Page images
PDF
EPUB

how the sober awkward thing looked when she was forced out of her intrenchments. In short, sir, it is impossible to give you a true notion of our sport, unless you would come one night amongst us; and though it be directly against the rules of our society to admit a male visitant, we repose so much confidence in your silence and taciturnity, that it was agreed by the whole club, at our last meeting, to give you entrance for one night, as a spectator. ólam, your humble servant,

KITTY TERMAGANT.

P. S. We shall demolish a prude next Thursday.'

Though I thank Kitty for her kind offer, I do not at present find in myself any inclination to venture my person with her and her romping companions. I should regard myself as a second Clodius, intruding on the mysterious rites of the Bona Dea, and should apprehend being demolished as much as the prude.

The following letter comes from a gentleman, whose taste I find is much too delicate to endure the least advance towards romping. I may perhaps hereafter improve upon the hint he has given me, and make it the subject of a whole Spectator; in the mean time, take it as it follows, in his own words:

MR. SPECTATOR,

It is my misfortune to be in love with a young creature who is daily committing faults, which, though they give me the utmost uneasiness, i

know not how to reprove her for, or even acquaint her with. She is pretty, and dresses well, is rich, and good-humoured; but either wholly neglects, or has no notion of that, which polite people have agreed to distinguish by the name of delicacy. After our return from a walk the other day, she threw herself into an elbow-chair, and professed, before a large company, that she was all over in a sweat. She told me this afternoon that her stomach ached: and was complaining yesterday at dinner of something that stuck in her teeth. I treated her with a basket of fruit last summer, which she ate so very greedily as almost made me resolve never to see her more. In short, sir, I begin to tremble whenever I see her about to speak or move. As she does not want sense, if she takes these hints, I am happy; if not, I am more than afraid, that these things, which shock me even in the behaviour of a mistress, will appear insupportable in that of a wife.

• I am, sir, yours, &c.'

My next letter comes from a correspondent whom I can not but very much value, upon the account which she gives of herself.

MR. SPECTATOR,

I am happily arrived at a state of tranquillity, which few people envy, I mean that of an old maid; therefore being wholly unconcerned in all that medley of follies which our sex is apt to contract from their silly fondness of yours, I read your railleries on us without provocation. I can say with Hamlet,

" Man delights not me,
Nor woman neither."

. Therefore, dear sir, as you never spare your own sex, do not be afraid of reproving what is ridiculous in ours, and you will oblige, at least one woman, who is

• Your humble servant,

.6 SUSANNA FROST.'

"MR. SPECTATOR,

I am wife to a clergyman, and can not help thinking that in your tenth or tythe character of womankind (see No. 209) you meant myself: therefore I have no quarrel against you for the other nine characters. •Your humble servant,

"A B.'

BUDGELL.

[ocr errors]

No. 218. FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9.

Quid de quoque viro, et cui dicas, sæpe caveto. HoR.

Have a care
whom you talk, to whom, and what, and where.

POOLEY.

[ocr errors]

I HAPPENED the

sible men were talking said he had that morning ticket; another wished he had?, ed his head, and said it was

PPENED the other day, as my way is, to to a little coffee-house beyond Aldgate;

it there, two or three very plain senwere talking of the Spectator. One that morning drawn the great benefit

er wished he had; but a third shak's and said it was a pity that the writer

of that paper was such a sort of man, that it was no great matter whether he had or no. “He is, it seems,' said the good man, 'the most extravagant creature in the world; has run through vast sums, and yet been in continual want; a man, for all he talks so well of economy, unfit for any of the offices of life, by reason of his profuseness. It would be an unhappy thing to be his wife, his child, or his friend; and yet he talks as well of those duties of life as any one.' Much reflection has brought me to so easy a contempt for every thing which is false, that this heavy accusation gave me no manner of uneasiness, but at the same time it threw me into deep thought upon the subject of fame in general; and I could not but pity such as were so weak as to value what the common people say out of their own talkative temper, to the advantage or diminution of those whom they mention, without being moved either by malice or good-will. It would be too long to expatiate upon the sense all mankind have of fame, and the inexpressible pleasure which there is in the approbation of worthy men to all who are capable of worthy actions; but methinks one may divide the general word fame into three different species, as it regards the different orders of mankind, who have any thing to do with it. Fame, therefore, may be divided into glory, which respects the hero; reputation, which is preserved by every gentleman; and credit, which must be supported by every tradesman. These possessions in famé are dearer than life to these characters of men, or rather are the life of those characters. Glory, while the hero pursues great and noble enterprises, is impregrable; and all

VOL. V.--2

the assailants of his renown do but show their pain and impatience of its brightness, without throwing the least shade upon it. If the foundation of a high name be virtue and service, all that is offered against it is but rumour, which is too short-lived to stand up in competition with glory, which is everlasting.

Reputation, which is the portion of every man who would live with the elegant and knowing part of mankind, is as stable as glory, if it be as well founded: and the common cause of human society is thought concerned when we hear a man of good behaviour calumniated: besides which, according to a prevailing custom amongst us, every man has his defence in his own arm; and reproach is soon checked, put out of countenance, and overtaken by disgrace.

The most unhappy of all men, and the most exposed to the malignity, or wantonness of the common voice, is the trader. Credit is undone in whispers. The tradesman's wound is received from one who is more private and more cruel than the ruffian with the lantern and dagger. The manner of repeating a man's name,-As, · Mr. Cash, oh! do you leave your money at his shop? Why, do you know Mr. Searoom? He is indeed a general merchant.' I say, I have seen, from the iteration of a man's name, hiding one thought of him, and explaining what you hide, by saying something to his advantage when you speak, a merchant hurt in his credit; and him who, every day he lived, literally added to the value of his native country, undone by one who was only a burden and a blemish to it. Since every body who knows the world is sensible of this great

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »