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it would certainly have made a more charming page than any he has now left behind him. How might a man, furnished with Gyges's secret, employ it in bringing together distant friends, laying snares for creating good-will in the room of groundless hatred; in removing the pangs of an unjust jealousy, the shyness of an imperfect reconciliation, afid the tremor of an awful love? such a one could give confidence to bashful merit, and confusion to over-bearing impudence. Certain it is, that secret kindnesses done to mankind are as beautiful as secret injuries are detestable. To be invisibly good, is as godlike, as to be invisibly iii, diabolical. As degenerate as we are apt to say the age we live in is, there are still amongst us men of illustrious minds, who enjoy all the pleasures of good actions, except that of being commended for them. There happens among other very worthy instances of a public spirit, one, which I am obliged to discover, because I know not otherwise how to obey the commands of the benefactor. A citizen of London has given directions to Mr. Rainer, the writing-master of Paul's school, to educate at his charge ten boys (who shall be nominated by me) in writing and accounts, till they shall be fit for any trade. I desire therefore such as know any proper objects for receiving this bounty to give notice thereof to Mr. Morphew, or Mr. Liklie, and they shall, if properly qualified, have instructions accordingly. Actions of this kind have in them something so transcendent, that it is an injury to applaud them, and a diminution of that merit which consists in shunning our approbation. We shall therefore leave them to enjoy that glorious obscurity, and silently admire their virtue, who can contemn the most delicious of human Pleasures, that of receiving due praise. Such celestial §ispositions very justly suspend the discovery of their benefactions till they come where their actions can
t be misinterpreted, and receive their first congrafislations in the company of angels.
“WHEREAS Mr. Bickerstaff, by a letter bear“ing date this 24th of February, has received infor“mation, that there are in and about the Royal Ex“change a sort of people commonly known by the “name of Whetters, who drink themselves into an “intermediate state of being neither drunk nor sober “before the hours of 'Change, or business, and in
“that condition buy and sell stocks, discount notes,
“and do many other acts of well disposed citizens : “this is to give notice, that from this day forward, no “Whetter shall be able to give or indorse any note, or “execute any other point of commerce, after the third “half pint, before the hour of one : and whoever shall “transact any matter or matters with a Whetter (not
“being himself of that order) shall be conducted to
“Moorfields upon the first application of his next a“kin. “N. B. No tavern near the 'Change shall deliver “wine to such as drink at the bar standing, except the “same shall be three parts of the best cyder; and the “master of the house shall produce a certificate of the “same from Mr. Tintoret, or some other credible “wine-painter. “Whereas the model of the intended Bedlam is “now finished, and the edifice itself will be very sud“denly begun; it is desired, that all such as have re“lations, whom they would recommend to our care, “would bring in their proofs with all speed, none be“ing to be admitted of course but lovers, who are put “into an immediate regimen. Young politicians also “are received without fees or examination.”
WOL. III. - I.
No. CXXXIX. TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 28.
.........Nihil est quod credere de se
Sheer-lane, February 27.
WHEN I reflect upon the many nights I have sat up for some months last past in the greatest anxiety for the good of my neighbours and contemporaries, it is no small discouragement to me, to see how slow a progress I make in the reformation of the world. But, indeed, I must do my female readers the justice to own, that their tender hearts are much more susceptible of good impressions, than the minds of the other sex. Business and ambition take up men's thoughts too much to leave room for philosophy; but if you speak to women in a style and manner proper to approach them, they never fail to improve by your counsels. I shall therefore for the future turn my thoughts more particularly to their service, and study the best methods to adorn their persons, and inform their minds in the justest methods to make them what nature designed them, the most beauteous objects of our eyes, and the most agreeable companions of our lives. But when I say this, I must not omit at the same time to look into their errors and mistakes, that being the readiest way to the intended end of adorning and instructing them. It must be acknowledged, that the very inadvertencies of this sex are owing to the other ; for, if men were not flatterers, women could not fall into that general cause of all their follies, and our misfortunes, their love of flattery. Were the commendation of these agreeable creatures built upon its proper foundation, the higher we raised their opinion of themselves, the greater would be the advantage to our sex ; but all the topic of praise is drawn from very senseless and extravagant ideas we pretend we
have of their beauty and perfection. Thus, when a young man falls in love with a young woman, from that moment she is no more Mrs. Alice such-a-one, born of such a father, and educated by such a mother; but from the first minute that he casts his eye upon her with desire, he conceives a doubt in his mind, what heavenly power gave so unexpected a blow to an heart that was ever before untouched. But who can resist fate and destiny, which are lodged in Mrs. Alice's eyes? After which he desires orders accordingly, whether he is to live or die; the smile or frown of his goddess is the only thing that can now either save or destroy him. By this means, the well-humoured girl, that would have romped with him before she had received this declaration, assumes a state suitable to the majesty he has given her, and treats him as the Vassal he calls himself. The girl's head is immediately turned by having the power of life and death, and takes care to suit every motion and air to her new sovereignty. After he has placed himself at this distance, he must never hope to recover his former familiarity, till she has had the addresses of another, and found them less sincere.
If the application to women were justly turned, the address offiattery, though it implied at the same time an admonition, would be much more likely to succeed. Should a captivated lover, in a billet, let his mistress
*W, that her piety to her parents, her gentleness of
“haviour, her prudent economy with respect to her "h little affairs in a virgin condition, had improved the passion which her beauty had inspired him with "to so settled an esteem for her, that of all women "cathing he wished her his wife; though his com*nding her for qualities she knew she had as a vir8th, would make her believe he expected from her an *lowerable conduct in the character of a matron; I Yo answer for it, his suit would be carried on with less perplexity.
Instead of this, the generality of our young women, taking all their notions of life from gay writings, or letters of love, consider themselves as goddesses, nymphs and shepherdesses.
By this romantic sense of things, all the natural relations and duties of life are forgotten, and our female part of mankind are bred and treated, as if they were designed to inhabit the happy fields of Arcadia, rather than be wives and mothers in Old England. It is indeed long since I had the happiness to converse familiarly with this sex, and therefore have been fearful of falling into the error which recluse men are very subject to, that of giving false representations of the world from which they have retired, by imaginary schemes drawn from their own reflections. An old man cannot easily gain admittance into the dressing room of ladies; I therefore thought it time well-spent, to turn over Agrippa, and use all my occult art, to give my old cornelian ring the same force with that of Gyges, which I have lately spoken of. By the help of this I went unobserved to a friend's house of mine, and followed the chamber-maid invisibly about twelve of the clock into the bed-chamber of the beauteous Flavia, his fine daughter just before she got up.
I drew the curtains, and being wrapped up in the safety of my old age, could with much pleasure, without passion, behold her sleeping with Waller's poems, and a letter fixed in that part of him, where every woman thinks herself described. The light flashing upon her face, awakened her: she opened her eyes, and her lips too, repeating that piece of false wit in that admired poet;
Such Helen was: and who can blame the boy,
This she pronounced with a most bewitching sweet: ness; but after it fetched a sigh, that methought had