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let out their wives to all encounters. The general custom of salutation should excuse the favour done me, or you should lay down rules when such distinctions are to be given or omitted. You cannot imagine, Sir, how troubled I am for this unhappy lady's misfortune, and beg you would insert this letter, that the husband may reflect upon this accident coolly. It is no small matter, the ease of a virtuous woman for her whole life : I know she will conform to any regularities (though more strict than the common rules of our country require) to which his particular temper shall incline him to oblige her. This acci. dent puts me in mind how generously Pisistratus the Athenian tyrant behaved himself on a like occasion, when he was instigated by his wife to put to death a young gentleman, because being passionately fond of his daughter, he had kissed her in public as he met her in the street ; “ What, said he, shall we do to those who are our enemies, if we do thus to those who are our friends ?” I will not trouble you much longer, but am exceedingly concerned lest this accirent may cause a virtuous lady to lead a miserable life with a husband, who has no grounds for his jealousy but what I have faithfully related, and ought to be reckoned none. It is to be feared too, if at Jast he sees his mistake, yet people will be as slow and unwilling in disbelieving scandal, as they are quick and forward in believing it. I shall endeavour to enliven this plain honest letter with Ovid's relation about Cybele's image. The ship wherein it was abroad was stranded at the mouth of the Tiber, and the men were unable to move it, until Claudia, a virgin, but suspected of unchastity, by a slight pull hawled it in. The story is told in the fourth book of the Fasti.
Parent of gods, began the weepirg fair,
If lewdness e'er defil'd my virgin bloom,
I am, Sir,
(YOU will oblige a languishing lover, if you will please to print the inclosed verses in your next paper. If you remember the Metamorphosis, you know Procris, the fond wife of Cephalus, is said to have made her husband, who delighted in the sports of the wood, a present of an unerring javelin. In process of time he was so much in the forest, that his lady suspected he was pursuing some nymph, under pretence of following a chace more innocent. Under this suspicion she hid herself among the trees, to observe his motions.
While she lay concealed, her husband, tired with the labour of hunting, came within her hearing. As he was fainting with heat, he cried out, “ Aura veni; oh charming air approach."
• The unfortunate wife, taking the word air to be the name of a woman, began to move among the bushes; and the husband believing it a deer, threw his javelin and killed her. This history painted on a fan, which I presented to a lady, gave occasion to my growing poetical.
Come, genele air! th' Æolian shepherd said,
No. DXXVIII. WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 5.
Dum potuit, solita gemitum virtute repressit.
With wonted fortitude she bore the smart,
• I WHO now write to you, am a woman loaded with injuries ; and the aggravation of my misfortune is, that they are such which are overlooked by the generality of mankind, and though the most afflicting imaginable, not regarded as such in the general sense of the world. I have hid my vexation from all mankind; but have now taken pen, ink, and paper, and am resolved to unbosom myself to you, and lay before you what grieves me and all the sex. You have very often mentioned particular hardships done to this or that lady ; but, methinks, you have not in any one speculation directly pointed at the partial freedom men take, the unreasonable confine
ment women are obliged to, in the only circumstance in which we are necessarily to have a commerce with them, that of love. The case of celibacy is the great evil of our nation ; and the indulgence of the vicious conduct of men in that state, with the ridicule to which women are exposed, though ever so virtuous, if long unmarried, is the root of the greatest irregularities of this nation. To shew you, Sir, that though you never have given us the catalogue of a lady's library as you promised, we read good books of our own choosing, I shall insert on this occasion a paragraph or two out of Echard's Roman History. In the forty-fourth page of the second volume the author observes, that Augustus, upon his return to Rome at the end of a war, received complaints that too great a number of the young men of quality were unmarried. The emperor thereupon assembled the whole equestrian order; and having separated the married from the single, did particular honours to the former, but he told the latter, that is to say, Mr. Spectator, he told the bachelors, “ That their lives and actions had been so peculiar, that he knew not by what name to call them; not by that of men, for they performed nothing that was manly; not by that of citizens, for the city might perish notwithstanding their care ; nor by that of Romans, for they designed to extirpate the Roman name.” Then proceeding to shew his tender care and hearty affection for his people, he further told them, “ That their course of life was of such pernicious consequence to the glory and grandeur of the Roman nation, that he could not choose but tell them, that all other crimes put together could not equalize theirs : for they were guilty of murder, in not suffering those to be born which should proceed from them; of impiety, in causing the names and honours of their ancestors to cease ; and of sacrilege, in destroying their kind, which proceed from the immortal gods, and human nature, the principal thing consecrated to them: therefore in this respect, they dissolved the government, in disobeying its laws; betrayed their country, by making it barren and waste; nay, and demolished their city, in depriving it of inhabitants. And he was sensible that all this proceeded not from any kind of virtue or abstinence, but from a looseness and wantonness, which ought never to be encouraged in any civil government." There are no particulars dwelt upon that let us into the con. duct of these young worthies, whom this great emperor treated with so much justice and indignation; but any one who observes what passes in this town, may very well frame to himself a notion of their riots and debaucheries all night, and their apparent preparations for them all day. It is not to be doubted but these Romans never passed any of their time innocently, but when they were asleep, and never slept but when they were weary and heavy with excesses, and slept only to prepare themselves for the repetition of them. If you did your duty as a Spectator, you would carefully examine into the number of births, marriages, and burials : and when you had deducted out of your deaths all such as went out of the world without marrying, then cast up the number of both sexes born within such a term of years last past, you might from the single people departed make some useful inferences or guesses how many there are left unmarried, and raise some useful scheme for the amendment of the age in that par. ticular. I have not patience to proceed gravely on this abominable libertinism ; for I cannot but reflect, as I am writing to you, upon a certain lascivious manner which all our young gentlemen use in public, and examine our eyes with a petulancy in their own, which is a downright affront to modesty. A disdainful look on such an occasion is returned with a countenance rebuked, but by averting their eyes