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matter whether they can, or unreasonable to expect they should, have every thing about them as well as at their own home. This way of thinking is, perhaps, the only one that can put this being in a proper posture for the ease of society. It is certain, that this would reduce all faults into those which proceed from malice, or dishonesty; it would quite change our manner of beholding one another, and nothing that was not below a man's nature, would be below his character. The arts of this life would be proper advances towards the next; and a very good man would be a very fine gentleman. As it is now, human life is inverted, and we have not learned half the knowledge of this world before we are dropping into another. Thus, instead of the raptures and contemplations which naturally attend a well-spent life from the approach of eternity, even we old fellows are afraid of the ridicule of those who are born since us, and ashamed not to understand, as well as peevish to resign, the mode, the fashion, the ladies, the fiddles, the balls, and what not. Dick Reptile, who does not want humour, is very pleasant at our club when he sees an old fellow touchy at being laughed at for any thing that is not in the mode, and bawls in his ear, ‘Pry'thee do not mind him; tell him thou art mortal.'
No 247. TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 1710.
Edepol, næ nos æque sumus omnes invisæ viris
Ter. Hecyr. II. iï. 1.
By Mrs. Jenny DISTAFF, Half Sister to
Mr. BICKERSTAFF. From my own Apartment, November 6. My brother having written the above piece of Latin, desired me to take care of the rest of the ensuing Paper. Towards this he bid me answer the following letter, and said, nothing I could write properly on the subject of it would be disagreeable to the motto. It is the cause of my sex, and I therefore enter upon it with great alacrity. The epistle is literally thus :
Edinburgh, Oct. 23. • MR. BICKERSTAFF, I
presume to lay before you an affair of mine, and begs you'le be very sinceir in giving me your judgment and advice in this matter, which is as
A very agreeable young gentleman, who is endowed with all the good qualities that can make a man complete, has this long time maid love to me in the most passionat manner that was posable. He has left nothing unsaid to make me believe his affections real; and, in his letters, expressed himself so
hansomly and so tenderly, that I had all the reason imaginable to believe him sincere. In short, he positively has promised me he would marry me: but I find all he said nothing; for when the question was put to him, he would not; but still would continue my humble servant, and would go on at the ould rate, repeating the assurences of his fidelity, and at the same time has none in him. He now writs to me in the same endearing style he ust to do, would have me spake to no man but himself. His estate is in his own hand, his father being dead. My fortune at my own disposal, mine being also dead, and to the full answers his estate. Pray, Sir, be ingeinous, and tell me cordially, if you don't think I shall do myself an injury if I keep company, or a corospondance any longer with this gentleman. I hope you will faver an honest North-Britain, as I am, with your advice in this amour; for I am resolved just to follow your directions. Sir, you will do me a sensable pleasure, and very great honour, if you will please to insert this poor scrole, with
your answer to it, in your Tatler. Pray fail not to give me your answer; for on it depends the happiness of
Disconsolat ALMEIRA.' MADAM, • I have frequently read over your letter, and am of opinion, that, as lamentable as it is, it is the most common of any evil that attends our sex. very much troubled for the tenderness you express towards your lover, but rejoice at the same time that you can so far surmount your inclination for him, as to resolve to dismiss him when
you brother's opinion for it. His sense of the matter he desired me to communicate to you. Oh Almeira! the common failing of our sex is to value the merit of our lovers rather from the grace of their address,
than the sincerity of their hearts. He has expressed himself so handsomely! Can you say that, after you bave reason to doubt his truth? It is a melancholy thing, that in this circumstance of love, which is the most important of all others in female life, women, who are, they say, always weak, are still weakest. The true way of valuing a man is, to consider his reputation among the men. For want of this necessary rule towards our conduct, when it is too late, we find ourselves married to the outcasts of that sex; and it is generally from being disagreeable
among men, that fellows endeavour to make themselves pleasing to us.
The little accomplishments of coming into a room with a good air, and telling, while they are with us, what we cannot hear among ourselves, usually make up the whole of a woman's man's merit. But if we, when we began to reflect upon our lovers, in the first place, considered what figures they make in the camp, at the bar, on the exchange, in their country, or at court, we should behold them in quite another view than at present.
• Were we to behave ourselves according to this role, we should not have the just imputation of favouring the silliest of mortals, to the great scandal of the wisest, who value our favour as it advances their pleasure, not their reputation. In a word, Madam, if you would judge aright in love, you must look upon
it as in a case of friendship. Were this gentleman treating with you for any thing but yourself, when you had consented to his offer, if he fell off, you would call him a cheat and an impostor. There is, therefore, nothing left for you to do but to despise him, and yourself for doing it with regret.
I have heard it often argued in conversation, that this evil practice is owing to the perverted taste the wits in the last generation. A libertine on th throne could very easily make the language and th fashion turn his own way. Hence it is that woma is treated as a mistress, and not a wife. It is froi the writings of those times, and the traditional ac counts of the debauches of their men of pleasure that the coxcombs now-a-days take upon them, foi sooth, to be false swains and perjured lovers. Me thinks I feel all the woman rise in me, when I reflec upon the nauseous rogues that pretend to deceivi us; wretches, that can never have it in their powe to overreach any thing living but their mistresses In the name of goodness, if we are designed by nature as suitable companions to the other sex, why are we not treated accordingly? If we have merit, as some allow, why is it not as base in men to injure us, as one another? If we are the insignificants that others call us, where is the triumph in deceiving us? But when I look at the bottom of this disaster, and recollect the many of my acquaintance whom I have known in the same condition with the • Northern Lass' that occasions this discourse, I must own I have ever found the perfidiousness of men has been generally owing to ourselves, and we haye contributed to our own deceit. The truth is, we do not conduct ourselves, as we are courted, but as we are inclined. When we let our imaginations take this unbridled swing, it is not he that acts best is most lovely, but he that is most lovely acts best. When our humble servants make their addresses, we do not keep ourselves enough disengaged to be judges of their merit; and we seldom give our judgment of our lover, until we have lost our judgment for him.