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whose air and gate discovered when he had published a new book; and the other tippled every night with the fellows who laboured at the press while his own writings were working off. It is observable of the female poets and ladies dedicatory, that here (as elsewhere) they far exceed us in any strain or rant. As beauty is the thing that sex are piqued upon, they speak of it generally in a more elevated style than is used by the men. They adore in the same manner as they would be adored. So when the authoress of a famous modern romance* begs a young nobleman's permission to pay him her kneeling adorations," I am far from censuring the expression, as some critics would do, as deficient in grammar or sense; but I reflect, that adorations paid in that posture are what a lady might expect herself, and my wonder immediately ceases. These, when they flatter most, do but as they would be done unto: for as none are so much concerned at being injured by calumnies, as they who are readiest to cast them upon their neighbours; so it is certain none are so guilty of flattery to others, as those who most ardently desire it themselves.
What led me into these thoughts, was a dedication I happened upon this morning. The reader must understand that I treat the least instances or remains of ingenuity with respect, in what places soever found, or under whatever circumstances of disadvantage. From this love to letters I have been so happy in my searches after knowledge, that I have found unvalued repositories of learning in the lining of band-boxes. I look upon these pasteboard edifices, adorned with the fragments of the ingenious, with the same veneration as antiquaries upon
ruined buildings, whose walls preserve divers inscriptions and names, which are no where else to be found in the world. This morning, when one of the Lady Lizard's daughters was looking over some hoods and ribands, brought by her tirewoman, with great care and diligence, I employed no less in examining the box which contained them; it was lined with certain scenes of a tragedy, written (as appeared by part of the title there extant) by one of the fair sex. What was most legible was the dedication; which by rea. son of the largeness of the characters, was least defaced
Mrs. Manley, authoress of the Memoirs from the New Atalantis.
by those gothic ornaments of flourishes and foliage, wherewith the compilers of these sort of structures do often industriously obscure the works of the learned. As much of it as I could read with any ease, I shall communicate to the reader, as follows:
« *** Though it is a kind of profanation to approach your grace with so poor an offering, yet when I reflect how acceptable a sacrifice of first-fruits was to Heaven, in the earliest and purest ages of religion, that they were honoured with solemn feasts, and consecrated to altars by a divine command, *** upon that consideration, as an argument of particular zeal, I dedicate *** It is impossible to behold you without'adoring; yet dazzled and awed by the glory that surrounds you, men feel a sacred power, that refines their flames, and renders them pure as those we ought to offer to the Deity.
*** The shrine is worth the divinity that inhabits it. In your grace we see what woman was before she fell, how nearly allied to the purity and perfection of angels. And WE ADORE AND BLESS THE GLORIOUS WORK !”
Undoubtedly these, and other periods of this most pious, dedication, could not but convince the duchess of what the eloquent authoress assures her at the end, that she was her servant with most ardent devotion. I think this a pattern of a new sort of style, not yet taken notice of by the critics, which is above the sublime, and may be called the celestial; that is, when the most sacred phrases appropriated to the honour of the Deity are applied to a mortal of good quality. As I am naturally emulous, I cannot but endeavour, in imitation of this lady, to be the inventor, or, at least, the first producer of a new kind of dedication, very different from hers and most others, since it has not a word but what the author religiously thinks in it. It may serve for almost any book, either prose or verse, that has been, is, or shall be, published, and might run in this
The Author to Himself. MOST HONOURED SIR, These labours, upon many considerations, so properly belong to none as to you. First, as it was your most earnest desire alone that could prevail upon me to make them public. Then as I am secure (from that constant indul. gence you have ever shewn to all which is mine) that no man will so readily take them into protection, or so zealously defend them. Moreover, there is none can so soon discover the beauties; and there are some parts, which it is possible few besides yourself are capable of understanding. Sir, the honour, affection, and value I have for you are beyond expression; as great, I am sure, or greater, than any man else can bear you. As for any defects which others may pretend to discover in you, I do faithfully declare I was never able to perceive them; and doubt not but those persons are actuated purely by a spirit of malice or envy, the inseparable attendants on shining merit and parts, such as I have always esteemed yours to be. It may perhaps be looked upon as a kind of violence to modesty, to say this to you in public: but you may believe me, it is no mote than I have a thousand times thought of you in private. Might I follow the impulse of my soul, there is no subject I could launch into with more pleasure than your panegyric. But since something is due to modesty, let me conclude by telling you, that there is nothing so much I desire as to know you more thoroughly than I have yet the happiness of doing. I may then hope to be capable to do you some real service; but till then can only assure you that I shall continue to be, as I am more than any man alive,
No 5. TUESDAY, MARCH 17, 1713.
The mother's virtues in the daughters shine.
which I was retained by the friend of my youth; and given the reader to understand, that my obligations to it are such as might well naturalize me into the interests of it. They have, indeed, had their deserved effect, and if it were possible for a man who has never entered into the state of marriage to know the instincts of a kind father to an honourable and numerous house, I may say I have
done it. I do not know but my regards, in some consi. derations, have been more useful than those of a father; and as I wanted all that tenderness, which is the bias of inclination in men towards their own offspring, I have had a greater command of reason when I was to judge of what concerned my wards, and consequently was not prompted, by my partiality and fondness towards their persons, to transgress against their interests.
As the female part of a family is the more constant and immediate object of care and protection, and the more liable to misfortune or dishonour, as being in themselves more sensible of the former, and from custom and opinion for less offences more exposed to the latter; I shall begin with the more delicate part of my guardianship, the women of the family of Lizard. The ancient and religious lady, the dowager of my friend Sir Ambrose, has for some time estranged herself from conversation, and admits only of the visits of her own family. The observation, that old people remember best those things which entered into their thoughts when their memories were in their full strength and vigour, is very remarkably exemplified in this good lady and myself when we are in conversation; I choose indeed to go thither, to divert any anxiety or weariness which at any time I find grow upon me from any present business or care. It is said that a little mirth and diversion are what recreate the spirits upon
those occasions; but there is a kind of sorrow from which I draw consolation that strengthens my faculties and enlarges my mind beyond any thing that can flow from merriment. When we meet we soon get over any occurrence which passed the day before, and are in a moment hurried back to those days which only we call good ones; the passages of the times when we were in fashion, with the countenances, behaviour, and jollity, so much, forsooth, above what any appear in now, are present to our imaginations, and almost to our very eyes. This conversation revives to us the memory of a friend, that was more than a brother to me; of a husband that was dearer than life to her: discourses about that dear and worthy man generally send her to her closet, and me to the dispatch of some necessary business, which regards the remains, I would say the numerous descendants, of my generous friend.
I am got, I know not how, out of what I was going to say of this lady, which was that she is far gone towards a better world ; and I mention her (only with respect to this) as she is the object of veneration to those who are derived from her: whose behaviour towards her
be an example to others, and make the generality of young people apprehend, that when the ancient are past all offices of life, is then the young are to exert themselves in their most laudable duties towards them,
The widow of Sir Marmaduke is to be considered in a very different view. My lady is not in the shining bloom of life, but at those years wherein the gratifications of an ample fortune, those of pomp and equipage, of being much esteemed, much visited, and generally admired, are usually more strongly pursued than in younger days. In this condition she might very well add the pleasures of courtship, and the grateful persecution of being followed by a crowd of lovers; but she is an excellent mother and great economist; which considerations, joined with the pleasure of living her own way, preserve her against the intrusion of love. I will not say that my lady has not a secret vanity in being still a fine woman, and neglecting those addresses, to which perhaps we in part owe her constancy in that her neglect.
Her daughter Jane, her eldest child of that sex, is in the twenty-third year of her age, a lady who forms herself after the pattern of her mother; but in my judgment, as she happens to be extremely like her, she sometimes makes her court unskilfully, in affecting that likeness in her very mien, which gives the mother an uneasy sense, that Mrs. Jane really is what her parent has a mind to continue to be; but it is possible I am too observing in this particular, and this might be overlooked in them both, in respect to greater circumstances: for Mrs. Jane is the right hand of her mother; it is her study and constant endeavour to assist her in the management of her household, to keep all idle whispers from her, and discourage them before they can come at her from any other hand; to enforce every thing that makes for the merit of her brothers and sisters towards her, as well as the diligence and cheer fulness of her servants. It is by Mrs. Jane's management, that the whole family is governed, neither by love nor fear,