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*-chat they do not weep fo much for the loss of a husband,
for the want of one. "The principal rule by which the whole society are to govern themselves is this, to cry up the pleasures of a single life upon all occasions, in order to deter the reit
of their sex from marriage, and ingross the whole male « world to themselves.
• They are obliged, when any one makes love to a • member of the society, to communicate his name, at
which time the whole assembly fit upon his reputation, • person, fortune, and good humour; and if they find shim qualified for a sister of the club, they lay their heads. together how to make him fure. By this means they
are acquainted with all the widow-hunters about towr., • who often afford them great diversion. There is an ho* nest Irish gentleman, it seems, who knows nothing of • this society, but at different timcs has made love to the whole club.
• THEIR conversation often turns upon their former • husbands, and it is very diverting to hear them relate • their several arts and itratagems, with which they amu• fed the jealous, pacified the choleric, or wheedled the good-natured man, till at last, to use the club phrase, They fent him out of the house with his heels foremost.' ' The politics, which are most cultivated by this so-ciety of She-Machiavels, relate chiefly to these two points, how to treat a lover, and how to manage a huf• band. As for the first fet of artifices, they are too nu
merous to come within the compass of your paper, and « shall therefore be reserved for a fecond letter.
The management of a husband is built upon the fol·lowing doctrines, which are universally aflented to by • the whole club. Not to give him his head at first. Not ' to allow him too great freedoms and familiarities. Not
to be treated by him like a raw girl, but as a woman " that knows the world. Not to leffen any thing of her former figure. To celebrate the generosity, cr any cther virtue, of a deceased husband, which she would re-. "commend to his fucceffor. To turn away all his old
friends and servants, that she may have the dear man ta * herself, To make him difnherit the undutiful children
• of any former wife. Never to be thoroughly convinced • of his affection, till he has made over to her all his goods • and chatics.
• After so long a letter, I am without more ceremony,
Icar humble fervant, &c.'
Friiłay, July 2.
----Prefirs, alfons ut fies. Ter. Eun. act. 1. fc. 2.
Be preferit as if abfert.
himfelf,' fay's Cowley; it grates his own heart to say any thing of disparagemeni, and the reader's ears to • hcar any thing of praise from him.' Let the tenor of his discourse be what it will upen this subject, it generally proceeds from vanity. An oftentatious man will rather relate a blunder or an absurdity he has committed, than be debarred from talking of his own dear person.
SOME very great writers have been guilty of this fault. Is is observed of Tully in particular, that his works run very much in the firit person, and that he takes all occafions of doing himself justice. “Does he think,' says Brutus, ' that his consulship deferves more applause than * my putting Cæfar to death, because I am not perpetual
ly talking of the ides of March, as he is of the nones of * December? I need not acquaint my learned reader, that in the ides of March, Brutus destroyed Cæfar, and that Cicero quashed the conspiracy of Catiline in the calends of December. How shocking soever this great man's talking of himself might have been to his contemporaries, I must confess I am never better pleafed than when he is on this subject. Such openings of the heart give a man a thorough insight into his personal character, and illustrate several passages in the history of his life : besides, that there is some little pleasure in discovering the infirmity of a great man, and seeing how the opinion he has of himself agrees with what the world entertains of him.
The gentlemen of Port-Royal, who were more eminent for their learning and their humility than any other in France, banished the way of speaking in the first person out of all their works, as rising from vain-glory and felf-conceit. To Thew their particular aversion to it, they branded this form of writing with the name of an Egotism; a figure not to be found among the ancient rhetoricians.
