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ous respect which criminal lovers retain in their addresses, began to bewail that his passion grew too violent for him to answer any longer for his behaviour towards her, and that he hoped she would have consideration for his long and patient respect, to excuse the emotions of a heart now no longer under the direction of the unhappy owner of it. Such, for some months, had been the language of Escalus, both in his talk and his letters to Isabella, who returned all the profusion of kind things which had been the collection of fifty years, with “I must not hear you; you will make me forget that you are a gentleman; I would not willingly lose you as a friend;” and the like expressions, which the skilful interpret to their own advantage, as well knowing that a feeble denial is a modest assent. I should have told you, that Isabella, during the whole progress of this amour, communicated it to her husband; and that an account of Escalus's love was their usual entertainment after half a day’s absence. Isabella therefore, upon her lover's late more open assaults, with a smile told her husband she could hold out no longer, but that his fate was now come to a crisis. After she had explained herself a little farther, with her husband's approbation, she proceeded in the following manner. The next time that Escalus was alone with her, and repeated his importunity, the crafty Isabella looked on her fan with an air of great attention, as considering of what importance such a secret was to her; and upon the repetition of a warm expression, she looked at him with an eye of fondness, and told him he was past that time of life which could make her fear he would boast of a lady’s favour; then turned away her head, with a very well acted confusion, which favoured the escape of the aged Escalus. This adventure was matter of great pleasantry to Isabella and her spouse; and they had enjoyed it two days before Escalus could recollect himself enough to form the following letter:

“MADAM,-What happened the other day gives me a lively image of the inconsistency of human passions and inclinations. We pursue what we are denied, and place our affections on what is absent, though we neglected it when present. As long as you refused my love, your refusal did so strongly excite my passion, that I had not once the leisure to think of recalling my reason to aid me against the design upon your virtue. But when that virtue began to comply in my favour, my reason made an effort over my love, and let me see the baseness of my behaviour in attempting a woman of honour. I own to you, it was not without the most violent struggle that I gained this victory over myself; nay, I will confess my shame, and acknowledge, I could not have prevailed but by flight. However, madam, I beg that you will believe a moment’s weak

Vol. II.

ness has not destroyed the esteem I had for you, which was confirmed by so many years of obstinate virtue. You have reason to rejoice that this did not happen within the observation of one of the young fellows, who would have exposed your weakness, and gloried in his own brutish inclinations.

“I am, Madam, your most devoted humble servant.”

‘Isabella, with the help of her husband, returned the following answer:

“SIR,--I cannot but account myself a very happy woman, in having a man for a lover that can write so well, and give so good a turn to a disappointment. Another excellence you have above all other pretenders I ever heard of; on occasions where the most reasonable men lose all their reason, you have yours most powerful. We have each of us to thank our genius that the passion of one abated in proportion as that of the other grew violent. , Does it not yet come into your head to imagine, * knew my compliance was the greatest cruelty I could be guilty of towards you? In return for your long and faithful passion, I must let you know that you are old enough to become a little more gravity; but if you will leave me, and coquet it any wo else, may your mistress yield.

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No. 319.] Thursday, March 6, 1711-12.

Quo teneam vultus mutantem Protea nodo?
Hor. Ep. i. Lib. 1.90.

Say while they change on thus, what chains can bind These varying forms, this Proteus of the mind? Francis.

I Have endeavoured in the course of my papers to do justice to the age, and have taken care, as much as possible, to keep myself a neuter between both sexes. I have neither spared the ladies out of complaisance, nor the men out of partiality, but notwithstanding the great integrity, with which I have acted in this particular, I find myself taxed with an inclination to favour my own half of the species. Whether it be that the women afford a more fruitful field for speculation, or whether they run more in my head than the men, I cannot tell; but I shall set down the charge as it is laid against me in the following letter.

“MR. SPECTAtoR,--I always make one among a company of young females, who peruse your speculations every morning. I am at present commissioned by our whole assembly to let you know, that we fear you are a little inclined to be partial towards {. own sex... We must, however, ac

owledge, with all due gratitude, that in some cases you have given us our revenge on the men, and done us justice. We could not easily have forgiven you several strokes in the dissection of the coquette's heart, if

you had not, much about the same time, made a sacrifice to us of a beau’s skull. ‘You may further, sir, please to remember, that not long since you attacked our hoods and commodes in such a manner, as, to use your own expression, made very many of us ashamed to show our heads, We must therefore beg leave to represent to you that we are in hopes, if you will please to make a due inquiry, the men in all ages would be found to have been little less whimsical in adorning that part than ourselves. The different forms of their wigs, together with the various cocks of their hats, all flatter us in this opinion. “I had an humble servant last summer, who the first time he declared himself, was in a full-bottomed wig; but the day after, to my no small surprise, he accosted me in a thin natural one. I received him at this our second interview as a perfect stranger, but was extremely confounded when his speech discovered who he was. I resolved, therefore to fix his face in my memory for the future; but as I was walking in the Park the same evening, he appeared to me in one of those wigs that I think you call a night-cap, which had altered him more effectually than before. He afterwards played a couple of black riding-wigs upon me with the same success, and, in short, assumed a new face almost every day in the first month of his courtship. ‘I observed afterwards, that the variety of cocks into which he moulded his hat, had not, a little contributed to his impositions upon me. * Yet, as if all these ways were not sufficient to distinguish their heads, you must doubtless, sir, have observed, that great numbers of young fellows have, for several months last past, taken upon them to wear feathers. • ‘We hope, therefore, that these may, with as much justice, be called Indian princes, as you have styled a woman in a coloured hood an Indian queen; and that you will in due time take these airy gentlemen into consideration. “We the more earnestly beg that you would put a stop to this practice, since it has already lost us one of the most agreeable members of our society, who after having refused several good estates, and two titles, was lured from us last week by a mixed feather. ‘I am ordered to present you with the respects of our whole company, and am, ‘Sir, your very humble servant, - • DORINDA,”

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upon the hat and feather; however, to wipe off the present imputation, and gratify my female o I shall here print a letter which I lately received from a man of mode, who seems to have a very extraordinary genius in his way.

‘SIR,-I presume I need not inform you, that among men of dress it is a common phrase to say, “Mr. Such-a-one has struck a bold stroke;” by which we understand, that he is the first man who has had courage enough to lead up a fashion. Accordingly, when our tailors take measure of us, they always demand “whether we will have a lain suit, or strike a bold stroke?” I think may without vanity say, that I have struck some of the boldest and most successful strokes of any man in Great Britain. I was the first that struck the long pocket about two years since; I was likewise the author of the frosted button, which when I saw the town come readily into, being resolved to strike while the iron was hot, I produced much about the same time the scallop flap, the knotted cravat, and made a fair push for the silver-clocked stocking. ‘A few months after I brought up the modish jacket, or the coat with close sleeves. I struck this at first in a plain Dolly; but that failing, I struck it a second time in a blue camlet, and repeated the stroke in several kinds of cloth, until at last it took effect. There are two or three young fellows at the other end of the town who have always their eye upon me, and answer me stroke for stroke. I was once so unwary as to mention my fancy in relation to a new-fashioned surtout before one of these gentlemen, who was disingenuous enough to steal my thought, and by that means prevented my intended stroke. “I have a design this spring to make very considerable innovations in the waistcoat; and have already begun with a couf d'essai upon the sleeves, which has succeeded very well. “I must further inform you, if you will promise to encourage, or at least to connive at me, that it is my design to strike such a stroke the beginning of the next month as shall surprise the whole town. “I do not think it prudent to acquaint you with all the particulars of my intended dress; but will only tell you, as a sample of it, that I shall very speedily appear at White's in a cherry-coloured hat. I took this hint from the ladies’ hoods, which I look upon as the boldest stroke that sex has struck for these hundred years last past. I am, sir, your most obedient, most humble Servant, WILL SPRIGHTE,Y.”

I have not time at present to make any reflections on this letter; but must not however omit that having shown it to Will Honeycomb, he desires to be acquainted with the gentleman who writ it. X.

No. 320.] Friday, March 7, 1711-12.

non pronuba Juno,

Non Hymenaeus adest, non illi gratia lecto:
Eumenides stravere torum—
Orid...Mct. Lib. 6.4.28.

Nor Hymen, nor the Graces here preside, Nor Juno to befriend the blooming bride; But fiends with fun'ral brands the process led, And furies waited at the genial bed.—Crozal. “MR. SPECTAtoR, -You have given many hints in your papers to the disadvantage of persons of your own sex, who lay plots upon women. Among other hard words you have published the term “Male Coquettes,” and have been very severeupon such as give themselves the liberty of a little, dalliance of heart, and playing fast and loose between love and indifference, until perhaps an easy young girl is reduced to sighs, dreams, . tears, and languishes away her life for a careless coxcomb, who looks astonished, and wonders at such an effect from what in him was all but common civility. , Thus you have treated the men who are irresolute in marriage; but if you design to be impartial, pray be so honest as to print the information I now give you of a certain set of women who never coquet for the matter, but, with a high hand, marry whom they please to whom they please. As for my part, I should not have concerned myself with them, but that I understand that I am pitched upon by them to be married, against my will, to one I never saw in my life. It has been my misfortune, sir, very innocently, to rejoice in a P. fortune, of which I am master, to speak a fine chariot, to give directions for two or three handsome snuff-boxes, and as many suits of fine clothes; but before any of these were ready I heard reports of my being to be married to two or three different young women. Upon my taking notice of it to a young gentleman who is often in my company, he told me smiling, I was in the inquisition. , You may believe I was not a little startled at what he meant, and more so, when he asked me if I had bespoke any thing of late that was fine. I told him several; upon which he produced a description of my person, from the tradesmen whom I had employed, and told me that they had certainly informed against me. Mr. Spectator, whatever the world may think of me, I am more coxcomb than fool, and I grew very inquisitive upon this head, not a little pleased with the novelty. My friend told me, there were a certain set of women of fashion, whereof the number of six made a committee, who sat thrice a week, under the title of “The Inquisition on Maids and Bachelors.” It seems, whenever there comes such an unthinking ga thing as myself to town, he must want all manner of necessaries, or be put into the inquisition by the first tradesman he employs. They have constant intelligence with cane-shops, perfumers, toy-men, coachmakers, and china-houses. From these several places these undertakers for mar

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riages have as constant and regular a correspondence as the funeral-men have with vintners and apothecaries. Allbachelors are under their immediate inspection; and my friend produced to me a report given in to their board, wherein an old uncle of mine, who came totown with me, and myself, were inserted, and we stood thus: the uncle smoky, rotten, poor; the nephew raw, but no fool; sound at present, very rich. My information did not end here; but my friend’s advices are so good, that he could show me a copy of the letter sent to the young lady who is to have me; which I enclose to you:

“MADAM—This is to let you know that you are to be married to a beau that comes out on Thursday, six in the evening. Be at the Park. You cannot but know a virgin fop; they have a mind to look saucy, but are out of countenance. The board has denied him

to several good families. I wish you io); “. CORI §A. >

What makes my correspondent's case the more deplorable is, that, as I find by the report from my censor of marriages, the friend he speaks of is employed by the inquisition to take him in, as the phrase is. After all that is told him, he has information only of one woman that is laid for him, and that the wrong one; for the lady commissioners have devoted him to another than the person against whom they have employed their agent his friend to alarm him. The plot is laid so well about this young gentleman, that he has no friend to retire to, no place to appearin, or part of the kingdom to fly into, but he must fall into the notice, and be subject to the power of the inquisition. They have their emissaries and substitutes in all parts of this united kingdom. The first step they usually take, is to find from a correspondence, by their messengers and whisperers, with some do: mestic of the bachelor, (who is to be hunted into the toils they have laid for him,) what are his manners, his familiarities, his good qualities, or vices; not as the good in him is a recommendation, or the ill a diminution, but as they affect to contribute to the main inquiry, what estate he has in him. When this point is well reported to the board, they can take in a wild roaring foxhunter, as easily as a soft, gentle young fop of the town. The way is to make all places uneasy to him, but the scenes in which they have allotted him to act. His brother huntsmen, bottle companions, his fraternity of fops, shall be brought into the conspiracy against him. Then this matter is not laid in so barefaced a manner before him as to have it intimated, Mrs. Such-a-one would make him a very proper wife; but by the force of their correspondence, they shall make it (as Mr. Waller said of the marriage of the dwarfs,) as impracticable to have any woman besides her they design him, as it would have been in Adam to have refused Eve. The man named by

the commission for Mrs. Such-a-one shall neither be in fashion, nor dare ever appear in company, should he attempt to evade their determination. The female sex wholly govern domestic life; and by this means, when they think fit, they can sow dissensions between the dearest friends, nay, make father and son irreconcilable enemies, in spite of all the ties of gratitude on one part, and the duty of protection to be paid on the other. The ladies of the inquisition understand this perfectly well; and where love is not a motive to a man's choosing one whom they allot, they can with very much art insinuate stories to the disadvantage of his honesty or courage, until the creature is too much dispirited to bear up against a general ill reception, which he every where meets with, and in due time falls into their apinted wedlock for shelter. I have a long etter bearing date the fourth instant, which gives me a large account of the policies of this court; and find there is now before them a very refractory person who has escaped all their machinations for two years last past; but they have prevented two successive matches which were of his own inclination; the one by a report that his mistress was to be married, and the very day appointed, wedding-clothes bought, and all things ready for her being given to an: other; the second time by insinuating to all his mistress's friends and acquaintance, that he had been false to several other women, and the like. The poor man is now reduced to profess he designs to lead a single life; but the inquisition give out to all his acquaintance, that nothing is intended but the gentleman’s own welfare and happiness. When this is urged, he talks still more humbly, and protests he aims only at a life without pain or reproach; pleasure, honour, and riches, are things for which he has no taste. But notwithstanding all this, and what else he may defend himself with, as that the lady is too old or too young, of a suitable humour, or the quite contrary, and that it is impossible they can ever do other than wrangle from June to January, every body tells him all this is spleen, and he must have a wife; while all the members of the inquisition are unanimous in a certain woman for him, and they think they altogether are better able to judge than he, or any other private person whatsoever.

‘Temple, March 3, 1711.

‘SIR,-Your speculation this day on the subject of idleness has employed me ever since I read it, in sorrowful reflections on my having loitered away the term (or rather the vacation) of ten years in this place, and unhappily suffered a good chamber and study to lie idle as long. My books (except those I have taken to sleep upon,) have been totally neglected, and my Lord Coke and other venerable authors were never so slighted in their lives. I spend most of the

day at a neighbouring coffee-house, where we have what I may call a lazy club. We generally come in night-gowns, with our stockings about our heels, and sometimes but one on. Our salutation at entrance is a yawn and a stretch, and then without more ceremony we take our place at the lollingtable, where our discourse is, what I fear rou would not read out, therefore shall not insert. But I assure you, sir, I heartily lament this loss of time, and am now resolved, (if possible, with double diligence,) to retrieve it, o; effectually awakened by the arguments of Mr. Slack, out of the senseless stupidity that has so long possessed me. And to demonstrate that penitence accompanies my confessions, and con.# my resolutions, I have locked my door for a year, and desire you would let my companions know I am not within. I am with great respect, sir, your most obedient servant, • N. B.”

No. 321.] Saturday, March 8, 1711-12.

Nec satisest pulchra esse poemata, dulcia sunto. IIor. Ars Poet. v. 90.

Tis not enough a poem's finely writ;
It must affect and captivate the soul.-Roscommon.

