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Mr. SpecTATOR, "I flatter myself you will not only pity, but, lif • poffible, redress a misfortune myself and feveeral others of my fex lie under. I hope you will o not be offended, nor think I mean by this to justify
my own imprudent conduct, or expect you should. « No! I am sensible how severely, in some of your • former papers, you have reproved persons guilty of " the like mismanagements. I was scarce fixteen,
and, I may say without vanity, handsome, when I courted by a false perjured man; who, upon • promise of marriage, rendered me the most un:
happy of women. After he had deluded me froni & my parents, who were people of very good fashion, « in lefs than three months he left me. My parents I would not see nor hear from me; and, had it not « been for a servant, who had lived in our family, I I must certainly have perished for want of bread. . However, is pleased Providence, in a very short
time, to alter my miserable condition. A gentle • man faw me, liked me, and married nie. My * parents were reconciled ; and I might be as happy • in the change of my condition as I was before mi • serable, but for fome things, that you shall know, • which are infupportable to me; and I am fure you « have so much honour and compaffion as to let those • persons know, in some of your papers, how much o they are in the wrong.
I have been married near * five years, and do not know that in all that time I 6 ever went abroad without my husband's leave and 6 approbation. I am obliged through the importu * nities of several of my relations, to go abroad oftner than suits my temper.
Then it is I labour un. der insupportable agonies. That man, or rather $ monster, baunts every place I go to. Bafe villian!
By reason I will not admit his naufeous wicked vio 6 fits and appointments, he strives all the ways he can to ruin ine. He left me deftitute of friend or VOL. VIII. t U
money, nor ever thought me worth enquiring af. ter, until he unfortunately happened to see me in a front-box, sparkling with jewels. Then his palsion returned. Then the hypocrite pretended to be a penitent. Then he practised all those arts that helped before to undo me. I am not to be deceive ed a second time by him. I hate and abhor his odious paflion; and, as he plainly perceives it, ei. ther out of spite or divergon, he makes it bis bufiness to expose me. I never fail feeing him in all public company, where he is always moft induftriouily fpiteful. He hath, in short, told all his ac, quaintance of our unhappy affair; they tell theirs ; so that it is no secret among his companions, who are numerous. They to whom he tells it, think they have a title to be very familiar. If they bow to me, and I out of good manners retum it, then I am pestered with freedoms that are no ways agree. able to myself or company. If I turn my eyes from them, or feem displeased, they four upon it, and whisper the next person, he his next, until I have at last the eyes of the whole company upon me. Nay, they report abominable falsehoods, under that mistaken notion, She that will grant favours to one man, will to an hundred. I beg you will let those who are guilty know, how ungenerous this
way of proceeding is. I am sure he will know • himself the perfon aimed at, and perhaps put a stop
to the insolence of others. Cursed is the fate of
unhappy women ! That men may boast and glory s in those things that we must think of with shame 6 and horror! You have the art of making such odi
ous cuftoms appear dereftable. For my fake, and "I am sure, for the sake of several others who dare
not own it, but, like me, lie under the same misé fortunes, make it as infamous for a man to boast
of favours, or expose our sex, as it is to take the lie, up or a box on the ear, and not resent it. Your constant reader and admirer,
P.S. . I am the more impatient under this mif. • fortune, having received freih provocation last Wed
nesday, in the abbey.'
I entirely agree with the amiable and unfortunate Lesbia, that an insult upon a woman in her circum. stances, is as infamous in a man, as a tame behaviour when the lie or a buffet is given; which truth I Thall beg leave of her to illustrate by the following obfervation.
It is a mark of cowardice passively to forbear resenting an affront, the resenting of which would lead ja man into danger; it is no less a sign of cowardice, to affront a creature that hath not power to avenge itself. Whatever name, therefore, this ungencrous man may bestow on the helpless lady he hath injured, I Thall not scruple to give him in return for it, the appellation of Coward.
A man that can so far defcend from his dignity, as to strike a lady, can never recover bis reputation with either fex, because no provocation is thought Atrong enough to justify such treatment from the powerful towards the weak. In the circumitances in which poor Lefbia is situated, fire can appeal to no man whatsoever to avenge an insult more grievous, than a blow. If she could open her mouth, the base man knows, that a husband, a brother, a generous: friend, would die to see her righted. · A generous mind, however enraged against an enemy, feels its resentment link and vanish away, when the object of its wrath falls into its poiver. A11 estranged friend, filled with jealousy and discontent towards a borom acquaintance, is apt to overflow with tenderness and remorse, when a creature that was. once dear to him undergoes any mislortune, What name then shall we give to his ingratitude, who (forgetting the favours he solicited with cag:rness, and received with rapture) can intult the miferies that he himself caused, and make sport with the pain to
which he owes his greatest pleasure? There is but one being in the creation whose province it is to practise upon the imbecilities of frail creatures, and triumph in the woes which his own artifices brought about; and we well know, those who follow his example, will receive his reward.
Leaving my fair correspondent to the direction of her own wisdom and modesty; and her enemy, and his mean accomplices, to the compunction of their own hearts; I shall conclude this
with morable instance of revenge, taken by a Spanish lady upon a guilty lover, which may ferve to Thew what violent effects are wrought by the most tender para fon, when foured into hatred ; and may deter the young and unwary from unlawful love. The story, kowever romantic it may appear, I have heard affirmed for a truth.
Nos many years ago, an English gentleman, who, in a rencounter by night, in the streets of Madrid, had the misfortune to kill his man, fled into a church porch for fanctuary. Leaning against the door he was surprised to find it open, and a glimmering lighe in the church. He had the courage to advance towards the light; but was terribly fartled at the fight of a woman in white, who afcended from a grave with a bloody knife in her hand. The phantom marched up to him, and asked hiin what he did there. He told her the truth, without reserve, believing that he had met a gholt : upon which she spoke to him in the following inanner; • Stranger, thou art in my power: I am a murderer as thou art.
Know then, • that I am a nun of a noble family. A base, pero
jured man undid me, and boasted of it. I soon o bad him dispatched; but not content with the mur.
der, I have bribed the fexton to let me enter his
grave, and have now plucked out his false heart « from his body; and thus I use a traitor's heart." At these words the tore it in pieces, and trampled it under ber feet.
Murranum hic, atavos et avorum antiqua fonaten
Virg. Æn. xii. ver. 529.-
IT is highly laudable to pay respect to men who are
defcended from worthy ancestors, not only out of gratitude to those who have done good to mankind, But as it is an encouragement to others to follow their example. But this is an honour to be received, not demanded by the descendants of great men; and they who are apt to remind us of their ancestors, only put us upon making comparisons to their own difadvantage. There is some pretence for boasting, of wit, beauty, strength, or wealth, because the communication of them may give pleasure or profit to others; but we can have no merit, nor ought we to claim any rea? fpect, because our fathers acted well, whether. we would or no.
The following letter ridicules the folly I have men tioned, in a new, and, I think, not disagreeable light:
Mr. SPECTATOR, • Were the genealogy of every family preserved, " there would probably be no man' valued or despifed 6 on account of his birth. There is scarce a beggar: