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Thursday, January 3;
Dixerit è multis aliquis, quid virus in angues:
Ovi de Art. Am
NE of the Fathers, if I am rightly informed, has defined a Woman to be xã on pinoxóo uor an Ani-
mal that delights in Finery. I have already treated of the Sex in two or three Papers, conformably to this Definition, and have in particular observed, that in all Ages they have been more careful than the Men to adorn that Part of the Head, which we generally call the Outside.
THIS Observation is so very notorious, that when in ordinary Discourse we say a Man has a fine Head, a long. Head, or a good Head, we express our selves metaphorically, and speak in relation to his Understanding; whereas when we say of a Woman, she has a fine, a long or a. good Head, we speak only in relation to her Commode.
It is observed among Birds, that Nature has lavished! all her Ornaments upon the Male, who very often appears in a most beautiful Head-dress : Whether it be a Crest, a Comb, a Tuft of Feathers, or a natural little Plume, érected like a kind of Pinacle on the very. Top of the Head. As Nature on the contrary has poured out her Charms in the greatest Abundance upon the Female Part of our Species, so they are very afsiduous in bestowing: upon themselves the finest Garnitures of Art. The Peacock, in all his Pride, does not display half the Colours that appear in the Garments of a British Lady, when Me is dressed either for a Ball or a Birth-day.
BUT to return to our Female Heads. The Ladies have been for fome Time in a kind of moulting Seafon, with regard to that part of their Dress having cast great Quantities of Ribbon, Lace, and Cambrick, and in some
measure reduced that part of the human Figure to the beautiful globular Form, which is natural to it. We have for a great while expected what kind of Ornament would be fub tituted in the Place of those antiquated Commodes. But our Female Projectors were all the last Summer so taken up with the Improvement of their Petticoats, that they had not Time to attend to any Thing else; but having at length sufficiently adorned their lower Parts, they now begin to turn their Thoughts upon the other Extre. mity, as well remembring the old Kitchen Proverb, that if you light your Fire at both Ends, the middle will shift for itself.
I am engaged in this Speculation by a Sight which I lately net with at the Opera. As I was standing in the hinder Part of the Box, I took notice of a little Cluster of Women fitting together in the prettiest coloured Hoods that I ever saw. One of them was blue, another yellow. and another Philomot; the fourth was of a Pink Colour, and the fifth of a pale Green. I looked with as much Pleasure upon this little party-coloured Assembly, as upon a Bed of Tulips, and did not know at first whether it might not be an Embassy of Indian Queens ; but upon my going about into the Pit, and taking them in Front, I was immediately undeceived, and saw so much Beauty in every Face, that I found them all to be English. Such Eyes and Lips, Cheeks and Foreheads, could be the Growth of no other Country. The Complexion of their Faces hindred me from observing any farther the Colour of their Hoods, though I could easily perceive by that unspeakable Satisfaction which appeared in their Looks, that their own Thoughts were wholly taken up on those pretty Ornaments they wore upon their Heads.
I am informed that this Fashion spreads daily, infomuch that the Whig and Tory Ladies begin already to hang out different Colours, and to shew their Principles in their Head dress. Nay, if I may believe my Friend WILL. HONEYCOMB, there is a certain old Coquet of his Acquaintance, who intends to appear very suddenly in a Rainbow. Hood, like the Iris in Dryden's Virgil, not questioning but that among such variety of Colours ike fhall have a Charm for every Heart..
· MY Friend Will, who very much values himself upon his great Insights into Galantry, tells me, that he can already guess at the Humour a Lady is in by her Hood, as the Courtiers of Morocco know the Disposition of their present Emperor by the Colour of the Dress which he puts on. When Melesinda wraps her Head in Flame Co. lour, her Heart is set upon Execution. When the covers it with Purple, I would not, fays he, advife her Lover to approach her; but if she appears in white, it is Peace, and he may hand her out of her Box with Safety.
WIL L'informs me likewise, that there Hoods may be used as Signals. Why else, says he, does Cornelia always put on a Black Hood when her Husband is gone into the Country ?
