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strance. If there be not. a stop put to this evil art, all the modes of address, and the elegant embellishments of life, which arise out of the noble passion of love, will of necessity decay. Who would be at the trouble of rhetoric, or study the bon mien, when his introduce tion is so much easier obtained, by a sudden reverence in a downcast look at the meeting the eye of a fair lady, and beginning again to ogle her as soon as she glances another way? I remember very well, when I was last at an opera, I could perceive the eyes of the whole audience cast into particular cross angles one upon another, without any manner of regard to the stage, though King Latinus was himself present when I made that observation. It was then very pleasant to look into the hearts of the whole company; for the balls of sight are so formed, that one man's eyes are spectacles to another to read his heart with. The most ordinary beholder can take notice of any violent agitation in the mind, any pleasing transport, or any inward grief, in the person he looks at; but one of these oglers can see a studied indifference, a concealed love, or a smothered resentment in the very glances that are made to hide those dispositions of thought. The naturalists tell us, that the rattlesnake will fix himself under a tree where he sees a squirrel playing; and when he has once got the exchange of a glance from the pretty wanton, will give it such a sudden stroke on its imagination, that though it may play from bough to bough, and strive to avert its eyes from it for some time, yet it comes nearer and nearer by little intervals of looking another way, till it drops into the jaws of the animal, which it kuew gazed at it for no other reason but to ruin it. I did not believe this piece of philosophy till that night I was just now speaking of; but then I saw the same thing pass between an ogler and a coquet. Mirtillo, the most learned of the former, had for some time discontinued to visit Flavia, no less eminent among the
latter. They industriously avoided all places where they might probably meet, but chance brought them together to the play-house, and seated them in a direct line over against each other, she in a front box, he in the pit next the stage. As soon as Flavia had received the looks of the whole crowd below her with that air of insensibility, which is necessary at the first entrance, she began to look round her, and saw the vagabond Mirtillo, who had so long absented himself from her circle ; and when she first discovered him, she looked upon him with that glance, which in the language of oglers, is called the Scornful, but immediately turned her observation another way, and returned upon him the Indifferent. This gave Mirtillo no small resentment; but he used her accordingly. He took care to be ready for her next glance. She found his eyes full in the Indolent, with his lips crumbled up, in the posture of one whistling. Her anger at this usage immediately appeared in every muscle of her face; and after many emotions, which glistened in her eyes, she cast them round the whole house, and gave them softnesses in the face of every man she had ever seen before. After she thought she had reduced all she saw to her obedience, the play began, and ended their dialogue. As soon as the first act was over, she stood up with a visage full of dissembled alacrity and pleasure, wi:h which she overlooked the audience, and at last came to him; he was then placed in a side-way, with his hat slouching over his eyes, and gazing at a wench in the side-box, as talking of that gypsey to the gentleman who sat by him. But as she was fixed upon him, he turned suddenly with a full face upon her, and with all the respect imaginable, made her the most obsequious bow in the presence of the whole theatre. This gave her pleasure not to be concealed, and she made him the recovering or second courtesy, with a smile that spoke a perfect reconciliation. Between the ensuing acts, they talked to each other
with gestures and glances so" significant, that they ridiculed the whole house in this silent speech, and made an appointment that Mirtillo should lead her to her coach.
The peculiar language of one eye, as it differs from another, as much as the tone of one voice from another, and the fascination or enchantment which is lodged in the optic nerves of the persons concerned in these dialogues, is, I must confess, too nice a subject for one who is not an adept in these speculations; but I shall, for the good and safety of the fair sex, call my learned friend Sir William Read to my assistance, and, by the help of his observations on this organ, acquaint them. when the eye is to be believed, and when distrusted. On the contrary, I shall conceal the true meaning of the looks of ladies and indulge in them - all the art they can acquire in the management of their glances : all which is but too little against creatures who triumph in falsehood, and begin to forswear with their eyes, when their tongues can be no longer believed.
“ A very clean, well-behaved young gentleman, « who is in a very good way in Cornhill, has written “ to me the following lines, and seems in some passages
of his letter (which I omit) to lay it very 6 much to heart, that I have not spoken of a superna“ tural beauty whom he sighs for, and complaii:s too “ in most elaborate language. Alas! what can a mo. bi nitor do ? All mankind live in romance.
« Mr. BICKERSTAFF,
Royal Exchange, March 11. “ SOME time since you were pleased to mention “ the beauties in the New Exchange and Westmin“ ster-hall, and in my judgment were not very impar
“ tial ; for if you were pleased to allow there was one “ goddess in the New Exchange, and two shepherdes
in Westminster-hall, you very well inight say, « there was and is at present one angel in the Royal « Exchange: and I humbly beg the favour of you to « let justice be done her, by inserting this in your « next Tatler; which will make her my good angel,
and me your most humble servant,
« A. B."
No. CXLVI. THURSDAY, MARCH 16.
Permittes ipsis expendere numinibus, quid
From my own Apartment, March 15. AMONG the various sets of correspondents who apply to me for advice, and send up their cases from all parts of Great Britain, there are none who are more importunate with me, and whom I am more inclined to answer, than the complainers. One of them dates his letter to me from the banks of a purling stream, where he used to ruminate in solitude upon the divine Clarissa, and where he is now looking about for a convenient leap, which he tells me he is resolved to take, unless I support him under the loss of that charming perjured woman. Poor Lavinia
presses as much for consolation, on the other side, and is reduced to such an extremity of despair by the incon
stancy of Philander, that she tells me she writes her letter with her pen in one hand, and the garter in the other. A gentleman of an ancient family in Norfolk is almost out of his wits upon the account of a grey: hound, that after having been his inseparable companion for ten years, is at last run mad. Another (who I believe is serious) complains to me in a very mov. ing manner, of the loss of a wife; and another in terms still more moving, of a purse of money that was taken from him on Bagshot Heath, and which he tells me, would not have troubled him, if he had given it to the poor. In short, there is scarce a calamity in human life that has not produced me a letter.
It is indeed wonderful to consider, how men are able to raise affliction to themselves out of every thing. Lands and houses, sheep and oxen, can convey happiness and misery into the hearts of reasonable creatures. Nay, I have known a muff, a scarf, or a tippet, become a solid blessing or misfortune. A lapdog has broke the hearts of thousands. Flavia, who had buried five children, and two husbands, was never able to get over the loss of her parrot. How often has a divine creature been thrown into a fit by a neglect at a ball or an assembly? Mopsa has kept her chamber ever since the last masquerade, and is in greater dan. ger of her life upon being left out of it, than Clarinda from the violent cold she caught at it. Nor are these dear creatures the only sufferers by such imaginary çalamities : many an author has been dejected at the censure of one whom he ever looked upon as an idiot; and many an hero cast into a fit of melancholy, because therabble have not hooted at him as he passed through the streets. Theron places all his happiness in a running horse, Suffenus in a gilded chariot, Fulvius in a blue string, and Florio in a tulip root. It would be endless to enumerate the many fantastical afflictions that disturb mankind; but as a misery is not to be measured from the nature of the evil, but from the