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IN answer to your letter, I must desire you to recollect yourself; and you will find, that, when you did me the honour to be so merry over my paper, you laughed at the Idiot, the German Courtier, the Gaper, the Merry-Andrew, the Haberdasher, the Biter, the Butt; and not at
Your humble servant,
No. LIII. TUESDAY, MAY 1.
..........Aliquando bonus dormitat Homerus.
Homer himself hath been obsery'd to nod.
MY correspondents grow so numerous, that I cannot avoid frequently inserting their applications to
• Mr. Spectator,
I AM glad I can inform you, that your endea• vours to adorn that sex, which is the fairest part of * the visible creation, are well received, and like to
prove not unsuccessful. The triumph of Daphne over her sister Letitia has been the subject of conversation at several tea-tables where I have been present; and I have observed the fair circle not a little pleased to find you considering them as reasonable creatures, and endeavouring to banish that Mahometan custom, which had too much prevailed even in this island, of treating women as if they had
no souls. I must do them the justice to say, that " there seems to be nothing wanting to the finishing of
' these lovely pieces of human nature besides the . turning and applying their ambition properly, and • the keeping them up to a sense of what is their true
merit. Epictetus, that plain honest philosopher, as • little as he had of gallantry, appears to have under
stood them, as well as the polite St. Evremond, and " has bit this point very luckily. “ When young wo« men.” says he,“ arrive at a certain age, they hear " themselves called Mistresses, and are made to be“ lieve that their only business is to please the men ; " they immediately begin to dress, and place all their “ hopes in the adorning of their persons; it is therefore," continues he, “i worth the while to endeavour by all
means to make them sensible that the honour paid “ to them is only upon account of their conducting « themselves with virtue, modesty, and discretion."
• Now-to pursue the matter yet further, and to render your cares for the improvement of the fair ones « more effectual, I would propose a new method, like
those applications which are said to convey their I virtue by sympathy; and that is, that in order to • embellish the mistress, you should give a new edu• cation to the lover, and teach the men not to be any • longer dazzled by false charms and unreal beauty. I
cannot but think that if our sex knew always how to 6.place their esteem justly, the other would not be so often wanting to themselves in deserving it.
For as the being enamoured with a woman of sense s and virtue is an improvement to a man's understand
ing and morals, and the passion is ennobled by the object which inspires it, so, on the other side, the
appearing amiable to a man of a wise and elegant ( mind, carries in itself no small degree of merit and "accomplishment. I conclude, therefore, that one
way make the women yet more agreeable is, to ( make the men more virtuous. I am, Sir,
“ Your most humble servant, ! R. B.'
April 29. + YOURS of Saturday last I read, not without some 6 resentment; but I will suppose, when you say you ' expect an inundation of ribbons and brocades, and to
see many new vanities which the women will fallinto
upon a peace with France, that you intend only the • unthinking part of our sex; and what methods can reduce them to reason is hard to imagine.
• But, Sir, there are others yet that your instruc(tions might be of great use to, who, after their best < endeavours, are sometimes at a loss to acquit themt selves to a censorious worldI; am far from thinking
you can altogether disapprove of conversation be. .tween ladies and gentlemen, regulated by the rules
of honour and prudence ; and have thought it an ob• servation not iil made, that, where that was wholly ( denied, the women lost their wit, and the men their ( good manners. 'Tis sure, from those improper • liberties you mentioned, that a sort of undistinguish« ing people shall banish from their drawing-rooms • the best-bred men in the world, and condemn those • that do not. Your stating this point might, I think, be of good use, as well as much oblige,
• Sir, Your admirer and
• ANNA BELLA.
No answer to this till Anna Bella sends a description of those she calis the best-breu men in the world.
* Mr. Spectator,
past • have been well known to be iruly splenetic, ani inut
my spleen arises from having contracted so great a • delic.cy, by reading tiit besi alitoors, anci kueping • the inost reined company, that I cannot bear the
• least impropriety of language, or rusticity of beha• viour. Now, Sir, I have ever looked upon this as a I wise distemper; but by late observations find that,
every heavy wretch who has nothing to say, excuses his dulness by complaining of the spleen. Nay, I saw, the other day, two fellows in a tavern kitchen
set up for it, call for a pint and pipes, and only by • guzzling liquor to each other's health, and wasting I sinoke in each other's face, pretend to throw off the
spleen: I appeal to you whether these dishonours
are to be done to the distemper of the great and the ' polite. I beseech you, Sir, to inform these fellows
that they have not the spleen; because they cannot • talk without the help of a glass at their mouths, or
convey their meaning to each other without the in• terposition of clouds. If you will not do this with all • speed, I assure you, for my part, I will wholly • quit the disease, and for the future be merry with • the vulgár.
Your humble servant.'
" THIS is to let you understand that I am a resor« med Starer, and conceived a detestation for that " practice from what you have writ on the subject. ( But as you have been very severe upon the behaviour o of us men at divine service, I hope you will noi be
so apparently partial to the women as to let them go wholly unobserved. • If they do every thing that is possible to attract our eyes, are we more culpable than they, for look. ( ing at them? I happened last Sunday to be slut in
to a pew, which was full of young ladies in the bloom of youth and beauty. When the service began, I • had not room to kneel at the confession, but as
stood kept my eyes from wandering as well as I was ‘able, till one of the young ladies, who is a Peeper, " resolved to bring down my looks, and fix my devo• tion on herself. You are to know, Sir, tliat a pecper ' works with her hands, eyes, and fan; one of which ' is continually in motion, while she thinks she is not
actually the admiration of some Ogler or Starer in 'the congregation. As I stood, utterly at a loss how • to behave myself, surrounded as I was, this peeper
so placed herself as to be kneeling just before me: • she displayed the most beautiful bosom imaginable, ' which heaved and fell with some fervour, while a de
licate well-shaped arm held a fan over her face : it was not in nature to command one's eyes from this object. I could not avoid taking notice also of her fan, which had on it various figures, very improper to behold on that occasion : there lay in the body of
the piece a Venus under a purple canopy, furled ' with curious wreaths of drapery, half naked; attend' ed with a train of Cupids, who were busied in fanning her as she slept: behind her was drawn a Satyr peeping over the silken fence, and threatening to break through it. I frequently offered to turn my • sight another way, but was still detained by the fas
cination of the peeper's eyes, who had long practiso sed a skill in them to recall the parting glances of ( her beholders. You see my complaint, and hope
you will take these mischievous people, the peepers, • into your consideration: I doubt not but you will " think a peeper as much more pernicious than a • Starer, as an ambuscade is more to be feared than an
"I am, Sir,
Your most obedient servant.'
This Peeper using both fan and eyes, to be consider
ed as a Pict, and proceed accordingly.