Page images
PDF
EPUB

"Your letter to us we have received, as a signal mark of your farmer and brotherly affection. We shall be heartily glad to see For short face in Oxford: and since the wisdom of our legislatu: bas been immortalized in your speculations, and our personal deformities in some sort by you recorded to all posterity; we Lk ourselves in gratitude bound to receive, with the highest re. 94, all such persons as for their extraordinary merit you shall Link fit from time to time, to recommend unto the board. As for the Pictish damsel, we have an easy chair prepared at the upper end of the table; which we doubt not but she will grace Eib & rery hideous aspect, and much better become the seat in the Latire and unaffected uncomeliness of her person, than with El the superficial airs of the pencil (which as you have very inmously observed), vanish with a breath ; and the most innocent adorer may deface the shrine with a salutation, and in the literal ense of our poets, snatch and imprint his balmy kisses, and devoor her meiting lips. In short, the only faces of the Pictish And that will endure the weather must be of Dr. Carbuncle's ce; though his, in truth, has cost him a world the painting; but ben be boasts with Zeuxis, in aternitatem pingo; and oft jocosely ielts the fair ones, would they acquire colours that would stand bossing. they must no longer paint, but drink for a complexion; & maxim that in this our age has been pursued with no ill suces; and has been as admirable in its effects, as the famous cos. mete mentioned in the “ Postman," and invented by the renowned Portish Hippocrates of the pestle and mortar; making the party, after a due course, rosy, hale, and airy; and the best and most proved receipt now extant, for the fever of the spirits. But to retim to our female candidate, who, I understand, is returned to **rself, and will no longer hang out false colours; as she is the first of her sex that has done us so great an honour, she will cerly, in a very short time, both in prose and verse, be a lady of the most celebrated deformity now living, and meet with many aimirers here as frightful as herself. But being a long-headed reatiewoman, I am apt to imagine she has some further design an you have yet penetrated; and perhaps has more mind to the SPECTATOR than any of his fraternity, as the person of all the add she could like for a paramour. And if so, really I can1x but applaud her choice; and should be glad, if it might lie in ay power to effect an amicable accommodation betwixt two faces of sich different extremes, as the only possible expedient to mend the breed, and rectify the physiognomy of the family on both des. An again, as she is a lady of a very flue elocution, you need not fear that your child will be born dumb, which otherwise Fou might have some reason to be apprehensive of. To be plain

[graphic]

with you, I can see nothing shocking in it; for though she not a face like a John-Apple, yet as a late friend of mine, wh sixty-five ventured on a lass of fifteen, very frequently, in the maining five years of his life, gave me to understand, that as as he then seemed, when they were first married, he and spouse could make but fourscore; so may Madam Hecatissa justly allege hereafter, that as long-visaged as she may the thought, upon their wedding-day Mr. SPECTATOR and she had half an ell of face betwixt them; and this my worthy predeces Mr. Serjeant Chin, always maintained to be no more than true oval proportion between man and wife. But as this may a new thing to you, who have hitherto had no expectations i women, I shall allow you what time you think fit to consider or not without some hope of seeing at last your thoughts hereu subjoined to mine, and which is an honour much desired by,

“Sir,
“Your assured friend, and most humble servant,

"Hugh GOBLIN, Præses

The following letter bas not much in it ; but, as it is written my own praise, I cannot for my heart suppress it :

“SIR, "You proposed in your SPECTATOR of last Tuesday,* Hobbes's hypothesis for solving that very odd phenomenon laughter. You have made the hypothesis valuable by espous it yourself; for had it continued Mr. Hobbes's, nobody wo have minded it. Now here this perplexed case arises. A cert company laughed very heartily upon the reading of that v paper

of
yours;

and the truth on it is, he must be a man of m than ordinary constancy that could stand out against so m comedy, and not do as we did. Now there are few men in world so far lost to all good sense, as to look upon you to be a in a state of folly •inferior to himself.' Pray then how do justify your hypothesis of laughter?

“Your most humble,

“Q. R “Thursday, the 26th of the month of fools."

66

Sir, “ In answer to your letter, I must desire you to recollect yo self; and you will find, that when you did me the honour to be merry over my paper, you laughed at the idiot, the Germ

• See No. 47.

tia was listened to with partiality, and approbation sat in the countedances of those she conversed with, before she communi. cated what she had to say. These causes have produced suitable effects, and Lætitia is aš insipid a companion as Daphne is an agreeable one. Lætitia, confident of favour, has studied no arts to please; Daphne, despairing of any inclination towards her person, bas depended only on her merit. Lætitia has always some. thing in her air that is sullen, grave, and disconsolate. Daphne has a countenance that appears cheerful, open, and unconcerned. a young gentleman saw Lætitia this winter at a play, and became ber captive. His fortune was such, that he wanted very little introduction to speak his sentiments to her father. The lover was admitted with the utmost freedom into the family, where a constrained behaviour, severe looks, and distant civilities, were the highest favours be could obtain of Lætiiia; while Daphne used him with the good humour, familiarity, and innocence of a sister; insomuch that he would often say to her, “ Dear Daphne, wert thou but as handsome as Lætitia...” She received such language with that ingenuous and pleasing mirth, which is natural to a woman without design. He still sighed in vain for Lætitia, but found certain relief in the agreeable conversation of Daphne. At length, heartily tired with the haughty impertinence of Lætitia, and charmed with the repeated instances of good humour he had observed in Daphne, he one day told the latter that he had some thing to say to her he hoped she would be pleased with..." Faith, Daphne,” continued he, * I am in love with thee, and despise thy sister sincerely." The manner of his declaring himself gave his mistress occasion for a very hearty laughter. ... “Nay," says he, “ I knew you would laugh at me, but I will ask your father." He did so; the father received his intelligence with no less joy than surprise, and was very glad he had now no care left but for his beanty, which he thought he could carry to market at his leisure. I do not know anything that has pleased me so much a great while, as this conquest of my friend Daphne's. All her acquaintance congratulated her upon her chance-medley, and laugh at that premeditating murderer her sister. As it is an argument of a light mind to think the worse of ourselves for the imperfections of our person, it is equally below us to value ourselves upon the advantages of them. The female world seem to be almost incorrigibly gone astray in this particular; for which reason I shall recommend the following extract out of a friend's letter* to the professed beauties, who are a people almost as unsufferable as the professed wits.

