« AnteriorContinuar »
to come over himself, and all his Family, within few Months, is sensible they want Breeding enough for our Congregations, and has sent his two eldest Daughters to learn to dance, that they may not misbehave themselves at Church : It is worth considering whether, in regard to aukward People with scrupulous Consciences, a good Christian of the best Air in the World ought not rather to deny herself the Opportunity of thewing so many Graces, than keep a bashful Profelyte without the Pale of the Church.
Friday, November 28.
Singula de nobis anni prædantur euntes. Hor. Mr. SPECTATOR,
I Am now in the fixty fifth Year of my Age, and hav• |ing been the greater Part of my Days a Man of
Pleasure, the Decay of my Faculties is a Stagnati• on of my Life. But how is it, Sir, that my Appetites • are increased upon me with the Loss of Power to gra• tify them? I write this, like a Criminal, to warn People
to enter upon what Reformation they please to make in " themselves in their Youth, and not expect they shall be
capable of it from a fond Opinion some have often in • their Mouths, that if we do not leave our Desires they • will leave us. It is far otherwise ; I am now as vain • in my Dress, and as flippant if I see a pretty Woman, • as when in my Youth I stood upon a Bench in the Pit ' to survey the whole Circle of Beauties. The Folly is • fo extravagant with me, and I went on with so little • Check of my Desires, or Refignation of them, that • I can assure you, I very often, meerly to entertain • my own Thoughts, fir with my Spectacles on, writing • Love Letters to the Beauties that have been long since • in their Graves. This is to warm my Heart with the • faint Memory of Delights which were once agreeable to me; but how much happier would my Life have
• beer • been now, if I could have looked back on any worthy • Action done for my Country? If I had laid out that
which I profused in Luxury and Wantonness, in Acts of • Generosity or Charity; I have lived a Batchelor to this • Day; and instead of a numerous Offspring, with which, ' in the regular Ways of Life, I might possibly have de• lighted my self, I have only to amuse my self with the « Repetition of Old Stories and Intrigues which no one ' will believe I ever was concerned in. I do not know r whether you have ever treated of it or not; but you • cannot fall on a better Subjcct, than that of the Art of
growing old. In such a Lecture you must propose, that
no one let his Heart upon what is transient ; the Beauty • grows wrinkled while we are yet gazing at her. The • witty Man sinks into an Humorift imperceptibly, for • want of reflecting that all Things around him are in a • Flux, and continually changing : Thus he is in the Space 6 of ten or fifteen Years surrounded by a new Set of « People, whose Manners are as natural to them as his 6 Delights, Method of Thinking, and Mode of Living, • were formerly to him and his Friends. But the Mis• chief is, he looks upon the fame Kind of Errors which • he himself was guilty of with an Eye of Scorn, and with • that sort of Ill-will which Men entertain against each • other for different Opinions: Thus a crafy Conftitution, • and an uneasy Mind is fretted with vexatious Passions « for young Mens doing foolishly what it is Folly to do • at all. Dear Sir, this is my present State of Mind ; I • hate those I should laugh at, and envy those I contemn. « The Time of Youth and vigorous Manhood, passed the
Way in which I have disposed of it, is attended with *these Consequences; but to those who live and pass a. • way Life as they ought, all parts of it are equally plea• fant; only the Memory of good and worthy Actions is . a Feast which must give a quicker Relish to the Soul « than ever it could poslibly taste in the higheit Enjoyments
or Jollities of Youth. As for me, if I sit down in my « great Chair and begin to ponder, the Vagaries of a « Child are not more ridiculous than the Circumstances " which are heaped up in my Memory ; fine Gowns, • Country Dances, Ends of 'Tunes, interrupted Conversations, and midnight Quarrels, are what mult neceffari
• ly compose my Soliloquy. I beg of you to print this,
I am, SIR,
• Mr. SPECTATOR, "V OU will infinitely oblige a distressed Lover, if you
will insert in your very next Paper the following • Letter to my Mistress. You must know, I am not a • Person apt to despair, but she has got an odd Humour • of stopping short unaccountably, and, as she her self told • a Confident of hers, she has cold Fits. These Fits shall
last her a Month or six Weeks together; and as she falls « into them without Provocation, so it is to be hoped she I will return from them without the Merit of new Ser« vices. But Life and Love will not admit of such Inter
vals, therefore pray let her be admonished as follows.
