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one another when they were guarded by spies and watches, or separated by castles and adventures.
In the mean while, if ever this invention should be revived or put in practice, I would propose, that upon the lover's dial-plate there should be written not only the four and twenty letters, but feveral intire words which have always a place in paffionate epistles, as flames, darts, die, language, abfence, Cupid, heart, eyes, hang, drown, and the like.
This would very much abridge the lovers pains in this way of writing a letter, as it would enable him to express the moft useful and fignificant words with a fingle touch of the needle.
No 242. FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7.
Creditur, ex medio quia res arcesit, habere
Hor. Ep. i. lib. ii. ver. 168.
task. • Mr. SPECTATOR, YOUR
Our speculations do not so generally prevail
over mens manners as I could wish. A - former paper of yours concerning the misbehavi.
our of people, who are necessarily in each other's company in travelling, ought to have been a last
ing adınonition against transgressions of that kind : • But I had the fate of your quaker, in mecting • with a rude fellow in a stage.coach, who entero tained two or three women of us (for there was
no man besides himself) with language as indecent as ever was heard upon the water. The ima pertinent observations which the coxcomb made
upon our shame and confusion were such, that : it is an unspeakable grief to reflect upon them. D & 3
• As much as you have declaimed against duelling,
I hope you will do us the justice to declare, that ' if the brute has courage enough to send to the
place where he saw us all alight together to get * rid of him, there is not one of us but has a lover ' who shall avenge the insult. It would certainly • be worth your consideration, to look into the fre
quent misfortunes of this kind, to which the mo. deft and innocent are exposed by the licentious • behaviour of fuclı as are as much strangers to
good-breeding as to virtue. Could we avoid hearing what we do not approve, as easily as we can feeing what is disagreeable, there were fome consolation ; but since in a box at a play, in an af
sembly of Ladics, or even in a pew at church, it ' is in the power of a gross coxcomb to atter whạt
a woman cannot avoid hearing, how miserable is her condition who comes within the
of ' such impertinents ? And how necessary is it to
repeat invectives against fuch a behaviour ? If • the licentious had not utterly forgot what it is to ' be modest, they would know that offended mo• defty labours under one of the greatest sufferings
to which human life can be exposed. If one of • thefe brutes could reflect thus much, though they
want shame, they would be moved, by their pitý, . to abhor an impudent behaviour in the presence • of the chaste and innocent. IE you will oblige • us with a Speeator on this subject, and procure
it to be parted against every ftage-coach in Great
Britain, as the law of the journey, you will high1 ly oblige the whole sex, for which you have pro“ fessed so great an esteem ; and in particular, the (Wo Ladies
late fellow-sufferers, and,
• REBECCA RIDING HOOD.'
« Mr. SPECTATOR, THE matter which I am now going to send you,
is an unhappy story in low life, and will re• commend itself, so that you must excuse the
manner of expressing it. A poor idle drunken
weaver in Spittlefields 'has a faithful laborious • wife, who by her frugality and industry had laid • by her as much money as purchased her a ticket ' in the present lottery. She had hid this very
privately in the bottom of a trunk, and had given her number to a friend and confident who had promised to keep the fecret, and bring her news of the success. The poor adventurer was, one day gone abroad, when her careless husband
suspecting she had faved fome money, searches ' every corner, until at length he finds this fame Sticket; which he immediately carries abroad,
fells, and squanders away the money without the ' wife's suspecting any thing of the matter.
or two after this, this friend, who was a woman,
comes and brings the other word, that she had a • benefit of five hundred pounds. The poor crea
ture overjoyed, flies up stairs to her husband, s who was then at work, and defires him to leave
his loom for that evening, and come and drink I with a friend of his and hers below. The man
received this cheerful invitation as bad husbands * sometimes do, and after a cross word or two, • told her he would not come. His wife with ten• derness renewed her importunity, and at length • said to him, My love! I have within these few · months, unknown to you, scraped together as ' much money as has bought us a ticket in the lot
tery, and now here is Mrs. Quick come to tell me • that it is come up this morning a five hundred * pound prize. The husband replies immediately, • You lye, you slut, you have no ticket, for I have • sold it. The poor woman upon this faints away • in a fit, recovers, and is now run distracted.
• As she had no design to defraud her husband, . but was willing only to participate in his good for
tune, every one pities her, but thinks her hus. • band's punishment but just. This, Sir, is matter
of fact, and would, if the persons and circum• stances were greater, in a well wrought play be • called Beautiful Distress. I have only sketched it
out with chalk, and know a good hand can make "a moving picture with worfe materials.
• Mr. SPECTATOR, : I
Am what the world calls a Warm Fellow, and
by good success in trade I have raised myself to a capacity of making some figure in the world; • but no matter for that. I have now under my
guardianship a couple of nieces, who will certain
ly make me run mad; which you will not won• der at, when I tell you they are female virtuosos, • and during the three years and a half that I have.
had them under my care, they never in the least • inclined their thoughts towards any one single: part.
of the character of a notable woman. Whilst they should have been considering the proper ingredients for a fack-poffet, you should hear a
dispute concerning the magnetick virtue of the "loadstone, or perhaps the pressure of the atmof
phere : Their language is peculiar to themselves,
and they scorn to express themselves on the mean' eft trifle with words that are not of a Latin deri. « vation. But this were supportable still, would
they suffer me to enjoy an uninterrupted ignor
ance ; but, unless I fall in with their abstracted - ideas of things (as they call them) I must not
expect to smoke one pipe in quiet. In a late fit s of the gout I complained of the pain of that dif' temper, when my niece Kitty begged leave to af• fure me, that whatever I might think, several ! great philosophers, both ancient and modern,
were of opinion, that both pleasure and pain were . imaginary distinctions, and that there was no such ' thing as either in rerum natura. I have often • heard them affirm that the fire was not hot; and
one day when I, with the authority of an old fellow, desired one of them to put my blue cloke
on my knees; the answered, Sir, I will reach the . cloke; but take notice, I do not do it as allow'ing your defcription; for it might as well be cal' led yellow as blue; for colour is nothing but the * various infractions of the rays of the fun. Miss
Molly told me one day; That to say fnow was ' white, is allowing a vulgar error; for as it contains
a great quantity of nitrous particles, it might more reasonably be supposed to be black. In short, the young hufleys would persuade me, that to believe
is a sure way to be deceived; and have often advised me, by no means, to trust any thing so fallible as my senses. What I have to beg of you now is, to turn one speculation to the due • regulation of female literature, fo far at least, as
to make it consistent with the quiet of such whose fate it is to be liable to its insults; and to tell us
the difference between a Gentleman that should • make the cheese-cakes and raise paste, and a La
dy that reads Locke, and understands the mathematicks, In which you will extremely oblige
“Your hearty friend and humble servant, T