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· Mr. SPECTATOR, I FLATTER myself you will not only pity, but,
if possible, redress a misfortune myself and feveral others of my fex lie under. I hope you will not be offended, nor think I mean by this to justify my own imprudent conduct, or expect you 'fhould. No! I am sensible how severely, in some • of your former papers, you have reproved per
fons guilty of the like inismanagements. I was
scarce fixteen, and, I may say without vanity, · handsome, when courted by a false perjured • man; who, upon promise of marriage, rendered o me the most unhappy of women.
After he had • deluded me from my parents, who were people • of very good fashion, in less than three months o he lefi me.
My parents would not see nor hear • from me; and, had it not been for a servant, < who had lived in our family, I must certainly • have perished for want of bread. However it « pleafed Providence, in a very short time, to alter * my miserable condition. A gentleman faw me, I liked me, and married ine. My parents were re
conciled ; and I might be as happy in the change « of my condition as I was before miserable, but • for fome things, that you shall know, which * are insupportable to me, and I am sure you
have • so much honour and compassion as to let those ' perfons know, in some of your papers, how s much they are in the wrong.
I have been mar• ried near five years, and do not know that in all * that time I ever went abroad without my hur
band's leave and approbation. I am obliged, " through the importunities of several of my rela• tions, to go abroad oftner than suits my temper.
Then it is I labour under insupportable agonies. " That man, or rather monster, haunts every
place I go to. Bare villian! By reason I will not • adinit his nauseous wicked vifits and appoint• ments, he strives all the ways he can to ruin ise: Viol. VII.
• He left me deftitute of friend or money, nor e* ver thought me worth enquiring after, until he • unfortunately happened to see me in a front-box,
fparkling with jewels. Then his paffion returned. · Then the hypocrite pretended to be a penitent. * Then he practised all those arts that helped be
fore to undo me. I am not to be deceived a seis cond time by him. I hate and abhor his odious
paffion; and as he plainly perceives it, either out • of spite or diversion, he makes it his business to
expofe me. I never fail feeing him in all public company, where he is always most industriously
fpiteful. He hath, in short, told all his acquaint* ance of our unhappy affair ; they tell theirs ; fo • that it is no secret among his companions, which
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 return it, 's then I am peftered with freedoms that are no
ways agreeable to myself or company. If I turn
my eyes from them, or feem difplealed, 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 abomina
ble falsehoods, under that mistaken notion, She • that will grant favours to one man, will to an hin
dred. 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 person ** aimed at,' and perhaps put a stop to the infolence • of others. Cursed is the fate of unhappy wo
men ! That men may boast and glory in those
things that we must think of with thame and • horror ! You have the art of making such odious s custoins appear detestable. For my fake, and I om fure, tor the sake of several others who dare not own it, but like me, lie under the me mir fortunes, make it as infamous for a man to boast
of favours, or expose our sex, as it is to take the lie, or a box on the ear, and not resent it. • Your constant reader
· LESBIA,' · P. s. I am the more impatient under this miffortune, having received fresh provocation last Wednesilay, in the abbey."
I intirely agree with the amiable and unfortunate Lesbia, that an unsult upon a woman in her circumstances, is as infamous in a man, as a tame behaviour when the lie or a buffet is given ;- which truth I fhall beg leave of her to illustrate by the following observation.
It is a mark of cowardise paffive to forbear refenting an affront, the resenting of which would lead a man into danger ;- it is no less a sign of cowardise, to affront a creature that hath not power to avenge itself. Whatever name therefore this ungenerous man may bestow on the helpless lady he hath injured, I shall not fcruple to give him in return for it, the apellation of Corward.
A man that can so far descend from his dignity, as to strike a lady, can never recover his reputation with either fex, because no provocation is thought strong enough to justify such treatment from the powerful towards the weak. In the circumstances in which poor Lefoia is situated, the can appeal iv no man whatsoever to avenge an infult 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 resentments fink and vanish away, when the object of its wrath falls into its power. An estranged friend, filled with jealousy and discontent towards a bofom acquaintance, is apt to overilow U 2
with tenderness and remorse, when a creature that was once dear to him undergoes any misfortune, What name then shall we give to his ingratitude, who (forgetting the favours he folicited with eagerness, and received with rapture) can insult 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 paper with a memorable instance of revenge, taken by a Spa. nish lady upon a guilty lover, which may serve to shew what violent effects are wrought by the most tender passion, when foured into hatred; and may deter the young and unwary from unlawful love. The story, however romantic it may appear, I have heard affirmed for a truth.
Not many years ago, an English gentleman who in a rencounter by night, in the streets of Madrid, had the misfortune to kill his man, ted into a church-porch for fanctuary. Leaning against the cloor he was surprised to find it open, and a glimmering light in the church. He had the courage to advance towards the light; but was terribly startled at the sight of a woman in white, who af. cended 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 referve, believing that he had met a ghoft: Upon which she spoke to him in the following manner; '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 perjured
man undid me, and boasted of it. I soon • had him dispatched; but not content with • the murder, I have bribed the sexton to let me ' enter his grave, and have now plucked out his
false heart from his body; and thus I use a trai• tor's heart.' At these words she tore it in pieces, and trampled it under her feet,
N° 612. WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 27.
Murranum hic, atavos et avorum antiqua fonanten: : Nomina, per regesque actum genus omne Latinos,
Precipitem fcopulo, atque ingentis turbine faxi
VIRG. Æn. xii. ver. 529, ,-
DRYDEN. IT T is highly laudable to pay respect to men who
are descended 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 descendents of great men; and they wlio are apt to remind us of their ancestors, only put us upon making comparisons to their own disadvantage. 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 respect, because our fathers acted well, whether we would or no. The following letter ridicules the folly I have :