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was provoked to see herself thus baffled and impeded by an eneniy, whom she looked on with contempt, and who had no advantage but such as she owed to inconstancy, weakness, and artifice. She therefore, in the anger of disappointment, called upon her father JUPITER to re-establish her in the skies, and leave mankind to the disorder and misery which they deserved, by submitting willingly to the usurpation of FALSEHOON.
JUPITER compassionated the world too much to grant her request, yet was willing to ease her labours and mitigate her vexation. He commanded her to consult the Muses by what methods she might obtain an easier reception, and reign without the toil of incessant war. It was then discovered, that she obstructed her own progress by the severity of her aspect, and the solemnity of her dictates ; and that men would never willingly admit her, till they ceased to fear her, since, by giving themselves up to FalseHOOD, they seldom made any sacrifice of their ease or pleasure, because she took the shape that was most engaging, and always suffered herself to be dressed and painted by DESIRE. The Muses wove, in the loom of Pallas, a loose and changeable robe, like that in which I'ALSEHOOD captivated her admirers; with this they invested Truth, and named her Fiction. She now went out again to conquer with more success; for when she demanded entrance of the Passions, they often mistook her for FalsEHOOD, and delivered up their charge : but when she had once taken possession, she was soon disrobed by REASON, and shone out, in her original form, with native effulgence and resistless dignity.
Numb. 97. TUESDAY, February 19, 1751.
Fæcunda culpæ secula nuptias
In patriam populumque fluxit.
Fruitful of crimes, this age first stain'd
ment to an author from whom the age has received greater favours, who has enlarged the knowledge of human nature, and taught the passions te move at the command of virtue.
To the RAMBLER.
HEN the SPECTATOR was first published in
single papers, it gave me so much pleasure, that it is one of the favourite amusements of my age to recollect it; and when I reflect on the foibles of those times, as described in that useful work, and conipare them with the vices now reigning among us, I cannot but wish that you would oftener take cognizance of the manners of the better half of the human species, that if your precepts and observations
be carried down to posterity, the SPECTATORS may show to the rising generation what were the fashionable follies of their grandmothers, the RAMBLER of their mothers, and that from both they may draw instruction and warning.
When I read those SPECTATORS which took notice of the misbehaviour of young women at church, by which they vainly hope to attract admirers, I used to pronounce such forward young women SEEKERS, in order to distinguish them by a mark of infamy from those who had patience and decency to stay till they were sought.
But I have lived to see such a change in the manners of women, that I would now be willing to conpound with them for that name, although I then thought it disgraceful enough, if they would deserye no worse; since now they are too generally given up to negligence of domestick business, to idle amusements, and to wicked rackets, without any settled view at all but of squandering time,
In the time of the SPECTATOR, excepting sometimes in appearance in the ring, sometimes at a good and chosen play, sometimes on a visit at the house of a grave relation, the young ladies contented themselves to be found employed in domestick duties; for then routs, drums, balls, assemblies, and such like markets for women, were not known.
Modesty and diffidence, gentleness and meekness, were looked upon as the appropriate virtues and characteristick graces of the sex. And if a forward spirit pushed itself into notice, it was exposed in print as it deserved.
The churches were almost the only places where single women were to be seen by strangers. Men went thither expecting to see them, and perhaps too much for that only purpose.
But some good often resulted, however improper might be their motives. Both sexes were in the way of their duty. The man must be abandoned, indeed, who loves not goodness in another; nor were the young fellows of that age so wholly lost to a sense of right, as pride and conceit have since made them affect to be. When therefore they saw a fair-one whose decent behaviour and cheerful piety showed her earnest in her first duties, they had the less doubt, judging politically only, that she would have a conscientious regard to her second.
With what ardour have I seen watched for, the rising of a kneeling beauty; and what additional charms has devotion given to her recommunicated features !
The men were often the better for what they heard. Even a Saul was once found prophesying among the prophets whom he had set out to destroy. To a man thus put into good humour by a pleasing object, religion itself looked more amiable. The MEN SEEKERS of the SPECTATOR's time loved the holy place for the object's sake, and loved the object for her suitable behaviour in it.
Reverence mingled with their love, and they thought that a young lady of such good principles must be addressed only by the man who at least made a show of good principles, whether his heart was yet Yuite right or not.
Nor did the young lady's behaviour, at any time of the service, lessen this reverence. Her eyes were her own, her ears the preacher's. Women are always most observed when they seem themselves least to observe, or to lay out for observation. The eye of a respectful lover loves rather to receive confidence from the withdrawn eye of the fair-one, than to find itself obliged to retreat.
When a young gentleman's affection was thus laudably engaged, he pursued its natural dictates ; keeping then was a rare, at least a secret and scandalous vice, and a wife was the summit of his wishes. Rejection wa now dreaded, and preengagement apprehended. A woman whom he loved, he was ready to think must be admired by all the world. His fears, his uncertainties, increased his love.
Every inquiry he made into the lady's domestick excellence, which, when a wife is to be chosen, will surely not be neglected, confirmed him in his choice. He opens his heart to a common friend, and honestly discovers the state of his fortune. His friend applies to those of the young lady, whose parents, if they approve his proposals, disclose them to their daughter.
She perhaps is not an absolute stranger to the passion of the young gentleman. His eyes, his assiduities, his constant attendance at a church, whither, till of late, he used seldom to come, and a thousand little observances that he paid her, had very probably first forced her to regard, and then inclined her to favour him, M4