Leave of this Subject,
which having carried me somewhat beyond
my Intentions, I find it impossible to present the
Ladies with the Mirror for true Beauty till next
Month, when they may be certain of its being
inserted; with also some other very agreeable
Pieces lately come to hand, calculated for general
Service, but more particularly for those of
my own Sex.

End of the Nineteenth Book.

I1r

The
Female Spectator.

Book XX.

Our Sex are, for the greatest Part,
so very fond of seeing their own
Pictures, that I am afraid many of
them will hbe disobliged with the
Female Spectator for having till
now withheld from them the Mirror for True
Beauty
, which Philocletes was so good as to prepare
for them.

But, notwithstanding Curiosity is a Passion
impatient for Gratification, I would advise my
Sex to moderate it as much as they can, and take
the Warning Philocletes himself gives in his
Letter, which served as a Cover to the Present
he makes them, and is equally worthy the Attention
of all who wish to find an agreeable RepresentationVol. IV. I presentation I1v 66
of themselves, in a Glass, which has
nothing of the Properties of those they have been
accustomed to look in.

“To the Female Spectator. Madam, Ishall make no manner of Apology
for troubling you with the inclosed, because
it is evident by all those Writings with which
you have obliged the Public, that you have the
Honour and Welfare of your Sex too much
at Heart to be offended with any thing that can
possibly tend to their Profit, Pleasure, or Emolument.
To lend, therefore, what helping Hand I
can to so laudable an Endeavour, I take the
Liberty to present them, by your Canal, with
A Mirror for true Beauty, which to those who
are really possessed of so inestimable a Blessing,
cannot but afford an adequate Satisfaction.
But, as I would be sorry to give Pain to
any, even of those least deserving Respect, I
would have all who are conscious of any secret
Blemish, beware how they look into it, lest, instead
of meeting with an agreeable Object,
they should see something which should make
them start back with Horror and Amazement.
It is not a Set of fine turned Features, a
Complexion for Whiteness out-dazling the ‘new I2r 67
new fallen Snow, or Cheeks of a more
beautiful Tincture than the Damask Rose:—
It is not the Coral Lip, or Eyes that equal
the Stars in Brightness, that can assure the curious
Fair she will find herself in this Mirror
such as she appears in others.
All these, and every other unspeakable
Grace on which the Sex most pride themselves,
are insufficient to compleat the true Beauty,
which it is absolutely necessary to be possessed
of, in order to find here such a Reflection as
those who consult it would desire.
Nothing is in fact true Beauty, but what
is universally allowed to be such;――what is
every Man’s Taste, and enforces Love and Admiration
from all who behold it:――Now
Beauty, taken in the common Acceptation of
the Word, never can be so, because there are
almost as many different Opinions concerning
the Requisites for that Character, as there are
different Fancies to be charmed by it.
Our famous ‘English Pindar’, than whom no
Man that ever lived was a greater Admirer of
it, discovers, however, with the most admirable
Propriety and Justice, the Impossibility of fixing
a Standard for deciding what is, and what
is not Beauty. ‘Beauty I2v 68 ‘Beauty, thou wild fanatic Ape,Which dost in every Country change thy Shape;Here black, there brown, here tawney and
there white:
Who hast no certain What nor Where,But variest still, and dost thyself declareInconstant, as thy She-Professors are.’
Dryden also has two excellent Lines to
the same Purpose, in his Poem of Palamon
and Arcite. ‘The Cause of Love can never be assign’d,’Tis in no Face but in the Lover’s Mind.’
They must therefore be possessed of that
kind of Beauty which hits every Inclination,
who can view themselves in this Mirror with
any Satisfaction.
Yet let not those least flattered by the
World be afraid of looking into it, perhaps
they will find Charms they have never before
considered the Value of; and though they
will not be vain on the Discovery, an innate
Pleasure, which no Words can represent, will
be the Consequence of it.
Let not then Small Pox, Sickness, Old
Age, or any other of those Infirmities the Sex
stand in so much fear of, deter any one from
seeing her Resemblance in the Mirror I now
set before them; for I am very well assured, ‘that I3r 69
that those who expect to find the fewest Perfections
in themselves, will, on looking seriously
into it, confess the Picture truly amiable; and
be easily reconciled to Nature, for having bestowed
on them Graces, infinitely superior to
any she may have happened to deny them, be
the Deficiency ever so glaring, or may have
rendered them never so contemptible in the
Eyes of the ill-judging.
My Mirror has also this peculiar Property:
—It is not like other Glasses daubed on one
Side with Quicksilver, but clear, transparent
as Innocence and Truth:――It not only shews
the Person who looks into it herself, such as
she is in reality; but displays impartially every
Charm or Imperfection to those who stand on
the other Side, and even at a very great Distance
from her.
Even in an Age when the Fair Sex seem to
study nothing so much as to destroy that true
Beauty
they received from the Hands of their
all beneficent Creator, I hope there will be
found among the Number of your Readers
some who may fearless appear before this all
betraying Glass:――At least I might depend
upon it, could I but as easily assure myself,
that what the Female Spectator has taken the
Pains to remonstrate to them, had had its due
Weight.
But be that as it may, it is the Duty of all ‘those I3v 70
those who wish well to the most lovely Part of
the Creation, to neglect nothing that may add
to their Charms.
It is on this Occasion, Madam, I am
proud to enter into your Labours, and am,
with the most unfeigned Respect, and Veneneration,
Yours, and your worthy Companions,
Very much devoted,
and faithful Servant,
Philocletes.
A Mirror for True Beauty. Most humbly presented to those, who, on due
Examination of themselves, think proper to
look into it, by their Most humble Servant,
and sincere Admirer,
Philocletes.
Approach, ye charming few!――
ye happy! Select whose interior Beauty
shines through your outward Form, adding
new Graces to what Nature gave; approach
and see your lovely Portraitures faithfully
displayed:――Behold Perfections in yourselvesselves K1r 71
which is not in the Power of the
Painter’s Art to copy, nor the most passionate
and eloquent of your Lovers to describe.
And first, ye spotless Virgins, who having
never known a married State, are equally ignorant
of all tumultuous Desires, all Impatience
for entering into it:—You, who consider
the Difference of Sexes no farther than to take
Care to behave in such a Manner, as not to
encourage any Presumption in the one, or
provoke the Malice of the other:—You, who
despise the gay Fopperies of the Times, and
find it sufficient to appear once at each Place
of present Resort, to be able to shun them all
for ever after:――You, who never knew a
Thought, which to avow would call a Blush
into your Cheeks:――You, who free from
Pride, Affectation, Vanity and Ill-nature, divide
your Hours between Acts of Duty and
innocent Recreation,—fearless draw near, and
behold the angelic Sweetness that dwells on
every Feature;――see how the unblemished
Mind shines through the Eyes, diffusing Chearfulness
to all around, and making a kind of
Heaven wherever you come.
Next in true Beauty, ye chaste Wives
draw near!—You, whose pure Hearts never
entertained one wandering Wish:—You, whose
Inclinations, in all Respects in Life, have still
gone Hand in Hand, if not prevented the
Will of him on whom Heaven has bestowed Vol. IV. K ‘you: K1v 72
you:――You, to whom all Mankind, besides
him you have sworn to love, are but so many
Pictures:――You, whose Oeconomy and prudential
Care enables you to appear so as to
make your Fortune seem double to what it is,
yet whose Hospitality renders all easy who
come near you:—You, who know how to
repay the Endearments of the most tender
Husband with ample Interest; and you, in
whom the greatest Provocations of an ill and
cruel one cannot excite even the most distant
Thought of injuring his Interest, Honour, or
Reputation:――You, who either by your
Wisdom, and reserved Behaviour, have avoided
every thing that can be called Temptation;
or by your firm Adherence to Virtue, have
known how to testify a decent Abhorrence of
them, in all Circumstances and in all Events:
――Ye, glorious Patterns of Connubial Fidelity,
may approach and view the awful Dignity
that sits enthroned upon your Brows,
and sheds a Lustre over all your Persons, at
once commanding Love from all good Men,
and Admiration even from the worst.
Last, but not least in Fame, ye venerable
Tribe of widowed Matrons! You, who have
past with Honour your two first Stages of Life,
and support the third with a becoming Fortitude
and Patience, behold in me your graceful
Aspects:—You, over whose unvariable Affection
Death has no Power:—You, in whose
faithful Hearts your Husband still survives: ‘You K2r 73
You, who continue wedded to the Memory
of your first Love, and fly all second Offers,
though accompanied with Titles, Wealth, and
every gilded Prospect, so enchanting to the less
constant of your Sex:—You, whose happy
Offspring feel not a Father’s Loss in the rich
Blessings of maternal Care and doubled Tenderness:
—You, whose Example, and whose
sage Advice preserves the Innocent, and reclaims
the Guilty:—You, whose candid Praises give
new Strength to Virtue, and whose mild Reproofs
make Vice abhorrent of itself:――You,
who know how to temper Gravity with Chearfulness,
and to dress all, even the strictest Duties
of a Woman and a Christian in the Garb
of Pleasure:—You, who answer the Character
the wisest of Men gives of a virtuous Woman,
‘That her own Works shall praise her in the Gates:’
That Praise will not only be yours, but you will
see yourselves in this Mirror, and be seen by
others through it with Charms which will well
compensate for those which either you have
been denied by Nature, or which Time may
have deprived you of: There will be something
an unspeakable Majesty, whether you look, or
speak, or move, creating Esteem in every
Beholder’s Heart; and you, and those of the
preceding Classes, will appear such as our admirable
Milton describes the Mother of Mankind,
while in her State of Innocence: ‘Grace was in all her Steps, Heav’n in her Eyes!In all her Motions Dignity and Love.’
K2 ‘These K2v 74 These are the true Beauties which alone
can see themselves with any Pleasure; for as
for those who have forsaken Wisdom and followed
Folly, who have devoted themselves to
midnight Masquerades, immoderate Gaming,
forgot the Duties of their Sex and Place, and
are in any respect the Reverse of such as I
have described, they must not be angry with
the Mirror, if it presents them with Deformities
they little expected:――If, instead of
blooming Graces, and an attractive Air in
their Complexion and Features, they find
Wrinkles which no Cosmetick or Italian
Fucus
can fill up:—Dimness and sinking in
the Eyes, Contortions in the whole Face, such
as no studied Arts can rectify, or bring back to
their primitive Harmony:—Let, therefore,
those fly hence, lest the too terrifying Representation
should drive them into Frenzy; at
least let them take this Caution, to approach
with Fearfulness, and by Degrees: Even that
may serve to render their Blemishes less
hideous than they would seem on a Surprize,
and as they grow more sensible of themselves,
those Blemishes would doubtless, if not quite
wear of, become not so conspicuous as before.”

We think ourselves obliged, in the Name of
the whole Sex, to thank Philocletes, for the
amiable Pictures he has given us of what is true
Beauty
in Womankind, through the three materialrial K3r 75
Circumstances in Life, and in which, indeed,
all the others also are included.

For this Reason it is utterly impossible to add
any thing on a Subject, which in the most brief
and concise Manner he has given the fullest Idea
of, and which to expatiate upon, would be not
only needless, but instead of giving any Lustre,
would rather serve to take from that it has received
from his more masterly Genius, and render
it more languid, and consequently less effectual.

But, methinks, I hear some of our modish
fine Ladies cry out,—“What does the Man mean?
—Does he think the Qualifications he sets down
would get any of us one more Lover in our Train?
—Would they not rather render us the Jest of all
the pretty Fellows in Town?”
—Others again, of
a yet somewhat more serious Disposition, will
say, “That if a Woman must answer in every Point
to the Character he gives of true Beauty, there
would be no such Thing to be found among the
Sex.”

As to the first, it would be altogether in vain
to make them any Answer, since it would doubtless
be treated with the same Contempt as the
Mirror itself; but as to the others, I would beg
them to reflect, that it is in the Power of every
Woman to be possessed of that true Beauty which
Philocletes has delineated, and it is only the Libertine
Part of the other Sex who ought to make
a Question of it.

It K3v 76

It is true, that all have not an equal Share of
the Perfections of the Mind, any more than of
the Body, but all may endeavour to improve
those they have; and that very Attempt would
make them appear not altogether deformed,
even in Philocletes’s Mirror.

But I have already, in a former Spectator,
taken Notice, that if we took but half the Care
of embellishing our intellectual Part as we do
of setting off our Persons, both would appear to
much more Advantage.

Whether any Remonstrances of mine, or
others who are Well-wishers to the Sex, have
been able to work the Effect they aimed at, is uncertain;
we ought not, however, to give over,
because a Moment may bring about what whole
Ages in vain have toiled for; and sometimes a
slight Word, which perhaps when spoken was unheeded,
has afterwards recoiled upon the Memory,
and made an Impression on the Mind beyond
what the most elaborate Treatises had done.

While therefore I am convinced within myself,
that what I am doing is not only intended,
but also may possibly make any of my Readers
either better or wiser, I shall easily absolve myself
for being less entertaining than many of them
may desire or expect from me.

It has, notwithstanding, been hitherto the
Care of the Female Spectator to mingle Pleasure with K4r 77
with Instruction, and we are far from discontinuing
the same Measures, though it must be
confessed we have of late pursued Subjects of a
more serious Nature, than those with which we
at first set out.

But I trust we shall easily be forgiven even
by the gayest and most volatile, as Variety is always
agreeable to them, especially as we have now
by us some Letters, which I am pretty sure will
be esteemed of the amusing kind, and with
which we shall lard, as it were, our more grave
Speculations, as often as the Order in which we
receive them will permit.

The next, which at present demands our Attention,
is a Piece, which, we dare depend upon,
will be equally agreeable to the Gay and Serious,
as it is of a like Concern to both, and done in a
Manner which cannot but please all of a polite
Taste.

“To the ingenious Authors of the Female
Spectator
.
Ladies, As it is not probable that any new Thing,
especially such as are allowed worthy
of reading, should escape the Examination of
the Female Spectator, I take it for granted, you
are perfectly acquainted with a celebrated Piece,
first published about two Years since, and is
entitled, The Pleasures of Imagination:――The ‘Subject K4v 78
Subject is so copious, and the ingenious Author
has treated of it in so philosophical a
Manner, that I have been in continual Expectation
of seeing something from you upon it.
But as you have not thought fit to make
mention of it in any of those Essays you have
hitherto published, I beg Leave to offer you
some few Thoughts of my own, not on the
Poem itself, but on the Matter it contains,
which you are at Liberty either to publish or
suppress, as you shall find most expedient.
Imagination is, indeed, one of the great
Prerogatives of Man; and I know not whether
there is any other Thing which so much distinguishes
him Lord of the whole Creation.
It is this Assemblage or Association of
Ideas which convinces us we have a Soul, and
that that Soul is also of divine and immortal
Existence, by its partaking in a lower Degree
of the Nature of Omniscience; for to what
else can be ascribed, that Ability we find in ourselves
of seeing what is beyond the Reach of
the Senses?
We not only have the Power of contemplating
all in Nature, that is, all we can discern
of Nature, but of soaring with the Wings of
Fancy or Imagination to the intellectual World,
and of conversing, as it were, with Beings of ‘a L1r 79
a superior Order, and which meer Flesh and
Blood could never attain to any Notion of.
The enquiring Mind is ever searching, ever
prying, ever impatient for Objects new, wonderful,
and amiable; and what the Senses cannot
penetrate, nor even Reason fathom, Imagination
flatters us with presenting:――By this
the poorest, and most abject in Condition may
enjoy the Grandeur and Felicity of the most
opulent;――the ill-treated Lover be in full
Possession of the Charms he languishes for, and
the Captive in his Dungeon enjoy all the Sweets
of Liberty.――What, in effect, cannot the
Mind attain, when, conscious of its Power, it
preserves a Harmony within itself, and disdains
to be affected with any thing relating to Sensation!
O wondrous Gift! O favourite Blessing of
all-beneficent Heaven, never to be too much
prized; never to be too much acknowledged
by the grateful, by the enlivened Heart!
Yet may this excelling Benefit, like every
other Good, be perverted; and instead of the
Happiness it was intended to confer upon Mankind,
involve us in the very worst of Miseries.
Let us, therefore, remember, that those
Ideas, which may be said to compose Imagination,
have equally the Means of giving Pain
as Pleasure:――That there are no Misfortunes,Vol. IV. L ‘tunes, L1v 80
no Evils which can come in any Degree
of Competition with those Horrors the Mind
is capable of presenting:—It frequently, not
only shews us adverse Fortune in its worst
Form, but also images out Woes which never
had a Being, even so far as to drive too many
of us into Frenzy and Desperation.
How then is this to be avoided, will the Libertine
demand?—The Question is easily answered,
by accustoming ourselves to reflect,
and contemplate only on such Things as are
worthy the Attention of a Rational Creature.
For when we set our Hearts on the Pursuit
of any thing beneath the Dignity of our
Species, or give way to vain Passions and inordinate
Desires, though a sanguine Constitution
may enable us to form Ideas of the Gratification
of them, perhaps even more pleasing
than the very Enjoyment might prove; yet
are we in Danger every Moment of a sad Reverse:
――That same Power of Imagination,
which filled us so lately with Raptures, may
give us adequate Horrors in Turn:――This
is a Certainty which Numbers have experienc’d,
and I believe Nobody will deny.
When we delight in, and bend our Attention
to the Wonders of the Creation, and the
beautiful Produce of Nature, then indeed may
Contemplation be ravished, even to an Extasy; ‘the L2r 81
the Mind will be elated with the Blessings it
finds every where bestowed upon it, and become
all dissolved in Joy and humble Gratitude.
Would Man consider as he ought the
mighty Privileges of his Nature, how, half Divine,
he was not formed to be engrossed by low
and sensual Objects; but has Faculties, which,
if rightly applied, enable him to partake the
Fellowship of Angels, and to converse even with
God himself; how much would he despise
all the gaudy Trifles, which by their painted
Shew attempt to lure him from his real Good,
and with fictitious Prospects of high Felicity
betray him into Depths of Woe.
Hence it follows, that Imagination, as it is
capable of affording us the most exquisite Satisfaction
the Soul can know, while it is link’d
to Clay, so it inflicts on us the bitterest of Sorrows,
and the most poignant Annguish.
If we do not early harmonize our Minds,
and accustom ourselves to the Contemplation of
the moral Virtues, to subdue our Passions, and
give Reason an Opportunity to exert itself,
we shall naturally be led astray by the Senses
to Aims, in which Imagination will at most afford
us but a short-lived Satisfaction.
To well regulate our Thoughts was doubtless
the Purpose of the ingenious Author of the
Poem I mentioned, and which gave Occasion L2 to L2v 82
to my troubling you with this Epistle:――I am
infinitely charmed with that agreeable Episode
which so beautifully describes Virtue always
attended with Pleasure, and shews how Man,
when he forsakes the One, is sure of being abandoned
by the Other.
But with all due Deference to this Gentleman’s
Judgment, I think he has not sufficiently
painted out the Horrors which Imagination
presents, when we are deprived of the Society
of these two amiable Companions:—Such a
Representation would not, indeed, have come
properly in under the Title he has given his
Poem; but if, instead of The Pleasures of Imagination,
which includes but one Part of the
Question, he had called it The Force of Imagination,
he would then have had full room to
exert the great Talent he has proved himself
Master of, in shewing us the Whole of that
extensive Faculty.
I am loth to think he suffered himself to be
deterred from doing what would have rendered
his Work so compleat, by any Apprehensions
of rendering it too serious for some of his
Readers; I rather believe that he intends a second
Part, in which all the Distractions which
a disturbed Imagination can inflict will be delineated
in their proper Colours.
In the mean Time, Ladies, I should think it
well worthy the Pen of a Female Spectator to ‘lay L3r 83
lay down some Rules, by which the unwary
Mind might be prevented from falling into
any Dangers of the Kind I have mentioned.
In my Opinion, one of the first is never to
be too much attached to any one Thing in
Life, or even to Life itself.
To banish all kind of Arrogance from the
Heart, and to fix a Resolution of submitting
chearfuly to what Fate ordains, will also greatly
contribute to render our Imaginations pleasing.
But above all Things to avoid Anxiety for
the Knowledge of future Events:――’Tis
scarce possible, but that though the Ideas we
at first may form of them may be agreeable,
and others of a different Nature will succeed, or at
least crowd in among them, to the Confusion
of our Peace.
These Maxims, difficult as they may seem,
may with a great deal of Ease be put in Practice,
by a Mind which begins to make the Essay,
before any vehement Passion gets Possession
of it, or ill Habits have corrupted it.
The Advice which you, Ladies, have already
given may go a great Way towards accomplishing
a Work so much to be wished:
To keep ourselves always employed in some
praise-worthy, or at least innocent Studies, will
doubtless prevent, in a great measure, all pestilent‘lent L3v 84
Fancies from getting any Entrance into
the Brain.
But as no Business, no Avocation whatever
will bar the Intrusion of some Sorts of Passion,
we are not to let any one Desire get the better
of us, but to check in their very Infancy all
Emotions, whether of Pleasure in the Imagination
of succeeding, or of Pain in that of a
Disappointment:――Both are alike pernicious,
because the One is almost always the certain
Consequence of the Other.
Even Friendship, the noblest, purest, and
most exalted Passion of the Soul, ought also to
have its Bounds:――To speak in the Language
of Divinity, whenever we love the
Creature more than the Creator, we may expect
some heavy Affliction to fall on us, either
wounding us in our own Persons, or in that of
the Object of our too violent Affection: But
setting aside the Precepts of Religion, those of
common Reason and Experience will inform
us, that Imagination will be very busy in presenting
us with Ideas disturbing to our Peace,
whenever we are absent from the Person who
so much engrosses our Cares.
We should therefore endeavour so to regulate
all our Affections and Inclinations, even
though of the most laudable Kind, that the
over Assiduity for the Performance of one Duty
shall not occasion us to neglect the others, as ‘is L4r 85
is too frequently the Case with the very best
of People; for Devotion itself may become a
Fault, when carried to a Pitch of Superstition or
Enthusiasm.
In fine, whoever gives too great a Loose to
Imagination, will be in danger of feeling its
Horrors as well as Pleasures; and though nothing
affords a Satisfaction equal to that of
Contemplation on worthy Objects, yet when
indulged to an Excess becomes the very reverse,
and fills us with Apprehensions of Disasters
which are without Existence.
I should, notwithstanding, be sorry, that
what I have said should deprive any one of the
Pleasures of Imagination:――Let us, in the
Name of God, enjoy them in as full a Manner
as the beneficent Author intended; but let
not the Power he has given us be abused, or
prostituted to Ends unworthy of it:――Let
us confine our Contemplations to such Objects
as the Poem before me directs; let us study
Natural and Moral Philosophy, we shall find
enough in them to entertain and charm the
most extensive Mind, and, if we descend no
lower, can never feel the Woes of Imagination.
All I have offered is only to warn those
who are addicted to Solitude and much Thinking,
how they suffer Fancy to fix itself too intensely
on such Things as can be of no Advantage‘vantage L4v 86
to them, but to have always in Mind
the Petition Dr. Young makes to Heaven in
the first Book of his excellent Poem, entitled
The Complaint, or Night Thoughts, on Life,
Death, and Immortality
: The Words are
these: ‘Teach my best Reason Reason, to my WillTeach Rectitude.’
It is certain, that while uncorrupted Reason
guides the Will we shall have no Imaginations
but such as are serene and pleasing: We shall
make the true Use of that Divine Gift which
Heaven has left entirely to our own Management,
and by that Permission, as well as by
the Gift itself, renders us little inferior to the
Angels.
But I fear being too tedious;――if the
inserting this, or any Hints taken from it, will
be of the least Service to you, or to your Readers,
you may be assured it will afford one
pleasing Topic for Imagination to him, who
is, with all possible Regard,
Ladies,
Your most faithful,
and most humble Servant.
Acasto.
I M1r 87

I believe the greatest Admirers of Mr. Akinside’s
Poem, will not be offended at any thing
Acasto has offered in relation to it:—It is,
without doubt, an excellent Performance, truly
poetic, elegant, full of noble Sentiments, and
highly conducive to the End he proposes by it;
to harmonize the Mind, and awaken it to a just
Sense of the immense Obligations conferred on it
by the Deity.

Yet I cannot but say, that it would have been
of more general Service, had these Miseries, which
the Powers of Imagination are capable of afflicting,
been delineated, with the same Energy and
Spirit as the Pleasures which arise from it.

The Reason is obvious, and needs no Explanation;
since none but Minds refined and delicate
are qualified to relish the One, but all may
feel the Other in a more or less Degree.

A Person of weak Intellects, in attempting
to soar too high a Flight, not seldom shares the
Fate of Icarus, and, instead of the Wonders he
is endeavouring to explore, falls at once into an
irrecoverable Depth of Confusion and Perplexity.

Whence is Madness,――whence is Despair,
with all its Train of nameless Horrors, but from
the Ideas which Imagination forms!

When Imagination is invigorated by any inordinate
Passion or Desire, as Acasto most justly Vol. IV. M observes, 88 M1v
serves, to what frightful Extravagancies may we
not be transported?――Deeds, which in fact we
shudder at, we then make no scruple to commit
in Fancy;—indulge the guilty Wish, and satiate in
Theory, Love and Revenge, till new Ideas rise
in the tormented Brain, and Disappointment
glares us in the Face;――then, doubly cursed,
we are in that State of Mind which Milton so
well describes of our first Parents, after their Loss
of Innocence: “They sat them down to weep, not only TearsRain’d at their Eyes, but worse, high Winds withinBegan to rise; high Passions, Anger, Hate,Mistrust, Suspicion, Discord, and shook soreTheir inward State of Mind, calm Region once,And full of Peace, now toss’d and turbulent;For Understanding rul’d not, and the WillHeard not her Love, both in Subjection nowTo sensual Appetite, who from beneath,Usurping over sovereign Reason, claim’dSuperior Sway.”

But however destructive the Powers of Imagination
may be to some Minds, by being perverted,
or too far exerted, the Poet in representing the
Pleasures flowing from them, if rightly applied,
cannot be condemned, because, according to my
Judgment, he confines those Pleasures entirely to
the Contemplation of the Deity, and the all wonderful,
beauteous, and diversified Charms of Nature,
and the laudable Imitation of every thing
she presents that is great, lovely, or novel, which, as M2r 89
as he truly says, are the three Qualities which
chiefly strike upon the Mind, and give Imagination
Leave to play.

That beautiful Allegory in his second Book,
where he iuntroduces the Genius of the Human
Specie, as chiding the narrow Conceptions of his
Sons, and their unjust repining at Providence for
particular Woes, gives us an instructive Lesson
of Fortitude, Humility, and Resignation to the
Divine Will, which conducts every Individual
for the Good of the Whole.

His Quotation from Plato in the Marginal
Notes on this Passage is also admirably adapted,
and serves not only as an Explanation of his
Meaning in the Poem, but very much enforces
it; insomuch, as it were to be wished, many
who call themselves Christians would consider seriously
of what this Heathen Philosopher has said,
and they would then know better how to form
both their Sentiments and Practice more agreeable
to the Dignity of their Nature, setting aside
their Profession, than they now seem to do.

Philosophy is indeed our great Resource,
when under the Apprehensions, or real enduring
Ills; and when we have ravaged all that has been
urged in the voluminous Tracts of Religious Selfdenial
and patient Suffering, thither we must come
at last; as Lucretius, though in many Things
blameable, in this ought to be regarded: Mr.
Dryden
, who certainly has done him Justice, has, M2 in M2v 90
in more than one of his Works, taken Notice of
some Lines from that great Author, which I think
it will not be improper here to transcribe, as
some of my Readers may possibly not have met
with them, and ought to be well considered by
every one. “Oh! if the foolish Race of Man, who findA Weight of Cares still pressing on their Mind,Could find as well the Cause of this Unrest,And all this Burthen lodg’d within the Breast;Sure they would change their Course; nor live
as now,
Uncertain what to wish, or what to vow.Uneasy both in Country, and in Town,They search a Place to lay their Fardel down:One restless in his Palace, walks abroad,And vainly thinks to leave behind the Load;But strait returns: For he’s as restless there,And finds there’s no Relief in open Air.Another to his Villa would retire,And spurs as hard as if it were on Fire:
No sooner enter’d at his Country Door,But he begins to stretch, and yawn, and
snore;
Or seeks the City, which he left before.
Thus every Man o’erworks his weary Will,To shun himself, and to shake off his Ill:The shaking Fit returns, and hangs upon him
still.
No Prospect of Repose,—no Hope of Ease,The Wretch is ignorant of his own Disease;WhichM3r91Which known, would all his fruitless Trouble spare;For he would know the World not worth his
Care.
Then would he search more deeply for the Cause;And study Nature well, and Nature’s Laws.”

Whoever indeed does this will find the
Powers of Imagination pleasing to him; but
whoever neglects it, will have always something,
either real or ideal to torment him.

Every one knows, that it is the Property of
a strong and lively Imagination, to magnify all
that is within its reach, which is not only all
that is in Nature, but even beyond Nature:—
It contents not itself with enhancing the Woes it
finds, but creates new ones, and such as are even
morally impossible should ever come to pass.

It also very frequently happens, that in endeavouring
to avoid an imaginary Ill, we run into a
real one;—and so strong has this Self-deception
sometimes been, that all the Remonstrances made
by our Friends, or by our own Reason, have proved
ineffectual to erase an Impression imprinted on
our Minds meerly by some sudden Fancy.

I once heard of a Man, who having dreamt
his House was on fire, could not be perswaded
after he was awake but that it was so:—He was
certain he smelt Smoke, and the Fright depriving
him of all Consideration, he threw open his
Doors, and cried out for Help:――The Neighboursbours M3v 92
were instantly alarmed;――his House full
of People, and among the Crowd, a Number of
those Wretches, who watch for an Opportunity
of profiting themselves in such Calamities, under
the Pretence of assisting the Person in Distress.

Every Room was carefully examined, and he
was at last convinced, that Imagination had imposed
on his Understanding:—There was no
Fire, nor the least Appearance of any; but, poor
unhappy Man, while he was busy in searching
one Chamber, the Plunderers still stript the
others, till they had left nothing for the Flames
to destroy, if there really had been any:――
All was carried off in the Confusion, none knew
by whom, and he was left without a Bed to lie
upon, or the least Conveniency whatever.

On perceiving his Misfortune, the same Force
of Imagination, which had first occasioned, now
represented it in more shocking Colours than it
indeed deserved, because it seems he had a competent
Estate in Land, which could neither be
burned or stole away, and afforded more than a
Sufficiency for his Support.

He thought, however, of nothing but perishing
for Want, and all the Terrors of such a Condition
at once assailing him, entirely unhinged
Reason and Reflection, and hurried by the black
Idea, he threw himself Headlong out of a Window,
two Stories from the Street, where his Brains
were dashed upon the Pavement.

Sad M4r 93

Sad Instance what the Force of a perverted
Imagination can perform! If the Story be true,
which, though I will not pretend to affirm, must
own, I can find nothing in it that is in the least
incompatible with Probability.

The Histories of former Times present us
with a Cloud of Testimonies, that not only
private Men, but whole Nations have been so infatuated
by Ideas of their own Formation, that
they have run with the utmost Zeal and Precipitation,
nay courted the very greatest of Mischiefs,
on no other Motive than to be free from even
the bare Apprehensions of the smallest and most
inconsiderable, were they in reality to arrive.

Let the Ring-Leaders of the Populace but
once be fired with a strong Imagination of any
thing, be it never so opposite to Reason, Truth,
or Justice, the whole Rabble catch immediately
the Infection, join in full Cry, abetting with their
whole Force the Madness. As the Poet says, “Almighty Crowd! Thou shorten’st all Dispute,Power is thy Essence, Wit thy Attribute;Nor Faith, nor Reason make thee at a Stay,Thou leap’st o’er all eternal Truths in thy Pindaric
Way.
Yet popular Applause, the noisy PraiseOf giddy Crowds, is changeable as Winds;Still vehement, often without a Cause:Servant to Chance, and blowing in the TideOfM4v94Of swol’n Success, but veering with its Ebb,It leaves the Channel dry.”

But supposing that no Inconvenience, no
Distaster befalls us, besides the Horrors we sustain,
by figuring to ourselves Misfortunes, sure
they of themselves might be sufficient to deter
any reasonable Person from giving way to them.

To be plain, I would, methinks, not have
Contemplation confounded with the Powers of
Imagination, the latter of which borders too
much in Fancy and Fiction, whereas the other
is under the Government of Reason, and is guided
by Truth.

The learned Author, whose Poem gave Occasion
both for the Letter from Acasto, and our
Remarks upon it, is very copious in his Praises
on Imagination, as it refines the sublime and
polite Arts of Poetry, Musick, and Sculpture:
There is no Question to be made but in Imitation,
it is not only a Help but an Inspirer; but
then we ought to observe, that every Science
seeks to delight, not terrify the Mind.—When
the famous Apelles attempted to draw the Picture
of a Wretch expiring on the Rack, that
Imagination, which he had been accustomed to
exert in his more delightful Representations, stood
him in no stead in this:—Often he essayed, but
essayed in vain; till enraged at the Disappointment,
he threw his Pallat at the Picture, Part of
which, daubed as it was with various Colours, glancing N1r 95
glancing on the Face of the Man he had been
drawing, gave an Agony to the Features which
his own Fancy was too composed to give him
any just Idea of.

Let Imagination, however, be allowed to
contribute greatly to the Works of Imitation;
where it can possibly have no prejudicial Effect
on the intense Mind, when once the Work is
compleated, still it will be found dangerous where
no such Avocation demands it, because it being
so active a Quality, it must have some Employment
of one kind of other; and if great Care be
not taken to provide such for it as is conducive
to Happiness, there is more than a Possibility it
will find such for itself as leads to Misery and Disquiet.

The Marquis du Park, in his excellent Treatise
entitled, Rules for the well regulating the
Mind
, gives us among many others this Maxim.

“Whenever a Recess from Business, or the
active Pleasures of the World invites you to
indulge Reflection and Meditation, chuse for
their Object only such Things as may either
improve or delight:—Endeavour, as much as
possible, to avoid all Destraction of Ideas,—
all wandering and confused Images; for on
the being able to preserve a clear, unmixed,
and chearful Imagination, depends, in a great
measure, the Conduct of your future Actions.”
Vol. IV. N Ima- N1v 96

Imagination, says another great Author,
is the Fountain Head, from which all the
Movements of Life are derived:—Imagination is
the Source of Contemplation,—Contemplation produces
Design, and Design breaks forth in Action;
so that if the first is vitiated and corrupt, all the
others will naturally be impure.

Too much, indeed, cannot be said to warn
People of the Dangers of giving way to any
gloomy discontented Thoughts; for, if in the
least indulged, they will infallibly grow upon the
Mind, and form at last the most frightful and
horrible Ideas.

The Female Spectator, therefore, is obliged to
join with Acasto in wishing, that the same kind
Hand, which has so elegantly painted out to us
the Pleasures resulting from Imagination, had
also given a Picture of the Pains to which we
may be subjected, in case the Powers of that extensive
Quality are not restrained within due
Bounds, and under the Guidance of right Reason.

But should that Gentleman either not think
fit to treat upon the Subject, or be hindered from
obliging the World by his other more profitable
Avocation, Mira, our worthy President, informs
us, that a Friend of hers, who wants no Capacity
for such an Undertaking, is now writing a Poem
on that Subject, which she assures us there is no
room to doubt will be very touching, as the Au- N2r 97
Author himself has felt, in a very severe Manner,
the Anguish he attempts to describe.

If nothing of that kind, which his Modesty
may make him think better than his own, appears
in Print, before he has concluded his Poem, we
flatter ourselves we shall have the Pleasure to
communicate it to the World in one of our future
Lucubrations.

But our Correspondents I am afraid by this
Time begin to think themselves neglected: I
must, therefore, according to my usual Custom,
go on with the several Letters I have been favoured
with, at least those of them which are
not improper to be inserted in a Work of this
Nature, I mean such as to our Judgment appears
so:――If at any Time we should happen to be
mistaken, I trust the Public will forgive it, as a
Fault not proceeding from Design; and which,
on a candid Remonstrance from any of our judicious
Readers, we should endeavour to rectify
by a future and more exact Circumspection.

The following is a Complaint, grounded indeed
on too common a Foundation, and in which
melancholy Truth it is not to be doubted, but a
great many of our Sex have sufficient Cause to
join in Consort with the fair Author, though they
have submitted to their Fate in Silence, perhaps
to the Ruin of their own future Peace.

N2 To N2v 98 “To the Female Spectator. Madam, The good Advice you have given our
Sex, and the Tenderness you have always
expressed for our well doing in the World,
emboldens me to become one of your Correspondents,
though, Heaven knows, little qualified
to write to a Person of so polite a Taste,
much less to appear in Print.
The Matter, however, will, I hope, excuse
the Manner in which I express myself both to
you and to the World; and as I have no
other View in publishing my unfortunate Story,
but to prevent others from being subjected to
the same Fate, and giving you an Opportunity
to expatiate on a Cruelty too much practised,
and too little condemned by the Generality
of People, I cannot, I think, be blamed,
with any Shew of Justice, for so doing.
Without any farther Apology then, Madam,
permit me to acquaint you, I am the only
Daughter of a Person, who, by his own Industry,
and great Success in Trade, has accumulated
a very large Fortune; my Mother
dying when I was very young, he made up
up that Loss to me by an extraordinary Care
both of my Person and Education; the latter
of which was indeed beyond what is ordinarily
allowed by Persons of his Station to their Children,‘dren, N3r 99
especially Daughters; but as I was his
all, and he declared against a second Marriage,
therefore was to inherit whatever he should die
possessed of, he told every body that he would
bring me up so as not to let me be a Disgrace
to my Fortune.
In this Resolution he persevered, till I arrived
at the Age of Fifteen, or thereabouts,
when I first began to perceive an Alteration:
—Though Wealth continued to flow in upon
him, and no Disappointments happened in any
of his Undertakings, he grew extremely parsimonious,
and at last quite covetous:――He
retrenched the Number of his Servants, the
Dishes on his Table, and even denied himself a
Bottle of Wine in an Evening, a Thing he was
wont to say he could not live without.
Amidst this new Oeconomy it is not to be
doubted but that I had my Share:――My
usual Stipend for Pocket Money was lessened,
had new Cloaths but seldom, and of a cheaper
Sort than formerly, and was now never suffered
to go to a Play, Opera, or any other public
Diversion; not that he disliked them on any
other Account than the Expence, but every
Thing that exceeded the common Necessaries
of Life he now looked upon as so many Extravagancies.
This, Madam, you may perhaps imagine
was a very great Mortification to me, and it wouldN3v100
would, indeed, have been so, had I not been
taken up at that Time, as it happened, with
Thoughts which left me no room to consider
on any thing beside.
The Son of a Leicestershire Gentleman,
who, whenever he came to Town, lodged at
our House, found something in me that he
thought worthy of the most serious Attachment,
and I, for my Part, had never seen any Man
before him whose Idea was capable of giving
me either Pain or Pleasure in the least Degree.
In fine, having a mutual Affection for each
other, it was easy for him to prevail on me to
permit him to acquaint both our Parents
with it:――The Supposition of my being a
great Fortune made his listen with a very favourable
Ear to the Proposal, and mine had no
Objection to make, as the young Gentleman
was Heir to a very good Estate, and had withall
a fair Character from all that knew him.
That Love which before we had kept a
Secret from all the World, was now avowed to
all our Friends and Acquaintance; and none
among them but thought the Union between
us, which was soon expected, would be extremely
agreeable on all Accounts.
For us, we thought of nothing, but indulging
the gayest Hopes of future Felicity, and
had not the least Notion of any Disappointmentment N4r 101
in an Affair which was so well approved
of by those who had the Disposal of us.
But, alas! we soon found we had but deceived
ourselves, and that the enchanting Prospect
before our Eyes was no more than an Illusion,
which only served to make the coming
Misfortune less easy to be borne:—The material
Point to make us happy was yet wanting,
though we had never once considered it:――
Our own Wishes, our Ambition centered only
in the Possession of each other, and we looked
no farther.
As we had conversed together some Time, the
Father of my Lover thought it proper to ask
mine what Portion he intended to bestow on
me, that he might order his Lawyer to draw
up Articles, and make a suitable Settlement on
me. To this my Father answered, that there
was no need of being at that Trouble; that as
I was to have all he had after his Decease, he
did not think of parting with any Sum of Money
by way of Portion before, which he might
have occasion for in Trade, and the other could
not want, having so good an Estate.
How much the Gentleman was surprized at
so unexpected a Reply, I leave you to guess:—
They had, it seems, a long Debate upon it however;
but the one thinking it unreasonable his
Son should marry on such Terms, and the
other being determined not to bestow any Money‘ney N4v 102
with me, they broke off the whole Affair,
both mutually exclaiming against the Injustice
of the other.
My Lover was now forbid by his Father,
ever to see or write to me any more, and I was
told I ought to despise him, for all the Passion
he pretended to have for me, was only for the
Portion he expected to receive with me.
I own to you, Madam, that at first this gave
some Alarm to my Pride, but the dear injured
Youth soon convinced me of his Fidelity, and
disinterested Tenderness he felt for me, by making
use of all the Arguments in his Power
to prevail on me to be married in private; and
when he found I would by no Means consent
to that, offered to lead me publicly to the Altar,
though he should by so doing incur the
eternal Displeasure of his Father, and be deprived
of all he was born to possess.
This Proposal seemed more extravagant than
the other, and young as I was, and as much
as I loved, and still do love, I could not think
of gratifying that Love at the Expence of
rendering myself, and the Person so dear to
me, unhappy in every Circumstance in Life
perhaps for ever:――I obliged him, therefore,
to be content with seeing me at a Friend’s
House where we sometimes meet by Stealth,
till Heaven should be pleased to make some Alteration‘teration O1r 103
in our Fate, by turning one, or both
our Parents Hearts.
A solemn Promise past, however, between
us, never to listen with an assenting Ear to
any Offers of Marriage that might be made
to either, but preserve, through all Temptations
whatever, both Heart and Hand for
one another.
This is now near three Years since, in which
Time several very advantageous Matches have
been proposed to him, all which he has rejected
with a Firmness, which well testifies both
his Honour and his Love.
But now, dear Female Spectator, comes the
severest and most shocking Part of my Misfortune:
—It was not enough for my cruel Father
to tear me from the only Man I ever did,
or ever can love:—It was not enough that he
reproached me in the most bitter Terms for
not joining with him in railing against a Person,
who, my Soul knew, merited the most
exalted Praises:—It was not enough to withdraw
all that Fatherly Affection he was accustomed
to treat me with, and for these long
three Years treat me rather as an Alien than
a Child:—All this, I say, was not sufficient,
without entailing a Misery upon me, which
but with my Life I never can be eased of.
In a word, Madam, he has provided a Vol. IV O ‘Husband O1v 104
Husband for me, to whom, if I consent not
to be a Wife, am to be turned out of Doors;
without the least present Support, or Hopes of
any even at his Death:—That instead of the
Blessings of a Father, I must receive only
Curses both living and dying: My Heart shudders
while I am writing this, at the dreadful
Remembrance of what he has said to me on
this Occasion; and at the Impossibility there
seems of my any way avoiding doing what
will render me not only wretched to a Degree
beyond what any Words can represent, but
equally wicked by becoming perfidious and ungrateful
to the dear and worthy Object of my
first Vows.
Several of our Relations perceiving my
Aversion to this hateful Match, have used their
utmost Interest with my Father not to force
my Inclinations; but he continues inflexible,
and their Sollicitations rather serve to make him
hasten my Misfortune than to ward it off; because
as he says he will not be teized on a Subject
he is determined to persist in.
The grand Motive is, that the Person to
whom my ill Stars have rendered me amiable,
desires no Money with me, and has it besides
greatly in his Power to be serviceable to my
Father in his way of Business.
These are the merits for which he is preferred:
――These make him in the Eyes of
an avaritious Parent appear a suitable Match; ‘though O2r 105
though to give his Character impartially, and
without any of the Reasons I have for an Aversion,
the most indifferent and disinterested
Person must allow, that his Form is very ungraceful,
that he has the Misfortune of being
lame in one Arm, that his Countenance is sour,
and that he is almost three Times my Age:—
I say nothing of his Humour, because I am not
sufficiently acquainted with it to be a Judge;
but the World does not seem to think very favourably
of it.
I do not mention this, Madam, as having
any Sway over my Mind, for were he, instead
of the most disagreeable, the most lovely Man
Heaven ever formed, I should detest him
equally, if attempting to invade that Constancy
I have promised to my first Love.
Yet, Wretch that I am, I am upon the
Point of doing what the most false and perfidious
of my Sex could but do:—and in that
Light shall I appear to all who know the Professions
of eternal Love I have made to him
whom I am now about to render miserable for
ever.――My Wedding Cloaths are making,
(wou’d to God it were my winding Sheet) and
I must, in a few Days, be forced into a Bridal
Bed by far more dreadful to me than the Grave.
The only Ease under this heavy Affliction I
can enjoy is, in the Hope my Story will influence
you to say something in your perswasive O2 ‘Manner O2v 106
Manner that may have its due Weight with
other Parents, (for I despair of mine being
moved, even with an Angel’s Eloquence:)
Unhappy as I am, I wish not to have any
Sharer in the same Fate, though I am afraid
too many have and will: That the Number
may decrease, however, is the sincere Prayer of,
Good Madam,
Your most unfortunate Servant,
Monyma.
P. S. Next Thursday is the Day appointed
for my Doom, if it be possible for me to survive
till then:――Think of me with Compassion,
’tis all can now be done for me.”

Hearts the least sensible of the Woes of
others cannot but be touched with the most tender
Commiseration for Monyma’s Condition,
nor can any reasonable Person seriously reflect on
the Conduct of her Father in this Affair without
passing the severest Censure on it.

Unaccountable is it, as well as unnatural,
that Parents, who in general are fond of their
Children while they are very young, can afterwards
resolve to make them for ever miserable,
only to gratify some sordid Interest of their own.

Most indeed of those who thus force the Inclinationsclinations O3r 107
of their Children, being past all Sense
of the softer Passions themselves, think they
are acting for their Good, while they oblige them
to sacrifice Love to Ambition; but the Father of
this young Lady carry’d his Avarice to a much
higher than one shall ordinarily hear of:――It
seemed not to be so much what the World calls
Interest, for her Sake, as for his own Selfishness
in keeping his Money, that he forced her from a
Man so dear to her, and compelled her to give
herself to another equally hateful.

Detestable Propensity, to what does it
transport us?—Every noble, generous, or humane
Sentiment is dead within us, when once it takes
Possession of the Soul:――Nay, we seem even
abandoned by common Sense, and act not only
in direct Opposition to our Pretences, but likewise
run counter to what we think or desire within
ourselves.

We throw away our Estates, in the vain
Hopes of doubling them:—We forfeit our Honesty
with the View of acquiring Honour:—We
descend to the most contemptible and mean Actions
in the Expectation of becoming great:—In
a word, a Person whose Soul is devoted to Avarice
or false Ambition, is guilty of all manner of
Inconsistencies, and while intending to pursue
good Fortune, blindly pushes away the Goddess
he adores.

There is besides in this Passion, above all others, O3v 108
others, an Obstinancy that so far hardens the
Heart, as to render it impenetrable to all the Assaults
of Nature, as well as inflexible to the Remonstrances
of Reason and Religion.

Justly does our excellent Dryden, in his Play
Amphitrion, make Jupiter say, “――When I madeThis Gold, I made a greater God than Jove,And gave my own Omnipotence away.”

And the more humorous, though not less
witty Poet, speaking of Gold, tells us, that “Money is still the common ScaleOf Things by Measure, Weight, and Tale:Even in th’ Affairs of Church and State,It’s both the Balance, and the Weight.’Tis Beauty too still in the Flow’r,That buds and blossoms at fourscore:’Tis Virtue, Wit, and Worth, and allThat Men divine and sacred call;For what’s the Worth of any thing,But so much Money as ’twill bring.”

If it were possible for a generous Mind to be
diverted with the Depravities of Human Nature,
how would it make one laugh to see a
Wretch hug himself for his Cunning and perfect
Knowledge of the World, as he imagines, while
perhaps he is the Dupe of those who extol his good O4r 109
good Sense, and a Prey even to the very worst of
Sharpers!

There is not, in fine, a more high Road to
Beggary than Avarice, yet will not the Fate of
Thousands warn others from falling into the same
Snare.――They see a few have had the good
Luck to amass great Sums, and every one fancies
himself capable of managing so as to have the
same Accession.

Wretched Stupidity! Where to one that
succeeds, a thousand are undone.

But to return to the unhappy Monyma.
The Female Spectator sincerely wishes her Case
had been sooner communicated: All Remonstrances
on the one Side, or Advice on the
other, would now come too late, if her Fate was
really decided at the Time she mentions in her
Letter.

Otherwise there is no one Member of our
Club, not even Euphrosine herself, who is the
most perfect Pattern of an implicit Obedience I
ever knew, but is of Opinion, that Monyma, circumstanced
as she was, and under a former Engagement,
might have refused entering into a second
without incurring any just Censure from the
World.

We should not have advised so far indeed as
for her to marry her young Lover; for that would O4v 110
would have been to have flown directly in the
Face of Paternal Authority, and a Breach of Duty
which no Exigence could have rendered excuseable;
but we think, at the same time, that she
might easily have been absolved for persisting in
her Refusal of the other.

By debarring herself from pursuing her Inclination
she would sufficiently have discharged all
that Filial Duty demanded from her; and by continuing
resolute, to suffer any thing rather than
yield herself to one for whom she could have no
Inclination, she would have given a shining Testimony
of Love and Constancy to him who
seems so well to deserve it from her:—Whereas,
by acting in the Manner she has done, she has
not only involved herself, but the Object of her
Affection, in Miseries, which, in all Probability,
will be as lasting as their Lives.

I know very well it may be said, by some over
discreet Persons, that she had no other Course to
take, and doubtless she was of that Opinion herself,
that if her Father had made good his Menace,
and turned her out of Doors, she must
have been exposed to Insults, Reproaches, and
all the Ills that Poverty brings with it.—But I
can scarce think her Condition would have been
so desperate, even had her Father in reality abandoned
her; she has doubtless Relations and
Friends, some of whom certainly have taken
Pity of a young Creature that stood in need of
their Assistance, by no other Crime than her strict Adherence P1r 111
Adherence to Love and Honour; or if, as indeed
there are not many Instances of natural Affection
in this Iron-hearted Age, all Hopes of
this Kind had failed, that Education she confesses
to have had, might certainly have furnished her
with some Means or other of Support.

