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without the intervention of reason. Laura his wife, and Phillis his mistress, are all with whom he has had, for some months, the least amorous commerce. Duumvir has passed the noon of life; but cannot withdraw from those entertainments which are pardonable only before that stage of our Being, and which after that season are rather punishments than satisfactions: For palled appetite is humorous, and must be gratified with sauces rather than food. For which end Duumvir is provided with an haughty, imperious, expensive, and fantastic mistress, to whom he retires from the conversation of an affable, humble, discreet, and affectionate wife. Laura receives him after absence with an easy and unaffected complacency; but that he calls insipid: Phillis rates him for his absence, and bids him return from whence he came; this he calls spirit and fire: Laura's gentleness is thought mean; Phi/lis's insolence, sprightly. Were you to see him at his own home, and his mistress's lodgings, to Phillis he appears an obsequious lover, to Laura an imperious master, Nay, so unjust is the taste of Duumvir, that he owns Laura has no ill quality, but that (he is his wife; Phillis no good one, but that Ihe is his mistress. And he has himself often said, were he married to any one else, he would rather keep Laura than any woman living; yet allows at the fame time, .that Phillis, were (he a woman of honour, would have been the most insipid animal breathing. The other day Laura, who has a voice like an angel, began to sing to him: Fie, Madam, he cried, we must be past all these gaieties. Phillis has a note as rude and as loud as that of a milk-maid: When ihe begins to warble: Well, fays he, there is such a pleasing simplicity in all that wench does. In a word, the affectionate part of his heart being corrupted, and his true taste that way wholly lost, he has contracted a prejudice to all the behaviour of Laura, and a general partiality in favour of Phillis. It is not in the power of the wife to do a pleasing thing, nor in the mistress to commit one that is disagreeable. There is something too melancholy in the reflection on this circumstance to be the subject of raillery. He said a sour thing to Laura at dinner the other day; upon which ihe burst into tears. What the devil, Madam, says he, cannot I speak in my own house? He answered Phillis a little abruptly at supper the same evening, upon which stie threw his periwig into the fire. Well, said he, thou art a brave termr.gant jade: Do you know, hussy, that fair wig cost forty guineas? Oh Laura! is it for this that the faithful Cromiu; sighed for you in vain? How is thy Condition altered, since crouds of youth hung on thy eye, and watched its glances? It is not many months since Laura was the wonder and pride of her own Sex, as well as the desire and passion of ours. At Plays and at Balls, the just turn of her behaviour, the decency of her virgin charms, chastised, yet added to diversions. At public devotions, her winning modesty, her resigned carriage, made virtue and religion appear with new ornaments, and in the natural apparel of simplicity and beauty. In ordinary conversations, a sweet conformity os manners, and an humility which heightened all the complacencies of good-breeding and education, gave her more slaves than all the pride of her Sex ever made women wish for. Lawa's hours are now spent in the sad reflection on her choice, and that deceitful vanity, almost inseparable from the Sex, of Believing, she could reclaim one that had so often ensnared others; as it now is, it is not even in the power of Duumvir himself to do her justice: For though beauty and merit are things real and independent on taste and opinion, yet agreeableness is arbitrary, and the mistress has much the advantage of the wife. But whenever fate is so kind to her and her spouse as to end her days, with all this passion for Phillis*. and indifference for Laura, he has a second wife in view, who may avenge the injuries done to her predecessor. Aglaura is the destined Lady, who has lived in assemblies, has ambition and play for her entertainment, and thinks of a man, not as the object of love, but the tool of her interest or pride. If ever Aglaura comes to the empire of this Inconstant, (he will endear the memory of her predecessor. But in the mean time it is melancholy to consider, that the virtue of a wife is like the merit of a Poet, never justly valued until after death.
As we have professed, that all the actions of men ar© our subject, the most solemn are not to be omitted, if there happen to creep into their behaviour any thing improper for such occasions. Therefore the offence mentioned in the following Epistles, though it may seem to be committed in a place sacred from observation, is such, that it is our duty to remark upon it; for though he who does it is himself only guilty of an Indecorum, he occasions a criminal levity in all others who are present at it.