Those who know how many volumes have been written on the poems of Homer and Virgil will easily pardon the length of my discourse upon Milton. The Paradise Lost is looked upon by the best judges, as the greatest production, or at least the noblest work of genius in our language, and therefore deserves to be set before an English reader in its full beauty. For this reason, though I have endeavoured to give a general idea of its graces and imperfections in my first six papers, I thought myself obliged to bestow one upon every book in particular. The first three books I have i. despatched, and am now entering upon the fourth. freed not acquaint my reader that there are multitudes of beauties in this great author, especially in the descriptive parts of this m, which I have not touched upon; it being my intention to o out those only which appear to me the most exquisite, or those which are not so obvious to ordinary, readers. Every one that has read the critics who have written upon the Odyssey, the Iliad, and the AEneid, knows very well, that though they agree in their opinions of the great beauties in those poems, they have nevertheless each of them discovered several master-strokes, which have escaped the observation of the rest. In the same manner, I question not but any writer, who shall treat of this subject after me may find several beauties in Milton, which I have not taken notice of. I must likewise observe, that as the greatest masters of critical learning differ among one another, as to some particular points in an epic poem, I have not bound myself scrupulously to the rules which any one of them has laid down upon that art, but have taken the liberty sometimes to join with one, and sometimes with another, and sometimes to differ from all of them, when I have thought that the reason of the thing was on my side. We may conclude the beauties of the fourth book under three heads. In the first are those pictures of still-life, which we meet with in the description of Eden, Paradise, Adam's bower, &c. In the next are the machines, which comprehend the speeches and behaviour of the good and bad angels. In the last is the conduct of Adam and Eve, who are the principal actors in the poem. In the description of Paradise, the poet has observed Aristotle's rule of lavishing all the ornaments of diction on the weak unactive parts of the fable, which are not supported by the beauty of sentiments and characters. Accordingly the reader may observe, that the expressions are more florid and elaborate in these descriptions, than in most other parts of the poem. I must further add, that though the drawings of gardens, rivers, rainbows, and the like dead pieces of nature, are justly censured in an heroic poem, when they run out into an unnecessary length—the description of Paradise would have been faulty, had not the poet been very Poio in it, not only as it is the scene of the principal action, but as it is requisite to give us an idea of that happiness from which our first parents fell. H. plan of it is wonderfull beautiful, and formed upon the short sketc which we have of it in holy writ. Milton's exuberance of imagination has poured forth such a redundancy of ornaments on this seat of happiness and innocence, that it would be endless to point out each particular. I must not quit this head without further observing, that there is scarce a speech of Adam or Eve in the whole poem, wherein the sentiments and allusions are not taken from this their delightful habitation. The reader, during their whole course of action always finds himself in the walks of Paradise. In short, as the critics have remarked, that in those poems wherein shepherds are the actors, the thoughts ought always to take a tincture from the woods, fields, and rivers; so we may observe, that our first parents seldom lose sight of their happy station in any thing they speak or do; and, if the reader will give me leave to use the expression, that their thoughts are always * paradisaical.” We are in the next place to consider the machines of the fourth book. Satan being now within the prospect of Eden, and looking round upon the glories of the creation, is filled with sentiments different from those which he discovered whilst he was in hell. The place inspires him with thoughts more adapted to it. He reflects upon the happy

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forth into a speech that is softened with several transient touches of remorse and self-accusation: but at length he confirms himself in impenitence, and in his design of drawing man into his own state of guilt and misery. This conflict of passions is raised with a great deal of art, as the opening of his speech to the sun is very bold and noble: , “O thou, that with surpassing glory crown'd, Look'st from thy sole dominion like the god Of this new world; at whose sight all the stars Hide their diminish'd heads; to thee I call, But with no friendly voice; and add thy name, O sun' to tell thee how I hate thy beams, That bring to my remembrance from what state I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere." This speech is, I think, the finest that is ascribed to Satan in the whole poem. The evil spirit afterwards proceeds to make his discoveries concerning our first parents, and to learn after what manner they may be best attacked. His bounding over the walls of Paradise: his sitting in the shape of a cormorant upon the tree of life, which stood in the centre of it, and overtopped all the other trees of the garden; his alighting among the herd of animals, which are so beautifully represented as playing about Adam and Eve; together with his transforming himself into different shapes, in order to hear their conversation; are circumstances that give an agreeable surprise to the reader, and are devised with great art, to connect that series of adventures in which the poet has engaged this artificer of fraud. The thought of Satan's transformation into a cormorant, and placing himself on the tree of life, seems raised upon that passage in the Iliad, where two deities are described as perching on the top of an oak in the * of vultures. is planting himself at the ear of Eve under the form of a toad, in order to produce vain dreams and imaginations, is a circumstance of the same nature; as his starting up in his own form is wonderfully fine, both in the literal description, and in the moral which is concealed under it. His answer upon his being discovered, and demanded to give an account of himself, is conformable to the pride and intrepidity of of his character: ‘Know ye not, then,' said Satan, fill'd with scorn, * Know ye not me!’ Ye knew me once no mate For you, there sitting where you durst not soar: Not to know me argues yourselves unknown, The lowest of your throng y

Zephon's rebuke, with the influence it had on Satan, is exquisitely graceful and moral. Satan is afterwards led away to Gabriel, the chief of the guardian angels, who kept watch in Paradise. His disdainful behaviour on this occasion is so remarkable a beauty, that the most ordinary reader cannot but take notice of it. Gabriel’s discovering his approach at a distance is drawn with great strength and liveliness of imagi

condition from whence he fell, and breaks

nation:

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