Neither can we believe, without being uncharitable,
that her Father would not in Time
have relented, at least so far as to take her home
again, if not been brought to consent to the
Terms required of him for her more perfect
Happiness.

But when the indissoluble Union of Marriage
is once formed, how disagreeable soever it may
be at first, it is the Business and the Duty of
each, thus joined, to render themselves, and Partner
for Life, as easy as possible:—All After-Reflections,
――all Struggles, serve only to render
the Misfortune more grievous, and add new
Weights to a Load already but too galling.

We therefore hope Monyma’s good Sense
will enable her to endeavour a Forgetfulness of
every thing that may occasion a Melancholly in
herself, or a Dissatisfaction to her Husband:――
Virtue, Religion, Reputation, Reason, and Interest
all concur to exact it from her; and in fulfilling
their Dictates, she can only expect to find
any true Ease or Consolation.

Vol. IV. P And P1v 112

And this is all we have it in our Power to
offer on her Account.

We shall now present our Readers with a
Piece, which we may justly say is very curious,
since we have received it from one of the best
Judges the present Age affords; though, perhaps,
to avoid the many Compliments might be
made him on the Occasion, he conceals himself
from the Public under a feigned Name.

“To the Female Spectator. Madam, This brings you a Piece of Antiquity,
which, I believe, you will think worthy
a Place in your agreeable Miscellany of beneficial
and entertaining Topics:――It can indeed
be called no other than a Fragment, but
supposed to be wrote by the famous Ovid in
his Banishment:――It certainly has a good
deal of the Stile of that tender Poet, and in the
Original discovers the utmost Purity of the
Latin, as spoken at that Time, which, perhaps,
was the most flourishing Æra for polite Literature
the World has ever yet known.
I dare answer you will not think it has lost
much by the Translation, when I shall tell you
it was put into English by Doctor Atterbury,
late Lord Bishop of Rochester, as a certain noble‘ble P2r 113
Earl, from whom I received it, did me the
Honour to assure me. I am,
Madam,
With the greatest Respect,
Your very humble,
And most obedient Servant, Antiquarius.

Here follow the Papers this obliging Correspondent
has favoured us with, and for which he
has our most grateful Acknowledgments.

“Augustus Cæsar, to Livia Drusilla. Epistle the First. Wonder not, O too lovely Wife of
Tiberius! at receiving an Epistle from
Augustus:—A Power superior to my own, constrains
me to implore from you that Pity and
Protection for which so many Millions are indebted
to me.—The present Situation of my
Heart deprives me of all my former Dignity: I
no longer glory in being Master of the World,
unless I could boast at the same time of being
the Master of your Heart.—I have seen you
most adorable Livia, and if you either know
yourself, or have in the least considered the P2 ‘Con- P2v 114
Confusion of my Looks in that dear fatal Interview,
there is no need to tell you that I
love;—love, with a Passion worthy of your
Charms, and of the Breast that harbours it:—A
Passion such as Livia only can inspire,—Augustus
only feel.—The Inventor of the Brazen
Bull Perillus, who was “the Inventor of the Brazen Bull”,
was the first enclosed in it, by Order of Phalaris, a Sicilian
Tyrant.
justly experienced those Tortures his
cruel Wit prepared for others; but I, in instituting
an Entertainment Stage Plays, of which, according to Heylin and other
Authors, he was the first Institutor.
which should at once
please and instruct my People, found a Destiny
The first Time Augustus saw Livia was at the
Theatre.
no less severe than his.
It is in your Bosom alone to reverse the Sentence
past on me by that God whose Laws
perhaps I have hitherto too much contemned,
and render me as happy as I now am the contrary.
Think, therefore, think, divinest Livia!
that sometnhing is due to my Sufferings, and
yet much more to my Character, and you will
then do all you can for your Lover, and your
Emperor,
Augustus Cæsar.
Livia P3r 115 Livia Drusilla, to Augustus Cæsar,
her Lord and Emperor.
Epistle the Second. You command me, O mighty sar!
to receive without Surprize the Honour
of your Epistle:――How impossible is it for
me to obey you:—I would fain perswade myself,
that the Race from which I sprung,――
the Innocence of all my Actions,—my Husband’s
Character and Services, and my own
yet unsullied Fame, had set me above these
Pleasantries practised on Women of a different
Stamp; and the Duty I owe my Emperor,
forbids me to believe the little Beauty
Heaven has bestowed upon me capable of making
any serious Impression on a Heart, where
Glory and Scribronia The Wife of Augustus. claim the sole Dominion.
—When I go about, therefore, to reconcile
this Declaration, either with your Character or
mine, I am equally at a Loss; and the more
I consider what you are, or what I am, the more
I become confounded:—O then, most sacred
Sir, have Pity on my Weakness, and cease to
perplex, with vain Ideas, a Mind, which has
hitherto found its Felicity in Content, and
wishes no more than to preserve a due Medium
between the two Extremes of Ambition, and a
too abject Humility.
Livia Drusilla.
gAugustus P3v 116 Augustus Cæsar, to Livia Drusilla. Epistle the Third. Is it then possible that you, whom it most
concerns, should be blind to the Symptoms
of a Passion, which all my Care cannot conceal
from the Observation of my whole Court:
Marcellus,— Aggrippa,— Mecænas,— Drusus,
all see their Emperor is not what he was;――
Can Livia alone want Penetration?—No, no,
fair Hypocrite! those Eyes that pierced my
Soul must look through it at the same Time:
You are not less sensible of the Havock made
by your Charms, than I am of the Force of
them; and but counterfeit an Ignorance of
those Ills you are determined not to pity:—
I flattered myself, however, that you would
have made some Difference between me and
other Men, and have answered with the same
Plainness and Sincerity I wrote.――Remember,
Livia, that I am Augustus, and in that
Name have a Right to expect Obedience from
even you; and if I lay aside the Auuthority of
my Place, the Requests I make, ought, notwithstanding,
to have all the Force of Commands:
I shall, however, exact no more from you than
the Confession of a Truth, which you cannot
but be assured of, not only from a Consciousness
of your own Charms, but from the Professions
of him, who would ill become the Dignity
he wears, could he be capable of Deceit; ‘and P4r 117
and in the next Place, that you will seriously
examine your own Heart, and let me know
what Recompence you think is owing to the
Sentiments you have inspired in mine.
Augustus Cæsar.
Livia Drusilla, to Augustus Cæsar,
her Lord and Emperor.
Epistle the Fourth. Since then my Emperor insists I should
look upon myself as something worthy
his Regard, I dare no longer presume to doubt
the Honour he confers upon me; and it is,
perhaps, not the least among the many Wonders
of his Power, that it obliges me to break
through all those Rules of Modesty and Humility
I have hitherto observed, and not only
acknowledge, that I think on the Consideration
he vouchsafes to have for me, as the supremest
Glory a Mortal can receive, but likewise,
that I feel a Pleasure in the Conviction,
which no Words are able to express:――Yes,
mighty Cæsar, as the Belief of your Affection
spreads itself through my Imagination, my
whole Soul enlarges to entertain the rapturous
Idea:――That Beauty, which before I thought
but meanly of, is now conspicuous to myself,
and I bless Nature for those Charms which are
happy enough to please the Master of the
World:――Does then my Imperial Lord demand‘mand P4v 118
what Recompence is due to me for so
immense a Condescension?――Sure there can
be nothing I either ought or would refuse!――
Shall not the Love and Duty owing from every
Subject be ever paid by me, accompanied with
a Warmth and Zeal proportioned to the Vastness
of my Obligation?――Shall I ever bend
my Knees, or lift my Eyes to Heaven, without
invoking every God for endless Blessings on
your Life and Reign?――Shall not my Hopes,
my Fears, my Wishes, my Devotions, be all
centered in Augustus?――Will not that sacred
Name be ever in my Lips, and dwell within
my Heart?――These, indeed, are but small
Demonstrations of that Gratitude which swells
my Bosom; but, alas! they are all Fate puts
it in my Power to give, and therefore will, I
hope, be acceptable from
Livia Drusilla.
Augustus Cæsar, to Livia Drusilla. Epistle the Fifth. When I compare the former Part of
your Epistle with the latter, I find an
Inconsistency between them, which I am wholly
at a Loss to reconcile, and is far from that
Plainness and Sincerity I both desired and expected
from Livia.—If to be beloved by me
affords you any real Pleasure, would you be so
selfish as to engross it all, and leave me nothing but Q1r 119
but the Pains of an ever-longing, ever-hopeless
Passion?—And do you call it Gratitude to turn
me over to other Hands for that Recompence
I ought to receive from your own?—What
Occasion have you, O beautiful Livia! to
trouble the Gods with Petitions for me, when
they have consigned to you the sole Power of
making me happy?—No, sweet Evader, no;
such Orizons would be a Mockery both of
Heaven and me:—I ask no more than what
you can bestow; and if, as you say, you neither
ought or can refuse me any thing, why are
my Joys immediately after bounded to the
Half of what I aim to obtain,—and that too,
I fear, but in Imagination only: For had I that
Influence in your Soul you seem to flatter me
with, sure I am it would work too powerfully
on the lovely Body to leave me long unblest:
In fine, my Livia, the Passion I have for you
is not of that airy Nature to be fed with Shadows:
――I must possess you all; for if you
know your Emperor, you also know it is not
with imperfect Conquests he is accustomed to
content himself.
Augustus Cæsar.
Vol. IV. Q Livia Q1v 120 Livia Drusilla, to Augustus Cæsar,
her Lord and Emperor.
Epistle the Sixth. Why, O cruel sar! if it may
be permitted me to refuse my Emperor,
why do you take delight in reducing
your Slave to a Dilemma, from which she
sees no way to extricate herself!—Augustus
was not wont to tax his Subjects beyond their
Power:—O wherefore does he from Livia
alone demand Impossibilities?—My Soul and
all its Faculties are wholly devoted to my
Emperor; what else remains of me is the Property
of another:—Am I not the Wife of
Tiberius?—Can I call back the Time that
made me his?—Or will that Breath return,
with which I swore inviolable Love, inviolable
Duty!—Are not my Vows register’d in
the Lap of Juno?— The Goddess of Marriage. And does not the sacred
Tabulla A Scroll of Parchment in which all Marriages of
Note were recorded.
bear witness of them?—O
well does my Lord and Emperor know,
that there is nothing left for me to bestow,
and all I can do is to lament in secret my Incapacity
of receiving an Honour, which would
otherwise have rendered me the most happy,
as well as most envyed of my Sex.
Livia Drusilla.
Augustus Q2r 121 Augustus Cæsar, to Livia Drusilla. Epistle the Seventh. Tis well, fair Creature, ’tis well:――The
Fire of sar then is to be combated by
the Frost of Livia:—You are resolved to hold
yourself with all the Weapons your icy Virtue
can supply you with.—But do you not remember,
that the God under whose Banners I am
listed, is invincible?—You have indeed subdued
Augustus, but cannot the Deity which animates
him.—Cease, therefore, so unequal a War, and
be convinced that to yield in this Cause will
be your greatest Glory.—The Proconsul of
Gallia is indeed your Husband, but he is sensible
of what is owing to his Emperor, and
if you reflect seriously on what sar is, you will
confess he has the Power to dispense with Forms.
Mæcenas, who is the Bearer of this,
will tell you more than Time now permits
me to write, and has my Commands not to
leave you till you have assured him you will
favour, with your Presence, an History informs us, this was the most splendid one was
ever seen:――There were a thousand Barges, gilt, illuminated
with Lamps, and magnificently adorned with
Streamers, on which were many curious Devices, representing
the Power of Love and Beauty:—All the great
Persons at that Time in Rome were present at it, the Feast
lasted the whole Night,—Musick playing all the while,
from the Banks of the River.
Entertainmentment Q2v 122
I have prepared on the Tiber, in Honour
of the Day that gave you to the World,
for a Blessing to all Beholders Eyes, but
most to
Augustus Cæsar.”

This it seems was the whole of what the noble
Earl put into the Hands of Antiquarius, or
at least all he has obliged us with:—The World
is too well acquainted with the History of those
illustrious Lovers for us to add any thing on the
Subject; neither is there any Occasion for giving
our Opinion on the Elegance and Spirit of the
Letters:—All our Readers of Taste must be
charmed with the Love and Dignity which those
of Augustus testify, and confess that those of
Livia are perfectly agreeable to the Character of
that Lady, artful and polite.

It is not to be doubted, but that many of our
Readers would have been glad to have had a
farther Continuance of the Correspondence between
two Persons, who make so considerable a
Figure in the Roman History, and to have seen
by what Arts Livia, after being the Mistress of
Augustus, prevailed on him to repudiate Scribonia,
to whom he had been married several Years,
and not only to seat her on the Imperial Throne,
but also, perceiving he was not likely to have
any Children by her, to adopt the young Tiberius,rius, Q3r 123
a Son she had by her Husband, to be his
Successor, in Prejudice of his own and more worthy
Kindred,.

Others, on the contrary, may think it better
I had suppressed the whole Piece:—They
will say, perhaps, that when an unwarrantable
Aim happens to be crowned with Success, the
whole Event ought rather to be concealed than
published, lest it should give Encouragement to
others to attempt the like, and that above all
Things the Female Spectator, who sets up for a
Regulator of her Sex’s Conduct, should not have
exhibited a Character so fortunately vicious as
was that of this Roman Empress.

There are Men (will they say) who may pretend
as violent a Passion as Augustus, without
feeling it, or having any Share of his Sincerity;
and it is not to be contradicted, but that there are
Women who may imagine their Charms of no
less Force to retain a Heart they are desirous of
engaging, than those of Livia could possibly be:
—And then, will they cry, how little Likelihood
is there that any Considerations, when prompted
either by Love or Ambition, will deter them
from taking the same Steps she did?

I heartily wish, indeed, that the Vanity
which, I confess, is but too inherent to our Sex,
did not give some Countenance to an Objection
of this Nature; for though one should tell a young Q3v 124
young Lady never so often, that her favoured
Lover had not all the real Tenderness, Esteem
for her, and Constancy of Augustus, or that her
own Beauty, Wit, and Capacity in every Point
fell short of what Livia was possessed of, it
would be scarce possible to convince her of a
Truth so displeasing to those two favourite and
indulged Passions of the Soul.

History, however, must not be silenced,
because Matters of Fact, which ought not to be
imitated, are therein related; nor should the
elegant Part of Mankind be deprived of so agreeable
an Entertainment as the Writings of the Ancients
afford, because some of them have introduced
Characters we could wish had never been
in the World.

A Woman, whose Heart is truly guarded by
Virtue and Religion, will never suffer a vicious
Example to have any Influence over her; and
she who thrusts from her those divine Assistants,
need not be told there was a Livia, that prospered
and grew great by yielding to an unlawful
Flame.

When these are once gone, a small Temptation,
alas! suffices; as our inimitable Shakespear
truly says, “――As Virtue never will be mov’d,Tho’ Lewdness court it in the shape of Heav’n;SoQ4r125So Lust, tho’ to a radiant Angel join’d,Will fly the Charms of a celestial Bed,And prey on Garbage.”

It would be a happy Thing if there were no
Presidents of a much later Date than those of Augustus
and Livia, to justify the Frailties of both
Sexes:――Theirs, I hope, will be of no ill Consequence
to the present Age; and as the Virtues
of the old Romans are pretty much exploded
on the Account of their being old-fashioned,
their Vices sure will be rejected for the same, if
no other, Reason.

Among our Letters we find one from a former
Correspondent, on the present Hurry of the
Times; but as impatient as he seems for some
Notice to be taken of it, we must beg to be excused
till the Order of the Date becomes conformable
to our Rules; and then, notwithstanding
the Aversion we have for meddling with Politics,
he may depend on their being inserted, with
also some Remarks of our own on what he has
advanced.

Lindamira too may expect the same
Indulgence, though I know not whether, all
Things considered, her Letter merits that Proof
of our Complaisance; but we shall always submit
private Pique to public Service.

There- Q4v 126

Therefore, as the Matter which has employed
her Pen may be of Use to some, as doubtless
some there are under the same Circumstances,
though I hope not many, her Sentiments on the
Occasion shall not fail of having a Place at a
convenient Time: As for the Accusations she has
been pleased to throw out against the Female
Spectator
, it is our Business to answer them as
well as we can, and leave the Decision to that
awful Tribunal the Public.

End of the Twentieth Book.

R1r

The Female Spectator.

Book XXI.

Among the various kinds of
Errors into which Human Nature
is liable to fall, there are some,
which People of a true Understanding
are perfectly sensible of
in themselves, yet either wanting a Strength of
Resolution to break through what by long Custom
is become habitual, or by being of too indolent
a Temper to endeavour an Alteration,
still persist to act in Contradiction to the
Dictates of even their own Reason and Judgment.

What we call Prejudice, or Prepossession, is
certainly that which stands foremost in the Rank
of Frailties:――It is the great Ring-Leader of Vol. IV. R almost R1v 128
almost all the Mistakes we are guilty of, whether
in the Sentiments of our Hearts, or the
Conduct of our Actions.

As Milk is the first Aliment of the Body, so
Prejudice is the first Thing given to the Mind
to feed upon:――No sooner does the Thinking
Faculty begin to shew itself, than Prejudice mingles
with it, and spoils its Operations.—Whatever
we are then either taught, or happen of ourselves
to like or dislike, we, for the most part,
continue to like or dislike to our Life’s End; so
difficult is it to eradicate in Age that Tendency
we have imbibed in Youth.

It is this fatal Propensity which binds, as it
were, our Reason in Chains, and will not suffer it
to look Abroad, or exert any of its Powers:――
Hence are our Conceptions bounded; our Notions
meanly narrow;—our Ideas, for the most
part, unjust; and our Judgment shamefully led
astray.

The brightest Rays of Truth in vain shine
out upon us, when Prejudice has shut our Eyes
against it:—We are rendered by it wholly incapable
of examining any thing, and take all upon
Trust that it presents to us.

This not only makes us liable to be guilty of
Injustice, Ill-nature, and Ill-manners to others,
but also insensible of what is owing to ourselves:
We run with all our Might from a real and substantialstantial R2r 129
Good, and court a Phantom, a Name,
a Nothing:――We mistake Infamy for Renown,
and Ruin for Advantage:—In fine, wherever a
strong Prejudice prevails, all is sure to go amiss.

What I would be understood to mean by the
Word “Prejudice”, is not that Liking or Disliking,
which naturally arises on the Sight of any new Object
presented to us.—As for Example, one may
happen to fall into the Company of two Persons
equally deserving, and equally Strangers to us,
and with neither of whom we either have or expect
to have the least Concern; yet shall we have,
in spite of us, and without being able to give any
Reason for it, greater good Wishes for the one
than the other.—But this is occasioned by that
Simpathy and Antipathy, which, I think it is
very plain, Nature has implanted in all created
Beings whatsoever.

This, therefore, is what we call Fancy, and
far different from that Prejudice I am speaking
of, and which, indeed, enters chiefly through the
Ears:—When our Notions of Persons and Things,
which of ourselves we know nothing of, are
guided, and our Approbation or Disapprobation
of them excited meerly by what we are told of
them, and which afterwards we can never be convinced
is unjust, and persevere in an Opinion,
which no Proofs of Merit, or Demerit, can
change; then it is that we may be said to be
governed by that settled Prepossession so dangerous
to the World, and to our own Characters, Interest, R2v 130
Interest, and Happiness; for the other is light,
volatile, and of little Consequence.

A very learned Author calls this unhappy
Impulse “The Jaundice of the Mind”, and I think
there cannot be a more just Comparison; for, as
the Poet says, “As all seems yellow to the jaundic’d Eye,”
So one may truly add, “All takes from Prejudice’s Taint its Dye.”

Could we once divest ourselves of the Prepossessions
we have received,――forget all the
Stories we have been told, and examine all Things
with the unbiassed Eye of Reason, how widely
different from what they at present seem, would
most of them be found!

I am very sensible, that this is a Task extremely
difficult, because the greatest Mistake of all
that Prejudice makes us guilty of is, that of mistaking
that Enemy to Reason for Reason:—We
look on its Dictates as the Dictates of Truth,
and think we should sin against both Reason and
Truth if we were not strenuous in adhering to
what we imagine is right.

We are all of us too apt to imagine we
know ourselves, when, in fact, there is nothing in
the whole World to which we are greater Strangers:
—Hard as it is to be perfectly acquainted with R3r 131
with the Heart of a Person we converse with,
we can yet form by his Actions, his Words, or
even his Looks, a more true Judgment of it
than of our own.

And how, indeed, should it be otherwise!
Prejudice begets Passion, and Passion infallibly
blinds our Eyes, and shuts our Ears against every
thing that offers to contradict it.

That Passion especially which is excited this
way, is infinitely of the worst Sort, because all
others, be they never so headstrong and tenacious
for a Time, will at length grow cool, and by Degrees
subside; but Prejudice keeps the Fire of
Obstinacy eternally alive, and still finding fresh
Fewel for its Support, renders it rather more
strong, than any way diminished, or less fierce
by Age.

Yet, blind as we are to this Error in ourselves,
how quick-sighted are we to discover, and how
ready to laugh at it in other People! Applauding
our own Strength of Reason, and vain of a superior
Sense of Things, a Person who is prejudiced,
though he should happen to be on the Side of
Truth, is the perpetual Subject of our Ridicule;
and often it proves, that he who thinks himself
most free from it, is in reality more guilty than
the very Man he condemns for it.

To be plain, the World is wholly governed by
Prejudice, and I think it scarce possible to find any R3v 132
any one Person, whose better Judgment is not
in a more or less degree, perverted by it.

How vain then, and impertinent, will some of
my Readers say are any Annimadversions on it!
Why any Pains taken to decry and rail against
an Emotion, which is inherent to our Nature, and
therefore not to be avoided!

To which I beg Leave to answer, that it is only
inherent to our Nature, as Custom, which, indeed,
is second Nature, has made it so; but not born
with us, nor are we subjected to it by any Laws
of Fatality.

It is only to the first Impressions the Soul receives,
that those indeliable Marks of Partiality I
have mentioned, and which we see every where,
are entirely owing: The unhappy Tendency,
is not, therefore, properly speaking, our own, but
infused into us by others; and though, notwithstanding
it afterwards becomes so powerful as to
put into Subjection all those nobler Faculties,
which are, indeed, the Gift of Heaven, yet is it
still but the Depravity of Human Nature, not
Nature itself.

Parents, who are possessed with a strong
Opinion of any thing themselves, are sure to instil
it into the Minds of their Children, and so
render Prejudice hereditary: Whereas, if the young
Mind were left to itself, Reason would have room
to operate;――we should examine before we judged, S1r 133
judged, and not condemn, or applaud, but as the
Cause deserved.

Whoever is entrusted with the Care of Youth,
as Parents are by Nature, and Governors, Tutors,
and Preceptors by Commission from them,
should, methinks, endeavour rather to calm than
excite any violent Emotions in their Pupils:—
They should convince them that nothing but
Virtue was truly worthy of an Ardency of Love
or Ambition, and that Vice alone ought to be
held in Abhorrence.

This would be a laudable Prejudice!――A
Prejudice which would go Hand in Hand with
Reason, and secure to us that Peace and Happipiness
which all other Prejudices are sure to destroy.

What sad Effects have not many Kingdoms
experienced by the hereditary Prejudice between
two powerful Families; who have hated each
other meerly because their Forefathers did so?
As for Example; the Guelphs and Gibelines of
Italy;—the Marius and Metelli of old Rome;
and the Barons Wars of England.

National Prejudices are yet more dangerous,
and indeed much more ridiculous:—What
can be a greater Absurdity than for one whole
People to hate another, only for being born in a
different Climate, and which they are taught to Vol. IV. S be- S1v 134
believe, inspires them with some Sentiments or
Inclinations oppugnant to their own, though,
perhaps, all this may be without Foundation.

Whoever, therefore, by his Example or
Precept, labours to keep these foolish Animosities
alive, in my Opinion deserves little Thanks from
the World, either for his Wit, or Good-Will to
Mankind: And as wise and great a Man as the
late Earl of Rochester was in other Things, in
this he testified a Partiality unworthy of his Character.

In his Poem on Nothing, which, it must be
confessed, is a Masterpiece, and wants nothing
but Justice in some of the Allusions to be esteemed,
not only the best he ever wrote, but even
superior to all others of the Kind, he has these
Lines: “French Truth, Dutch Prowess, British Policy,Hibernian Learning, Scotch Civility,Spaniards Dispatch, Danes Wit, are chieflyseen in thee.”

Now these Reflections, however just as to the
general, are certainly the contrary as to Particulars:
—I never can believe, that meerly being
born in this or that Kingdom has any Influence
over the Disposition of the Natives:—It is certainly
a very narrow way of judging.—In spite
of the little Faith there is to be given to French
Promises, or even Treaties, I cannot be so uncharitablecharitable S2r 135
as to believe there is no sincere and
honest People among that populous Nation;
much less can I be brought to think, that every
Man born in Holland would prefer Ease to
Glory:—The British Policy may indeed sometimes
have been said to nod, but then it has
awaked, and roused itself again, to the Confusion
of all those who thought to take Advantage of
its Supineness.――As to the Learning of Hibernia,
many of her Sons have given evident Proofs
that Blunders are not entailed upon that Nation
any more than others.—Then as to the Scots,
none can dispute a Possibility of their equalling
in Politeness any Nation in the World, who remembers
the late Dukes of Argyle and Hamilton,
or has the Honour of knowing his Grace of
Buccleugh, the Earl of Marchmont, and many
others now living Ornaments of their Country,
and the Delight of all who see them, and who
have no need of being named to be distinguished.
――The Spaniards, it must be confessed, move
slow for the most part, yet there have been Instances
of their being more alert.—Nor ought
we to suppose the Danes are all insipid Clods,
because our Libraries give no Proofs to the contrary.

But were what this noble Lord has here advanced
strictly true, yet as it helps to preserve
National Prejudice, and consequently National Ridicule,
he had much better have employed that
prodigious Talent he was Master of another way.

S2 Many S2v 136

Many others beside his Lordship have, with
less Abilities, and more Ill-nature, done all in their
Power to divide England against itself, and render
County and County obnoxious to each other.――
The Stage, which was designed the School of
Morality, and by mingling Pleasure with Improvement,
to harmonize the Mind, and inspire
Amity among Men, has, in some Theatrical
Representations, been most shamefully prostituted
to Ends, the very reverse, and not only Gentlemen
who happen to live out of London, but
the most eminent Citizens who live within the
Sound of Bow Bell, made a public Ridicule:
A Country ’Squire and an Alderman of London
are sure to be the Characters to excite Laughter:
――Our modern Writers are more polite than
Shakespear, Johnson, and their Cotemporaries,
who always made the Fools in their Plays Court-
Parasites, or at least Jesters, but the City and
Country are now the only Places from which a
Buffoon is to be picked.

The Sarcasms vented here and elsewhere have
often a Poignancy in them, which cannot but
be resented by those who have Understanding
enough to perceive when they are affronted, and
sometimes occasion Heart-burnings against those
who encourage, and seem to be pleased with the
Ridicule; which are no way agreeable to that
Cordiality and Good-will which ought to subsist
between every Community of a Nation, in order
to render the Whole a truly happy People.

All this, and innumerable other Ills, are the Effects S3r 137
Effects of that Prejudice I mean; but I was led
into a Reflection on it by a late Instance, which,
though in private Life, deserves the Attention of
the Public, as it may be a Warning against instilling
into Youth Principles which are not to be
erased in Maturity.

A Gentleman, who had acquired a considerable
Fortune in the Mercantile Way, left at his
Decease a Son of about twelve Years of Age,
and a Daughter of five: As the Mother was dead
some Time before, the one was continued at
Westminster School, by the Persons appointed for
his Guardians, and the other committed to the
Care of a Sister of her Mother’s.

This good Lady was extremely fond of her
young Charge, and, as she grew up, neglected
nothing that might render her perfectly accomplished:
――The Means allowed her for Improvement
were not thrown away; she had a
very good Capacity, and took such a Pleasure in
learning whatever she was taught, that the Progress
she made was infinitely beyond the Expectations
of those appointed for her Instructors.

To add to this, her Person was very lovely;
Nature had bestowed on her a thousand Charms,
and without being what one may call an exquisite
Beauty, there was something in her yet more
agreeable, and more formed to attract, than we
often find in those who are accounted so.

Being S3v 138

Being such as I have described, it is not to
be wondered at that there were many who
thought her worthy of their serious Addresses;
but though she began early to have Admirers,
she seemed utterly insensible of any tender Emotions,
and all the fine Things said, and wrote to
her, had no other Effect than to give her Diversion.

Her Brother, after having perfected himself
in every thing that was thought necessary for his
Education at Home, was sent Abroad to make
himself acquainted with the Customs and Manners
of other Countries; and after having passed
some Time in France, and seen all Italy, returned
a very accomplished and compleat Gentleman.

Sabina, for so I shall call this young Lady,
was but between the Years of nineteen and
twenty when he came back to England:――As
they had not seen each other for above four
Years, each found so many new Embellishments
in the other, as rendered both extremely satisfied;
few Brothers and Sisters ever loved with a more
sincere Affection, or would have gone greater
Lengths to have obliged each other.

They were always proud of being seen together,
――in the Mall, or at any Place of public
Resort, they were constant Companions:—
They had been one Night at the Opera, when,
as he was seeing her safe Home, as was always
his Custom, he said laughing to her, “I believe,lieve S4r 139
Sister, you have made a Conquest to Night;
—I perceived a certain Friend of mine in the
Pit, who seemed more engrossed by you than any
thing on the Stage.”
“I should be sorry,” answered
she, in the same gay Tone, “that any Friend of
yours should have so bad a Taste as to let any
thing draw off his Attention from those delightful
Sounds we have been hearing.”

“O,” resumed he, “Musick is an Incentive to Love,
and as he did not hear that of your Voice, he
might not lose what issued from the Orchestra, by
having his Eyes fixed upon your Charms, which
they really were so strongly, during the whole
Entertainment, that I am sure you must have taken
Notice of it yourself, if you would confess the
Truth.”

“It is so common,” said she, “for those in the
Pit to stare into the Boxes, that I should have
found nothing particular in what you tell me, had
I really observed it, which I assure you, without
any Affectation, I did not.”

On this he rallied her a little on pretending to
be absolutely free from the Vanity, which the
Men will have it is so inherent to our Sex, that
none of us are without some Share; which she
returned, with equal Pleasantry, on the Foibles
of the other; and this Kind of Chit-chat brought
them to her Door, where he took Leave of her,
being engaged to sup with some Gentlemen at a S4v 140
a Tavern; and she went in, and it is likely
thought no more of what had passed between
them.

It is possible also, that the young Gentleman
himself had not been much in earnest in what he
said, but if he was not at that Time, he certainly
was very much so afterward.

The Friend he had mentioned to his Sister
happened to be one of the Company with whom
he had engaged that Night.—He was a Gentleman
of fine Parts and Education, had a very
graceful Person, and was in Possession of a large
Estate in the Principality of Wales, of which he
was a Native, and descended from an antient and
worthy Family.

This Gentleman, whose real Name I beg leave
to conceal under that of Luellin, was, in effect,
very much charmed with Sabina, and not knowing
who she was, told her Brother he was an extreme
happy Man, to have the Pleasure of entertaining
in so free a Manner, as he perceived he did, the
finest Woman in the World.

To which the other replied in Terms which
made him know the young Person he had so good
an Opinion of was his Sister; and what he said
being confirmed by another of the Company,
who was also at the Opera, and had seen Sabina
before, Luellin resumed that Gaiety which was
natural to him, but had been a little interrupted, while T1r 141
while he knew not but in the Person of an intimate
Friend he might find an Impediment to
those Desires, which young as they were had already
made a very great Progress in his Heart.

He made no farther Discovery of them that
Night, however, but early the next Morning
went in search of the Brother of his Adorable;
and having found him, after a very short Prelude,
acquainted him, that the Business he came
upon was Love; that though he had seen his
charming Sister but once, he had for her all the
Passion a Man could be possessed of:—That his
Life would henceforward be a Burthen to him, if
not blessed with the Hopes of passing it with her;
and concluded with conjuring him by all their
Friendship to introduce him to her, if her Heart
was not already engaged, and to favour his Pretensions
with all the Interest Nearness of Blood
gave him in her.

The Proposal was too advantageous for Sabina
not to make her Brother highly satisfied with
it, and he told her Lover with the same Frankness
as he had declared himself, that nothing in
the World that he then knew of would be capable
of affording him so perfect a Joy as to see a
Union between two Persons so dear to him.

He also assured him, that he had several
Times talked to his Sister on the Subject of Marriage,
and she had always answered him in such a
Manner, as knowing her Sincerity, and the ConfidenceVol. IV. T fidence T1v 142
she had in him, made him positive she had
not yet entertained any Thoughts of it, or given
any Man the least room to flatter himself she preferred
him above others.

To this he added, that he would go directly to
her Lodgings, and prepare her to receive the
Honour of a Visit from him that very Afternoon.

Luellin embraced, and thanked him in
Terms which testified the Fervency of his Passion,
and after having, according to the Custom of
Lovers, a thousand Times over renewed his Entreaties
that he would be zealous in his Cause, and
appointed the Place where he should meet about
the Hour of Tea-drinking, took his Leave with
a Heart full of the most flattering Ideas of a
speedy Success in his Desires.

The Brother of Sabina, on the other hand,
had never undertaken an Office more pleasing to
him; and not doubting but the Affair would be
easily accomplished, as there was not the least
Exception could be made, either as to the Family,
Fortune, Character, or Personal Accomplishments
of Luellin, gave himself not much
Trouble to furnish himself previously with Arguments
to convince her of what he imagined
she would have Sense enough to distinguish without
the Help of Perswasion.

In T2r 143

In this Opinion he went to her Apartment,
where finding her at Breakfast in a loose Deshabille,
“I am glad,” said he, “I am come before you
are dressed, for I expect you will equip yourself in
the most becoming Manner you can, in order to rivet
more strongly those Charms you have already
thrown over a Heart I take upon me to recommend
to your Acceptance.”

She looked earnestly at him as he finished
these Words, and finding a Mixture of Seriousness
and Gaiety in his Countenance, knew not
well how to understand the Meaning of what he
said, or in what Manner to answer, but after a short
Pause, “You are either in a very merry Humour
this Morning,”
replied she, “and talk in this fashion
meerly to divert yourself, or else you want to prove
that Vanity in me of which last Night you accused
our whole Sex:—If it be the former, I shall be
ready to join in any thing that gives you Pleasure,
but if the laetter, must assure you, I shall never
think that Heart worthy of my Acceptance that is
to be gained or preserved by outward Shew.”

“Perfectly well judged indeed, my dear Sister,”
replied he; “but I expected no less from you, and
spoke as I did only to give you an Opportunity of
testifying that good Sense, which can never fail
both of engaging and making happy whoever you
desire to make so.――I hope also,”
continued he,
growing yet more grave, “it will so direct your
Choice as to establish a lasting Felicity for yourself.”

T2 After T2v 144

Aefter she had answered this Compliment in
Terms suitable to the Occasion, he told her, he
thought it was now Time to think on Marriage,
and that the Person he should introduce that Afternoon,
had all the Qualifications that a Woman
could wish to find in a Partner for Life.—
He proceeded to inform her, that he had begun
an Acquaintance with him in Italy, that they had
lived in the greatest Intimacy ever since, “Not a
Secret in either of our Hearts,”
said he, “but what
each communicated to the other:—I must therefore
be allowed to be a competent Judge of his Principles,
Humour, Fortune, and every thing belonging
to him, and can venture to assure you all are
such as merit the Love and Esteem of as many as
have the Pleasure of knowing him.”

Such a Character from a Mouth which she
knew was incapable of deceiving her, rendered
her more serious than she would otherwise have
been at a Proposal of this Nature, and she seemed
to relish it with as much Satisfaction as was becoming
of her, or could be hoped for from a
young Lady of her strict Modesty.

In fine, the Brother had all the Reason in the
World to believe his Negotiation would be
crowned with the Success he wished, and that he
had inspired her with a Prepossession in Favour
of this new Lover, which wanted nothing but the
Sight of him to be ripened into Passion.

It is probable indeed his Conjectures would not T3r 145
not have deceived him, had he not unhappily destroyed
all he had been doing, by mentioning the
Name and Country of the Person he recommended;
an Error he could not be aware of, as he
was wholly ignorant of that only Weakness which
his Sister had the Misfortune to be guilty of.

That Aunt with whom she had been educated
from her most tender Years, had, I know
not on what Account, a strong Hatred to every
one that came out of Wales, which she was continually
testifying, in speaking of that whole
People in a most contemptible, opprobrious, and
even scurrilous Terms; by this Means Sabina
imbibed a Prejudice against them, which would
not suffer her to think there could possibly be any
such Thing as Merit among them; and she no
sooner heard her Brother say he was of that
Country, than all her late Sweetness of Behaviour
was converted into Sourness and Disdain, and she
cried out in Tone full of Scorn and Derision—
“Heavens! Is it a Welch Man of whom you have
been saying all these fine Things?”

The Brother was strangely surprized, as well
he might, at a Turn so sudden, and which he was
so little able to comprehend; but she soon unravelled
the Mistery, by railing, in the same Manner
she had been accustomed to hear her Aunt
do, against that Country, and all the Natives
of it.

It was in vain he represented to her the Injusticejustice T3v 146
of having an Aversion to the People of
any particular Country;—in vain he recited many
Examples of great and worthy Persons who were
born even in Climates where they could least
have been expected, or that he endeavoured with
all his Might to convince her, that Wales had
many Things to boast of beyond any other Part
of his Majesty’s Dominions:—The Prejudice
was fixed and inexorably rooted in her Heart, nor
could any thing he alledged make the least Change
in her Sentiments.

“Well, Sister,” said he at last, since I find my Arguments
have so little Weight with you, I shall
leave you to be convinced by your own Judgment,
which I am very certain will direct you better when
once you are acquainted with Luellin, whom notwithstanding
all your Prejudice I shall bring this
Afternoon, and insist on your receiving him as my
Friend at least.”

“Since you will oblige me to see him,” answered
she, “Decency compels me to treat him with Civility,
if you had less Regard for him; but this
you may expect, nor ought to take it ill of me, that
if he makes any Declaration to me of the Kind you
mention, I shall give him such a Reply as will put
a Stop to any future Thoughts of me, and convince
him that I am determined, whatever be my
Fate, never to wear a Leek in my Bosom.”

It is utterly impossible to describe how much
the young Gentleman was astonished and troubledbled T4r 147
to perceive so obstinate a Folly had Dominion
over a Sister, whose Understanding till
now he had a high Idea of:—He doubted not,
however, but the Sight of Luellin, who is deservedly
accounted one of the most handsome
and best bred Men of the Age, would have the
same Influence over her, as it had on all others
who conversed with him.

He therefore offered no more in Opposition
to her Humour, but flattering himself with the
Pleasure he should afterwards have in rallying
her on the Change in her Sentiments, took his
Leave, with thanking her in an ironical Way,
though gravely, for the Consideration she testified
to have for him, in resolving to use a Welch
Man well because he had a Value for him.

The full Belief he had that an Acquaintance
with Luellin would make her of a quite different
Way of thinking, and entirely extirpate that
ridiculous Prejudice which had been instilled into
her against all of his Country, prevented him from
acquainting Luellin with any thing that had passed
between them on that Score, and indeed gave
him rather Hopes of Success than the contrary; a
Thing he afterwards very much repented of:
But as he was deceived himself by a too good
an Opinion of his Sister’s Understanding and Penetration,
he could not be blamed for deceiving
his Friend.

He only told him, that in case he found Sabina at T4v 148
at the second Sight of her worthy of those tender
Inclinations the first had inspired him with, he
thought it would not be proper for him, as she
was of a Temper extremely reserved, to make
any Declaration of his Sentiments on that Head,
till by a Repetition of his Visit they should become
better acquainted.

This seemed so reasonable, that, all impatient
as the Lover was, he could not but approve of
it, especially as the other assured him, that in the
mean Time he would labour for his Interest.

It is certain, that the Brother of Sabina advised
him to proceed in this Manner, as he
thought it would be the most effectual way of
succeeding in his Wishes, because as he found the
Aversion she had conceived against all those of
that Country Luellin was, he imagined, it must be
some little Time before it could wear off, or even
in case she should be convinced of her Error at
first Sight of him, she would then be ashamed to
confess it, and rather chuse to do a Violence to
her own Heart, than suffer it to be said she could
so easily pass from one Extreme to another.

What he thought on this Score was truly
Nature, People do not care to acknowledge they
have been to blame, and when they have appeared
very tenacious in any Point, sometimes
are apt to persist in it after their Reason gives the
Lye to their Tongue.

He U1r 149

He therefore acted for his Friend in the most
prudent Manner imaginable; but, alas! what
Wisdom is sufficient to combat against Prejudice!
Sabina could not but confess her Lover was a
very handsome and accomplished Person, yet the
Thoughts of his being Welsh, prevented any good
Quality she found in him from making an Impression
in her Mind in favour of his Hopes.

She performed her Promise to her Brother,
indeed, and received him with Civility; but her
Behaviour was so distant, and all she said accompanied
with such a gloomy Reserve, as might easily
shew any one, who was the least acquainted
with her Temper, how little she was pleased with
his Company.

Luellin, however, was not unhappy enough to
discover it; and imputing that extraordinary Shyness
he could not help observing in her merely
to her Modesty, proposed to her Brother several
Parties of Pleasure for them there, but she absolutely
declined making one in any of them.――
When he mentioned Ombre, she said she hated
Cards.—If taking a little Excursion out of Town,
a Country Ramble was her Aversion.――Ranelagh
gave her the Vapours.――Vaux-Hall Gardens
were too cold.—The Fireworks at Cuper’s
were shocking.—The Season for Plays was over
for polite People.—And a Concert always made
her melancholly.

Vol. IV. U Besides U1v 150

Besides all this, her Refusals were given in
a Manner, which had so much of Disdain in
it, as made her Brother bite his Lips with Vexation,
and occasioned him to shorten his Visit,
very much to the Dissatisfaction of the other, who
in spite of the Coldness, and, indeed, Ill-Nature
of Sabina, thought her more charming at this second
Interview, than he had done at the first, and
consequently, was more in Love than ever.

The Brother, to avoid entring into any Discourse
with him, on a Topic which he could not
answer to, without either deceiving, or giving
Pain to his Friend, pretended an Engagement,
and parted from him the Moment they left Sabina’s
Lodgings.

As he had a very sincere Friendship for Luellin,
and the most tender Regard for the Welfare
of his Sister, to find she was likely to continue
refractory to what afforded so great a Prospect
of Happiness to her, rendered him extremely
uneasy and perplexed.—Early the next Morning
he went to her again, and after having taken
the Privilege of a Brother in condemning her
Conduct, and the foolish Prepossession which had
occasioned it, the little Efficacy he found that
had on her, made him once more have recourse
to the Arguments he before had urged, and endeavour
to reason her out of a Prejudice, which
had not the least Foundation in Truth, or common
Sense.

But U2r 151

But had this Gentleman been endued with
the Eloquence of an Angel, all he had said would
have been lost on the perverse, the obstinate Sabina.
――Equally deaf to his Remonstrances or
Perswasions, all he could get from her was, an
Intreaty to persecute her no more with any Discourse
on so disagreeable a Subject, and to beg
he would not take it ill, that, in this, she never
could be brought to acquiesce with his Opinion.

On his asking her, if she found any thing disagreeable,
either in the Person or Conversation of
Luellin, she replied, that she could not but allow
he was handsome, genteel, had both Wit
and good Breeding; but, notwithstanding all this,
as he was Welsh, he was her Aversion.

In fine, there was no prevailing on her to receive
a second Visit; and she protested solemnly
that she would never be troubled with him any
more; adding, “If you had that real Affection for
me you pretend, and as I might expect from a Brother,
you would be far from desiring I should put
so great a Constraint upon myself, as to treat civilly,
or even to sit in Company with a Man of his
Country.”

In answer to this peremptory Refusal, he could
not help telling her, that he was sorry he had
been deceived in the good Opinion he had of her
Understanding:—That he blushed for her Folly,
and that, from this Time forward, he should U2 look U2v 152
look upon her, as utterly unworthy of the Happiness
she rejected.

Such cruel Words from a Brother she tenderly
loved, made her burst into Tears; but he was
in reality too angry with her to be at all moved
by them, and flung out of the Room, without
even turning his Eyes on her.

Luellin, who little suspected his Misfortune,
had been in search of this dear Friend
and Confident, while he was with his Sister, and
not finding him at Home, went to every Place
where they had been used to meet; but the other
not knowing what to say to him, so industriously
avoided him, that it was three or four Days before
he could see him.

This made him imagine, that all was not
so right as he at first had flattered himself with;
that either the Brother did not sincerely approve
of his Alliance, or that Sabina herself was against
it.—Impatient to be convinced, he went to his
Lodgings, and waited there till he came Home,
though it was late at Night.

The Brother of Sabina was a little surprized
to find him there; and not very well prepared
how to behave on this Occasion, could neither
deny that he had purposely shunned him, nor the
Motive of his doing so.

He U3r 153

He let him into Part of the Aversion his Sister
had conceived against Wales, and owned he feared
his being of that Country, would be an Objection
not easy to be removed; but as he did not let him
into the Whole of the Contempt she was possessed
of, nor all the Discourse they had together on
that Subject, the Lover still retained some Hopes
of getting over the Difficulty.

After a great deal of Talk on the Affair, it
was agreed between them, that Luellin should
write to her; and, at the same time that he declared
his Passion, give a Hint that he was not ignorant
his Country was so unhappy as to be disliked
by her; and an Assurance, that if he should
be so fortunate as to succeed in his Pretensions,
he never would desire her to set a Foot in Wales,
nor would be there himself, but live with her
either in London, or any other Place she should
make Choice of.

This being resolved upon, the Brother took
upon him to be the Bearer, and also once more
to exert all the Interest he had with her, in the Behalf
of the Author, the truly devoted Luellin, as
he subscribed himself at the Bottom of his amorous
Epistle.

So faithful was he in the Cause of his Friend,
that he not only performed the Promise he had
made him, but also gave so high a Character of
him, and the Advantages would accrue to their
Family by an Alliance with him to all their Kindred,dred, U3v 154
that Sabina could see none of them, without
hearing something of the Merits of Luellin, and
how happy she might be with him: To all
which, she returned much the same Answers she
had given her Brother, and sometimes with more
Sharpness.

That Gentleman, however, had the hardest
Task to prevail with her to hear him read the
Letter he brought to her; for all he could say
was ineffectual to make her look upon it herself.
And what in the End did all his Endeavours
avail? Before he had well concluded, she snatched
the Paper out of his Hand, tore it, and stamped
it on the Floor.

A Second Quarrel now arose between them
on this Score;—he left her in a very great Passion,
and went no more to visit her; but her
other Relations still continued to argue with her
in favour of Luellin, though to no manner of
Purpose, unless it were to give her greater Opportunities
of discovering her Obstinacy in this
Point.

Luellin in the mean Time, to whom the
Brother was now obliged to relate the whole
Truth, in order to cure him of a Passion which
he was now convinced would never be returned,
could not be perswaded to desist; and as there
was no Possibility of bringing her to receive another
Visit from him, pursued her to Church,
watched her wherever she went, and would not be hindered U4r 155
hindered from speaking to her in what Place soever
he saw her, or whatever Company was with
her, though the respectful Compliments he made
her were never answered but with Slights, and
frequently with Affronts.

At last, quite tired out with the Persecutions
she received on all Sides, she went privately away
into the Country, acquainting no one Person in
the World, but a Servant who attended her, with
the Place of her Retirement.

Her Brother, and all her Friends were very
much troubled at her absconding in this Manner;
but the passionate Luellin was inconsolable:—So
truly did his faithful Heart resent this Usage, that
it threw him into a high Fever, out of which he
was not without great Difficulty recovered.

It is not to be doubted, but that great Enquiries
were made after the fair Fugitive; but
she had taken such Precautions as to render fruitless
all Endeavours for that Purpose, nor did any
body hear the least Word from her, till they
heard Intelligence from herself, of what at first
filled them with Astonishment, and very soon
afterwards with Grief.

This young Lady, to amuse herself as well
as she could in an Absence from all her Kindred,
and those others she had been accustomed to
converse with, went to all the little Diversions
the Place she was in afforded: At one of these rural U4v 156
rural Entertainments, she happened to fall into
the Company of a young Gentleman, who told
her he had left London for a Time, meerly to shun
the Solicitations he was plagued with to marry a
Person for whom he could have no Inclinations.

This Parity, as she thought, of Circumstances,
made her conceive a kind of Good-Will for him,
which on his addressing her, as he soon did, on
a more tender Score, grew up into a kind of an
Affection.

She was so free as to tell him she came into
the Country on the same Account he did; and
also to acquaint him with her real Name and Family,
which till then she had disguised under a
fictitious one.

Whether he at first intended this as a serious
Affair, or only to divert himself, is uncertain,
but it is not so that after he knew who she
was, he left nothing unsaid, or undone, that he
thought might engage her.

Not that, as she has since declared, she was
absolutely in Love with him, but she saw nothing
where she was, beside himself, that seemed a fit
Companion for her:――He pretended an Extremity
of Passion for her, and that he had an
Estate superior to what her Fortune could expect;
and all this joined with the Consideration of
silencing any Overtures that might be made by
her Friends in the Behalf of Luellin, or any other she X1r 157
she might happen equally to dislike, prevailed
on her to listen to the Proposals of this new Lover
with a favourable Ear, and at length to give
herself and Fortune entirely to him.

In fine, without consulting one Friend, without
the least Enquiry into his Character and Circumstances,
or without any Settlement or Provision,
she married him, and in a few Days after
came up a Bride to London, to the Surprize, as
I have already said, of all that knew her.

As her Husband’s Affairs were not immediately
discovered, the disinterested Part of her
Acquaintance paid their Compliments of Congratulation;
but those of her Kindred and intimate
Friends, especially her Brother, could not
approve of her having taken so precipitate a Step,
and were very fearful of the Event.

But not to prolong the Narrative beyond
what is necessary, the unhappy Sabina had not
been married a Month before she found her
whole Fortune was obliged to go for the Payment
of her Husband’s Debts;—that it had
been really to avoid his Creditors, not a disagreeable
Match, as he had pretended to her, that
brought him to that Part of the Country, where
it was her ill Fortune to become his Prey;—and
that he neither was in Possession of, ever had
been, or was born to inherit a single Foot of
Land, but had always lived a loose idle Life, and Vol. IV. X in X1v 158
in fine, was looked upon, and in effect was no
other, than a common Sharper of the Town.

Difficult would it be for me to represent
the Miseries of her Condition, which were rendered
yet more severe by the Consciousness of
having, in some Measure, merited them by a
Folly which she could now find no Excuse for.

After having lived for about half a Year with
a Husband whom she could no longer have the
least Regard for, and from whom, besides the Deception
he had been guilty of to her, she received
only ill Usage, and experiencing all the Vexations
of Reproaches from Abroad, and Want at Home,
she at length got rid of him:――He quitted
her, and went to France, in quest, as it is supposed,
of new Adventures.

This fine, gay, obstinate Lady, now is glad
to accept of a Contribution made by her Friends
for supporting her in a mean plain Way, visited
by few, respected yet by fewer, and caressed by
none; she has Leisure to reflect upon, and regret
the unhappy Prepossession which made her
so industriously fly the Good Heaven proffered,
in a wealthy, generous, and accomplished Man,
and throw herself into the Arms of an abandoned
Villain and Impostor.

Had that Aunt been living, who had inspired
her with so fatal a Prepossession, she would doubtless X2r 159
doubtless have repented her of it; but Death,
sometime before Luellin had commenced his Suit,
prevented her suffering any thing, either from
Remorse within herself, or from the Reproaches
of others.

But while I truly commiserate the Fate of Sabina,
I cannot forbear accusing Luellin of Want
of Judgment, in persisting in his Suit, after being
acquainted with the obstinate Prepossession
of his Mistress: In my Mind, it is a Kind of
Quixotism, for Merit to combat against Prejudice.
――In vain does Beauty, Wit, Bravery,
Virtue, Courage, or every other excelling Qualification,
that Nature, joined with Education,
can bestow, oppose itself against the Sails of that
stupid Windmill in the Brain; and though the
Poet says,

“The Brave and Virtuous conquer Difficulties, By daring to oppose them;”

Yet I am of Opinion, that great Author
thought not of Prejudice when he wrote these
Lines, since that is a Difficulty not to be surmounted
by any Services, and Deservings, nor
even any Considerations of Self-Interest whatsoever;
but is, at the same Time, an Enemy to
the Happiness of the Person who harbours it, as
much, if not more, than to those who vainly endeavour
to overcome it.

As for Luellin, however, he recovered of his X2 Fever, X2v 160
Fever, and his Passion at the same Time; and
soon after had the good Fortune to be married
to a young Lady of great Merit herself, and
truly sensible of his, with whom he now lives
in all the Happiness the World can give.

I heartily wish that Examples of the
ill Consequences attending an unreasonable Prejudice,
were less frequent; but I fear there are few
into whose Hands this Piece may fall, who will
not rather think it too common a Case to be
inserted, than too extraordinary to be believed.

Many, indeed, may laugh at the unfortunate
Sabina, and plume themselves on a superior
Understanding, which enables them to avoid
either a too great Attachment, or too great an
Aversion for any particular Place, or the Natives
of it, and cry, “They wonder the Woman could
be so infatuated.—There certainly are worthy
and unworthy Persons born in all Climates.”
And
yet these very Persons, who talk in this Manner,
are, perhaps, no less biassed, than the Lady they
condemn, though on different Subjects.

If we could be sensible that strong Liking or
Disliking we feel within ourselves was Prejudice,
that very Sensibility would go a great Way towards
curing us of it; but the Mischief, as I have
already observed, but cannot too often repeat, is,
that we mistake the most blind Partiality for the
most quick-ey’d Judgment, and think every Body
in the wrong, who does not see as we do.

It X3r 161

It is therefore the Business of all who would wish
to think or act like rational Creatures, on the first
Emotions of an Inclination to favour or disfavour
any particular Person or Thing, to ask themselves
the Question, Why they do so?—To examine
nicely into the Merits of the Cause, and weigh
them in the Scale of Reason.—How would then
what seems most ponderous often be found light
as Air, and that which appears but of a feathery
Substance, prove of more Weight than Gold!

Without this we never can be sure of forming
a right Judgment, or be capable of acting
with even common Justice. “Justice, the Queen of Virtues!”
(says our excellent Waller, in one of his moral
and instructive Poems,) “From our Complexion we are chaste or brave;But this from Reason, and from Heav’n we have.All other Virtues dwell but in the Blood;This in the Soul, and gives the Name of Good!”

Would one not think that Man was mad,
who should go all his Life in Leading Strings;
yet what is it else than to adhere to any thing in
Age, merely because we were taught it in our
Youth?

I am very sensible, however, that all that can be X3v 162
be said by me, or any one else, on this Subject,
would have as little Efficacy, as preaching to the
Winds or Waves.—There is no turning the impetuous
Tide of Prejudice.—It bears down every
Thing before it, and overflows all the Boundaries
of Reason.

But wherefore has it this mighty Force?――
Why, by giving Way to it at first.—By suffering
our nobler Faculties to be immerged in its
bottomless Depth, for Want of taking a little
Pains in the Exertion of them.

Diefficult it is to prevail on young Persons
to apply themselves seriously to an Examination of
themselves, I mean their Passions and Inclinations:
They are, for the most part, too volatile to fix
the Mind in that State of Reflection which is absolutely
necessary to accomplish so great a Work;
and those who are arrived at a more advanced
Age, are generally too obstinate and too proud,
to recede from an Opinion they have for a long
Time entertained.

It is not, therefore, so much the Persons who
are prejudiced, as those who, like the Aunt of
Sabina, inspire that Prejudice, on whom the
Blame lies of all the Ills arising from it.

I would therefore, methinks, fain prevail on
those who unhappily are governed by Prejudice,
to keep it so far to themselves, as not by Example,
or Precept, to render others guilty of the same. X4r 163
same.—To let the young and unbiassed Mind
take its own Bent (excepting always in Matters
of Religion and Morality) and let Reason freely
operate.—The Almighty has given every one a
sufficient Share of that Divine Emanation to direct
them to form a true Judgment of the Things of
this World, or at least so far as relates to his own
Affairs, or the Good of Society in general.

As these Lucubrations are intended for the
Good of the Publick, and the Advice contained
in them flows from a sincere Heart, and the
warmest Wishes for the true Happiness and innate
Peace of all my Fellow-Creatures, I flatter
myself there is nothing I have urged on this Head
will give Offence to any.

And now having said as much as I think proper,
or can venture to do, though infinitely short
of so copious a Subject, I shall take my Leave of
it at present, and proceed to another too predominant,
though a less universal Error, and which has
been, and ever will be, the Occasion of much Disquiet
to those guilty of it, as well as to those
who may happen to be piqued by it.

There is nothing requires a greater Delicacy
of Sentiment and Expression, than what we call
Raillery; and a Person must be very polite indeed,
who knows how to practise it, so as not to
give Offence.

The Difference between Ridicule and Raillery is X4v 164
is so very small, that the one is often mistaken
for the other.—The latter, therefore, ought never
to be attempted but by People of fine Taste, nor
played off but on those equally qualified to return
it; and as it has also some distant Affinity with
Satire, should never have for its Subject, Matters
of a too serious Nature.—What exposes any
thing we wish to have concealed, though it may
be done with an Air of Pleasantry, leaves a Sting
behind it which is not easily forgiven, and will be
taken for Ridicule, whether meant as such, or
not.

Raillery is always personal,—Ridicule ought
never to be so; and whenever the former is severe
enough to have any Tincture of the latter,
it becomes gross, and deserves being resented as
an Affront.

As so few, therefore, are capable of giving
or receiving it in a proper Manner, and so many
Precautions are necessary to be taken concerning
it, that it would be well if the Humour were banished
out of Conversation intirely.

I know it is generally looked upon as an
agreeable Method both of whetting and shewing
Wit; and for that Reason, all who either have,
or imagine they have, a Talent that Way, are
extremely fond of exerting it.—There is a Saying
much in the Mouths of the Vulgar, which is,
“Such a one had rather lose his Friend than his Jest,”
and I am afraid too many, indeed, are of that Mind, Y1r 163165
Mind, but how consonant such a Disposition is,
either with Prudence or Good-nature, I leave the
more reasonable Part of the World to determine.

To be merry ourselves, or make Sport for
others, on the Errors or Mistakes of our Friend,
or Companion, is certainly very unkind:—But
if our Jest is on the Defects or Infirmities of his
Person, it is cruel to the last Degree:—And if on
his Misfortunes, monstrously ungenerous and base:
――Yet these are the Topics which some would-be
Wits make Choice of for the Entertainment of
the Company they are in, who, perhaps, are
diverted at the Expence of one who has it not in
his Power to return the Insult, though he is sensibly
affected with it.

None but those who feel the Stab a piquant
Reflection sometimes gives can know to pity the
Pain of it;――Yet if you reproach the Person
who inflicts it, he will tell you, he was only in
Jest, and spoke as he did to excite a little Laughter;
so that the most cruel Treatment that can
be passes for innocent Chearfulness and Good-
Humour, forgetting what Cowley says, “There is a Sort of Smile,Which worse than Anger does revile.”

I know nothing in effect that sticks longer on
the Mind than a bitter Sarcasm, especially when
conscious of its having some Foundation in
Truth.—But you will say this is not “Raillery”.—I Vol. IV. Y grant Y1v 164166
grant it is not:—It is “Ridicule”,—it is “Invective”;
yet it is that which with People of narrow Understandings
passes for Raillery, and as such is excused,
if not applauded.

I believe nobody will deny, but that the
French excel in this Branch of Art of Conversation
all the Nations in the World, yet the
Abbé de Bellegarde advises his Pupil to be very
sparing of his Wit that way.

“Nothing”, says that excellent Instructor of
Youth, “more shews the Quickness of the Genius
than a genteel Raillery; yet if it be not directed
with great Judgment, it degenerates into
Grossness, and turns to the Ridicule, not so much
indeed on the Person levelled at in it, as on
him that practises it.”

“When you would give a loose to Pleasantry
of this Sort, the Character of the Person you
would railly, as well as the Topic for Raillery,
ought to be well consulted:—To take this Liberty
with one who is your Superior is Insolence:
—With one too much beneath you, demeans
yourself:—With Persons far advanced
in Years, or with those of a melancholy Constitution,
it is absurd; and with Ladies, a Freedom
which savours too much of Indecency.
As your Sentiments are gay, to railly well,
your Expressions must be so too, yet accompanied
with a certain Softness, which will render‘der Y2r 165167
what you say tickling, not wounding to the
Heart.
It is a happy Talent, to know how to railly
in such a Manner, as while you divert the Company
with affecting a Severity on some particular
Action or Humour of any one, what has
the Appearance of a Sarcasm at first hearing,
shall be found, when considered, the highest
Praise could be given.
Monsieur de Saintonge, excels this way as much
as any Man I know.—He was one Day in Company
with the Count de Bussy, and some others,
when on some Occasion that Nobleman said,
he wondered any body could be covetous.――
‘How, my Lord,’ cried Saintonge immediately,
‘can you be surprized at that in others, when you
are so notoriously guilty of it yourself?――Is not
your Lordship the most covetous Man in
the World, who, not content with all the fine
Estates you have in France, are continually purchasing
more in the Blue Plains?――Do not
you lend your Money at more than Cent. per Cent.
Interest above, and are not your Levees every
Day crowded with the Lame and the Blind, and
all kind of miserable People for that Purpose?’
This was a Kind of Raillery which delighted
all that heard it, and was the greatest Compliment
could be paid to the Count, who, every
one knows, is an almost inimitable Pattern of
Charity and Beneficence.
Y2 But Y2v 166168 But few there are who have a Genius and
happy Turn of Thought and Expression adapted
to give all the Pleasures of Raillery, and at
the same Time avoid any of its Inconveniences;
and even those who have should take care not
to use it too frequently, lest they should be suspected
as incapable of being serious.”

The same Author also, in another celebrated
Piece of his, entitled The Government of the
Tongue
, has this Maxim:

“Never begin to speak without first considering
to whom you speak, in what Manner
you will speak, and wherefore you are to speak;
for Words like Arrows should never be thrown
out, unless directed to the Mark proposed by
them.
Whoever has Fire and Vivacity without
Judgment, rides a young Horse without a
Bridle, and is sure of being plunged into innumerable
Difficulties and Dangers: Correct
therefore the one, till your having attained the
other is unquestionably confirmed; and chuse
rather to be taken for a Man too dull and
phlegmatic, than for a vain Trifler, who talks
of Things he knows not the Consequence of.”

I would not have any one imagine, that I
have quoted the above Author, because I think
there are none of our English ones have said as
good Things on the Occasion: I have only done it Y3r 167169
it to shew, that though Raillery is so much in
Vogue among the French, that no one is accounted
qualified for polite Conversation without it;
yet the wise and thinking Part of that Nation are
for prescribing so many Limits to it, as, if observed,
must of Necessity render it less practised
even there.

The true Genius of the English Nation is of
a quite different Turn;—deliberate and sedate,
—rather wise than witty, and naturally more
serious than gay:――Raillery, therefore, is not
our Province, and the Affection of it fits but
aukwardly upon us.

A certain noble Duke, now deceased, had,
perhaps, as great a Talent for genteel Raillery
as any Man that ever lived; yet a Lady of the
Court, at that Time a celebrated Beauty, could
never be prevailed upon to forgive his writing
these Lines upon her. “Belinda’s sparkling Wit and EyesUnited cast so fierce a Light,As quickly flashes, quickly dies,Wounds not the Heart, but burns the Sight.Love is all Gentleness, all Joy;Smooth are his Looks, and soft his Pace:Her Cupid is a Blackguard Boy,That runs his Link full in your Face.”

We Women do not like the Impression we
make should be easily erased; and therefore I cannot Y3v 168170
cannot think it strange this Lady should conceive a lasting
Resentment against a Nobleman, whose Reputation
of Wit made every thing he advanced
pass for Orthodox with all he conversed with, or
who knew any thing of him.

It is certain her Charms had no Effect on him,
or that the Desire he had of mortifying her Vanity
overcame all the Admiration he might have
of her good Qualifications.――I do not pretend
to relate the Motives of his writing that Poem; I
can only say, that whatever was the Occasion, it
was more sarcastic than could be expected from a
Person of his Grace’s known Good-nature; and
that when he could put Pen to Paper on such a
Subject, his satirical Humour prevailed over that
Respect and Softness with which at other Times
he was accustomed to treat the Ladies.

But when People without one Grain of Wit,
Humour, or even common Sense, shall pretend
to say smart Things, and vent their little Malice,
or perhaps Envy of some superior Qualification,
and call it Raillery, I would fain have those who
are Witnesses of such a Behaviour examine strictly
into it; and then, I am very certain, a great
many of those insiduous Reflections, which are
thrown out with an Air of Pleasantry, and afford
Mirth to the Hearers, would be found such as demands
the utmost Contempt and Indignation
from all who have in reality any Understanding
or Softness of Temper.

I Y4r 169171

I do not say, that all the Insinuations thrown
out proceed from any latent View of doing Mischief
to the Person they are levelled at under the
Shew of Raillery:—There are some People, who
in their Hearts wish no Hurt to any body, yet
do a great deal without knowing it, meerly to
acquire the Reputation of being very “arch”, as
they call it; which is, by a great many in the
World, looked upon as the same Thing as being
very “witty”.

I would therefore have every one who are innocent
of this Crime in the Intention, beware how
they become guilty of it through Inadvertency:
――The Want of Thought creates many Mischiefs
among Mankind, and this is the Reason
that none ought to speak, till they have first reflected
on every thing that may possibly be the
Consequence of what they speak.

The Scripture tells us, that the Tongue is an
unruly Member, and common Experience may
convince us, that there is nothing which is more
capable of bringing on all Kinds of Evils, Disturbances
and Heart-burnings among Society.

To this, the Advocates for Raillery may possibly
alledge, that as the Person levelled at, is always
present, they may have an Opportunity of
returning it in kind, if true, or vindicating themselves,
if the contrary.

They must, however, either know, or consider,der, Y4v 170172
Human Nature very little, who argue in such
a Manner.――Some indeed will, doubtless, behave
according to this Supposition: But there
are others again, who, when pertly attacked, may
want sufficient Spirit, or Presence of Mind, in
that Instant, to make a proper Reply; and so
suffer themselves to be laughed out of Countenance.
—Nor is this the worst of it; by this
Bashfulness, which, as I said before, all People
cannot avoid, the Jest upon them is very likely
to be believed to have somewhat more in it than
it has in reality, and does a Mischief, perhaps,
without the Author intending, or desiring, it
should.

The greatest Evils often spring from the most
minute Beginnings, and it would be a lasting
Trouble on the Mind of any Person, who has
the least Sense of Justice or Good-Nature, to find
that by having let fall some inadvertent Expression,
and utterly without Design, he had been
the Occasion of destroying the Happiness, or
good Fame of another.

That this has frequently been the Case, I could
produce many Instances, which have happened
in the Compass of my own Knowledge and Observation,
as a meer Citizen of the World, exclusive
of my Spectatorial Capacity; but I think it
would be altogether needless to recite any of
them, because it is a Truth which every one’s
Experience may demonstrate, without the Aid of Argument, Z1r 171173
Argument, or other Proof, than what they may
furnish to themselves.

But notwithstanding all I have said against
Raillery, I am heartily vexed when I see People
behave so as to render themselves fit Subjects, not
only for that, but for the severest Satire that can
be thrown against them.—I mean, when they
pretend to make a serious Matter of Resentment
of Things intended only for Sport.—But it is
even more ridiculous, as well as unjust, when
those who lay hold of every Occasion to laugh at
their Neighbours, are not able to support with
any Degree of Moderation, the least Liberty of
that kind taken with any thing belonging to
themselves.

Yet there are such unreasonable Mortals in the
World; but as I judge them too incorrigible,
and too proud to regard any Admonitions from
a Female Censor, I shall leave them to be corrected
by the perpetual Broils and Disquiets, such a
Disposition of Mind must of course involve them
in, while they continue to be of it.

As to those whose more reserved Temper
keeps them from descending to any Discourse
which seems to them light and trifling,
though it must be owned, that nothing can be
more ill judged, than to treat them with it; yet
when I see them inflamed with Passion, and ready
to quarrel with the Person that offers it, I always
think there is more Reason to blush for the extravagantVol. IV. Z vagant Z1v 172174
Austerity of the One, than the Imprudence
of the Other.

Of this unhappy Temper was the late Mr.
Dennis
, who, though a good Poet, a much better
Critic, and a Man of great Learning, and excellent
Sense in other Things, was so weak, as not to
endure any Conversation that was not strictly serious.
—A Pun, Quibble, or Conundrum, were
more terrible to him than a Cannon-Ball.—The
least Attempt toward Raillery, though not aimed
at himself, was ready to throw him into a Fever,
and he could not restrain himself even from abusing
those who discovered a Propensity that Way.

This rendered him a Companion but for a
very few;—greatly lessened that Love and Respect
which were due to his good Qualities, and
occasioned many Sarcasms upon him.――Mr.
Pope
, among others, exercised his satiric Talent
in these Lines, which, being accounted very picturesque,
I shall transcribe. “――Appius reddens at each Word you speak,And stares tremendous with a threat’ning Eye,Like some fierce Tyrant in old Tapestry.”

It was certainly a Humour in him very unworthy
of his Character; for though one cannot
really approve of a thousand Impertinencies one
sometimes hears in Company, it would be particularizing
one’s self too much, to discover any
Uneasiness at them.

Nay, Z2r 173175

Nay, tho’ one should find one’s self singled
out, to be the Butt of the most gross, and even
impudent of all that can bear the Name of “Raillery,”
it would be still the greatest Mark of Discretion,
not to appear offended at it.――The
Italians have a Proverb, that “the more you laugh,
the less you will be laughed at.”

Besides, to seem to take no Notice of an Insult
this Way, is the sure Way of being revenged,
without either Pain or Trouble to one’s self; whoever
is brutal enough to offer it, and finds it
passes with Impunity, will imagine that every
thing is permitted to him, and that he may say and
do as he pleases, and in that Presumption give himself
such a Latitude, as, without being a Prophet
one may foretell, will sooner or later meet with
its due Correction from some one, or other, who
has as little Prudence as himself.

Since then, to resent where there is the greatest
Cause for it, is not to be permitted, how shall
we excuse those to whom every little Pleasantry,
every Bon Mot, as the French term it, shall give
Offence?—Certainly, there is nothing can be said
in Behalf of such a Behaviour, and the Person
guilty of it, merits the keenest Ridicule in the
room of Raillery.

But, after all, is it not better to avoid shewing
one’s Wit, in a Way which, with all the Precautions
we can take, will be the Occasion of Z2 Disquiet Z2v 174176
Disquiet to some weak Minds, and create us
Enemies of others?

I allow, indeed, that where a select Company
are met,—where all are of the same Way
of Thinking,—all Harmony, Vivacity, good
Sense, and good Humour, a Round of Wit
played off from one to another, will very agreeably
pass away an Hour, and be a delightful Relaxation
from more serious Avocations.

But I need not say, how difficult such a Congress
is to be found among us.――Were it less
so, the Subject would probably not have been
taken Notice of in these Lucubrations.

We have the Authority of one of the very
best and most knowing among our ancient Poets,
to assure us of this Truth. These are his Words: “Men’s Tempers more than Faces differ;Even a Brother is not like a Brother:One shall be haughty, sullen, and severe,The other all Complaisance and Good Will.Strange is it the same Stem, same Juice, same Seed,Fruit of such various Natures should produce;Yet true, most true, Experience daily shews.How cou’dst thou then, deluded Heart, e’er hopeA sympathetic Influence in a Stranger!”

Mr. Dryden also tells us, in one of his excellent
Poems, ’Tis Z3r 175177 “’Tis a meer Madness to expect to findIn a diff’rent Men, one and the self-same Mind.”

How, indeed, should we imagine we can find
that Unanimity with any other Person, which we
cannot retain within ourselves; as Dr. Garth
justly expresses this Inequality of the Heart. “Mankind one Day serene and free appear,The next they’re cloudy, sullen, and severe,New Passions, new Opinions still excite,And what they like at Noon, despise at Night;They gain with Labour, what they quit with
Ease;
And Health, for Want of Change, grows a Disease.Religion’s
bright Authority they dare,And yet are Slaves to superstitious Fear.They councel others, but themselves deceive,And tho’ they’re cozen’d still, they still believe,”

I have now but one Thing more to add on
this Occasion, and that is a Word or two of Advice
to those who are, and resolve to continue,
Lovers of Raillery.

In the first Place, I would fain prevail on
them, never to make Religion, in what Form
soever practised, the Subject of it.—In the next,
the Character of the Person they are about to
railly, ought to be well considered.――It would
ill become a gay young Person, to exert his Talent
this Way on a Clergyman, or a Judge, because
the Gospel and the Law demand our Reverence.rence. Z3v 176178
—Next to these, our Governors, Preceptors,
or whoever has had the Care of our Education,
should be exempt from hearing any Marks
of our Levity.

But to a Parent above all, we should never
forget that awful Distance, which the Laws of
God and Man have set between us,—Whatever
Fondness they may have for us,――whatever
Liberties their Good-Nature may permit,
the Indulgences we receive should only increase
our Love to them, not diminish our Respect.

It is too much if we are remiss in their Presence,
in the Concealment of those Things in our
selves, which we are conscious they will not, nor
cannot approve, because it discovers a Carelessness
inconsistent with the Homage due from us to the
Authors of our Being; but when we take upon
us to be merry at any little Passion or Humour
we may happen to observe in them, there is
something so monstrous in it, as must be shocking
to every reasonable By-stander.

Yet this is but too common among the gay
young Gentlemen of our Times; and there are
a great many who can be witty on no other Occasion,
than the Failings of their old Dad, or the
good old Gentlewoman, their Mother.—The
Veneration which a great Length of Days was
accustomed to excite in all civilized Nations,
seems now wholly lost among us, and it is enough
to be of an advanced Age, without any other Failing, Z4r 177179
Failing, to be looked on as a proper Object for
Raillery, if no worse.

Few Sons behave like a young Gentleman,
whose real Name I shall conceal under that of
Belfont.――This worthy Example of filial Duty
was Heir to a very large Estate; yet by the extreme
Parsimony of his Father, denied many
Things befitting his Age, Rank, and Fortune.
He was obliged to avoid Company very much;
and refuse making one in many a Party of Pleasure
he would have been glad to have enjoyed.
yYet did he take Care that all the Raillery on this
enforced Frugality, should fall rather on himself
than him who was the Cause of it.

Never did any Son seem more contented
with a Father—Never had any Father more
Reason to think himself happy in a Son.

They lived intirely from any Reproaches on
the one Side, or Repinings on the other, till
young Belfont had attained to the Age of five
and twenty, at which Time he thought to reap
the Reward of his Obedience:――His Father
having always assured him that he should then be
married to a young Lady, whom from his
Childhood he had tenderly loved, and by whom
he was no less beloved.—Part of the Estate was
to be settled on them, and he now flattered himself
with having it soon in his Power to live in a
Manner more agreeable to his Inclinations than
he could do while under the Direction of a Father,ther, Z4v 178180
who looked on every thing beyond the Necessities
of Nature, as Luxury and Prodigality.

But it often happens, that when we imagine
ourselves most near the Attainment of our Wishes,
some sudden and unlooked-for Accident carries
us farthest off; even so it proved with our young
Lovers: The beautiful Sophia (for so I shall
call the Lady) was to give further Testimonies
of her Love and Constancy, by continuing to
refuse yet a longer Time, all other Offers for
the Sake of Belfont, and Belfont to exercise his
Patience, Submission, and Obedience, in a Trial
infinitely more severe than any he had before experienced.

Every Thing having been agreed between
both their Fathers, the Marriage-Articles were
ordered to be drawn; and being brought by the
Lawyer in order to be approved and signed by
the respective Parties, and no Objection being
made by either of them, the Father of the young
Lady asked old Bellfont to set his Hand, on
which he fell into a Cough, said he was not
well, that another Time would do, and went
out of the House in the most abrupt Manner that
can be imagined, leaving Sophia, her Father, and
the Lawyer in the utmost Surprize, as not being
able to penetrate into the Meaning of so odd a
Behaviour.

Early the next Morning the old Gentleman received Aa1r 179181
received a Letter from him, containing these
Lines:

“Sir, Marriage being a Thing of so much
Consequence to the Happiness or Misery
of those who enter into it, you cannot
blame me for being more than ordinarily cautious
on the Score of a most obedient and only
Son:――And hope also you will agree with
me, that they are both young enough to wait
a little longer till Time and more Experience
shall qualify them better, than we can yet suppose
them to be, for the Management of a Family:
—I do not doubt but it will seem strange
to you, that I suffered Things to proceed so
far between them, as I am of this way of thinking;
but you know a Moment will sometimes
produce Reflections which have lain dormant
in the Mind for whole Years.—This is the
Case with me, and I am now determined that
Ned shall continue a Batchelor till a more proper
Season arrives for making him change his
Condition.—If your Daughter lives single till
then, as I always intended it should be a Match,
and I believe they love one another, I shall be
ready to perform my Part towards settling
them together; if not, I wish her much Happiness
with whoever she shall make Choice of,
and am with a great deal of Sincerity, Sir,
Your most humble, and
most obedient Servant,
Belfont.”
Vol. IV. Aa Never Aa1v 180182

Never did any Consternation exceed that
which both Father and Daughter were in at the
Receipt of this Letter:—They knew not what
to think, nor how to fix on the Motive which had
occasioned so sudden an Alteration.――At one
Time they imputed it to some Caprice come into
his own Head.――At others, they imagined it
owing to some Fault in the young Gentleman;
that either a new Attachment had made him
desirous of breaking off, or that he was guilty of
some secret Vice, which the Father having just
discovered, could not in Conscience consent to his
Marriage till he should be reclaimed from it.

They read the Letter over and over, examin’d
with the utmost Nicety every Word, and the
more they endeavoured to find the Meaning, the
more they were at a Loss, and confounded at
the Intricacy.—Sophia, however, who could not
be perswaded that her Lover had any Hand in
it, flattered herself that she should soon see him,
and then the Mystery would be unravelled.

But how much that poor young Gentelman
suffered when he was told by his Father, that he
must think no more of Sophia as a Person who
was likely to be his Wife, is not to be described
by any Words I am able to make use of.

At first a jealous Pang came over him;――
he imagined his Father had discovered something
in the Behaviour of that young Lady inconsistent
with the Professions she had made him; but the old Aa2r 181183
old Gentleman soon eased him of those Apprehensions,
by allowing her all the good Qualities he
could wish in a Daughter-in-law, except one.

“And what, Sir, is that,” cried young Belfont,
with somewhat of an Impatience in his Voice and
Looks? “Frugality,” replied his Father gravely,
“and I can never consent that an Estate, which I
have spent my whole Life in the Study of improving,
shall be squandered away by the Wife of my
Heir.”

It was in vain that the Son assured him that
he had never seen the least Token of an extravagant
Temper in Sophia:――That she never frequented
any expensive Places of Diversion, dressed
not in the least above her Station in the
World, but rather beneath it, and detested Gamming.
The old Man interrupted him by saying, “All
these Things I know as well as you; but it may
be perhaps more owing to her Father’s good Oeconomy
in debarring her, than her own natural Disposition:
—I would not have you”
, continued he,
“imagine yourself wiser than your Father:—I tell
you the Seeds of Profuseness are in her Nature,
and want but Opportunity to shoot in all the modish
Luxuries of the Age:—I have observed that
in her, which convinces me of it, nor should the
whole World perswade me to the contrary:――
No, no, it is not in her Power to deceive my Penetration;
—therefore I once more command you
to think no more of her.”

Aa2 Young Aa2v 182184

Young Belfont listened attentively while he
spoke, but perceiving he did not mention the
Proof he had received of her being of a Humour
so different to what he approved, took the Liberty
of entreating he would let him know what
it was that had made him all at once entertain
such an Opinion of a young Lady, whom he had
heard him so late praise for her Modesty, Discretion,
and good Management of her Father’s
House.

“Aye, Aye,” cried he, “I then went with the Current
of the World:――People may impose on me
for a Time, but, thank Heaven, my Eyes are now
opened:—So, Son, conquer this foolish Passion you
have for her, and assure yourself, that nothing
can make you so miserable as the indulging it.”

On this the young Gentleman told him, that
his Commands were ever sacred to him; but once
more beseeched him to let him into the Reasons
which induced him to lay this upon him, which,
he acknowledged, was the most difficult to be
obeyed of any he had yet enjoined.

The Respect and Humility with which he
spoke made his Father think he ought not to deny
him this Request; so after a little farther Conversation,
acquainted him with the mighty Discovery
he had made of her Unworthiness to come
into their Family, which, as I doubt not but my
Readers are as impatient for as I myself was on the Aa3r 183185
the first hearing the Story, I shall relate, with as
much Exactness as I can.

It being Winter, the two old Gentlemen with
Sophia were sitting near the Fire, while the
Lawyer was at a Desk at the other End of the
Room, correcting some Error he had made in
the Marriage-Articles.—The Fire beginning to
decay, the young Lady took the Poker and stirred
it up; but, unfortunately for the Interest of
her Love, turned one of the Cakes of Coals upside
down, so that the fresh Part fell into the
Middle of the Grate, and by that Means became
a bright Blaze, gave a great Heat, but was sooner
burned out, than it would have been, if in its former
Position.

This appeared to old Belfont such an Act of
Extravagancy, or Carelessness, that from that Instant
he resolved to break the Match: Certain
within himself, that she who was so little saving
in Firing, would be no more so in other Things.

The Son could not hear a Reason of this Sort
assigned for the Alteration in his Fortune, without
blushing, with Surprize and Shame, at the
sordid Meanness of it; but, containing himself
within those Bounds of Respect he had always
observed, and thought his Duty, to the Author
of his Being, he only remonstrated, that Sophia
might not, just in that Moment, consider the
Value of Coals; or that, perhaps, the Cinder
might fall in that Manner by meer Accident,
without her intending it should do so.

But Aa3v 184186

But he had little Time for any Arguments
of that Nature; the Father cried out, there was
no Excuse to be made for her;—that the very
Thing he urged in her Defence, was the Fault
he accused her of;—that to want Consideration,
was to want every thing a Wife ought to
be endued with;—and, at last, went so far as
to menace his withdrawing all that paternal Affection
he had hitherto treated him with, if he
either visited, or held any Correspondence with
her.

He too well knew the Obstinancy of his Father,
to offer any thing in Contradiction to what
he said; and, with a low Bow, promised an implicit
Obedience to his Will, which so well pleased
the old Gentleman, that he gave him his
Promise, never to go about to compel him to
marry any Woman he did not like, in return for
his renouncing the Woman he did like, in Obedience
to his Will.

Young Belfont was not so little sincere in his
Affection to his dear Sophia, as to refrain seeing
her; though he still preserved all the Duty and
Respect he owed his Father; for neither he
thought obliged him to falsify his Vows, and, at
the same time, do a Violence to his Inclinations,
on so frivolous a Pretence.

He wrote to her, bewailing their mutual ill
Fortune, and conjured her to meet him at the
House of a Person he knew he could confide in; she Aa4r 185187
she complied with the Summons, and never was
there a more melancholy Meeting than this
first.—On her expressing her Astonishment at so
strange a Turn in his Father’s Sentiments, and
desiring he would acquaint her with what he
knew concerning it, he looked down and sighed,
but made no Reply, though she often renewed
the Question.

This made her imagine there was something
in it which he feared to relate, as knowing it
would give her Pain, and doubted not but it was
on the score of getting a larger Fortune with
some other, that his Father, who all the World
knew was avaritious, had endeavoured to make
him forego his Pretensions to her.

As she expressed her Belief of this, and would
not be prevailed upon to think the contrary, he,
at last, after having obliged her to a Vow of Secresy,
revealed to her the whole Truth, and the
Conversation he had with his Father upon it.

This he was obliged to repeat several Times,
before she could be brought to give Credit; but
when at last she did, the Thing appeared to her
so very ridiculous, that, in spite of the Trouble
she was in, she could not forbear bursting into
a loud Laughter, and cried out, “Well, sure I am
the first that ever lost a Husband for the turning of
a Cinder!”

He then told her that it was the Oddness of it, and Aa4v 186188
and the Fears he had of exposing his Father to
the Ridicule of the World, which rendered him
so unwilling to reveal it; but that he depended
on her Promise of never divulging it; which
she readily renewed: After which they fell into
more serious Conversation, the Result of which
was, a solemn Protestation to preserve themselves
each for the other, till Fortune should more
dispose itself in favour of their Loves.

In fine, old Belfont died in a short Time after,
leaving his Son at Liberty to pursue his Inclinations.
—The Father of Sophia at first was something
averse to his Daughter’s receiving the Addresses
of a Man who had once fallen off; but,
on his being made acquainted with the whole
Story, rather applauded the filial Piety of young
Belfont, than condemned him for it.

These faithful Lovers have now been married
near three Years, and reap the Reward of their
mutual Fidelity, and invariable Affection.

But as the Reason of my relating this little
Adventure, was to shew the Amiableness of a
respectful Behaviour to Parents, I wish the Example
of Belfont may have its due Influence on
all young Persons, particularly those of my own
Sex, in whom the contrary appears more shocking
than in the other, as the Characteristic of
Womanhood will not allow of many Liberties,
which pass uncensured in the Men.

End of the Twenty-First Book.

Bb1r

The
Female Spectator.

Book XXII.

It has been so much our Custom,
during the Course of these Essays,
to postpone whatever Offerings
we had of our own to make the
Public, in order to insert those of
our Correspondents, that it may perhaps seem
strange no Letter appeared in the Speculations of
last Month, especially as we had acknowledged
the Receipt of several in the foregoing.

The Delay, however, was not occasioned by
our becoming either less grateful, or less complaisant
than heretofore, to those who are pleased
to favour us with such of their Productions as are
proper to find a Place in a Work of this Nature;
but in reality, because the Topics we happened
to fall upon, and which seemed to us very Vol. IV. Bb necessary Bb1v 188190
necessary to be mentioned, branched out to a
much greater Length than we at first intended
they should.

But as Reparation is the best Apology for
any thing that may be taken amiss, we shall now
give that Satisfaction which is expected from us.

“To the Authors of the Female Spectator. Ladies, The obliging Reception you were
pleased to give to a former Narrative I
sent you, encourages me to approach you a second
Time with something, which, if the Moral
be rightly considered, cannot, I think, but
afford very instructive Lessons to the old as
well as young of both Sexes.
I shall, therefore, make no Apology for the
Subject, but am sensible it may have suffered
by my Manner of handling it; and shall be
proud to see it appear in your Corrections and
Emendations more worthy the Attention of
the Town, and a Place in your agreeable Lucubrations.
But as I am apprehensive that those surprizing
Adventures, which befel the Heroine
of the Story, may give it rather the Air of
Romance than a genuine Account; and,
consequently, have less Effect on the Minds
of the Readers than is requisite, to make them avoid Bb2r 189191
avoid the Errors of some of the Persons concerned,
and imitate the Virtues of the others:
Permit me, Ladies, to assure the Public, that
there is not one Incident inserted which owes
any thing to Fiction, but the whole is related
with all the Exactitude and Simplicity of
Truth.
I have ventured to call it, The Triumph of
Fortitude and Patience over Barbarity and Deceit.
—If you think it an improper Title, after
having weighed the Circumstances and Event,
I flatter myself you will change it for one
more applicable to both.――Whatever other
Alterations you shall be pleased to make, will
rather be an Obligation than otherwise, to me,
as well as to the World. I am, with the best
Wishes to yourselves and most laudable Undertaking,
Ladies,
Your very humble,
and obedient Servant, Elismonda.
P. S.On my looking over the Inclosed a second
Time, I find Reason to apprehend I have
been somewhat too tedious in my Reflections
on the different Occurences, as they presented
themselves to me:――I beg therefore you
will be so good as to curtail such of them as
would lose their Merit (if they have any) by ‘being Bb2v 190192
being too much spun out, and totally erase
those which are not to the Purpose.”

I am very certain, that those of my Readers,
who remember that entertaining little History,
entitled, The Lady’s Revenge, inserted in the fourteenth
Book of the Female Spectator, will be convinced,
that what this Lady has requested in her
Postscript is only owing to an Excess of Modesty,
and that Diffidence, which as inseparable from
good Sense, before a long Experience of the
most confirmed and general Approbation wears
it off.

It befits me therefore to do her the Justice to
say, that as I could find nothing in the former to
correct, so in this am not Mistress of any Expressions
or Sentiments which could add in any
Measure to that pathetic Energy, which shines
in so agreeable a Manner throughout the whole
Piece, especially in those Parts of it which ought
most to affect the Heart, where, indeed, the Distresses
she describes touch the very Strings of
Life, and compel the Reader to feel the Woes
he is told another has endured.

But I shall not postpone the Curiosity I have
excited; I do not doubt but the Public, by whom
she and I, and all who venture to appear in
Print, are to be judged, will give that Approbation
to her Work which it deserves.

