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manner with which we treat women both in the common and important circumstances of life. In vain do we say, the whole sex would run into England, while the privileges, which are allowed them, do no way balance the inconveniences arising from those very immunities.
Our women have very much indulged to them in the participation of our fortunes and our liberty; but the errors they commit in the use of either are by no means so impartially considered as the false steps which are made by men. In the commerce of lovers, the man makes the address, assails, and betrays; and yet stands in the same degree of acceptance, as he was in before he committed that treachery. The woman, for no other crime but believing one whom she thought loved her, is treated with shyness and indifference at the best, and commonly with reproach and scorn. He that is past the power of beauty may talk of this matter with the same unconcern, as of any other subject: therefore I shall take upon me to consider the sex, as they live within rules, and as they transgress them. The ordinary class of the good or the ill have very little influence upon the actions of others; but the eminent, in either kind, are those who lead the world below. The ill are employed in communicating scandal, infamy, and disease, like Furies: the good distribute benevolence, friendship, and health, like Angels. The ill are damped with pain and anguish at the sight of all that is laudable, lovely, or happy. The virtuous are touched with commiseration towards the guilty, the disagreeable, and the wretched. There are those who betray the innocent of their own sex, and solicit the lewd of
There are those who have abandoned the very memory, not only of innocence, but shame. There are those who never forgave, nor could ever bear being forgiven. There are those also who visit the beds of the sick, lull the cares of the sorrowful,
and double the joys of the joyful. Such is the destroying fiend, such the guardian angel, Woman.
The way to have a greater number of the amiable part of womankind, and lessen the crowd of the other sort, is to contribute what we can to the success of well-grounded passions; and therefore I comply with the request of an enamoured man, in inserting the following billet :
Madam, “ Mr. Bickerstaff, you always read, though me you will never hear. I am obliged therefore to his compassion for the opportunity of imploring yours-I sigh for the most accomplished of her sex. That is so just a distinction of her, to whom I write, that the owning I think so is no distinction of me, who write. Your good qualities are peculiar to you; my admiration is common with thousands. I shall be present when you read this; but fear every woman will take it for her character, sooner than she who deserves it."
If the next letter, which presents itself, should come from the mistress of this modest lover, and I make them break through the oppression of their passions, I shall expect gloves at their nuptials.
« Mr. Bickerstaff, “ You that are a philosopher, know very well the make of the mind of women, and can best instruct me in the conduct of an affair which highly concerns
I never can admit my lover to speak to me of love; yet think him impertinent when he offers to talk of any thing else. What shall I do with a man that always believes me? It is a strange thing, this distance in men of sense! why do not they always urge their fate? If we are sincere in our severity, you lose nothing by attempting. If we are hypocrites, you certainly succeed.”
From my own Apartment, July 21. Before I withdraw from business for the night, it is my custom to receive all addresses to me, that others may go to rest as well as myself, at least as far as I can contribute to it. When I called to know if any would speak with me, I was informed that Mr. Mills, the player, desired to be admitted. He was so; and with much modesty acquainted me, as he did other people of note, “ that Hamlet, was to be acted on Wednesday next for his benefit.” I had long wanted to speak with this person; because I thought I could admonish him of many things, which would tend to his improvement. In the general 1 observed to him, that though action was his business, the way to that action was not to study gesture, for the behaviour would follow the sentiments of the mind.
Action to the player is what speech is to an orator. If the matter be well conceived, words will flow with ease; and if the actor is well possessed of the nature of his part, a proper action will necessarily follow. He informed me, that Wilks was to act Hamlet: I desired him to request of him, in my name, that he would wholly forget Mr. Betterton ; for that he failed in no part of Othello, but where he had him in view. An actor's forming himself .by the carriage of another is like the trick among the widows, who lament their husbands as their neighbours did theirs, and not according to their own sentiments of the deceased.
There is a fault also in the audience, which interrupts their satisfaction very much; that is, the figuring to themselves the actor in some part wherein they formerly particularly liked him, and not attending to the part he is at that time performing. Thus, whatever Wilks, who is the strictest follower of nature, is acting, the vulgar spectators turn their thoughts upon Sir Harry Wildair.
When I had indulged the loquacity of an old man for some time, in such loose hints, I took my leave of Mr. Mills: and was told, Mr. Elliot of St. James's coffee-house would speak with me. His business was to desire I would, as I am an astrologer, let him know beforehand, who were to have the benefit tickets in the ensuing lottery; which knowledge he was of opinion he could turn to great account, as he was concerned in news.
I granted his request, upon an oath of secrecy, that he would only make his own use of it, and not. let it be publicly known until after they were drawn. I had not done speaking, when he produced to me a plan which he had formed of keeping books, with the names of all such adventurers, and the numbers of their tickets, as should come to him; in order to give an hourly account of what tickets shall come up during the whole time of the lottery, the drawing of which is to begin on Wednesday next. I liked his method of disguising the secret I had told him: and pronounced him a thriving man, who could so well watch the motion of things, and profit by a prevailing humour and impatience so aptly, as to make his honest industry agreeable to his customers, as it is to be the messenger of their good fortune.
From the Trumpet in Sheer-lane, July 20. “ Ordered, that for the improvement of the pleasures of society, a member of this house, one of the most wakeful of the soporific assembly beyond Smithfield-bars, and one of the order of story-tellers in Holborn, may meet and exchange stale matter, and report the same to their principals.
“ N. B. No man is to tell above one story in the same evening; but has liberty to tell the same the night following.”
Mr. Bickerstaff desires his love-correspondents to vary the names they shall assume in their future letters : for that he is overstocked with Philanders.
N° 202. TUESDAY, JULY 25, 1710.
Hor. 1 Ep. xi. ver.
ult. True happiness is to no spot confin'd; If you preserve a firm and equal mind, 'Tis here, 'tis there, and every where.
From my own Apartment, July 24. This afternoon I went to visit a gentleman of my acquaintance at Mile-end ; and passing through Stepney church-yard, I could not forbear entertaining myself with the inscriptions on the tombs and graves. Among others, I observed one with this notable memorial :
“ Here lies the body of T. B." This fantastical desire, of being remembered only by the two first letters of a name, led me into the contemplation of the vanity and imperfect attainments of ambition in general. When I run back in my imagination all the men whom I have ever known and conversed with in my whole life, there are but very few who have not used their faculties in the pursuit of what it is impossible to acquire; or left the possession of what they might have been, at their setting out, masters, to search for it where it was out of their reach. In this thought it was not possible to forget the instance of Pyrrhus, who, proposing to himself in discourse with a philosopher, one, and another, and another conquest, was asked, what he would do after all that? “ Then,” says