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sons to be at the head of a crowd, who have as little regard for them as they for each other; and behold one another in an affected sense of prosperity, without the least relish of that exquisite gladness of meeting, that sweet inquietude at parting, together with the charms of voice, look, gesture, and that general benevolence between well-chosen lovers, which makes all things please, and leaves not the least trifle indifferent.
But I am diverted from these sketches of future Essays in behalf of my numerous clients of the fair sex, by notice sent to my office in Sheer-lane, “ That a blooming widow, in the third year of her widowhood, and twenty-sixth of her age, designs to take a colonel of twenty-eight.” The parties request I would draw up their terms of coming together, as having a regard to my opinion against long and diffident settlements; and I have sent them the following Indenture;
“ We John and Mary --, having estates for life, resolve to take each other. I John will venture my life to enrich thee Mary; and 1 Mary will consult my health to nurse thee, John. To which we have interchangeably set our hands, hearts, and seals, this 17th of July, 1710.”
N° 200. THURSDAY, JULY 20, 1710.
From my own Apartment, July 19. Having devoted the greater part of my time to the service of the fair sex, I must ask pardon of my men correspodents, if I postpone their commands, when I have any from the ladies which lie unanswered. That which follows is of importance.
“ You cannot think it strange if I, who know little of the world, apply to you for advice in the weighty affair of matrimony; since you yourself have often declared it to be of that consequence as to require the utmost deliberation. Without further preface, therefore give me leave to tell you, that my father, at his death, left me a fortune sufficient to make me a match for any gentleman. My mother, for she is still alive, is very pressing with me to marry: and I am apt to think, to gratify her, I shall venture upon one of two gentlemen, who at this time make their addresses to me. My request is that you would direct me in my choice; which that you may the better do, I shall give you their characters; and, to avoid confusion, desire you to call them by the names of Philander and Silvius. Philander is young, and has a good estate; Silvius is as young, and has a better. The former has had a liberal education, has seen the town, is retired from thence to his estate in the country, is a man of few words, and much given to books. The latter was brought up under his father's eye, who gave him just learning enough to enable him to keep his accounts; but made him withal very expert in country business, such as ploughing, sowing, buying, selling, and the like. They are both very sober men, neither of their persons is disagreeable, nor did I know which to prefer until I had heard them discourse; when the conversation of Philander so much prevailed, as to give him the advantage with me in all other respects. My mother pleads strongly for Silvius; and uses these arguments: That he not only has the larger estate at present, but by his good husbandry and management increases it daily: that his little knowledge in other affairs will make him easy and tractable; whereas, according to her, men of letters know too much to make good husbands. To part of this, I imagine, I answer effectually, by saying, Philander's estate is large enough; that they who think two thousand pounds a year
sufficient, make no difference between that and three. I easily believe him less conversant in those affairs, the knowledge of which she so much commends in Silvius; but I think them neither so necessary or becoming a gentleman, as the accomplishments of Philander. It is no great character of a man to say, He rides in his coach and six, and understands as much as he who follows the plough. Add to this, that the conversation of these sort of men seems so disagreeable to me, that though they make good bailiffs, I can hardly be persuaded they can be good companions. It is possible I may seem to have odd notions, when I say I am not fond of a man only for being of what is called a thriving temper. To conclude, I own I am at a loss to conceive, how good sense should make an ill husband, or conversing with books less complaisant.
The resolution which this lady is going to take, she may very well say, is founded on reason: for after the necessities of life are served, there is no manner of competition between a man of a liberal education and an illiterate. Men are not altered by their circumstances, but as they give them opportunities of exerting what they are in themselves; and a powerful clown is a tyrant in the most ugly form he can possibly appear. There lies a seeming objection in the thoughtful manner of Philander: but let her consider, which she shall oftener have occasion to wish, that Philander would speak, or Silvius hold his tongue.
The train of my discourse is prevented by the urgent haste of another correspondent. - Mr. Bickerstaff,
July 14. “ This comes to you from one of those virgins of twenty-five years old and upwards, that you, like a patron of the distressed, promised to provide for; who makes it her humble request, that no occasional stories or subjects may, as they have for three or four of your last days, prevent your publishing the scheme you have communicated to Amanda ; for every day and hour is of the greatest consequence to damsels of so advanced an age. Be quick then, if you intend to do any service for your admirer,
In this important affair, I have not neglected the proposals of others. Among them is the following sketch of a lottery for persons. The author of it has proposed very ample encouragement, not only to myself, but also to Charles Lillie and John Morphew. If the matter bears, I shall not be unjust to merit; I only desire to enlarge his plan; for which
purpose I lay it before the town, as well for the improvement as the encouragement of it. The amicable contribution for raising the fortunes
of Ten young Ladies.
Imprimis, It is proposed to raise one hundred thousand crowns by way of lots, which will advance for each lady two thousand five hundred pounds; which sum, together with one of the ladies, the gentleman that shall be so happy as to draw a prize, provided they both like, will be entitled to under such restrictions hereafter mentioned. And in case they do not like, then either party that refuses shall be entitled to one thousand pounds only, and the remainder to him or her that shall be willing to marry, the man being first to declare his mind. But it is provided, that if both parties shall consent to have one another, the gentleman shall, before he receives the money thus raised, settle one thousand pounds of the same in substantial hands (who shall
be as trustees for the said ladies), and shall have the whole and sole disposal of it for her use only.
“ Note; each party shall have three months time to consider, after an interview had, which shall be within ten days after the lots are drawn.
“ Note also, the name and place of abode of the prize shall be placed on a proper ticket.
“ Item, they shall be ladies that have had a liberal education, between fifteen and twenty-three; all genteel, witty, and of unblameable characters.
“ The money to be raised shall be kept in an iron box; and when there shall be two thousand subscriptions, which amounts to five hundred pounds, it shall be taken out and put into a goldsmith's hand, and the note made payable to the proper lady, or her assigns, with a clause therein to hinder from receiving it, until the fortunate person that draws her shall first sign the note, and so on until the whole sum is subscribed for: and as soon as one hundred thousand subscriptions are completed, and two hundred crowns more to pay the charges, the lottery shall be drawn at a proper place, to be appointed a fortnight before the drawing.
“ Note, Mr. Bickerstaff objects to the marriageable years here mentioned : and is of opinion, they should not commence until after twenty-three. But he appeals to the learned, both of Warwick-lane and Bishopsgate-street," on this subject.
N° 201. SATURDAY, JULY 22, 1710.
White's Chocolate-house, July 21. It has been often asserted in these Papers, that the great source of our wrong pursuits is the impertinent
The College of Physicians met at Warwick-lane, and the Royal Society at Gresham-college, in Bishopsgate-street.