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Buckingham, could be against that of Felton. And there is no incensed person so destitute, but can provide himself with a knife or a pistol, if he finds stomach to apply them. That things and persons of no moment should give such powerful revolutions to the progress of those of the greatest, seems a providential disposition to battle and abate the pride of human sufliciency; as also to engage the humanity and benevolence of superiors to all below them, by letting them into this secret, that the stronger depends upon the weaker.
I am, SIR.
* your very humble servant.'
Temple, Paper-Buildings. DEAR SIR,
" I RECEIVED a letter from you some time ago, which I should have answered sooner, had you informed me in yours to what part of this island I might have directed my impertinence ; but having been let into the knowledge of that matter, this handsome excuse is no longer serviceable. My neighbour Prettyman shall be the subject of this letter; who falling in with the Spectator's doctrine concerning the month of May, began from that season to dedicate himself to the service of the fair in the following manner. I observed at the beginning of the month he bought him a new night-gown, either side to be worn outwards, both equally gorgeous and attractive; but till the end of the month I did not enter so fully into the knowledge of his contrivance, as the use of that garment has since suggested to me. Now you must know, that all new clothes raise and warm the wearer's imagination into a conceit of his being a much finer gentleman than he was before, banishing all sobriety and reflection, and giving him up to gallantry and amour. Inflamed therefore with this way of thinking, and full of the
spirit of the month of May, did this merciless youth resolve upon the business of captivating. At first he confined himself to his room only, now and then appearing at his window in his night-gown, and practising that easy posture which expresses the very top and dignity of languishment. It was pleasant to see him diversify his loveliness, sometimes obliging the passengers only with a side-face, with a book in his hand ; sometimes being so generous as to expose the whole in the fulness of its beauty; at other times by a judicious throwing back his perriwig, he would throw in his ears. You know he is that sort of person which the mob call a handsome jolly man; which appearance cannot miss of captives in this part of the town. Being emboldened by daily success, he leaves his room with a resolution to extend his
conquests ; and I have apprehended him in his night-gown smiting in all parts of this neighbourhood.
- This I, being of an amorous complexion, saw with indignation, and had thoughts of purchasing a wig in these parts ; into which, being at a greater distance from the earth, I might have thrown a very liberal mixture of white horse-hair, which would make a fairer, and consequently a handsomer appear. ance, while my situation would secure me against any discoveries. But the passion to the handsome gentleman seems to be so fixed to that part of the building, that it may be extremely difficult to divert it to mine ; so that I am resolved to stand boldly to the complexion of my own eye-brow, and prepare me an immense black wig of the same sort of structure with that of my rival. Now, though by this I shall not, perhaps, lessen the number of the admirers of his complexion, I shall have a fair chance to divide the passengers by the irresistible force of mine.
* I expect sudden dispatches from you, with advice of the family you are in now, how to deport myself upon this so delicate a conjuncture; with some com.
fortable resolutions in favour of the handsome black man against the handsome fair one.
• I am, Sir, с
your most humble servant.'
N. B. He who writ this, is a black man two pair of stairs; the gentleman of whom he writes, is fair, and one pair of stairs.
• I ONLY say, that it is impossible for me to say how much I am
P. S. "I shall think it a little hard, if
do not take as much notice of this epistle, as you have of the ingenious Mr. Short's. I am not afraid to let the world see which is the deeper man of the two.'
London, September 15. WHEREAS a young woman on horseback, in an equestrian habit, on the 13th instant in the evening met the Spectator within a mile and an half of this town, and flying in the face of justice, pulled off her hat, in which there was a feather, with the mien and air of a young officer, saying at the same time, Your servant, Mr. Spect. or words to that purpose: This is to give notice, that if any person can discover the name, and place of abode of the said offender, so as she can be brought to justice, the informant shall have all fitting encouragement.
No. CCCCLXXXVI. WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 17.
Audire est operæ pretium, procedere recté
All you, who think the city ne'er can thrive,
• THERE are very many of my acquaintance followers of Socrates, with more particular regard to that part of his philosophy which we, among ourselves, call his Domestics ; under which denomination, nomination, or title, we include all the conjugal joys and sufferings. We have indeed, with very great pleasure, observed the honour you do the whole fraternity of the hen-pecked, in placing that illustrious man at our head, and it does in a very great measure baffle the raillery of pert rogues who have no advantage above us, but in that they are single. But when you look about into the crowd of mankind, you will find the fair sex reigns with greater tyranny over lovers than husbands. You shall hardly meet one in a thousand who is wholly exempt from their dominion, and those that are so are capable of no taste of life, and breathe and walk about the earth as insignificants. But I am going to desire your further favour in behalf of our harmless brotherhood, and hope you will shew in a true light the unmarricd hen-pecked, as well as you have done justice to us, who submit to the conduct of our wives. I am very particularly acquainted with one who is under entire submission to a kind girl, as he calls her; and though he knows I have been witress both to the ill usage he has received from her, and his inability to resist
her tyranny, he still pretends to make a jest of me for a little more than ordinary obsequiousness to my spouse. No longer than Tuesday last he took me with him to visit his mistress ; and he having, it seems, been a little in disgrace before, thought by bringing me with him she would constrain herself, and insensibly fall into general discourse with him and so he might break the ice, and save himself all the ordinary compunctions and mortifications she used to make him suffer before she would be reconciled, after any act of rebellion on his part. When we came into the room, we were received with the utmost coldness ; and when he presented me as Mr. Suchd-one, his very good friend, she just had patience to suffer - my salutation ; but when he himself, with a very gay air, offered to follow me, she gave him a thundering box on the ear, called him a pitiful poorspirited wretch, how durst he see her face? His wig and hat fell on different parts of the floor. She seized the wig too soon for him to recover it, and kicking it down stairs, threw herself in an opposite room, pulling the door after her with a force, that you would have thought the hinges would have given way. We went down), you must know, with no very good countenance; and as we sneaked off, and were driving home together, he confessed to me, that her anger was thus highly raised, because he did not think fit to fight a gentleman who had said, she was what she was; but, says he, a kind letter or two, or fifty pieces, will put her in humour again. I asked him why he did not part with her; he answered, he loved her with all the tenderness imaginable, and she had too many charms to be abandoned for a little quickness of spirit. Thus does this illegitimate hen-pecked overlook the hussy's having no regard to his very life and fame, in putting him upon an infamous dispute about her reputation ; yet has he the confidence to laugh at me, because I obey my poor dear in keeping