Page images
PDF
EPUB

THE

SPECTATOR.

VOLUME THE FOURTH.

A4

THE

SPECTATOR.

252 Wednesday, December 19, 1711,

Erranti, palimque oculos per cunéta ferenti.

Virg. Æn. 2. ver. 570, Exploring ev'ry place with curious eyes.

[ocr errors]

• Mr. Spectator,
Am very sorry to find by your discourse

upon

the eye, that you have not thoroughly studied the na

ture and force of that part of a beauteous face, · Had you ever been in love, you would have said ten • thousand things, which it seems did not occur to you:

do but reflect upon the nonsense it makes men talk, • the flames which it is said to kindle, the transport it • raises, the dejection it causes in the bravest men; and 6 if

you do believe those things are expressed to an extravagance, yet you will own, that the influence of . it is very great which moves men to that extrava

gance. Certain it is, that the whole strength of the · mind is sometimes seated there; that a kind look imparts all, that a year's discourse could give you,

in one moment. What matters it what she fays to you? see

< how

A 5

how she looks--is the language of all who know what * love is. When the mind is thus summed up and

expressed in a glance, did ycu never observe a sudden

joy arise in the countenance of a lover? Did you never • see the attendance of years paid, over-paid, in an in• flant? You a Spectator, and not know that the intelli

gence of affection is carried on by the eye only; that

good-brecding has made the tongue falsify the heart, and ' act a part of continual constraint, while nature has pre« served the eyes to herself, that she may not be disguised

or misrepresented. The poor bride can give her hand, • and say, “ I do,” with a languishing air, to the man she • is obliged by cruel parents to take for mercenary reafons, but at the same time she cannot look as if she • loved; her eye is full of sorrow, and reluctance fits in

a tear, while the offering of the sacrifice is performed • in what we call the marriage ceremony. Do you never

go to plays ? Cannot you distinguish between the eyes • of those who go to fee, from those who come to be ' seen? I am a woman turned of thirty, and am on the « observation a little; therefore if you or your correspon• dent had consulted me in your discourse on the eye, I " could have told you that the eye of Leonora is flily watch* ful while it looks negligent; she looks round her with

out the help of the glasses you speak of, and yet seems • to be employed on objects directly before her. This

eye is what affects chance-medley, and cn a sudden, as “ if it attended to another thing, turns all its charms

against an ogler. The eye of Lusitania is an instrument • of premeditated murder; but the design being visible,

destroys the execution of it; and with much more beau

ty than that of Leonora, it is not half so mischievous. “There is a brave foldier's daughter in town, that by her

has been the death of more than ever her father • made fly before him. A beautiful eye makes filence eloquent, a kind

eye

makes contradiction an assent, an enraged eye makes beauty deformed. This little mem-s ber gives life to every other part about us, and I be& lieve the story of Argus implies no more than that the

eye is in every part, that is to say, every other part « would be mutilated, were not its force represented more:

eye

6

' by the eye than even by itself. But this is heathen • Greek to those who have not conversed by glances.. "This, Sir, is a language in which there can be no • deceit, nor can a skilful observer be imposed upon by " looks even among politicians and courtiers. If you do

me the honour to print this among your speculations, ' I shall in my next make you a present of secret history,

by translating all the looks of the next assembly of la• dies and gentlemen into words, to adorn some future paper. I am, Sir,

• Your faithful friend,

• Mary Heartfree-? * Dear Mr. Spectator, I Have a fot

of a husband that lives a very scandalous « baucheries; and is immoveable to all the arguments I.

can urge to him. I would gladly know whether in 6. some cases a cudgel may not be allowed as a good • figure of speech, and whether it may not be lawfully 6 used by a female orator. ·

6. Your humble servant,

6.Barbara Crabtree,% - Mr. Spectator, • T Hough I am a practitioner in the law of fome.

standing, and have heard many eminent plead

in my time, as well as other eloquent speakers-6 of both universities, yet

I

you,

that are better qualified to succeed in oratory " than the men, and believe this is to be resolved into 6.- natural causes. You have mentioned only the volu

bility of their tongue; but what do you think of*", • the silent flattery of their pretty faces, and the per

suasion which even an insipid discourse carries with it o when flowing from beautiful lips, to which it would • be cruel to deny any thirg? It is certain t00, that" " they are poffefsed of some {prings of rhetoric which

men want, such as tears, fainting fits, and the like, • which I have ieen employed upon occasion with good

success. You must know I am a plain man and love my 6-money; yet I have a spoase who is so great an orator in

A 6

gratis

[ocr errors]

ers

agree with

women

2

« PreviousContinue »