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their impressions, and not as those objects are in their own nature. How much more shall all that *passes within his view and observation touch with delight a man who is prepossessed with successful love, which is an assemblage of soft affection, gay desires, and hopeful resolutions !"
Poor Cynthio went on at this rate to the crowd about him, without any purpose in his talk, but to vent an heart overflowing with sense of success. I wondered what could exalt him from the distress in which he had long appeared, to so much alacrity; but my familiar has given me the state of his affairs. It seems, then, that lately coming out of the playhouse, his mistress, who knows he is in her livery, as the manner of insolent beauties is, is resolved to keep him still so, and gave him so much wages as to complain to him of the crowd she was to pass through. He had his wits and resolution enough about him to take her hand, and say he would attend her to the coach. All the way thither, my good young man stammered at every word, and stumbled at every step. His mistress, wonderfully pleased with her triumph, put to him a thousand questions, to make a man of his natural wit speak with hesitation; and let drop her fan, to see him recover it aukwardly. This is the whole foundation of Cynthio's recovery to the sprightly air he appears with at present.
I grew mighty curious to know something more of that lady's affairs, as being amazed how she could dally with an offer of one of his merit and fortune. I sent Pacolet to her lodgings, who immediately brought me back the following letter to her friend and confident Amanda, in the country, wherein she has opened her heart and all its folds.
“Dear Amanda, “The town grows so empty, that you must expect my letter so too, except you will allow me to
talk of myself instead of others. You cannot imagine what pain it is, after a whole day spent iņ public, to want your company, and the ease which friendship allows in being vain to each other, and speaking all our minds. An account of the slaughter which these unhappy eyes have made within ten days last past, would make me appear too great a tyrant to be allowed in a Christian country. I shall therefore confine myself to my principal conquests; which are the hearts of beau Frisk and Jack Freeland, besides Cynthio, who, you know, wore my fetters before you went out of town. Shall I tell you my weakness? I began to love Frisk; it is the best-humoured impertinent thing in the world : he is always too in waiting, and will certainly carry me off one time or other. Freeland's father and mine have been on treaty without consulting me; and Cynthio has been eternally watching my eyes, without approaching me, my friends, my maid, or any one about me: he hopes to get me, I believe, as they say the rattle-snake does the squirrel, by staring at me until I drop into his mouth. Freeland demands me for a jointure, which he thinks deserves me; Cynthio thinks nothing high enough to be my value: Freeland therefore will take it for no obligation to have me; and Cynthio's idea of me is what will vanish by knowing me better: familiarity will equally turn the veneration of the one, and the indifference of the other, into contempt.
I will stick therefore to my old maxim, to have that sort of man, who can have no greater views than what are in my power to give him possession of. The utmost of
dear Frisk's ambition is, to be thought a man of fashion; and therefore has been so much in mode, as to resolve upon me, because the whole town likes me. Thus I choose rather a man who loves me because others do, than one who approves me on his own judgment. He that judges for him
self in love will often change his opinion; but he that follows the sense of others must be constant, as long as a woman can make advances. The visits I make, the entertainments I give, and the addresses I receive, will be all arguments for me with a man of Frisk's second-hand genius; but would be so many bars to my_happiness with any other man. However, since Frisk can wait, I shall enjoy a summer or two longer, and remain a single woman, in the sublime pleasure of being followed and admired; which nothing can equal except that of being beloved by you. I am, &c.”
Wills Coffee-house, May 30. My chief business here this evening was to speak
friends on behalf of honest Cave Underhill, who has been a comic for three generations : my father admired him extremely when he was a boy. There is certainly nature excellently represented in his manner of action; in which he ever avoided the general fault in players, of doing too much. It must be confessed, he has not the merit of some ingenious persons now on the stage, of adding to his authors: for the actors were so dull in the last age, that many of them have gone out of the world, without having
ever spoke one word of their own in the theatre. Poor Cave is so mortified, that he quibbles and tells you, he pretends only to act a part fit for a man who has one foot in the grave, viz, a grave-digger. All admirers of true comedy, it is hoped, will have the gratitude to be present on the last day of his acting, who, if he does not happen to please them, will have it even then to say, that it is his first offence.
But there is a gentleman here, who says he has it from good hands, that there is actually a subscription made by many persons of wit and quality for the encouragement of new comedies. This design will very much contribute to the improvement and diversion of the town; but as every man is most concerned for himself, I, who am of a satur-nine and melancholy complexion, cannot but murmur, that there is not an equal invitation to write tragedies ; having by me, in my book of common places, enough to enable me to finish a very sad one by the fifth of the next month. I have the farewell of a general, with a truncheon in his hand, dying for love, in six lines. I have the principles of a politician (who does all the mischief in the play), together with his declaration on the vanity of ambition in his last moments, expressed in a page and an half. I have all my oaths ready, and my
similies want nothing but application. I will not pretend to give you an account of the plot, it being the same design upon which all tragedies have been writ for several years last past; and from the beginning of the first scene, the frequenters of the house may know as well as the author when the battle is to be fought, the lady to yield, and the hero proceed to his wedding and coronation. Besides these advantages which I have in readiness, I have an eminent tragedian very much my friend, who shall come in and go through the whole five acts without troubling me for one sentence, whether he is to kill, or be killed, love, or be loved, win battles or lose them, or whatever other tragical performance I shall please to assign him.
From my own Apartment, May 30. I have this day received a letter, subscribed Fidelia, that gives me an account of an inchantment under which a young lady suffers, and desires my help to exorcise her from the power of the sorcerer. Her lover is a rake of sixty; the lady a virtuous woman of twenty-five: her relations are to the last degree afflicted, and amazed at this irregular passion. Their sorrow I know not how to remove, but can their astonishment; for, there is no spirit in woman half so prevalent as that of contradiction, which is the sole cause of her perseverance.
Let the whole family go dressed in a body, and call the bride to-morrow morning to her nuptials, and I will undertake the inconstant will forget the lover in the midst of all his aches : but if this expedient does not succeed, I must be so just to the young lady's distinguishing sense, as to applaud her choice. A fine young woman, at last, is but what is due from fate to an honest fellow, who has suffered so unmercifully by the sex; and I think we cannot enough celebrate her heroic virtue, who (like the patriot that ended a pestilence by plunging himself into a gulph), gives herself up to gorge that dragon which has devoured so many virgins before her.
** A letter directed « To Isaac Bickerstaff, Esquire, Astrologer and Physician in ordinary to her Majesty's subjects of Great Britain, with respect,” is come to hand.
N° 23. THURSDAY, 'JUNE 2, 1709.
Quicquid agunt homines
nostri est farrago libelli.
Juv. Sat. i. 85, 86.
and of staying in it, that a man cannot have
*ll in any one art, but they will, in spite