The Bb3r 191193 “The Triumph of Fortitude and Patience
over Barbarity and Deceit.
A True History. Of all the Acts of Injustice which the Depravity
of Human Nature can commit,
there are none certainly deserving to be more
severely censured, than that of Parents squandering
away their Substance, and leaving their
Children exposed to Beggary and Contempt.—
To render miserable by our Neglect any thing
whose sole Dependence is upon us is highly ungenerous;
but to rob those of their Birth-right
who but for us had not existed;—to make
wretched what owes its Being to us, for the
Gratification of some darling Passion in ourselves,
is such a Piece of Cruelty, as one would
not believe, if daily Observation did not convince
us of it, any thinking Being could be
guilty of.
A Gentleman, to whom I shall give the
Name of Extrodius, was left, by the good
Management and Frugality of his Ancestors,
in Possession of a very considerable Fortune.—
He married a virtuous young Lady, by whom
he had a very numerous Offspring; every
Year bringing an Increase to his Family, one
would imagine should have made him industrious
for the Improvement of a Patrimony,
out of which so many had a Claim for Provision:
But, alas! the immoderate Love of Pleasuresure Bb3v 192194
prevailed above parternal Affection:—He
was so passionately devoted to all the Luxuries
of Life, that he seemed not content with those
he saw enjoyed by others, but was continually
inventing new Modes of indulging every
inordinate Inclination; and still the more expensive
they proved, the more he hugged himself
with having it in his Power to put them
in Practice.
But it was not long this worst of Husbands,
and of Fathers, had the Means of rioting
in such Voluptuousness:――A few Years
wasted all he had been Master of in the World,
and he fell into the extremest Poverty:—His
Wife, who for some Time had languished under
the Apprehensions of what was now come
upon them, could not support the Ills she had
foreseen, and died of a broken Heart:—All
their Children, except one, were seized with
various Distempers, and bore their Mother
Company in the Grave.
Jemima, a Girl of about twelve Years
of Age, was left alone to feel the Miseries
those dear Relations were exempted from by
Death, while he, who had brought them on all
who ought to have been dear to him, seemed
insensible of his Errors, and continued disposing
of every thing of Value, either about his House
and Person, till there was nothing left to sell.
He then tried his Credit with Kindred, Acquaintance,
and Tradesmen, but they all knew ‘too Cc1r 193195
too much of his Circumstances to comply with
any Requests he made them of that Nature.
Some Persons, whom he had not dealt with
before, indeed supplied him for a little while;
but were no sooner informed of the Truth of
his Affairs, than they withdrew their Hands;
and on his behaving toward them with more
Haughtiness than they thought befitting a Person
by whom they were likely to be Losers,
threw him into Prison, whence not one Friend
made any Efforts to redeem him, and he died
in a short Time.
Even the young Jemima might have been
obliged to have recourse to public Charity
for a wretched Sustenance, had not Dalinda
admitted her into her Family.――This Lady
was own Sister to Extrodius, was a Widow, had
a large Jointure, and no Child; yet did she not
take her little Niece through any Motive of
Compassion or Affection; for, like her Brother,
she was too great a Lover of herself, and
the Pleasures of the World, to have the least
true Regard for any thing beside, but meerly
to avoid the Shame of having it said, that one
so near to her in Blood should wear the Livery
of the Parish.
The Treatment, however, which the poor
Creature received, was little better than what
she would have met with in any of those Places
from which her Aunt made a mighty Merit of
preserving her. Vol. IV. Cc ‘The Cc1v 194196 The Education allowed her would not have
been sufficient to have enabled her to support
those Shocks of Fate which afterward befel
her, had she not been endued by Nature with
all those Qualifications, which most others acquire
but with Labour and Difficulty.
Without the Help of Precept she was
blest with an innate Piety and Resignation to
the Divine Will:—Without any of those Instructions,
which are looked upon as necessary
to good Breeding, she had a native Affability
and Sweetness of Deportment, which shamed
all the formal Rules of Politeness and Decorum;
and without the least Advantage from
Example, but far the contrary, could easily distinguish
what Amusements became a Woman
of Honour to give into, and what did not.
As she knew very well the Misfortunes to
which she was reduced by her Father’s ill Management,
and the little Prospect she had of
living in the World according to her Birth,
she reflected, that all that could make her easy
under her present or future Sufferings, was Patience
and Humility, and therefore endeavoured
as much as possible, not to think on the
Pleasures, which those of great Fortunes were
in Possession of, but on the little Wants and
Exigences of those who either were born to nothing,
or, like herself, were deprived of their
first Hopes.—She observed, that to be poor,
was not always to be miserable; and that Riches ‘were Cc2r 195197
were frequently not accompanied with Happiness.
—This enabled her to know, that Content
was sufficient to render any Station comfortable,
and that without it all was Wretchedness.
In fine, without any Aid from Books she
was a Philosopher in her way of thinking at
fifteen, and, perhaps, more truly so than the
most celebrated of those, whose Morals and
Maxims are laid down before us, as the best
Guides of our Sentiments and Actions.
As to her Person, she was of a middle Stature,
perfectly well turned, easy and genteel in all
her Motions:――If the Features of her Face
could not be said to be cast in the Mould of
Beauty, there was yet a great deal of Regularity
and Harmony in them; which joined with a
very delicate Complexion, fine Hair and Teeth,
and a certain Sweetness, with the happy Composure
of her Mind, diffused through all her
Air, made her appear extremely lovely.
Many there were who thought her so; but
the Misfortunes of her Family prevented them
from making their Addresses on an honourable
Score, as did the Modesty of her Behaviour
from approaching her on any other; and she
lived till the Age of eighteen, without being
able to say, she had any one Man who had declared
himself her Lover.
Cc2 But Cc2v 196198 But among the Number of those who had
long in secret admir’d her, there was one, whom
I shall call Lothario, who presuming on his
great Estate, fine Person, and former Successes
with our Sex, at last ventured to tell her what
none before him had ever done.
This Gentleman had been a frequent Visiter
of Dalinda, and the Charms he found in
her young Niece made him more so:――He
had many Opportunities of entertaining the
Object of his Passion without any Notice being
taken of it by the other, who, as has been
already observed, was not very assiduous concerning
her; and he had the Artifice to contrive
it so, as to be there as much as possible,
when either by her being not up, or gone
Abroad, he should have no Interruption from
that Quarter.
Jemima thought it was her Duty in the
Absence of her Aunt, to entertain him with all
imaginable Respect, before he discovered the
Sentiments he was possessed of in favour of
herself; and she afterwards, at least for a good
while, was not sensible she ought to change her
Manner of Behaviour in regard to him.
Whether it were that he had the Advantage
by being the first that had discovered a
Sensibility of her Charms, or whether it were
that there was really somewhat more engaging
in him than she had seen in any other Man, is altogether Cc3r 197199
altogether uncertain; but it is not so that her
young Heart was insensibly caught with the
fine Things he said to her, and she could
not help feeling that Pleasure which none but
those who love are capable of, whenever she
either saw or heard him.
Great was the Progress he had made in
her Affection, before she suspected he had any
other Design upon her than such as her Prudence,
as well as Inclination, would permit her
to encourage; but happening to be alone with
him one Evening, he began to take some Liberties
with her which very much alarmed her
Modesty, and pushing him from her with all
her Might, ‘How, Lothario,’ cry’d she, ‘is this
Treatment befitting you to give a Woman of
Virtue? Or could you think me worthy of an
honourable Passion, if I could submit to bear it?’
These Words, and the Looks and Gestures
with which they were accompanied, soon
made him desist; but he knew so well how to
excuse the Boldness he had been guilty of by
the Excess of his Passion, that the Woman in
her Soul prevailed in his Favour, and she consented
to a Reconciliation.
How many are there of our too unwary Sex
who would have thought no more of this Affair,
but have received the pardoned Lover in
the same Manner as though he never had
offended, and by such a Conduct emboldened ‘him Cc3v 198200
him to trasgress again, perhaps to the utter
undoing of the believing Maid.
But it was not so with Jemima: He had no
sooner taken his Leave of her, and she had
Leisure to reflect on what had passed between
them, than all those Apprehensions, which are
the surest Guardians of Virgin Innocence, rose
in their full Force upon her troubled Mind.—
On recollecting the many passionate and tender
Declarations he had made to her, she found
there was not one that gave her any Assurance
that he intended to pass his Life with her: No
Mention had ever been made of Marriage, and
though he professed to have for her the extremest
Love that ever Man was possessed of,
yet her own good Sense, as well as the Report
of the World, convinced her, that there requires
more Art in the Prosecution of a lawless
Flame, than in one whose End is Honour.
She trembled, therefore, lest in all he had
said to her he had no other Aim in View than
her Ruin; and the secret Inclinations she found
towards him in her own Heart, heightened her
Terrors on this Score:—She knew she loved,
and dreading, that in some unguarded Moment
that Love might prove the Destruction
of her Virtue, resolved to sound the Bottom of
his Design, which if she perceived was not conformable
to those Rules she wished it might
be, to tear herself from his Conversation, dear
as it was to her, and never see him more.
‘Let Cc4r 199201 Let any Woman, who has ever known the
Force of that Passion with which Jemima was
actuated, well weigh the Struggles of a Soul
thus divided between Love and Honour, and
give her the Applause she merits for so strict
an Adherence to the latter.
She was, however, in some Debate within
herself in what Manner she should break the
Matter to him.—Her native Modesty would
not suffer her to be the first that proposed Marriage,
which she thought should always be the
Province of the Man, and knew not how to
frame her Mouth to utter what she would have
blushed to have heard from that of her Lover,
much as she in secret wished it.
To write her Mind also on this Affair seemed
little less bold, but she found an absolute Necessity
of knowing what she had to expect from
him; and this was the Method she at last
made Choice of.
But how often did this innocent young
Creature begin, and leave off,—examine what
she had said,—then tear the Paper, as thinking
it confessed too much.—Long it was before she
could find any Words which would not shock
her Timidity, and at the same Time express
her Meaning. However, after various Efforts,
that Resolution which she still persisted in, enabled
her to complete a Letter in these Terms:
To Cc4v 200202 ‘To Lothario. Sir, The little Experience I have in writing
Letters, especially to your Sex, renders
this a Presumption, which can be excused by
nothing but the Cause that enforces me to it.
You know, Sir, the Misfortunes of my Family,
and that I have nothing but my Virtue
and Reputation that I can call my own:――
The first will doubtless call in Question the
two others, should I continue to listen to the
Addresses of a Gentleman of your Fortune:
—Permit me, therefore, for the future to deny
myself the Honour of your Visits; the Disparity
between us will not allow me to think
you condescend to make them for any other
End than your Amusement, and how low
soever I am reduced, have too much Pride
to be the Property of it.
Were it possible, which I am far from the
Vanity of imagining, that you really found
any thing in me worthy of a serious Attachment,
you are very sensible I am under the
Care of a Relation, who ought to be made
acquainted with it, and whom you cannot suppose
will make any Objections to what she
finds is for the true Interest of one who
shares so much of her own Blood.
In consulting her on the Affair, you will
give the best Proof of your Sincerity, and is
the only Means to satisfy the Scruples of
Jemima.’
‘This Dd1r 201203 This she sent to him by a Chairman, not
caring to entrust it to any of Dalinda’s Servants,
lest they should discover it to their Lady,
whom she was unwilling should be let into any
Part of the Secret, till Lothario himself should
reveal it, which she was sometimes ready to
flatter herself he would do:—So easily are we
led to believe what we wish.
Satisfied, notwithstanding, she was within
herself, that she had by this Means discharged
what her Virtue and her Prudence demanded
from her; and for the rest, she had Piety
enough to leave the Event to the Supreme
Disposer of all Things, and who, she was well
convinced, knew what was best for her.
As for Lothario, it is certain that the
Thoughts of making her his Wife had never
once entered his Head; nor, it is probable,
that had he foreseen the Difficulties he now
found in gaining his Point, he never had attempted
to address her at all; but the Humour
of Mankind is such, as not to endure being
overcome, and to desist after having proceeded
so far, seemed to him a Meanness of Spirit,
and he thought would argue a Pusilanimity and
Diffidence in himself, which his Pride could
by no Means submit to.
Her Letter, however, both astonished, and
gave him an infinite Vexation.――He easily
perceived by it, that she had much more ResolutionVol. IV. Dd lution Dd1v 202204
and Strength of Mind than he could
have possibly expected to find from a Person
of her Years and Experience of the World,
and how to answer it in such a Manner as might
effectually deceive her, and at the same time
not prove himself a Deceiver, should the Affair
ever become public, took him up a long
Consideration.
Puzzled as the innnocent Jemima had been
in dictating her Epistle, Lothario, though an
Adept in all the Arts of Intrigue, was not less
so to make a proper Reply to it; nor, perhaps,
would have been able to do it in such Terms
as would have been satisfactory to her, and yet
agreeable to his own Designs, had not an Invention
come suddenly into his Head, perfectly
conformable to the Baseness of his Heart,
and I believe, the only one that could have
been found out to ensnare the Person, whose
undoing he thought nothing too much to accomplish.
But, as the old Poet justly enough
observes, ‘――What cannot wicked Will effect,When bound by no Restrictions but its own,And bent to act whenever it inclines?’
Thus Lothario having formed his Scheme,
returned, to the plain Sincerity of Jemima, this
ambiguous, but delusive Answer.
To Dd2r 203205 ‘To the Beautiful Jemima. Sweetest of Creatures, It were to attempt an Impossibility to go
about to describe that unspeakable Rapture
which overwhelmed my Heart at the Receipt
of your dear Letter.—A thousand and
a thousand Times I kissed the charming Name,
before I had Power to examine the Contents
to which it was subscribed;—but when I had
gained Power enough over myself to do it,
good Heaven! how much was I surprized,
not, my lovely Maid, at the Proof you seem
to require of my Affection, but that there was
a Possibility for you to doubt if any thing in
my Power would be refused:――Every Request,
every Wish of yours shall always have
with me the Force of Commands, and it
would be the greatest Joy Heaven could confer
upon me to anticipate all you can have to
desire.—But I have much to say to you on that
Head, and therefore entreat you will give me
an Opportunity of revealing to you a Secret,
which indeed I intended should have died with
me, but now find an absolute Necessity of entrusting
to you.
Dalinda is this Evening, I know,
engaged at Lady Rounciful’s, I will therefore
come as if designing my Visit to her, but beseech
you to be at Home, that I may offer you
a more convincing Testimony of the ValidityDd2 “lidity Dd2v 204206
of my Flame, than that insufficient one
mentioned in yours.
In the mean Time, my Angel, be careful
how your too scrupulous Thoughts may
wrong a Heart wholly devoted to you, and
which will ever be so while Life remains in
Your most passionate
and faithful Admirer, Lothario.
P. S. The Caution you observed in sending
to me, gives me the highest Idea of your
Prudence and good Sense; but you will find,
when I have had the Pleasure of imparting
something to you, that your good Angel had
a Hand in inspiring you with it on this Occasion,
and that there was an astonishing Necessity
for the Happiness of us both, that you
should act in the Manner you did.’
This Letter had all the Effect it was intended
to have, in exciting the most impatient Curiosity
in Jemima, and engaging her to allow
him another private Conversation:――She
longed with no less Earnestness than himself
for the appointed Time of her Aunt to go
Abroad, and his Approach, that she might
have the Mistery unravelled, and also hear what
Testimony it was that her Lover intended to
offer of the Sincerity of his Passion.
‘Instigated Dd3r 205207 Instigated by Motives in which the
most rigid Virtue can find nothing to condemn,
she received him with an obliging Softness,
which he knowing her too well to suspect of
Affectation, looked on as a propitious Omen
to his Wishes: But having before well weighed
that she wanted not Penetration, he had
prepared and studied over the Part he was to
act, to the end that no unguarded Gesture or
Expression should open a way for the least
Suspicion to gain Entrance.
His first Salutation to her had a more grave
Air than she had ever seen in him; and when
they were seated, though he began to thank
her for the Favour of her Letter, yet he seemed
not in a Hurry to explain the Meaning of his
Reply to it, and pretended a kind of an inward
Agitation; when perceiving he was silent
on that Subject, she let fall some Words,
as if she was a little impatient for it.
‘How severe is my Destiny, lovely Jemima!
How difficult is it for me to behave in so critical
a Conjuncture!’
said he with a deep Sigh:—‘How
were the Transports your dear Letter raised
in me, allayed by the Command it contained!
How terrible was it to me to find you exacted
from me, as a Proof of my Love, what would
be the Ruin of my Love to comply with, yet have
it not in my Power to convince you it would be
so without forfeiting my Honour: A Jewel ever sacred Dd3v 206208
sacred to me;—dearer than my Life, and next in
Value to my Love!’
These Words instead of unfolding rather
heightened the Mystery, and Jemima not being
able to conceive any Part of their Meaning,
desired he would be more plain.
On which, ‘Did you not insist,’ answered he,
‘that I should reveal the Secret of my Passion for
you to Dalinda? And was not the Injunction
enforced by the cruel Menace of seeing me no
more in case of a Refusal?’
‘I know not, Sir,’ resumed she, blushing between
Surprize and Shame, ‘whether I might express
myself properly on that Occasion; but certainly
there was nothing so very difficult in acquainting
an Aunt with the Sentiments you are possessed of
for her Niece;—provided,’
continued she with
a half Frown, ‘they are of a Nature you are not
ashamed to avow.’
‘Believe then,’ pursued he, after some Moments
of a well counterfeited Disturbance of
Mind, ‘that I had not waited for the Commands
of Jemima to discover to her Aunt all I felt for
her dear Kinswoman, had not that Aunt given
me too plain, too long, and too continued Proofs,
that she thinks more favourably of me than I
every wished.’
‘How Dd4r 207209 ‘How,’ said Jemima, astonished beyond Measure,
‘can such a Thing be possible!’――Then
paused, and reflecting on many Passages she had
observed in the Conduct of her Aunt in regard
to other Gentlemen, hesitated but a very
little, before she yielded all her Faith to what
Lothario alledged.
The Truth is, that Dalinda, to say no worse
of her, was one of the greatest Coquets of
the Age, vain, gay, and extravagantly envious
and malicious against those Charms she saw prefered
to her own; and this perfect Knowledge
of her Disposition made Jemima now reflect,
which before she had not done, that she was
not a very proper Person for a Confidant, even
though she had been less interested than Lothario
pretended.
She gave an implicit Credit, however, to
what he said: So liable does the being guilty
of some Errors render us to be censured of
others, of which we are perfectly innocent; for
in fact there was not one Syllable of Truth in
what this artful Man insinuated of Dalinda’s
Affection for him, and, it must be owned, he
could not have hit on a more plausible Invention
to remove all the Scruples Jemima had
entertained on his keeping his Passion for her a
Secret to that Lady.
Fearing, notwithstanding, there might
yet remain some Diffidence in her Breast, he ‘added Dd4v 208210
added a thousand little Circumstances to corroborate
the Truth of his Relation, as knowing,
that on gaining this Point the Success of
his Design in a great Measure depended.
Being convinced, by her Behaviour, that
he had nothing to apprehend on that Account,
he now began to renew the Business of his Passion;
――seemed to chide the Diffidence she
had expressed of his Honour;――protested he
never had a Thought or Wish tending to the
Prejudice of her Virtue, and had no other Aim
in View than making her his Wife.
‘The Misfortunes of your Family’, said he,
‘is of no manner of Consequence to me, who, you
know, have an Estate sufficient to support us in
more Grandeur than is needful for Happiness:
But,’
continued he, ‘I have a Mother, who, I
grieve to say, is of a far different way of thinking:
—All the Perfections that Heaven could
bestow on Human Nature would to her be of no
Estimation, if Wealth and Opulence were not
added.—This unhappy Temper in her has prevented
me from making those public Declarations
I otherwise should have been proud to have
done, of my inviolable Attachment to you;――as
she has been the best and most tender Parent
to me, notwithstanding her Avarice, and is now
extremely ancient; I tremble at the Thoughts
of sending her to her Grave perhaps sooner than
Nature intended, and with the Dissatisfaction of
seeing me do the only Thing she never would forgive
in me.’
‘Here Ee1r 209211 Here he ceased to speak, but Jemima’s
Thoughts were at this Instant in too great
Perplexity to make him any immediate Answer.
In the mean time he looked earnestly upon
her Face, and easily perceiving, by the various
Changes in her Countenance, every Emotion
as it rose and fell in her Soul, found his Work
was not yet perfectly completed; and that also
it required the whole Art he was Master of to
beguile a Maid, whose own Innocence and
Simplicity of Mind did not hinder her from
being extremely cautious of the Wiles of
others.
He, therefore, first began by all the endearing
Expressions that Love and Wit could form,
joined with all the solemn Protestations that
could insure her of his Faith, to perswade her
to enter into a Contract with him, and exchange
Vows to live mutually for each other,
till the Death of the old Lady should remove
that only Impediment, which, he pretended,
was between him and the Consummation of
his Happiness.
The Heart of Jemima was in reality too
much engaged to him, without the Help of
Vows, for her to be fearful of breaking those
she should make to him in favour of any other
Person, though an Offer should happen, of Vol. IV. Ee one Ee1v 210212
one as much above Lothario in the Goods of
Fortune, as Lothario was above herself.
She looked, therefore, on this Request as
an undoubted Proof of his Love and Honour;
and thought it would be equally ungrateful to
him, as well as unjust to herself, not to comply
with it:――The Engagement between them
was as firm as Words could make it; but Jemima
in that Moment considered not the Invalidity
of a verbal Contract without Witnesses,
and never once exacted, or ever mentioned
a Desire that it should be put into Writing;
which, doubtless, was owing to the
Hurry of Spirits the former Part of his Discourse,
concerning Dalinda, had put her into:
And when afterwards she had Leisure to reflect,
she feared to betray a Want of Confidence
in him, which she knew not how far he
might resent.
Both Parties were, indeed, well enough
satisfied with what they had done: Jemima
imagined she had by it secured herself a Husband
whom she infinitely loved, and with
whom she should one Day live in all that
Splendor which is so enchanting to a young
Heart, though never so well fortified with Virtue
and Discretion.――Lothario, on the other
hand, flattered himself, that he had by this
Means put her off her Guard, and lulled to
sleep all those Scruples which had hitherto prevented‘vented Ee2r 211213
him from the Accomplishment of his
dishonourable Design upon her Innocence.
He would not, however, too suddenly
seem to take any Advantage of the Contract,
lest such a Behaviour should, and would infallibly
have done, make her believe, that all his
Professions of Fidelity were no other than
Snares to deceive her; but gently and by Degrees
he became more and more free, and whenever
she attempted to repulse any Liberty she
thought too great――‘Are you not my Wife?’
would he cry to her; ‘though the Ceremony of
the Church be yet uncelebrated, the Vows we
have exchanged are the essential Parts of Marriage;
—you ought not then to deny every thing
to my impatient Passion.’
To which she always resolutely answered,
that she should ever look upon her Soul as his
Wife, but as to her Person it must remain a
pure and undefiled Virgin Bride, till those mystic
Words should be pronounced, which alone had
the Power of converting two distinct Bodies
into one.
He affected to laugh at the logical Definition
she gave of the Union of Marriage; but
was not a little disappointed to find all the Artifices
he had practised with such Success on
others, had not the desired Effect on her.――
He had now but one Card more to play, and
that was to perswade her to marry him privately;Ee2 ‘vately; Ee2v 212214
alledging, in the first Place, the Violence
of his Passion; and in the next, the Danger
of their secret Intercourse being discovered by
her Aunt; who, he said, would doubtless be
malicious enough to do every thing in her
Power to separate them for ever.
This was an Offer which Jemima had not
Power to refuse, not only because her Heart
took Part in it, but also because her Reason
seemed to approve it.
She reflected, that the sacred Ceremony
was not less binding for not making a great
Noise:—That private Marriages were almost
as frequent as public ones; that nobody could
condemn her for securing to herself so great a
Fortune; and that, as it was the last and
greatest Testimony of his honourable Intentions
towards her, it would be rather an overstrained
Modesty than real Prudence to refuse
accepting it.
There required therefore not many Atrguments
to prevail on her to consent to a Thing,
which she not only wished for in her own
Mind, but was convinced was right in itself;
She agreed to be disposed of by him in the
Manner he desired, provided only, that nothing
of the necessary Forms of Marriage
should be wanting.
He Ee3r 213215 He told her, that he should be no less careful
than herself in that Point; that he had one
Friend whom he would venture to confide in,
and he it was that should perform the Office
of Father:――That he would take care to
provide a License from Doctors Commons, and
a Ring, only desired she would yield that the
Ceremony might be performed in some private
Room, because it was impossible to answer,
but some Accident might betray the
whole Affair if it were celebrated in a Church,
notwithstanding all the Caution that could be
observed.
As she knew nothing was more customary
among Persons of Condition than Marriages of
this Nature, she made not the least Objection
as to the Place he judged proper for the Performance.
This material Point being settled, they proceeded
to others in relation to her Way of Life
after Marriage:――In the first Place, she was
to quit her Aunt’s House on the very Day,
and retire to Lodgings he should prepare for
her; and as they could not cohabit together,
he was to pass only as one of her Kindred
when he came to visit her: That whenever he
went out of Town, he was to supply her with
a Sufficiency to defray all Expenses she should
or could possibly be at till his Return:—That
he should write constantly, but without subscribingscribing Ee3v 214216
his real Name, once at least every
Week, during his Absence at any time; and
that her Answers should be always contrived,
so as to pass for those of a Gentleman of his
Acquaintance, in case any of them should happen
to be intercepted either by his Mother or
any other Person.
All these Preliminaries being fixed, to the
Satisfaction of both Parties, Lothario prepared
Lodgings for Jemima, a Ring, License, and
every other Requisite for the Nuptials the very
next Day; and the ensuing one early in the
Morning, she packed up her Cloaths, and
quitted her Aunt’s House, leaving a Letter
directed for her which contained these Lines.
‘To my Honoured Aunt. Madam, An Opportunity now offering of easing
you of the Trouble I have so many
Years been to you, I gladly embrace it; and
hope you will pardon my not acquainting
you either with the Motives of my Departure,
or the Place to which I go:――Be assured
there are strong Reasons for my acting in this
Manner; and that wherever I am, I shall do
nothing that may call a Blush into the Face
of any of my Family:――Think and speak
therefore favourably of me, I beseech you,
Madam, till the Situation of my Affairs permits
me to acquaint you with the Truth, and “the Ee4r 215217
the World shall be made sensible of the Fortune
of,
Madam,
Your most obedient Niece,
and humble Servant, Jemima.’
With a Heart perfectly at Ease, and unapprehensive
of any future Storms in her Voyage
of Life, did our Jemima now launch out into
the wide Ocean of the World:—She discerned
not the Rocks and Sands which lay between
her and the Harbour of calm Delights, so enchanting
in the Prospect:—Nor had she Skill
to see that gathering Clouds, which were that
Instant preparing to burst in Fury on her
Head.
It must be confessed, she had behaved with
a Discretion superior to her Years, and such as
not all of our Sex, who love as well as she did,
would have been able to preserve amidst so
many Temptations: But, alas! how weak are
all the Efforts of Female Wit against a Lover
armed for our undoing!
Lothario, who meant nothing less
than not to perform one Syllable of all the
Promises he had made her, finding it impossible
to gain her on any other Terms than
Marriage, and bent not to be frustrated in his
Wish, resolved to humour her with a mock ‘Ceremony; Ee4v 216218
Ceremony; and to that end got a Fellow who
was a Dependant on him to personate a Clergyman;
his own Valet de Chambre, whom she
had never seen, was habited like a Country
Gentleman, and acted the Part of the Friend
he had told her of in giving her Hand.
To add to the seeming Sincerity of the
Thing, when he pronounced after the sham
Parson these Words, ‘With all my Worldly
Goods I thee endow,’
he put into her Hand a
Purse, containing two hundred Pieces of old
Gold.—When the Ceremony was over, he invited
the pretended Doctor and Gentleman, to
partake of an Entertainment he had caused to
be prepared at a neighbouring Tavern; but
they both excused themselves, being ordered
to do so, fearing, no doubt, that Jemima might
discover something by their Behaviour, if with
them of any long Time, that did not appear of
a Piece with the Characters they represented.
Not only in this, but in every thing else,
he preserved such an extreme Caution to hinder
her from having the least Suspicion how cruelly
she had been betrayed, that not even the bare
Thought there was a Possibility of it ever once
entered her Head.
She lived therefore happy because contented:
She had not been accustomed to much
public Diversion; nor was she so desirous of
it as most young People are:――Her Aunt, ‘though Ff1r 217219
though the gayest Woman in the World, and a
continual Sharer in all the modish Pleasures of
the Town, had always confined her at Home,
working some curious Ornament or other for
her Dress, or else employed in Family Affairs;
so that living in the Manner she was now
obliged to do, in order for her Concealment,
was not at all irksome to her:—She had some
Hours, almost every Day, the Company of the
Man she loved, and knew no Want of any
other.
But this Halcyon Season lasted but a short
Time: Business or a Satiety of the Charms he
had taken so much Pains to gain, now called
him to the Country.――Prepared as she was
for it, by the Knowledge he did not live constantly
in Town, she could not think of parting
without Agonies insupportable:—He did
not, indeed, fail to comfort her the best he
could, and assured her he would contrive to
make his Absence as short as possible; nor did
her Inexperience of Mankind enable her to discover,
that what he said to her was rather
Words of course, than flowing from the sincere
Ardors of Affection, so had not that Addition
to her Griefs.
Soon after he was gone she found herself
with Child, which before she had been insensible
of:—She wrote the News of it to him in
the Character of a third Person, as had been
agreed between them; and receiv’d for Answer, Vol. IV. Ff that Ff1v 218220
that he would not have her under any Concern
about her Pregnancy, for he should not
fail to take a proper Care both of her and the
Infant she should bring into the World; but
expressed nothing of that Satisfaction at hearing
she was about to make him a Father, as
might have been expected from a Husband,
who so tenderly loved his Wife, as she had flattered
herself he did her.
She could not help being a little alarmed at
it at first, but the Consideration, that the Fears
of intercepting might lay some Restraint upon
him, joined to the Confidence she had both in
his Love and Honour, soon dissipated all uneasy
Reflections on that Score.
In about four Months after, he returned to
Town; but his Presence, which she had
imagined would give her perfect Happiness,
in a great Measure destroyed what she had enjoyed
in his Absence.――While he continued
in the Country, she was every Day pleasing
herself, that the Time of his Approach still
grew more near, and indulging the Idea of those
Felicities she doubted not but his coming would
bestow: But when she saw him, how were all
those golden Hopes frustrated!—His Words,
indeed, were obliging, but his Looks gave the
Lie to his Tongue:—His Eyes, those true Intelligencies
of the Heart, no longer sparkled
with that impatient Ardor which once was the
Indication of his Passion:—The Visits he made ‘her Ff2r 219221