The most violent egotism which I have met with in the course of my reading, is that of Cardinal Wolsey, Ego et rex meus, I and my king ; as perhaps the most eminent egotist that ever appeared in the world, was Montagne, the author of the celebrated essays. This lively old Gascon has woven all his bodily infirmities into his works, and after having spoken of the faults or virtues of any other man, immediately publishes to the world how it stands with himself in that particular. Had he kept his own counsel he might have passed for a much better man, though perhaps he would not have been so diverting an author. The title of an essay promises perhaps a discourse upon Virgil or Julius Cafar; but when you look into it, you are sure to meet with more upon Monsieur Montagne, than of either of them. The
Scaliger, who seems to have been no great friend to this author, after having acquainted the world that his father fold herrings, adds these words; La grande fadaise de Montagne, qui a ecrit qu'il aimoit mieux le vin blanc--que diable a-t-on a faire de sçavoir ce qu'il aime? 'For my part,' says Montagne, I am a great lover of your
white wines-----'What the devil signifies it to the pu·blic,' says Scaliger, whether he is a lover of white ( wines or of red wines ?'
I CANNOT here forbear mentioning a tribe of egotists, for whom I have always had a mortal aversion, I mean the authors of memoirs, who are never mentioned in any works but their own, and who raise all their productions out of this single figure of speech.
Most of our modern prefaces favour very strongly of the egotism. Every insignificant author fancies it of importance to the world, to know that he writ his book in the country, that he did it to pass away some of his idle hours, that it was published at the importunity of friends,
or that his natural temper, studies, or conversations, dia rected hiin to the choice of his subject.
---- Id populus curat fcilicet.
Such informations cannot but be highly improving to thre reader.
In works of humour, especially when a man writes under a fiqitious personage, the talking of one's self may give some diversion to the public; but I would advife every other writer never to speak of himself, unless there be something very considerable in his character: though I am senlible this rule will be of little use in the world, because there is no man who fancies his thoughts worth publishing, that docs not look upon himself as a considerable person.
I shall close this paper with a remark upon such as are egotists in converfition: these are generally the vain or fallow part of mankind, people being naturally full of themselves when they have nothing else in them. There is one kind of egotiits which is very common in the world, though I do not remeniber that any writer has taken notice of them; I mean those empty conceited fellows, who repeat as sayings of their own, or some of their particular friends, several jefts which were made before they were born, and which every one who has conversed in the world has heard a hundred times o:er. A forward young fellow of my acquaintance was very guilty of this absurdity: he would be always laying a new scene for some old piece of wit, and telling us, that as he and Jack fuch-a-one were together, one or the other of them had such a conceit on such an cccasion ; upon which he would l'augh very heartily, and wonder the company did not join with him. When his miith was over, I hare often reprehended him out of Terence, Tuumne, obfecro te, hoc diclum erat? vetus credidi. But finding him ftill incorrigible, and having a kindness for the young coxcomb, who was otherwise a good-natured fellow, I recommended to his perusal the Oxford and Cambridge jests, with several little pieces of pleasantry of the same nature. Ufon the reading of them, he was under no small confufion to find that all his jokes had passed through several
editions, and that what he thought was a new conceit, and had appropriated to his own use, had appeared in print before he or his ingenious friends were ever heard of. This had so good an effect upon him, that he is content at present to pass for a man of plain sense in his ordinary conversation, and is never facetious but when he knows his company.
Monday, July 5. ..---- Magni nominis umbra. Lucan. 1. 1. v. 135
person, who I believe never writ to any body before.
a name well known among all men of business. It • is always read in those little white spaces of writing * which wart to be filled up, and which for that reason are * called blank spaces, as of right appertaining to our family: for I consider myself as the lord of a manor, who lays his claim to all wastes or spots of ground that are unappropriated. I am a near kinsman to John a Stiles and John a Nokes; and they, I am told, came in with the conqueror.
I am mentioned oftener in both houses of parliament than any other person in Great Britain. My name is written, or, more properly speaking, not written, thus,
I am one that can turn my hand to every thing, and appear un• der any shape whatsoever. I can make myself man, woman, or child.
I am sometimes metamorphosed into a year of our Lord, a day of the month, or an hour of . the day. I very often represent a sum of money, and am
generally the first subsidy that is granted to the crown. • I have now and then supplied the place of several thou• sands of land-foldiers, and have as frequently been em• ployed in the sea-service.