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Thursday, March 6.
Quo teneam vultus mutantem Protea nodo?
Hor. Ep. 1. lib. 1. ver. 90. What chain can hold this varying Proteus faft?
CREECH. Have endeavoured in the course of my papers to do
poflible to keep myself a neuter between both sexes. I have neither ipared the ladies out of complaisance, nor the men out of partiality ; but notwithstanding the great integrity with which I have acted in this particular, I find myself taxed with an inclination to favour my own half of the species. Whether it be that the women af. ford a more fruitful field for speculation, or whether they rún more in my head than the men, I cannot tell, but I shall set down the charge as it is laid against me in the following letter.
Mr. Spektator, : I Always make one among a company of young fee
males, who peruse your fpeculations every morning. • I am at present commissioned by our whole assembly, to * let you know, that we fear you are a little inclined to • be partial towards your own sex. We must however
acknowledge, with all due gratitude, that in some cases you have
given us our revenge on the men, and done us justice. We could not easily have forgiven you se* veral strokes in the direction of the coquette's heart, • if you had not much about the same time made a sacrifice to us of a beau's scull. 6 You
may further, Sir, please to remember, that not long since
you attacked our hoods and commodes in · such manner, as, to use your own expression; made
very many of us ashamed to thew our heads. We must, therefore, beg leave to represent to you, that we are in hopes, if you would please to make a due inquiry, the men in all ages would be found to have been
6 he was.
6 little less whimsical in adorning that part, than our«selves. The different forms of their wigs, together o with the various cocks of their hats, all fatter us in < this opinion.
" I had an humble servant last summer, who the firft « time he declared himself, was in a full-bottomed wig ; « but the day after, to my no small surprise, he accosted s me in a thin natural one. I received him at this our « fecond interview, as a perfect ftranger, but was extremely confounded, when his speech discovered who
I resolved, therefore, to fix his face in my memory for the future ; but as I was walking in the • Park the same evening, he appeared to me in one of " those wigs that I think you call a night-cap, which " had altered him more effectually than before. He af. “terwards played a couple of black riding wigs upon
me with the same success ; and in short, assumed a
new face, almost every day in the first month of his • courtship.
• I observed afterwards, that the variety of cocks into s which he moulded his hat, had not a little contributed < to his impofitions upon me,
" Yet as if all these ways were not sufficient to distinguish their heads, you must doubtless, Sir, have ob« served, that great numbers of young fellows have, for • several months last part, taken upon them to wear 6 feathers.
• We hope, therefore, that these may, with as much justice, be called Indian princes, as you have stiled a
in a coloured hood an Indian queen; and that you will, in due time, take these airy gentlemen into confideration. • We the more earnestly beg that you would put a stop
to this practice, fince it has already loft us one of the • most agreeable members of our society, who after having • refused several good eftates, and two titles, was lured • from us last week by a mixed feather.
I am ordered to present you the respects of our whole • company, and am, Sir,
• Your very humble servant,
* Note. The person wearing the feather, though our • friend took him for an officer in the guards, has proved to be an errant linen-draper.'
I am not now at leisure to give my opinion upon the hat and feather; however, to wipe off the present iinputation, and gratify my female correspondent, ! fa!! here print a letter which I lately received from a man of mode, who seems to have a very extraordinary genius in his
Presume I need not inform you, that among men of dress it is a common phrase to say, Mr. Such-c
“ has ftruck a bold stroke ;' by which we understand, that he is the first man who has had courage
enough to lead up a fashion. Accordingly, when our ' tailors take measure of us, they always demand “ whe“ther we will have a plain suit, or strike a bold stroke.” " I think I may without vanity fay, that I have struck
fome of the boldest and most successful strokes of any man in Great-Britain. I was the first that struck the long pocket about two years since ; I was likewise the author of the frosted button, which when I saw the
town come readily into, being resolved to strike. while • the iron was hot, I produced much about the same time • the scallop flap, the knotted cravat, and made a fair
push for the silver-clocked stocking. . A few months after I brought up the modith jacket, or the coat with close sleeves. I ftruck this at first in a plain Doily; but that failing I ftruck it a second time
in blue camblet; and repeated the stroke in several ó kinds of cloth, until at last it took effect. There are • two or three young fellow at the other end of the town, ' who have always their eye upon me, and answer me (ftroke for stroke. I was once so unwary as to mention
my fancy in relation to a new-fashioned surtout before
one of these gentlemen, who was disingenuous enough " to steal my thought, and by that means prevented my s intended Itroke.
' I have a design this spring to make very considerable innovations in the waistcoat; and have already VOL: IV,
• begun with a coup d'efjai upon the fleeves, which has succeeded very well.
I must further inform you, if you will promise to encourage, or at least connive at me, that it is my design • to strike such a stroke the beginning of the next month, as shall surprise the whole town.
I do not think it prudent to acquaint you with all • the particulars of my intended dress; but will only • tell you as a sample of it, that I shall very speedily ap
pear at White's in a cherfy-coloured hat.' I took this. « hint from the ladies hoods, which I look upon as the • boldest stroke that sex has struck for these hundred years
6 last paít.
• I am, Sir,
" Will Sprightly.' I have not time at present to make any reflexions on this letter, but must not however omit, that having mewn it to Will Honeycomb, he desires to be acquainted with the gentleman who writ it.
non pronuba Juno, Non Hymenæus adeft, non illi gratia letto: Eumenides fravere torum
Ovid. Met. lib. 6. ver. 428. Nor Hymen, nor the graces here prefide, Nor Juno to befriend the blooming bride; But fiends with fun'ral brands the process led, And furies waited at the genial bed. CROXAL. • Mr. Spectator,
OU have given many hints in your papers to the disadvantage of persons of your own sex,
who lay plots upon women. Among other • hard words you have published the term male-coquets,
6 and been very
severe upon such as give themselves the • liberty of a little dalliance of heart, and playing fast • and loofe, between love and indifference, until perhaps • an easy young girl is reduced to fighs, dreanis, and
tears; and languishes away her life for a careless cox
comb, who looks astonished, and wonders at such an • effect from what in him was all but common civility, . • Thus you have treated the men who were irresolute in • marriage; but if you design to be impartial, pray be • fo honelt as to print the information I now give you, • of a certain set of women who never coquet for the
matter, but with an high hand marry whom they • please to whom they please. As for my part, I should
not have concerned myself with them, but that I un. derstand I am pitched upon, by them toʻbe married,
against my will, to one I never saw in my life. It has • been my misfortune, Sir, very innocently, to rejoice, ' in a plentiful fortune, of which I am malter, to be.
speak a fine chariot, to give direction for two or three • handsome snuff-boxes, and as many suits of fine clothes; • but before any of these were ready, I heard reports ' of my being to be married to two or three different
young women. Upon my taking notice of it to a
young gentleman who is often in my company, he • told me smiling, I was in the inquisition. You may « believe I was not a little startled at what he meant, • and more so when he asked me if I had befpoke any
thing of late that was fine. I told him several; upon
which he produced a description of my person, from the • tradesmen whom I had employed, and told me that they had certainly informed against me.
Mr. Specstator, whatever the world may think of me, I am
more coxcomb than fool, and I grew very inquisitive • upon this head, not a little pleased with the novelty.
My friend told me, there were a certain set of wo
men of fashion, whereof the number of fix made a • committee, who sat thrice a week, under the title of the inquisition on maids and bachelors.
It seems, « whenever there comes such an anthinking gay thing
as myself to town, he must want all manner of necessa• ries, or be put into the inquisition by the first tradesman