Hughes. See another letter of his on the same subject. No. 53. See also No. 66.

“MONSIEUR ST. EVREMOND has concluded one of his essays with affirming, that the last sighs of a handsome woman are not so much for the loss of her life as of her beauty. Perhaps this raillery is pursued too far, yet it is turned upon a very obvious remark, that woman's strongest passion is for her own beauty, and that she values it as her favourite distinction. From hence it is that all arts, which pretend to improve it or preserve it, meet with so general a reception among the sex. To say nothing of many false helps and contraband wares of beauty, which are daily vended in this great mart, there is not a maiden gentlewoman of a good family in any county in South Britain, who has not heard of the virtues of May-dew, or is unfurnished with some receipt or other in favour of her complexion ; and I have known a physician of learning and sense, after eight years' study in the university, and a course of travels into most countries of Europe, owe the first raising of his fortunes to a cosmetic wash.

“ This has given me occasion to consider how so universal a dis position in womankind, which springs from a laudable motive, the desire of pleasing, and proceeds upon an opinion, not altoge ther groundless, that nature may be helped by art, may be turned to their advantage. And, methinks, it would be an acceptable ser vice to take them out of the hands of quacks and pretenders, and to prevent their imposing upon themselves, by discovering to them the true secret and art of improving beauty.

“In order to this, before I touch upon it directly, it will be necessary to lay down a few preliminary maxims, viz. :

"That no woman can be handsome by the force of features alone, any more than she can be witty only by the help of speech.

"That pride destroys all symmetry and grace, and affectation is a more terrible enemy to fine faces than the small-pox.

" That no woman is capable of being beautiful, who is not incapable of being false.

• And that what would be odious in a friend, is deformity in : mistress.

“From these few principles, thus laid down, it will be easy to prove, that the true art of assisting beauty consists in embellishing the whole person by the proper ornaments of virtuous and commendable qualities. By this help alone it is, that those who are the favourite work of nature, or as Mr. Dryden expresses it, the porcelain clay of human kind, become animated, and are in 8 capacity of exerting their charms: and those who seem to be neglected by her, like models wrought in haste, are capable in a great measure of finishing what she has left imperfect.

" It is, methinks, a low and degrading idea of that sex, which was created to refine the joys and soften the cares of humanity, by

No answer to this, till Anna Bella sends a description of those she calls the best-bred men in the world.

- VR. SPECTATOR, "I am a gentleman who for many years last past have been well kaown to be truly splenetic, and that my spleen arises from having catruted so great a delicacy, by reading the best authors, and berpug the most relined company, that I cannot bear the least spropriety of language, or rusticity of behaviour. Now, sir, I sare ever looked upon this as a wise distemper; but by late obervations find, that every heavy wretch, who has nothing to say eleases his dulness by complaining of the spleen. Nay, I saw the ether day, two fellows in a tavern kitchen set up for it, call for a pant and pipes, and only by guzzling liquor to each other's health, and uting smoke in each other's face, pretend to throw off the

20. I appeal to you whether these dishonours are to be done 14 the distemper of the great and the polite. I beseech you, sir, It inform these fellows that they have not the spleen, because they eatinot talk without the help of a glass at their mouths, or convey ir meaning to each other without the interposition of clouds. 1! you will not do this with all speed, I assure you for my part, I il aboly quit the disease, and for the future be merry with the rulgar.

"I am, Sir,

“ Your humble servant." SIE, * This is to let you understand that I am a reformed Starer, and enceived a detestation for that practice from what you have writ Pon the subject. But as you have been very severe upon se behaviour of us men at divine service, I hope you will not be

apparently partial to the women, as to let them go wholly unobStred. If they do every thing that is possible to attract our eyes,

? ve more culpable than they, for looking at them? I happened est Sanday to be shut into a pew, which was full of young ladies, ia the bloom of youth and beauty. When the service began, I had 1* room to kneel at the confession; but as I stood, kept my eyes it wandering as well as I was able, till one of the young ladies, who is a Peeper, resolved to bring down my looks and fix my devotion on herself

. You are to know, sir, that a Peeper works with her hands, eyes, and fan; one of which is continually in tion, while she thinks she is not actually the admiration of sche ogler or starer in the congregation. As I stood utterly at a oss how to behave myself

, surrounded as I was, this Peeper so faced herself as to be kneeling just before me. She displayed the

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »