« PreviousContinue »
which I have so often mentioned in my papers. I laughed often at Sir Roger in my sleep, and was the more diverted with Will Honeycomb's galantries, (when we afterwards became acquainted) becaufe I had foreseen his marriage with a farmer's daughter, The regret which arose in my mind upon the death of my companions, my anxieties for the public, and the many calamities ftill fleeting before my eyes, made me repent my curiosity ; when the magician entered the room, and awakened me by telling me (when it was too late) that he was just going to begin.
N. B. I have only delivered the prophecy of that part of my life which is past, it being inconvenient to divulge the second part until a more proper opportunity.
NO 605. MONDAY, OCTOBER 11.
Exuerint sylveftrem animum ; cultuque frequenti,
VIRG. Georg. ii. ver. 51.
They change their savage mind, Their wildness lofe, and quitting nature's part, "Obey the rules and discipline of art. "Dryden. HAVING perused the following letter, and find
ing it to run upon the subject of love, I referred it to the learned Casuist, whom I have retained in my service for speculations of that kind. He returned it to me the next morning with his report annexed to it, with both of which I Thall here present my reader.
Mr. SPECTATOR, : FINDING that you have entertained an useful
person in your fervice in quality of Love-Cafuift, I apply myself to you, under a very great
« I am,
! difficulty, that hath for some months perplexed
I have a couple of humble servants, one of which I have no averfion to; the other I think ' of very kindly. The first hath the reputation of
a man of good sense, and is one of those people
that your lex are apt to value. My spark is rec'koned a coxcomb among the men, but is a fa
vourite of the ladies. If I marry the man of. • worth, as they call him, I shall oblige my parents, * and improve my fortune ; but with my dear beau I promise myself happiness, although not a join
Now I would ask you, whether I should consent to lead my life with a man that I have • only no objection to, or with him against whom • all objections to me appear frivolous. I am de• termined to follow the Cafuifi's advice, and I dare
say he will not put me upon so serious a thing as matrimony contrary to niy inclination.
. FANNY TICKLE,' P.S. I forgot to tell you, that the pretty gentleman is the most complaisant creature in the * world, and is always of my mind, but the other,
forfooth, fancies he has as much wit as myself, flights my lap.dog, and hath the infolence to contradict me when he thinks I am not in the right. About half an hour ago, he maintained to my face, that a patch always implies a a pimple.'
As I look upon it to be my duty rather to fide with the parents than the daughter, I shall propose fome considerations to my gentle querist, which may incline her to comply with those under whose direction she is : And at the same time convince: her, that it is not impoflible but fhe may, in time, have a true affection for him who is at present indifferent to her; or, to use the old family maxim, that, if she marries first, love will come after. VOL, VIII.
The only objection that she seems to infinuate against the guitleman propofed to her, is want of complaisance, which, I perceive, she is very willing to return. Now, I can discover from this very circumstance, that she and her lover, whatever they may think of it; are very good friends in their hearts. It is difficult to determine, whether love delights more in giving pleasure or pain. Let Miss Fickle ask her own heart, if the doth not take a fecret pride in making this man of good sense look very filly. Hath she ever been better pleased than when her behaviour hath made her lover ready to hang himself?. Or doth she ever rejoice more than when she thinks she hath driven him to the very brink of a purling stream? Let her consider, at the same time, that it is not impossible but her Jover
may have discovered her tricks, and hath a mind to give her as good as the brings. I remember a handsome young baggage that treated a hopeful Greek of my acquaintance, just come from Oxford, as if he had been a Barbarian. The first week, after she had fixed him, she took a pinch of snuff out of his rival's box, and apparently touched the enemy's little finger: She became a profeft eneany to the arts and sciences, and scarce ever wrote aletter to him without wilfully mispelling his name. The young scholar, to be even with her, railed at coquettes as soon as he had got the word ; and did not want parts to turn into ridicule her men of wit and pleasure of the town. After have irritated one another for the space of five months, she made an assignation with him fourscore miles from London. But as he was very well acquainted with her pranks, he took a journey the quite contrary way.
Accord. ingly they met, quarrelled, and in a few days were married. Their former hostilities are now the subject of their mirth, being content at present with that part of love only, which bestows pleafure.
Women who have been married some time, nor having it in their heads to draw after them a numerous train of followers, find their fatisfaction in the possession of one man's heart. I know very well, that Ladies in their bloom desire to be excufecto in this particular. But when time hath worn out their natural vanity, and taught them discretion, their fondness fereles on its proper object. And it is probable for this reason, that among husbands, you will find more that are fond of women beyond: their prime, than of those who are actually in the infolence of beauty. My reader will apply the same observation to the other sex.
I need not infift upon the necessity of their pursuing one common aterest, and their united care for their children, but fhall only observe, by the way, that married-persons are both more warm in their love, and more hearty in their hatred, than any
others whatsoever. Mutual favours and obli. gations which may be supposed to be greater here than in any other state, naturally beget an intense affection in generous minds. As, on the contrary, persons who have bestowed such favours have a particular bitterness in their resentments, when they think themselves ill treated by those of whom they have deserved so much.
Besides, Miss Fickle may consider, that as there are often many faults concealed before marriage, fo there are sometimes many virtues unobserved.
To this we may add the great efficacy of custom, and constant conversation, to produce a mutual friendship and benevolence in two persons. It is a nice reflexion, which I have heard a friend of mine make, that you may be sure a woman loves a man, when she uses his expressions, tells his stories, or imitates his manner. This gives a secret delight ; for imitation is a kind of artless flattery, and mightily favours the powerful principal of self-love. It is certain, that married persons, who are poffeffed
of a mutual esteem, not only catch the air and way of tilk from one another, but fall into the fame, traces of thinking and liking. Nay, fome have carried the remark so far as to affert, that the features of a man and wife grow, in time, to resemble one another. Let my fair correspondent therefore confider, that the gentleman recommended will have a good deal of her own face in two or three years ; which ihe must not expect from the beau, who is too full of his dear self to copy after another. And I dare appeal to her own judgment, if that person will not be the handsomeft, that is the most like herfeif.
We have a remarkable instance to our present purpose in the history of King Edgar, which I shall here relate, and leave it with my fair correspondent to be applied to herself.
This great monarch, who is fo famous in British fiory, fell in love, as he made his progress through his kingdom, with a certain Duke's daughter who lived near Winchester, and was the niost celebrated beauty of the age. His importunities and the violence of his passion were fó great, that the mother of the young Lady promised him to bring her daughter to his bed the next night, though in her heart the abhorred so infamous an office. 110 fooner dark than the conveyed into his room a young maid of no disagreeable figure, who was one of her attendants, and did not want address to improve the opportunity for the advancement of her fortune. She made fo good use of her time, that when she offered to rise a little before day, the King could by no means think of parting with her. So that finding herself under a necessity of discovering who she was, she did it in fo handfome a manner; that his Majesty was exceeding gracious to her, and took her ever after under his protection : Infomuch that our chronicles tell us he carried her along with him, made her first minister of state, and