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well-disposed persons in the cities of London and Westminster.
Among the many pretended arts of divination, there is none which so universally amuses as that by dreains. I have indeed observed in a late speculation, that there have been sometimes, upon very extraordinary occasions, supernatural revelations made to certain persons, by this means; but as it is the chief business of this paper to root out popular errors, I must endeavour to expose the folly and superstition of those persons, who, in the common and ordinary course of life, lay any stress upon things of so uncer. tain, shadowy, and chimerical a nature. This I cannot do more effectually than by the following letter, which is dated from a quarter of the town that has always been the habitation of some prophetic Phi. tomath; it having been usual, time out of inind, for all such people as have lost their wits, to resort to that place either for their cure or for theirinstruction.
Moorfields, Oct. 4, 1712. (MR. SPECTATOR, " "HAVING long considered whether there be any trade wanting in this great city, after having surveyed very attentively all kinds of ranks and professions, I do not find in any quarter of the town an Oneiro-critic, or, in plain English, an interpreter of dreams. For want of so useful a person, there are several good people who are very much puzzled in this particular, and dream a whole year together without being ever the wiser for it. I hope I am pretty well qualified for this office, having studied by candlelight all the rules of art which have been laid down upon this subject. My great uncle by my wife's side was a Scotch highlander, and secondsighted. I have four fingers and two thumbs upon one hand, and was born on the longest night of the year. My christian and sir-name begin and end with
the same letters. I am lodged in Moorfields, in a house that for these fifty years has been always tenanted by a conjurer.
• If you had been in company, so mueh as myself, with ordinary women of the town, you must know that there are many of them who every day in their lives, upon seeing or hearing of any thing that is unexpected, cry, “ my dream is out;" and cannot go to sleep in quiet the next night, until something or other has happened which has expounded the visions of the preceding one. There are others who are in very great pain for not being able to recover the circumstances of a dream, that made strong impressions upon them while it lasted. In short, Sir, there are many whose waking thoughts are wholly employed on their sleeping ones. For the benefit therefore of this curious and inquisitive part of my fellow-subjects, I shall in the first place tell those persons what they dreamt of, who fancy they never dream at all. In the next place, I shall make out any dream, upon hearing a single circumstance of it ; and in the last place, shall expound to them the good or bad fortune which such dreams porténd. If they do not presage good luck, I shall desire nothing for my pains; not questioning at the same time that those who consult me. will be so reasonable as to afford me a moderate share out of any considerable estate, profit, or emo. lument which I shall discover to them. I interpret to the poor for nothing, on condition that their names may be inserted in public advertisements, to attest the truth of such my interpretations. As for people of quality or others who are indisposed, and do not care to come in person, I can interpret their dreams by seeing their water. I set aside one day in the week for lovers ; and interpret by the great for any gentlewoman who is turned of sixty, after the rate of half a crown per week, with the usual allowances for good luck. I have several rooms and apartments
fitted up, at reasonable rates, for such as have not conveniences for dreaming at their own houses.
• N. B. I am not dumb.'
No. DVI. FRIDAY, OCTOBER 12.
Candida perpetuo reside, concordia, lecto,
Tamque pari semper sit Venus æqua jugo.
Tunc quoque cum suerit, non videatur anus. MART.
Perpetual harmony their bed attend,
THE following essay is written by the gentleman, to whom the world is obliged for those several excellent discourses which have been marked with the letter X.
I HAVE somewhere met with a fable that made Wealth the father of Love. It is certain that a mind ought, at least, to be free from the apprehensions of want and poverty, before it can fully attend to all the softnesses and endearments of this passion. Notwithstanding we see multitudes of married people, who are utter strangei's to this delightful passion amidst all the affluence of the most plentiful fortunes.
It is not sufficient to make a marriage happy, that the humours of two people should be alike; I could
instance an hundred pair, who have not the least sentiment of love remaining for one another, yet are so like in their humours, that if they were not already married, the whole world would design them for mana and wife.
The spirit of love has something so extremely fine in it, that it is very often disturbed and lost, by some little accidents, which the careless and unpolite never attend to, until it is gone past recovery.
Nothing has more contributed to banish it from a married state, than too great a familiarity, and laying aside the common rules of decency. Though I could give instances of this in several particulars, I shall only mention that of dress. The beaus and belles about town, who dress purely to catch one another, think there is no farther occasion for the bait, when their first design has succeeded. But besides, the too common fault in point of neatness, there are several others which I do not remember to have seen touched upon, but in one of our modern comedies, where a French woman offering to undress and dress herself before the lover of the play, and assuring her mistress that it was very usual in France, the lady tells her that is a secret in dress she never knew before, and that she was so unpolished an English woman, as to resolve never to learn to dress even before her husband.
There is something so gross in the carriage of some wives, that they lose their husbands hearts for faults, which, if a man has either good nature or good breeding, he knows not how to tell them of. I am afraid, indeed, the ladies are generally most faulty in this particular ; who, at their first giving into love, find the way so smooth and pleasant, that they fancy it is scarce possible to be tired in it.
There is so much nicety and discretion required to keep love alive after marriage, and make conversation still new and agreeable after twenty or thirty
years, that I know nothing which seems readily to promise it, but an earnest endeavour to please on both sides, and superior good sense on the part of the man.
By a man of sense, I mean one acquainted with business and letters.
A woman very much settles her esteem for a man, according to the figure he makes in the world, and the character he bears among his own sex. As learning is the chief advantage we have over them, it is, methinks, as scandalous and inexcusable for a man of fortune to be illiterate, as of a woman not to know how to behave herself on the most ordinary occasions. It is this which sets the two sexes at the greatest distance : a woman is vexed and surprised, to find nothing more in the conversation of a mani, than in the common tattle of her own sex.
Some small engagement at least in business, not only sets a man's talents in the fairest light, and allots him a part to act, in which a wife cannot well intermeddle; but gives frequent occasion for those little absences, which, whatever seeming uneasiness they may give, are some of the best preservatives of love and desire.
The fair sex are so conscious to themselves, that they have nothing in them which can deserve entirely to engross the whole man, that they heartily despise one, who, to use their own expression, is always hanging at their apron-strings.
Lætitia is pretty, modest, tender, and has sense enough; she married Erastus, who is in a post of some business, and has a general taste in most parts of polite learning. Lætitia, wherever she visits, has the pleasure to hear of something which was handsomely said or done by Erastus. Erastus, since his marriage, is more gay in his dress than ever, and in all companies is as complaisant to Lætitia as to any other lady. I have seen him give her her fan when