*' T T being mine, as well as the opinion of many others, * X tnat your Papers are extremely well fitted to reform any irregular or indecent practice, I present the following as one which requires your correction. My'* self, and a great many good people who frequent the '* divine Service at Saint Paul's, have been a long time '* scandalized by the imprudent conduct of Sientor in '* that cathedral. This Gentleman, you must know, "is always very exact and zealous in his devotion, '* which I believe no body blames; but then he is ac* ** customed to roar aud bellow so terribly loud in the "Responses, that he frightens even us of the congrega"tion who are daily used to him: And one of our petty "Canons, a punning Cambridge scholar, calls his way "of worship a Bull-offering. His harsh untunable pipe ** is no more fit than a raven's to join with the music of a choir; yet no body having been enough Mb friend, "I suppose, to inform him of it; he never fails, when "present, to drown the harmony of every hymn and "anthem, by an inundation of sound beyond that of "the Bridge-at the ebb of the tide, or the neighbour"ing lions in the anguish of their hunger. This is a "grievance, which, to my certain knowledge, several "worthy peopje desire to see redressed; and if by in-" *• serting this epistle in your Paper, or by representing "the matter your own way, you can convince Sientor,
"tha* "that discord in a choir is the fame sin that schism is in "the church in general, you would lay a great obliga"tion upon us; and make some atonement for certain "of your paragraphs, which have not been highly ap"proved by us. I am,
St. P**rs CW4- your most humble servant,
yard, A*g. lit
It is wonderfnl there should be such a general lamentation, and the grievance so frequent, and yet the offender never know any thing of it. I have received the following Letter from my kinsman at the Heralds-office, near the fame place.
•< r I HIS Office, which has had its lhare in the int«* X partial justice of your censures, demands at pre"sent your vindication of their rights and privileges. "There are certain hours when our young Heralds are "exercised in the faculties of making proclamation, "and other vociferations, which of right belong to us "only to utter: But at the fame hours, Stenior in Saint "Paul's church, in spite of the coaches, carts, London
— cries, and all other sounds between us, exalts his "throat to so high a key, that the most noisy of our "Order is utterly unheard. If you please to observe; "upon this, you will «ver oblige, &c." .
- There have been communicated to me some other ill consequences from the fame cause; as, the overturning of coaches by sudden starts of the horses as they passed that way, women pregnant frightened, and heirs to fa-> niilies lost; which are public disasters, though arising from a good intention: But it is hoped, after this admonition, that Stentor will avoid an act of so great fu« pererogation, as singing without a voice,
But I am diverted from prosecuting Sun/or's reformation, by an account, that the two faithful Lovers, Lifonder and Coriana, are dead; for no longer ago than the first day of the last month they swore eternal fidelity to each other, and to love until death. Ever since that time, Lifander has been, twice a day at the Chocolatehouse, vifits in every circle, is missing four hours in four and twenty, and will give no account of himself. These are undoubted proofs of the departure of a Lover; and consequently Coriana is also dead as a Mistress. I have written to Stentor to give this couple three calls at the church-door, which they must hear if they are living within the Bills of Mortality; and if they do not answer at that time, they are from that moment added to the number of my Defunct.
N° 55. Tuesday, August 16, 1709.
■ ■ Paulo majora canamns. Virg. Eel. IV. ver. I.,
——Begin a loftier strain.
White's Chocolate-house, August 15.
WH tLE others are busied in relations which concern the interests of Princes, the peace of Nations, and the revolutions of Empire; I think, though .these are very great subjects, my theme of discourse ia sometimes to be of matters of a yet higher consideration. The flow steps of Providence and Nature, and strange events which are brought about in an instant, are what, as they come within our view and observation, shall be ^iven to the Public. Such things are not accompanied with Ihow and noise, and therefore seldom draw the «yes of the unattentive fpart of mankind; but are very proper at one* to exercise our humanity, please pur imaginations, and improve our judgments. It may not