her were much shorter than usual:—He was
always full of Business; always in a Hurry;
and whenever she mentioned the Condition
she was in, and seemed to lament, that a Child
really begot in Honour should, at its first Entrance
into the World, be looked upon as the
Offspring of Shame, he only affected to laugh
at her Romantic Notions, as he called them,
and said he thought she had Reason to be quite
easy;――that the finest Women in the World
had gone through the same; and that when
once the Time arrived that he should acknowledge
her for his Wife, she would be amply
recompenced.
All this Jemima knew as well as he, and
had often reflected on as the only Comfort
under her present Situation; but then she
thought the Remonstrance did not so well become
his Mouth, and that the Delicacy of his
Passion should have made him rather grieve
that she could not appear at present with all
the Advantages of being his Wife.
She did not, however, make any Complaints
on this Score; and though she had too
much Reason to suspect a very great Decay in
his Affection, yet she only endeavoured, by all
the Endearments in her Power, to awake it to
its former Energy, without letting him know
she perceived any Alteration.
Ff2 But Ff2v 220222 But what secret Anguish she endured while
acting in this Manner, let any Woman, whose
Prudence has enabled her to do the same, be
Judge!
As for Lothario, he gave himself no Trouble
to dive into her Sentiments, but contented
himself with finding she made him no Reproaches.
—The Truth is, he was now entirely
taken up with a new Object:—The Charms
of a Lady in the Country had rendered him
utterly forgetful of those he had left in Town;
nor did his Return to Jemima call back any
of those Languishments he once had felt for
her.
He stayed no longer in London than some
Business, which brought him up, absolutely
obliged him to do; and when he took his
Leave of Jemima, ordered her not to write to
him till she should receive a Letter from him,
because as he said he was going to pass the
Hunting Season with some Relations he had
in a different County, and could not fix any
Place to which they might with Safety be directed.
This Story, though invented meerly to
avoid the Trouble of her Letters, and the Pains
of Dissimulation in answering them, was believed
as sacred Truth by Jemima; and though
she regretted the Suspension of the only Pleasuresure Ff3r 221223
she could enjoy in his Absence, yet she
did not, even in Thought, murmur at the Occasion.
But not to be too tedious:—He departed;
many Weeks passed over without any Letter
from him; and as the Expiration of her
Pregnancy drew near, her Anxieties increased:
But what was a considerable Augmentation of
her Distress, the Persons with whom she lodged
having all along regarded her as a kept Mistress,
and indeed had no Reason to do otherwise,
told her, that she must not expect to
lye-in at their House:—That her being there
so long had occasioned much Talk in the
Neighbourhood, and that if she did not speedily
remove, they should be obliged to send to
the Officers of the Parish.
How hard was all this to be borne by a
Woman, who was conscious she never had
transgressed the Rules of Virtue, and detested
far more than Death being the Creature they
imagined!
It was in vain she offered to deposite in
their Hands more than the Sum that would
have been demanded by the Parish; all she
could say had not the least Effect on their inexorable
Hearts.—They told her, that it was
by the Reputation of their House they lived,
not by such as she; that they would have no
Bastard born among them; and in fine, reproached‘proached Ff3v 222224
her in a Manner, which would have
made any one, less sincere to her Promise, declare
the whole Truth: But the Duty she owed
Lothario as a Husband,—the Obligation he
had laid her under of keeping their Marriage
an inviolable Secret, and the firm Belief she
had that her Innocence would one Day be
cleared, gave her Patience to sustain, not only
this Shock, but also many others which afterwards
she met with.
Her Youth, however, her Condition, and
the Good-nature and Complaisance she had always
behaved with in their Family, at last
wrought so far upon them, that they promised
to speak to a Midwife of their Acquaintance,
with whom, they told her, she might live till
delivered of her Burthen, and if she thought
fit for a Sum of Money leave it behind her, to
be disposed of so as never to be troublesome to
her.
The first Part of this Offer was too agreeable
to Jemima not to be accepted with Thanks;
but the latter shocked her Soul, to think there
could be Women in the World capable of such
a Barbarity to their Children, as to leave them
to the Mercy of those mercenary Creatures.
She expressed, notwithstanding, no Part of
her Sentiments on that Head to them, perceiving
they were fixed in this Opinion, and any thing
she could urge in Vindication of herself, would ‘appear Ff4r 223225
appear no more than the Affectation of a Virtue
she was far from putting into real Practice.
A Bargain, though at a very extravagant
Rate, being made, Jemima removed with an
akeing Heart to her new Habitation; where,
however, the fawning Behaviour of the Woman
(which she mistook for true Good-nature
and Compassion) rendered her in a little Time
more easy.
As she had now more Reason than ever to
be impatient for a Letter from Lothario, which
till she received she could not write to him,
and the People whom she had lodged with
had assured her, that the Moment one directed
for her should arrive they would send it to her,
she was also well satisfied on that Score.
At least she was so till a much longer
Time than she expected was passed over without
any Letter being brought; and the Hour
of her Delivery being come, she found herself
the Mother of two Sons: Then it was she began
to think it cruel in him who alone had the
Power of comforting her, to shew so little Regard
to what might be her Fate.
Let any one figure to themselves the Melancholly
of her Condition;—no Husband, no
Relation, no one Friend about her to alleviate
that Rack of Nature, in which all the Tenderness
that can be shewn, and every Kind of ‘Con- Ff4v 224226
Consolation that can be given, is necessary to
render it supportable:—Yet how light, how
trifling, were the Sorrows she now endured to
those which soon, very soon after, she was
obliged to bear!
She had not been confin’d many Days to the
maternal Bed before her Maid, whom she had
hired after leaving her Aunt’s House, and had
been recommended to her by the People with
whom she lodged, went privately away in the
Night taking with her all of Value that the
poor Jemima was Mistress of, not only her
Money, but her Watch, Tweezer, a Diamond
Solitair, and several other Trinkets, which Lothario
in his Days of Fondness had bestowed
on her, leaving her nothing for defraying the
Expences of the Place she was in, and supporting
herself and Children, but a few Cloaths.
It must be owned that this was a great Loss,
but Jemima felt not half the Weight of it at
first:—She considered herself as married to a
Man who could, and she doubted not, would
repair it amply; therefore made herself not
much uneasy about it.
But when the Time, in which Women in
her Condition usually keep their Chamber,
was expired, and she had received no Letter
from Lothario, then it was that she began to
feel how truly miserable she was:—No Nurse ‘pro- Gg1r 225227
provided for her Children;――no Money to
defray the Charges of her Lying-in:――The
late cringing Behaviour of the Midwife now
turned to Sourness, and Threats of putting her
out of the House:――In this terrible Situation
she ventured to write to Lothario, and with
much Persuasions prevailed with the Woman
to permit her to stay till such Time as she
might reasonably expect an Answer.
No Answer, however, coming, the cruel old
Wretch compelled her to sell her Cloaths, in
order for the Payment of her Money; then
turned her out of Doors with both her Children,
for nobody would take the Charge of
them, without Security that they should not
become burthensome to the Parish.
Behold her now a wretched Wanderer!
no Friend to relieve her!—No Habitation in
which she might shelter herself and Infants
from the Inclemency of the Air!――To have
recourse to her Aunt, seemed little promising;
yet did she venture to write to her, letting her
know she was married, though not to whom,
and beseeching she would afford her some Relief,
or at least not to suffer her two Babies to
perish for want of proper Care being taken of
them.
She had got leave to sit in a Shop while
she wrote and sent this Letter by a Boy that
run on Errands for the Neighbourhood; but Vol. IV. Gg that Gg1v 226228
that inhuman Woman was so far from taking
any Compassion on her Case, that she ordered
one of her Maids to go to the Place where the
Boy had said she was, and tell her that she
would have nothing to do with her;――that
if one Shilling would save her and her Brats
from starving, she would sooner throw it in the
Kennel than bestow it on her; and that if she
durst to come into the Neighbourhood where
she lived, she would send her to the House of
Correction.
The poor Girl was obliged to obey her
Lady in delivering this cruel Message, but
softened it as much as her Capacity, or indeed
the Meaning of it would bear.
Tho’ Jemima, who knew perfectly well
the Severity of her Aunt’s Temper, and had
armed herself against the worst she had to expect,
yet she could not hear this unnatural Reply
to her Request without swooning away: The
People of the Shop had the Compassion to give
her a Glass of Water with some Drops, but as
soon as she recovered, desired she would go, as
they knew not what might happen, and she
had two Children with her.
Dalinda’s Maid could not forbear shedding
Tears, to see a Person, on whom she had
waited, reduced to this miserable Condition, and
put three Shillings into her Hand, which she
said was all she at the Time was Mistress of.
Poor Gg2r 227229 Poor Jemima thanked her with a Humility
befitting her present State, but told her, that
whatever the Opinion of the World might be
of her, she did not doubt but in a short Time
to be able to repay the Shillings she had lent
with more than an equal Number of Guineas.
She then went to several Houses which had
Bills for Lodgings on their Doors, hoping to
get some Shelter till she could write again to
Lothario; but the little Family she had in her
Arms prevented every one from taking her in,
and it growing towards dark, she was obliged
to go to an Inn, where even there she could
not be admitted, till she had consented to be
locked all Night into her Chamber; so fearful
were they of her going away before they were
stirring, and leaving the Children on their
Hands.
How dreadful was this Night to our unhappy
Sufferer!—With what Floods of Tears
did the fair Forlorn hang over the dear Babes,
and mourn their Wants more than her own:
—While they, insensible of their Misfortunes,
fed from their Mother’s Breast, smiled in her
Face, and seemed to chide her Griefs.
Yet was she not so lost and overwhelmed
as to be incapable of Reflection; she remembered
there was a just, a merciful, and an Almighty
Power, who saw her Miseries, and
knew she had not by any Act of Shame brought Gg2 them Gg2v 228230
them upon herself, she therefore doubted not
but to find Relief from them, though by what
Means she could not foresee.
How great was the Consolation which Religion
now afforded her! Without that Aid
she had inevitably fallen into Despair, and perhaps
been guilty of some Deed shocking to
Nature; but her Piety gave her Courage
prodigious, amazing, and not to be paralelled
by any of our Sex!
She had also the Power of considering what
was most proper to be done: Money she had
none, but that poor Pittance she received from
the Charity of Dalinda’s Servant.――Friends
she had none;――she had been kept so much
confined by her Aunt, that she had Acquaintance
but with few;—an Intimacy with none;
a Lodging she found it was impossible to procure;
What Remedy then remained?――Fate
offered but one, and that was to declare the
whole Secret of her Marriage with Lothario:
—Had she done that, she thought it possible to
find some Person who would supply her Necessities,
at least till he could be wrote to, and
the Truth explained; but even this she could
not be assured of, and if she had, could by no
Means think of forfeiting the Promise she had
made Lothario, of keeping his Name and Engagement
with her from the Knowledge of all
the World, till after the Decease of that Mother‘ther Gg3r 229231
whose Peace he pretended was so dear to
him.
As she could not be positive that he was
either false or unkind, since many Accidents at
such a Distance might have prevented her
receiving any Letter from him, she resolved to
suffer any thing rather than violate her Faith.
‘I can but die with my Little-Ones for Want,’ said
she to herself, ‘and Life would be a Misfortune
to us without the Affection and Support of him
from whom alone we can expect it.’
After many troublesome and confused
Thoughts, she found the only Remedy for
starving was to beg; and since that must be
the Case, it seemed better to her to get, by
such Means as she could, into the Country
where Lothario dwelt, than to stay in London
without a settled Habitation:—She thought,
if she had but Strength to walk, the Sight of
her Distress, and her two Children, would excite
the Charity of some Persons to give her
something toward helping her on her Way,
and that when she arrived near her Husband’s
Seat she should be able to find out whether he
was yet returned from the Excursion he had
told her of, and if he was, to send him an Account
where she was, and the Accidents which
had brought her thither.
Some may, perhaps, think this a strange Resolution,Re- Gg3v 230232
and find it difficult to believe it ever
could be put in Practice:—Yet what else remained
for her to do?—She had no other
Resource than that one, which, as I have already
observed, she was absolutely determined
against.
Early the next Morning, therefore, did
she quit the Inn with her dear Load, and set
out on her weary Pilgrimage:—What Adventures
befel her in it shall hereafter be related,
but we must now see what was become of Lothario.
That gay, unthinking Rover now gave himself
as little Concern about Jemima as about
any of the former Victims of his too dangerous
Allurements:――A serious Attachment
had ever been the Subject of his Ridicule,
and his Creed in the Affairs of Love,
these Lines of Dryden’s: ‘There’s no such Thing as Constancy we call,Faith ties not Hearts, ’tis Inclination all;Some Wit deform’d, or Beauty much decay’d,First Constancy in Love a Virtue made:From Friendship they that Landmark did remove,And
falsly plac’d it on the Bounds of Love.’
A fine young Lady with a very large Fortune
however being proposed to him for Marriage,
he either was, or imagined himself, very ‘much Gg4r 231233
much in Love with her:――He was at least
enough so as that her Charms erased all the
Impression made by those of the unfortunate
Jemima; and though the first Letters of that
poor Creature had reached his Hands, he happened
to receive them at Times when he was
in a Hurry going on some Party of Pleasure or
other with this new Idol of his Affections.
I must do him the Justice, notwithstanding,
to say, that those last, which contained the History
of her Distress, had not the good Fortune
to meet him for some Time, the Reason of
which was this:—He was at a very great
Horse-Race with his Charmer, her Uncle, and
several other of her Relations; and not being
altogether free from Vanity, as they rode round
the Circle, he must needs, to shew his Skill in
Horsemanship, oblige the Beast to prance and
curvet more than at that Time he cared,
he grew restive, and giving a sudden Spring
with all his Force, whether it were the Girts
of the Saddle had not been taken due Care of,
or whether the Strength of the Horse exceeded
the Art of the ostentatious Rider, is
uncertain; but he was thrown off, and dragged
with one Foot in the Stirrup for several Yards,
before any one could be quick enough to come
to his Relief.
By this Accident one of his Legs was broke,
and his Body extremely bruised:――As the
Seat of his Mistress’s Uncle was much nearer
than his own, he was carried there, and the most Gg4v 232234
most skilful Surgeon in those Parts immediately
sent for.
Here he continued from the Time Jemima
was turned out of her Lodging till she had
lain in, and was also cruelly forced from the
House of the Midwife:—What Letters she
sent came safe to his House, but the Tenderness
of his Mother would suffer none to be sent to
him, as thinking, if they were of no Consequence,
it would be but impertinent to trouble
him with them till he was more established; and
if they were such as might be any way affecting
to him, the Knowledge of their Contents
might add to his Disorder.
This good Lady, however, had not the
Curiosity to open any one that came, as there
were several besides those from Jemima; for
in fine, she was in every thing, except her maternal
Tenderness, the very reverse of what her
Son, to carry on his base Designs, had represented
her.
Heaven, long a Witness of the Wrongs
Lothario had been guilty of to our credulous
Sex, now thought fit to take the Part of Innocence
betrayed and distressed:—His Leg was
perfectly recovered, but those inward Bruises he
received brought on him a Decay, which was
very visible to himself as well as others; he
had a continual Soreness at his Stomach, and
an Oppression at his Heart;—in short, he ‘was Hh1r 233235
was judged to be falling into a Consumption,
and the Change he felt in his Frame of Body
made an adequate Change in his way of thinking.
—He reflected on a thousand Things he
had been guilty of, which in the Time of acting
he looked on only as the Amusements of
Youth, now as the Vices of it; and all those
wild Frolicks, which once he imagined constituted
the Character of a fine accomplished
Gentleman, seemed now to him to form that
of an abandoned Libertine.
As soon as he was able to endure his Coach,
he was carried Home, where he met with all
the Letters of Jemima, which, though being
obliged to write in a mysterious Manner, did
not sufficiently describe her Distress, nor indeed
was then the worst Part of it arrived, expressed
yet enough to strike him with Horror at the
base Deception he had put on her at first, and
his cruel Forgetfulness and Neglect of her afterwards.
He wrote immediately one general Answer
to all those from her, letting her know the Accident
that had befallen him, conjuring her to be
easy and satisfied till she saw him, which he told
her, should be as soon as Health would permit;
but in the mean Time, enclosed a Bank
Bill of an hundred Pounds in order to satisfy
the foolish Scruples of the People she was
with.
Vol. IV. Hh This Hh1v 234236 This was directed to the Midwife’s House,
for in her last she had acquainted him with being
compelled to take that Asylum, and arrived
two Days after that in which Jemima was
turned out of Doors; the Woman had the
Impudence to open it out of Curiosity, believing
she should never be called in Question for
it, or see Jemima more; but when she found
the Tenderness it abounded with, and the Air
of Respect it carried, she repented her of her
Temerity, and sealed it up again, with the
Bill in it, in the best Manner she could.
Lothario in the mean Time became
extremely ill, his inward Languishments every
Hour increased;――he loathed his Food,—
was unable to take any Repose, yet had not
Power to quit his Bed:—The Physicians found
him in a very deep Consumption, and could
not flatter his afflicted Mother with any Hopes
of Life:—He easily judged by the Countenances
of all about him, as well by what he
felt within him, that he should be but a very
little Time a Sharer in this World:—The
receiving no Answer from Jemima to his last
Letter, greatly added to his Disease;—he concluded
she was dead,—‘perhaps,’ said he to himself, ‘through Grief of my Unkindness, and
the barbarous Treatment of those mercenary
Wretches she was thrown among.’
At other Times, ‘Heavens!’ would he say,
‘what a Monster of Villany must I appear to the ‘World, Hh2r 235237
World whenever this black Mystery is unravelled!
――Was it not enough, that I by Lies,
and all the Stratagems that wicked Wit could
form, betrayed her Innocence, and triumphed
over a Virtue impregnable to common Arts; but
I must also murder the unfortunate Victim of
my wild Desires!――’Tis possible too,’
added he,
‘the little Wretches who owe their Being to me!’
Horrors unspeakable attended these Reflections:
—He fell into a kind of Despair; but
in his calmer Moments wished only that she
might be living, and that Heaven would allow
him Life enough to make a Reparation for
the Injuries he had done her, and the Miseries
she had sustained.
Frequently revolving in his Mind what
it was he ought to do, he grew at last resolute
to do it:――Accordingly he related to his
Mother the whole Affair, shewing her Jemima’s
Letters, and explaining every Passage:
The old Lady was extremely amazed, but far
from condemning the present Sentiments of his
Heart.—But the bare acknowledging his Error
did not now seem sufficient for the penitent Lothario:
—He dispatched a Messenger to London,
the very same Man who had performed the
Office of Father in giving him her Hand; he
had Orders to search for her in all Parts, and
not return till he had found her; and that in
case he were so fortunate, to bring her down in
a Coach and Six, with her two little ones, and Hh2 ‘proper Hh2v 236238
proper Attendants for a Woman whom he declared
his lawful Wife.
Wonderful Resolution!――But what
cannot Sickness bring about!—When the gay
Scenes of Life are all closed up;――when all
the Companions of our former Pleasures fly
our Converse, and we no longer are Society
for any but the old and grave;—when melancholly
Faces only approach the darkened
Room;――when our Strength decays, all our
Spirits languid, and Death knocks at the Heart;
then it is that the Idea of our past Errors rise
in dreadul Prospect before the Eyes of our
Imagination, and menace future Woes.
His Mind, however, was somewhat more
composed after the Departure of the Messenger,
but his Body had little or no Relief from Medicine:
――His Mother was inconsolable, but
did every thing in her Power to comfort him;
and as she found the Care of Jemima and his
two Sons chiefly engrossed his Thoughts, gave
him continual Assurances, that if she was so
miserable as to survive him, those Persons so
near and dear to him should share all her Tenderness.
The Fellow entrusted on this Errand by
Lothario, went about it with a great deal of
Alacrity, not only as he saw his Master’s Peace,
perhaps his Life, depended on the Success of ‘it, Hh3r 237239
it, but also as he had always thought what he
had acted in regard to Jemima was treacherous
and base.
Having a good Horse, and a willing Mind
he reached London sooner than could have
been expected.—The first Place he went to
was the Midwife, whom he rated bitterly for
her Cruel Usage of a young Lady, who, he
said, might easily be discovered, not to be one
of those who prostitute themselves for Hire.—
She made what aukward Excuses she could;
said, ‘It was Madam’s own Fault; if she had
told her the Truth, Care should have been taken
of her and her Children too.’
Then, to prove
her Honesty, delivered into his Hands the Letter,
with the Bill before-mentioned in it.
Thence he went to Dalinda, but with what
a Torrent of Abuse and Scurrility, did he hear
the Reputation of the poor Jemima overwhelmed
by this barbarous Woman! And when
he endeavoured to put a Stop to it, by assuring
her, that she was his Master’s Wife, that
he had declared her such to his Mother, and all
his Friends, and that he himself had been witness
of the Marriage; she either did not, or pretended
not to believe one Syllable of what he
said, but persisted in calling her Vagabond, infamous
Strumpet, and all the opprobrious
Names that Malice could invent;――concluding
with wishing she and her Brats might be ‘dead, Hh3v 238240
dead, that with them the Scandal she had
brought upon their Family might cease.
The Man was shocked at her Brutality;
but perceiving, that the more he espoused the
Cause of this unhappy Creature, the more bitter
she grew, and also that there was no Intelligence
to be gained from this Quarter, took
his Leave, though not without telling her, he
was certain that his Master, if he lived, would
resent the Treatment she so unjustly gave his
Wife.
Where now to direct his Search he was
wholly at a Loss:――Being fully informed by
the Midwife of the miserable Condition in
which she left her House, he had recourse to
all the Parish-Nurses, Hospitals, Work-houses,
leaving no Place of Public Charity, without
making the most strict Enquiry; but not the
least Information could he receive, and after
having rambled over this wide City and Suburbs
for several Days without any Success,
he began to fear, lest in that Depth of Misery
she had been plunged into, she should have
fallen into Despair, and put an End to her own
Life, and those which she had no longer any
Means of preserving.
With a Mind, which these Thoughts rendered
very much troubled, did he set out for
his Return, almost dreading to see his Master’s
Face, since unable to carry home to him any ‘Part Hh4r 239241
Part of what he so ardently wished, that it
seemed as if his Life depended on it.
Jemima’s Sufferings were however not
yet arrived to their Period; Heaven thought
fit to try her yet a little farther, thereby to
make her Virtue more conspicuous:—While
the Servant of Lothario was in quest of her,
with Honour, Peace, and Plenty in his Hand,
she was running through Dangers, Hardships,
and Sorrows, which nothing but the Supreme
Giver of Courage, and her perfect Confidence
in him, could have enabled her to sustain.
Slow was the Progress she made in her long
Journey, not being able to travel more than
five or six Miles in a whole Day, though it
was then Summer, and the Sun ruled three
Parts of the four and twenty Hours.
It would be endless to recount the many
Rebuffs she met with when craving any Assistance
to help her on her Way, and the Difficulty
she found in getting Lodging for herself
and Little-Ones, even though she offered to
pay them for it before-hand:—The Wretches
scrupled to give her Shelter because she had not
a Pass, and some were cruel enough to tell her,
they were sure she had been whipt out of London;
for were she an honest Womean, the Magistrates
would not have refused to give her
that Testimony of her good Behaviour.
‘Some Hh4v 240242 Some few indeed were more merciful,
and whatever their Opinion might be of
the Cause of her Distress, the Distress they saw
in her excited their Charity, and for their own
Sakes made them relieve her Wants.
Alternately she happened among
Savages and Christians, but even the latter, too
much influenced by Appearances, were very
sparing of their Bounty; and it would have
been utterly impossible for her, weakened as she
was by hard Living, and the immense Fatigue
she underwent, had not that Almighty Being,
who when we think him farthest from us is
often nearest to us with his Aid, snatched her
now almost sinking Soul from the Miseries in
which it had so long been plunged, and graciously
rewarded the Virtue it had tried.
She had not reached quite the Mid-way to
where she wished to be, before she became so
weak that she rather crept than walked, and
sometimes was near falling:――Unable to support
the Weight of the two Children at once,
she would lay one down, and carry the other
a little farther,—then place that in the same
Manner, and go back and fetch him she had
left behind; by this Means, though she eased
her Burthen, she increased her Steps.
Either a Pebble, or some Piece of broken
Glass in the Road, had cut one of her Feet;
and she sat down under a Hedge, and plucked ‘off Ii1r 241243
off her Shoe and Stocking, where perceiving
the Blood run pretty plentifully, she washed it
with her Tears, and wiped it with a Handkerchief
she took out of a little Bag tied
to her Side, and contained all the poor Necessaries
she had for herself and Infants.
Little did she think any Eye but that of
Heaven saw her in this Employment, till having
dressed her Wound, as well as she could,
and given Suck to both the Children, she was
preparing to prosecute her Journey in the same
Fashion, but was hindered by a Footman, who
came running hastily cross the Field toward
her.
As soon as he came near enough to be
heard by her, ‘Stay, good Woman,’ said he, ‘you
seem to be in an ill Condition to travel;—my
Master and Lady, who have observed you, have
therefore ordered you should come to their House
and take some Refreshment.’
She lifted up her Hands and Eyes to Heaven
in Token of Acknowledgment, and saw,
which before she had not done, the Back Part
of a fine Seat, which had a Summer House on
the Garden Wall, and directly opposite to the
Place where she had been sitting.
The Man took both the Children out of
her Arms, and carried them for her, and she
followed, though with a very limping Pace, Vol. IV. Ii ‘through Ii1v 242244
through a little Gate on the farther Side of the
Field, which opened into the Back Part of the
House.
Jemima was then conducted into a Parlour,
where sat a Gentleman and Lady both of
Middle Age, but who had all the Virtues of
Humanity imprinted on their Faces.――The
Lady asked her several Questions, as whence
she came, how far she intended to travel; and
the Reason of her being reduced to such a miserable
Situation; to the two former our Heroine
answered with Plainness and Sincerity,
but as to the latter only said many odd Circumstances
had concurred to render her so.—
The Gentleman then said, ‘I suppose you have lost
your Husband, perhaps before the Birth of these
Children.’
‘No, Sir,’ replied she, ‘I hope he is
still living, and that the same gracious Power
which has brought me so far on my Way, will
in the End conduct me to him.’
As they perceived she spoke with some
Agitation, and the Marks of Grief were bursting
in her Eyes, they would not trouble her
with any farther Interrogatories, but ordered the
Footman to let the Housekeeper know, it was
their Pleasure this unfortunate Stranger should
have every thing needful for her Refreshment.
Nothing could be performed with greater
Punctuality than these Commands; our fair
Wanderer found herself treated with no less ‘Ten- Ii2r 243245
Tenderness than she could have been had she
been known for what she was.
But the Hospitality of those worthy Persons
did not stop here. They would not suffer
her to think of prosecuting her Journey in
the Manner she had done:――They informed
her, that a Waggon always passed by that
Road, which went to the Place to which she
was going, and she should be put into it with
her Children, and Money given to defray the
other Expences.
This was joyful News indeed to Jemima,
not only as it would be such an Ease to her
Fatigue, but also that she should arrive there
much sooner than she could propose to do by
the Way she had hitherto travelled; and now
all her Prayers to Heaven were that she might
find Lothario at her Arrival.—‘Should he happen
to have left his Seat and gone to London, while
I have been pursuing him with these weary
Steps,’
said she to herself, ‘it would be the extremest
Malice of my Fate, and all I have so
long suffered be but the Beginning of my Sorrows.’
But these desponding Thoughts only just
flashed upon her and were gone:—She
would give way to nothing which should render
her unworthy the Care of Providence by
distrusting it, and resolute to be always thankful
for the Good, and to endure with Patience Ii2 ‘all Ii2v 244246
all the Ills it should inflict, brought her Mind
into that happy Composure, which meaner Souls
are incapable of knowing.
The third Day after her Arrival at this Assylum
was that in which the Waggon usually
came by; but little did she think she was much
nearer to the Accomplishment of her Wishes
than her most sanguine Hopes could have flattered
her with.
How wonderful, how mysterious are the
Ways of Heaven! By what unseen, unguessed
at Means are frequently the greatest Events
brought about!
She rose early in the Morning, to give as
little Trouble to the Servants as she could, and
came down Stairs. As they were preparing
her Breakfast, and she was sitting with one Infant
in her Lap, and the other lying on a little
Stool near her, a Footman came hastily in, and
called to the Butler, saying, ‘John, here’s your
Brother at the Gate.’
The Fellow ran hastily,
and presently returned with a Person with him,
whose Face Jemima thought she was acquainted
with. But on viewing him more attentively,
and hearing him speak, recollected it was no
other man than him who had assisted at her Marriage,
and been passed upon her as a Country
Gentleman.
A Thousand various Thoughts at once ‘assailed Ii3r 245247
assailed her:—To see before her Eyes a Person,
who so well knew the Truth of her Engagements
with Lothario, and at the same time
to see him in a Character so widely different
from what she could have expected, raised in
her such confused Emotions as her Spirits
were unable to sustain, and she fainted away.
The Servants running to her Assistance,
made the Stranger turn his Eyes that Way;
but, good God! what was his Astonishment,
his Joy, when in the Face of this fair Afflicted,
he plainly discovered the Features of her
he had with so much Pains been searching.—
All the Time they were bringing her to herself,
and some Moments after her Recovery,
he was able to utter nothing but Acclamations
of Transport, and she herself was the first to
gain Presence of Mind to enquire about Lothario.
—He then gave her a brief Detail of
the Anxiety Lothario was in to see her, and
the Impatience the good old Lady expressed
to embrace her, and her two Grandchildren;—
of the fruitless Enquiries he had made for her
all over London, and how he was returning
with a Heart oppressed with Grief, when he
was so fortunate to call that Way to see his
Brother.
Tho’ Jemima did not comprehend the
whole of the Affair, yet she gathered enough
by what he said, to know that Heaven had ‘been Ii3v 246248
been working very great Things in her Favour.
The Eclaircisement, however, of her Quality
and Condition was plain enough to all
who heard it; but one of the Maids who
had taken a particular Fancy to her, was so
transported at it, that she could not forbear
running in to her Lady, and acquainting her
with what had passed. The Lady herself
was astonished at so extraordinary an Event,
and impatient to be confirmed, sent for Jemima,
and the Servant of Lothario, whose
Master they were perfectly acquainted with.
After having gratified her Curiosity to the
utmost, and hearing the dangerous Situation
of Lothario’s Health, thought no Time was
to be lost, and therefore told Jemima she
should have her Coach and Six immediately
got ready, which, as the Roads were good,
would carry her home that Night.
It would be needless to recite the Congratulations
of the one Part, and the Acknowledgments
of the other.—’Tis easy to suppose
they were befitting the Persons and Occasion.
—I shall only say, that the Lady would
needs compel Jemima, to exchange the Habit
she had on for a rich Robe de Chambre of her
own, and all other Things she had Occasion
for. She also made the Children be wrapt in ‘fine Ii4r 247249
fine Mantles, and as