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“Greece, and famous through the whole world for
“her civil and military discipline. “If you think this letter deserves a place among
“your speculations, I may perhaps trouble you with
‘some other thoughts on the same subject.
X ‘I am, &c."
No. CCCVIII. FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22.
•............ Jam proterva
MR. spect AroR, “I GIVE you this trouble in order to propose myself to you as an assistant in the weighty cares which you have thought fit to undergo for the public good. I am a very great lover of women, that is to say honestly; and as it is natural to study what one likes, I have industriously applied myself to understand them. The present circumstance relating to them is, that I think there wants under you, as Spectator, a person to be distinguished and vested in the power and quality of a censor on marriages. I lodge at the Temple, and know, by seeing women come hither, and afterwards observing them conducted by their counsel to judges chambers, that there is a custom in case of making conveyance of a wife’s estate, that she is carried to a judge’s apartment and left alone with him, to be examined in private whether she has not been frightened or sweetened by her spouse into the act she is going * to do, or whether it is of her own free will. Now * if this be a method founded upon reason and equity, why should there not be also a proper officer for exa“mining such as are entering into the state of matri‘mony, whether they are forced by parents on one * side, or moved by interest only on the other, to • come together, and bring forth such awkward heirs “ as are the product of half-love and constrained com“ pliances : There is nobody, though I say it myself, • would be fitter for this office than I am : for I am ‘ an ugly fellow of great wit and sagacity. My father “ was an hale country 'squire, my mother a witty ‘ beauty of no fortune: the match was made by con“sent of my mother's parents against her own, and * I am the child of the rape on the wedding night; • so that I am as healthy and as homely as my father, ‘ but as sprightly and agreeable as my mother. It “would be of great ease to you if you would use me * under you, that matches might be better regulated * for the future, and we might have no more children * of squabbles. I shall not reveal all my pretensions until I receive your answer; and am * SIR, * Your most humble servant.” * MULEs PALFREY.”
* MR. SPECTATOR, * I AM one of those unfortunate men within the * city-walls, who am married to a woman of quality, ‘ but her temper is something different from that of ‘ lady Anvil. My lady's whole time and thoughts are * spent in keeping up to the mode both in apparel * and furniture. All the goods in my house have * been changed three times in seven years. I have “ had seven children by her; and by our marriage ‘ articles she was to have her apartment new furnish‘ed as often as she lay in. Nothing in our house is “useful but that which is fashionable; my pewter * holds out generally half a year, my plate a full
* twelve-month; chairs are not fit to sit in that were made two years since, nor beds fit for any thing but to sleep in that have stood up above that time. My dear is of opinion that an old fashioned grate consumes coals, but gives no heat: if she drinks out of glasses of last year, she cannot distinguish wine from small-beer. Oh, dear Sir, you may guess at all the rest.
* P. S. I could bear even all this, If I were not obliged also to eat fashionably. I have a plain stomach, and have a constant loathing of whatever comes to my own table; for which reason I dine at the chop-house three days in a week: where the good company wonders they never see you of late. I am sure by your unprejudiced discourses you love broth better than soup.”
MR. SPECTATOR, * YOU may believe you are a person as much talked of as any man in town. I am one of your best friends in this house, and have laid a wager you are so candid a man and so honest a fellow, that you will print this letter, though it is in recommendation of a new paper called the Historian. I have read it carefully, and find it written with skill, good sense, modesty, and fire. You must allow the town is kinder to you than you deserve ; and I doubt not but you have so much sense of the world, change of humour, and instability of all human things, as to understand, that the only way to preserve favour, is to communicate it to others with good-nature and * judgment. You are so generally read, that what “you speak of will be read. This with men of sense
‘ and taste is all that is wanting to recommend the • Historian. * I am, SIR, ‘Your daily Advocate, * READER GENTLE.’
I was very much surprised this morning, that any one should find out my lodgings, and know it so well, as to come directly at my closet-door, and knock at it, to give me the following letter. When I came out I opened it, and saw by a very strong pair of shoes and a warm coat the bearer had on, that he walked all the way to bring it me, though dated from York. My misfortune is that I cannot talk, and I found the messenger had so much of me, that he could think better than speak. He had, I observed, a polite discerning hid under a shrewd rusticity : he delivered the paper with a Yorkshire tone and a town leer.
* MR. SPEct Ator, “THE privilege you have indulged John Trott * has proved of very bad consequence to our illus“trious assembly, which, besides the many excellent • maxims it is founded upon, is remarkable for the ‘ extraordinary decorum always observed in it. One ‘instance of which is that the carders, who are always ‘ of the first of quality, never begin to play until the * French dances are finished, and the country dances “begin: but John Trott having now got your com‘mission in his pocket, which every one here has a * profound respect for, has the assurance to set up * for a minuet-dancer. Not only so, but he has brought * down upon us the whole body of the Trotts, which ‘ are very numerous, with their auxiliaries the hob‘blers and the skippers, by which means the time is * so much wasted, that unless we break all rules of * government, it must redound to the utter subversion ‘ of the brag-table, the discreet members of which * value time, as Fribble's wife does her pin-money. “We are pretty well assured that your indulgence to * Trott was only in relation to country-dances; how* ever, we have deferred issuing an order of council * upon the premises, hoping to get you to join with us, * that Trott, nor any of his clan, presume for the * future to dance any but country-dances, unless a * hornpipe upon a festival-day. If you will do this “you will oblige a great many ladies, and particularly * Your most humble servant, * Eliz. sweeps TAKEs.” York, Feb. 16.