Madam, "I Love you, and I honour you ; therefore pray do not
I tell me of waiting till Decencies, till Forms, till • Humours are consulted and gratified. If you have that
happy Constitution as to be indolent for ten Weeks to
gether, you should consider that all that while I burn in • Impatiences and Fevers; but still you say it will be Time
enough, tho' I and you too grow older while we are • yet talking. Which do you think the more reasonable, • that you should alter a State of Indifference for Happi
ness, and that to oblige me, or live in Torinent, and " that to lay no manner of Obligation upon you? While I indulge your Infenfibility I am doing nothing; if you
• favour my Passion, you are bestowing bright Desires, • gay Hopes, generous Cares, noble Resolutions and • transporting Raptures upon,
Your most devoted humble Servant,
Mr. SPECTATOR, "U ERE's a Gentlewoman lodges in the same Houfe 'n with me, that I never did any Injury to in my "whole Life ; and she is always railing at me to those • that she knows will tell me of it. Don't you think she • is in Love with me? Or would you have me break my • Mind yet or not?
T: B. Mr. SPECTATOR, • T Am a Footman in a great Family, and am in Love il with the House-maid. We were all at Hot-cockles • last Night in the Hall these Holidays; when I lay down • and was blinded, she pulled off her Shoe, and hit me • with the Heel such a Rap, as almost broke my Head to • Pieces. Pray, Sir, was this Love or Spite ?
BYSHOVNOUSIEU No 261. Saturday, December 29.
Téu o 75 év Opał.70101 eunlažov naxóv. Frag. vet. Po. A A Y Father, whom I mentioned in my first Specu. V lation, and whom I must always name with Ho
nour and Gratitude, has very frequently talked to me upon this Subject of Marriage. I was in my younger Years engaged, partly by his Advice, and partly by my own Inclinations, in the Courtship of a Person who had a great deal of Beauty, and did not at my first Approachés seem to have any Aversion to me; but as my natural Taciturnity hindred me from thewing my self to the best Advantage, she by degrees began to look upon
me as a very filly Fellow, and being resolved to regard Merit more than any Thing else in the Persons who made their Applications to her, she married a Captain of Dragoons who happened to be beating up for Recruits in those Parts.
THIS unlucky Accident has given me an Aversion to pretty Fellows ever since, and discouraged me from try. ing my Fortune with the fair Sex. The Observations which I made in this Conjuncture, and the repeated Advices which I received at that Time from the good old Man above-mentioned, have produced the following Ersay upon Love and Marriage.
THE pleasantest Part of a Man's Life is generally that which passes in Courtship, provided his Paffion be fincere, and the Party beloved kind with Discretion. Love, Desire, Hope, all the pleasing Motions of the Soul rise in the Pursuit.
IT is easier for an artful Man who is not in Love, to perfuade his Mistress he has a Passion for her, and to succeed in his Pursuits, than for one who loves with the greatest Violence. True Love has ten thousand Griefs, Impatiences and Resentments, that render a Man unamiable in the Eyes of the Person whose Affection he folicits ; besides, that it sinks his Figure, gives him Fears, Apprehenfions and Poorness of Spirit, and often makes him appear ridiculous where he has a mind to recommend himself.
THOSE Marriages generally abound most with Love and Conftancy, that are preceded by a long Courtship. The Passion should strike Root, and gather Strength before Marriage be grafted on it. A long Course of Hopes and Expectations fixes the Idea in our Minds, and liabituates us to a Fondness of the Person beloved.
THERE is Nothing of so great Importance to us, as the good Qualities of one to whom we join ourselves for Life ; they do not only make our present State agree. able, but often determine our Happiness to all Eternity. Where the Choice is left to Friends, the chief Point un. der Consideration is an Estate: Where the Parties choose for themselves, their Thoughts turn most upon the Person. They have both their Reasons. The first would procure many Conveniencies and Pleasures of Life to the