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household part of family affairs; but still I find there is something very much wanting in the air of my ladies, different from what I have observed in those who are esteemed your fine-bred women. Now, sir, I must own to you, I never suffered my girls to learn to dance; but since I have read
your discourse of dancing, where you have described the beauty and spirit there is in regular motion, I own myself your convert, and resolve for the future to give my young ladies that accomplishment. But upon imparting my design to their parents, I have been made very uneasy for some time, because several of them have declared, that if I did not make use of the master they recommended, they would take away their children. There was colonel Jumper’s lady, a colonel of the trainbands, that has a great interest in her parish; she recommends Mr. Trott for the prettiest master in town; that no man teaches a jig like n; that she has seen him rise six or seven capers together with the greatest ease imaginable ; and that his scholars twist themselves more ways than the scholars of any master in town; besides, there is Madam Prim, an alderman's lady, recommends a master of their own name, but she declares he is not of their family, yet a very extraordinary man in his way; for, besides a very soft air he has in dancing, he gives them a particular behaviour at a tea-table, and in presenting their snuff-box; teaches to twirl, slip, or flirt a fan, and how to place patches to the best advantage, either for fat or lean, long or oval faces; for my lady says there is more in these things than the world imagines, But I must confess, the major part of those I am concerned with leave it to me. I desire therefore, according to the inclosed direction, you would send your correspondent, who has writ to you on that subject to my house. If proper application this way can give innocence new charms, and make virtue legible in the countenance, I shall spare no charge to make my scholars, in their
very features and limbs, bear witness how careful I have been in the other parts of their education.
I am, sir,
Your most humble servant, T.
No. 377. TUESDAY, MAY 13, 1712:
Quid quisque vitet, nunquam homini satis
HOR. 2 Od. xiii. 13.
LOVE was the mother of poetry, and still produces, among the most ignorant and barbarous, a thousand imaginary distresses and poetical complaints. It makes a footman talk like Oroondates, and converts a brutal rustic into a gentle swain. The most ordinary plebeian or mechanic in love bleeds and pines away with a certain elegance and tenderness of sentiments which this passion naturally inspires.
These inward languishings of a mind infected with this softness have given birth to a phrase which is made use of by all the melting tribe, from the highest to the lowest I mean that of dying for love.' Romances, which owe their very being to this
passion, are full of these metaphorical deaths. Heroes and heroines, knights, squires, and damsels, are all of them in a dying condition. There is the same kind of mortality in our modern tragedies, where every one gasps, faints, bleeds and dies. Many of the poets, to describe the execution which is done by this passion, represent the fair sex as basilisks, that destroy with their eyes; but I think Mr. Cowley has, with great justness of thought, compared a beautiful woman to a porcupine, that sends an arrow from every part.
I have often thought that there is no way so effectual for the cure of this general infirmity, as a man's reflecting upon the motives that produces it. When the passion proceeds from the sense of any virtue or perfection in the person beloved, I would by no means discourage it; but if a man considers that all his heavy complaints of wounds and deaths rise from some little affectations of coquetry, which are improved into charms by his own fond imagination, the very laying before himself the cause of his distemper may be sufficient to effect the cure of it.
It is in this view that I have looked over the several bundles of letters which I have received from dying people, and composed out of them the following bill of mortality, which I shall lay before my reader without any farther preface, as hoping that it may be useful to him in discovering those several places where there is most danger, and those fatal arts which are made use of to destroy the heedless and unwary.
Lysander, slain at a puppet-show on the third of September.
Thrysis shot from a casement in Piccadilly.
T. S. wounded by Zelinda's scarlet stocking, as she was stepping out of a coach.
Will Simple, smitten at the opera by the glance of an eye that was aimed at one who stood by him.
Tho. Vainlove, lost his life at a ball.
Tim. Tattle, killed by the tap of a fan on his left shoulder by.Coquetilla, as he was talking carelessly with her in a bow-window.
Sir Simon Softly, murdered at the play-house in Drury-lane by a frown.
Philander, mortally wounded by Cleora, as she was adjusting her tucker.
Ralph Gapley, esq. hit by a random-shot at the ring.
Ë. R. caught his death upon the water, April the 1st.
W. W. killed by an unknown hand, that was playing with the glove off upon the side of the front box in Drury-lane.
Sir Christopher Crazy, bart. hurt by the brush of a whale-bone petticoat.
Sylvius, shot through the sticks of a fan at St. James's church.
Damon struck through the heart by a diamond necklace.
Thomas Trusty, Francis Goosequill, William Meanwell, Edward Callow, esqrs. standing in a row,
fell all four at the same time, by an ogle of the widow Trapland.
Tom Rattle, chancing to tread upon a lady's trail as he came out of the playhouse, she tumed full upon him, and laid him dead upon the spot.
Dick Tastewell, slain by a blush from the queen's box in the third act of the Trip to the Jubilee.
Samuel Felt, haberdasher, wounded in his
walks to Islington, by Mrs. Susanna Cross-stich, as she was clambering over a stile.
R.F. T. W. S. I. M. P. &c. put to death in the last birth-day massacre.
Roger Blinko, cut off in the twenty-first year of his age by a white-wash.
Musidorus, slain by an arrow that flew out of a dimple in Belinda's left cheek.
Ned Courtly, presenting Flavia with her glove (which she had dropped on purpose,) she receiyed it, and took away his life with a courtesy:
John Gosselin, having received a slight hurt from a pair of blue eyes, as he was making his escape, was dispatched by a smile.
Strephon killed by Clarinda as she looked down into the pit.
Charles Careless shot flying by a girl of fifteen, who
unexpectedly popped her head upon him out of a coach.
Josiah Wither, aged threescore and three, sent to his long home by Elizabeth Jetwell, spinster.
Jack Freelove murdered by Melissa in her hair.
William Wiseacre, gent. drowned in a flood of tears by Moll Common.
John Pleadwell, esq. of the Middle Temple, barrister at law, assassinated in his chambers the 6th instant by Kitty Sly, who pretended to come to him for his advice.