« PreviousContinue »
Nor yet from some was all Distrust remov'd,
No. 527. Tho' 'Heav'n such Virtue by such Wonders prov'd. Tuesday, I am, Sir,
1712 Your very humble Servant,
The unfortunate Wife, taking the Word Air to be the
No. 528. No. 528.
Wednesday, November 5. day, Nov. 5.
Dum potuit, solita gemitum virtute repressit-Ovid. 1712.
they are such which are overlooked by the Generality of Mankind, and tho' the most afflicting imaginable, not regarded as such in the general Sense of the World. I have hid my Vexation from all Mankind; but have now taken Pen, Ink, and Paper, and am resolved to unbosome my self to you, and lay before you what grieves me and all the Sex. You have very often mentioned particular Hardships done to this or that Lady, but, methinks, you have not in any one Speculation directly pointed at the partial Freedom Men take, the unreason able Confinement Women are obliged to, in the only Circumstance in which we are necessarily to have a Commerce with them, that of Love. The Case of Celibacy is the great Evil of our Nation, and the Indulgence of the vitious Conduct of Men in that State, with the Ridicule to which Women are exposed, though never so virtuous, if long unmarried, is the Root of the greatest Irregularities of this Nation. To shew you, Sir, that though you never have given us the Catalogue of a Lady's Library as you promised, we read good Books of our own chusing, I shall insert on this Occasion a Paragraph or two out of Echard's Roman History. In the 44th Page of the second Volume the Author ob serves, That Augustus, upon his Return to Rome at the end of a War, received Complaints that too great a Number of the young men of Quality were unmarried. The Emperor thereupon assembled the whole Equestrian Order; and having separated the Married from the Single, did particular Honours to the former, but he told the latter, that is to say, Mr. SPECTATOR, he told the Batchelors, "That their Lives and Actions had been so peculiar, that he knew not by what Name to call 'emí not by that of Men, for they performed nothing that was manly: not by that of Citizens, for the City might perish not
withstanding their Care; nor by that of Romans, for No. 528. they designed to extirpate the Roman Name." Then Wednes proceeding to shew his tender Care and hearty Affection day,
Nov. 5, for his people, he further told 'em, "That their Course 1712. of Life was of such pernicious Consequence to the Glory and Grandeur of the Roman Nation, that he could not chuse but tell 'em, that all other Crimes put together could not equalize theirs: For they were guilty of Murder, in not suffering those to be born which should proceed from them; of Impiety, in causing the Names and Honours of their Ancestors to cease ; and of Sacrilege, in destroying their Kind, which proceed from the Im mortal Gods, and human Nature, the principal Thing consecrated to 'em: Therefore, in this Respect they dissolved the Government, in disobeying its Laws; betrayed their Country, by making it barren and waste; nay, and demolished their City, in depriving it of Inhabitants. And he was sensible that all this proceeded not from any kind of Virtue or Abstinence, but from a Looseness and Wantonness, which ought never to be encourag'd in any Civil Government." There are no Particulars dwelt upon that let us into the Conduct of these young Worthies, whom this great Emperor treated with so much Justice and Indignation; but any one who observes what passes in this Town, may very well frame to himself a Notion of their Riots and Debaucheries all Night, and their apparent Preparations for them all Day, It is not to be doubted but these Romans never passed any of their Time innocently but when they were asleep, and never slept but when they were weary and heavy with Excesses, and slept only to prepare themselves for the Repetition of them. If you did your Duty as a SPECTATOR, you would carefully examine into the Number of Births, Marriages, and Burials; and when you had deducted out of your Deaths all such as went out of the World without marrying, then cast up the Number of both Sexes born within such a Term of Years last past, you might from the single People departed make some useful Inferences or Guesses how many there are left unmarried, and raise some useful Scheme for the Amendment of the Age in that particular. I have not Patience to proceed gravely
No. 528, Wednesday, Nov. 5, 1712.
on this abominable Libertinism; for I cannot but reflect
am writing to you, upon a certain lascivious Manner which all our young Gentlemen use in Publick, and examine our Eyes with a Petulancy in their own, which is a downright Affront to Modesty. A disdainful Look on such an Occasion is returned with a Countenance rebuked but by averting their Eyes from the Woman of Honour and Decency to some flippant Creature, who will, as the Phrase is, be kinder, I must set down things as they come into my Head, without standing upon Order. Ten thousand to one but the gay Gentleman who stared at the same Time is an House-keeper, for you must know they have got into a Humour of late of being very regular in their Sins, and a young Fellow shall keep his four Maids and three Footmen with the greatest Gravity imaginable. There are no less than six of these venerable
House-keepers of my Acquaintance. This Humour among young Men of Condition is imitated by all the World below them, and a general Dissolution of Manners arises from the one Source of Libertinism without Shame or Reprehension in the Male Youth. It is from this one Fountain that so many beautiful helpless young Women are sacrificed, and given up to Lewdness, Shame, Poverty, and Disease: It is to this also that so many excellent young Women, who might be Patterns of conjugal Affection and Parents of a worthy Race, pine under unhappy Passions for such as have not Attention enough to observe, or Virtue enough to prefer them to their common Wenches. Now, Mr. SPECTATOR, I must be free to own to you, that I my self suffer a tasteless insipid Being, from a Consideration I have for a Man who would not, as he has said in my Hearing, resign his Liberty, as he calls it
, for all the Beauty and Wealth the whole Sex is possessed of. Such Calamities as these would not happen, if it could possibly be brought about, that by fining Batchelors as Papists Convict
, or the like, they were distinguished to their Disadvantage from the rest of the World, who fall in with the Measures of civil Society, Lest you should think I speak this as being, according to the senseless rude Phrase, a malicious old Maid, I shall acquaint you I am a Woman of Condition not
now three and twenty, and have had Proposals from No. 528. at least ten different Men, and the greater Number of Wednes them have upon the Upshot refused me. Something
Nov. 5, or other is always amiss when the Lover takes to some 1712. new Wench: A Settlement is easily excepted against and there is very little Recourse to avoid the vitious Part of our Youth, but throwing one's self away upon some lifeless Blockhead, who though he is without Vice, is also without Virtue. Nowra-days we must be contented if we can get Creatures which are not bad; good are not to be expected. Mr. SPECTATOR, I sate near you
the other Day, and I think I did not displease your Spectatorial Eye-sight; which I shall be a better Judge of when I see whether you take Notice of these Evils your own way, or print this Memorial dictated from the disdainful heavy Heart of,
Your most Obedient Humble Servant, T
Thursday, November 6.
Rank and Precedence, I could not forbear amusing my self with some Observations, which I have made upon the Learned World, as to this great Particular. By the Learned World I here mean at large, all those who are any way concerned in Works of Literature, whether in the Writing, Printing or Repeating Part. To begin with the Writers; I have observed that the Author of a Folio, in all Companies and Conversations, sets himself above the Author of a Quarto , the Author of a Quarto above the Author of an Octavo; and so on, by a gradual Descent and Subordination, to an Author in Twenty Fours. This Distinction is so well observed, that in an Assembly of the Learned, I have seen a Folio Writer place himself in an Elbow-chair, when the Author of a Duordecimo has, out of a just Deference to his superior Quality, seated himself upon a Squabb. In a Word, Authors are usually