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free lom of their looks. Such incidents as these make some ladies wholly absent themselves from t e playhouse; and others never miss the first day of a play, lest it should prove too luscious to adinit their going with any countenance to it on the second.
If men of wit, who think fit to write for the stage, instead of this pitiful way of giving delight, would turn their thoughts upon raising it from such good natural impulses as are in the audience, but are choked up by vice and luxury, they would not only please, but befriend us at the same time. If a man had a mind to be new in his way of writing, might not he who is now represented as a fine gentleman, though he betrays the honour and bed of his neighbour and friend, and lies with half the women in the play, and is at last rewarded with her of the best character in it, I say, upon giving the comedy another cast, might not such a one divert the audience quite as well, if at the catastrophe he were found out for a traitor, and me: with contempt accordingly? There is seldom a person devoted to above one darling vice at a time, so that there is room enough to catch at men's hearts to their good and advantage, if the poets will attempt it with the honesty which becomes their characters.
There is no man who loves his bottle or his mistress in a manner so very abandoned, as not to be capable of relishing an agreeable character, that is no way a slave to either of these pursuits. A man that is temperate, generous, valiant, chaste, faithful, and honest, may at the same time have wit, humour, mirth, good-breeding, and gallantry. While he exerts these latter qualities, twenty occasions might be invented to shew he is master of the other noble virtues. Such characters would smite and reprove the heart of a man of sense when he is given up to his pleasures.
He would see he has been mistaken all this while, and be convinced that a sound constitution and an innocent mind
are the true ingredients for becoming and enjoying life. All men of true taste would call a man of wit, who should turn his ambition this way, a friend and benefactor to his country; but I am at a loss what name they would give him who makes use of his capacity for contrary purposes.
No. LII. MONDAY, APRIL 30.
Omnes ut tecum meritis pro talibus annos
To crown thy worth, she shall be ever thine;
AN ingenious correspondent, like a sprightly wife, will always have the last word. I did not think my last letter to the deformed fraternity would have occasioned any answer, especially since I had promised them so sudden a visit; but as they think they cannot shew loo great a veneration for my person, they have already sent me up an answer.
As to the proposal of a marriage between myself and the matchless Hecatissa, I have but one objection to it; which is, that all the society will expect to be acquainted with her; and who can be sure of keeping a woman's heart long, where she may have so much chcice ? I am the more alarmed at this, because the lady seems particularly smitten with men of their make.
I believe I shall set my heart upon her; and think never the worse of my mistress for an epigram a smart fellow writ, as he thought, against her; it does but the more recommend her to me. At the same time I cannot but discover that his malice is stolen from Martial.
Tacta places, audita places, si non videare,
Tota places, neutro, si videare, places.
Whilst in the dark on thy soft hand I hung,
" YOUR letter to us we have received as a signal (mark of your favour and brotherly affection. We • shall be heartily glad to see your short face in Ox
ford; and since the wisdom of our legislature has been immortalized in your speculations, and our personal deformities in some sort by you recorded
to all posterity; we hold ourselves in gratitude « bound to receive, with the highest respect, all such
persons as for their extraordinary merit you shall • think fit, from time to time, to recommend unto the o board. As for the Pictish damsel, we have an easy chair prepared at the upper end of the table ; which doubt not but she will
bideous aspect, and much better become the seat in the na• tive and unaffected uncomeliness of her person, than " with all the superficial airs of the pencil, which, as you
have very ingeniously observed, vanish with a 'breath; and the most innocent adorer may deface the shrine with a salutation, and in the literal sense
of our poets, snatch and imprint his balmy kisses, • and devour her melting lips; in short, the only faces
of the Pictish kind that will endure the weather, (must be of Dr. Carbuncle's die; though his, in truth, " has cost him a world the painting; but then he • boasts with Zeuses, in æternitatem pingo ; and oft
jocosely tells the fairones, would they acquire colours • that would stand kissing, they must no longer paint 6 but drink for a complexion; a maxim that in this ( our age has been pursued with no ill success; and
has been as admirable in its effects as the famous
cosmetic mentioned in the Postman, and invented by the renowned British Hippocrates of the pestle and 'morlar; making the party, after a due course, rosy,
hale, and airy; and the best and most approved receipt now extant for the fever of the spirits. But to return to our female candidate, who, I understand, is returned to herself, and will no longer hang out false colours; as she is the first of her sex that has done us so great an honour, she will certainly, in a very short time, both in prose and verse, be a lady
of the most celebrated deformity now living, and - meet with admirers here as frightful as herself. But
being a long-headed gentlewoman, I am apt to imagine she has some further design than you have yet
penetrated ; and perhaps has more mind to the • Spectator than any of his fraternity, as the person of
all the world she could like for a paramour; and if
so, really I cannot but applaud her choice; and • should be glad if it might lie in my power to effect
an amicable accommodation betwixt two faces of such
different extremes, as the only possible expedient to ( mend the breed, and rectify the physiognomy of the
family on both sides. And again, as she is a lady of
a very fluent elocution, you need not fear that your 6 first child will be born dumb, which otherwise you "might have some reason to be apprehensive of. To • be plain with you, I can see nothing shocking in it; " for though she has not a face like a John Apple, yet 6 as a late friend of mine, who at sixty-five ventured
on a lass of fifteen, very frequently, in the remain• ing five years of his life, gave me to understand, that s as old as he then seemed, when they were first marsried he and his spouse could make but fourscore; so • may madam Hecatissa very justly alledge hereafter, " that, as long-visaged as she may then be thought, ( upon their wedding-day, Mr. Spectator and she had
but half an ell face betwixt them; and this my very
worthy predecessor, Mr. Serjeant Chin, always ( maintained to be no more than the true oval propor<tion between man and wife. But as this may be a 6 new thing to you, who have hitherto had no expec• tations from women, I shall allow you what time • you think fit to consider on it; not without some hope • of seeing at last your thoughts thereupon subjoined to mine, and which is an honour much desired by
Your assured friend,
• Hugh GOBLIN, Præses."
The following letter has not so much in it; but as it is written in my own praise, I cannot from my heart suppress it.
“ YOU proposed in your Spectator of last Tuesday,, Mr. Hobbes's hypothesis, for solving that very odd • phenomenon of laughter. You have made the hy
pothesis valuable by espousing it yourself; for, had < it continued Mr. Hobbes's, nobody would have mindsed it. Now here this perplexed case arises. A « certain company laughed very heartily upon the « reading of that very paper of yours; and the truth 6 on it is, he must be a man of more than ordinary
constancy that could stand it out against so much « comedy, and not do as we did. Now there are few « men in the world so far lost to all good sense, as to « look upon you to be a man in a state of folly inferior « to himself. Pray then, how do you justify your by-, • pothesis of laughter?
Your most humble, Q. R." « Thurday, the 26th of
o the month of Fools.