SUCH are my Friend HONY COM B's Dreams of Galantry. For my own Part, I impute this Diversity of Colours in the Hoods to the Diversity of Complexion in. the Faces of my pretty Country Women. Ovid in his Art of Love has given fome Precepts as to this Particular, though I find they are different from those which prevail among the Moderns. He recommends a red striped Silk to the pale Complexion ; White to the Brown, and Dark to the Fair. On the contrary my Friend WIL I, who pretends to be a greater Master in this Art than Ovid, tells me, that the palest Features look the most agreeable in white Sarsenet ; that a Face which is overflushed appears to advantage in the deepest Scarlet, and that the darkest Complexion is not a little alleviated by a Black Hood. In short, he is for losing the Colour of the Face in that of the Hood, as a Fire burns dimly, and a Candle goes half out, in the Light of the Sun. This, says he, your Ovid himself has hinted, where he treats of these Matters, when he tells us that the blue Water Nymphs are dressed in Sky-coloured Garments; and that Aurora, who always appears in the Light of the Rising Sun, is robed in Saffron.
WHETHER these his Obfervations are juftly grounded I cannot tell : but I have often known him, as we have stood together behind the Ladies, praise or dispraise the Complexion of a Face which he never saw, from observing the Colour of her Hood, and has been very seldom out in these his Guiffes..
AS AS I have Nothing more at Heart than the Honour and Improvement of the fair Sex, I cannot conclude this Paper without an Exhortation to the British Ladies, that they would excel the Women of all other Nations as much in Virtue and good Sense, as they do in Beauty ;, which they may certainly do, if they will be as industrious to cultivate their Minds, as they are to adorn their Bodies : In the mean while I shall recommend to their most serious Consideration the Saying of an old Greek Poet,
Twarx) xóou o ó tpórG, x xpuoico C
Friday, January 4.
Id vero eft, quod ego mihi puto palmarium,
TO Vice or Wickedness which People fall into from IN Indulgence to Desires which are natural to all.
ought to place them below the Compaffion of the virtuous Part of the World ; which indeed often makes me a little apt to suspect the Sincerity of their Virtue, who are too warmly provoked at other Peoples personal Sins. The unlawful Commerce of the Sexes is of all 0-. ther the hardest to avoid ; and yet there is no one which you shall hear the rigider Part of Womankind speak of with fo little Mercy. It is very certain that a modeft Woman cannot abhor the Breach of Chastity too much; but pray let her hate it for her self, and only pity it in: others.' WILL HONEYCOMB calls these over-offended. Ladies, the Outragiously Virtuous. · I do not design to fall upon Failures in general, with: Relation to the Gift of Chastity, but at present only enter upon that large Field, and begin with the Consideration of poor and publick Whores. The other Evening passing along near Covent-Garden, I was jogged on the
Elbow as I turned into the Piazza, on the right Hand coming out of James-street, by a slim young Girl of about Seventeen, who with a pert Air asked me if I was for a Pint of Wine. I do not know but I should have indulged my Curiosity in having some Chat with her, but that I am informed the Man of the Bumper knows me; and it would have made a Story for him not very agreeable to some part of my Writings, though I have in others so frequently said that I am wholly unconcerned in any Scene I am in, but meerly as a Spectator. This Impediment being in my Way, we stood under one of the Arches by Twilight; and there I could observe as exact Features as I had ever seen, the most agreeable Shape, the finest Neck and Bosom, in a Word, the whole Person of a Woman exquisitely Beautiful. She affected to allure me with a forced Wantonness in her Look and Air ; but I saw it checked with Hunger and Cold : Her Eyes were wan and eager, her Dress thin and tawdry, her Mien genteel and childish. This strange Figure gave me much Anguish of Heart, and to avoid being seen with her I went away, but could not forbear giving her a Crown. The poor thing fighed, curtisied, and with a Blessing, expressed with the utmost Vehemence, turned from me.
This Creature is what they call newly come upon the Town, but who, I suppose, falling into cruel Hands was left in the first Month from her Dishonour, and exposed to pass through the Hands and Discipline of one of those Hags of Hell whom we call Bawds. But left I should grow too suddenly grave on this Subject, and be my felf outragiously good, I shall turn to a Scene in one of Fletcher's Plays, where this Character is Drawn, and the Oeconomy of Whoredom most admirably described. The Paffage I would point to is in the third Scene of the second Act of the Humorous Lieutenant. Leucippe who is Agent for the King's Luft, and bawds at the same time for the whole Court, is very pleasantly introduced, reading her Minutes as a Person of Business, with two Maids, her Under-Secretaries, taking Instructions at a Table before her. Her Women, both those under her present Tutelage, and those which she is laying Wait for, are alphabetically set down in her Book ; and she is looking over the