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art of courtship was to fill the mind of his mistress with parties, rambles, mufick, and fhews. We were often engaged in fhort excurfions to gardens and feats, and I was for a while pleased with the care which Venuftulus discovered in fecuring me from any appearance of danger, or poffibility of mifchance. never failed to recommend caution to his coachman, or to promise the waterman a reward if he landed us fafe; and always contrived to return by day-light for fear of robbers. This extraordinary folicitude was represented for a time as the effect of his tenderness for me; but fear is too strong for continued hypocrify. I foon discovered, that Venuftu lus had the cowardice as well as elegance of a female. His imagination was perpetually clouded with terrors, and he could fcarcely refrain from screams and outcries at any accidental furprise. He durft not enter a room if a rat was heard behind the wainscot, nor cross a field where the cattle were frisking in the funfhine; the leaft breeze that waved upon the river was a ftorm, and every clamour in the street was a cry of fire. I have feen him lofe his colour when my squirrel had broke his chain ; and was forced to throw water in his face on the fudden entrance of a black cat. Compaflion once obliged me to drive away with my fan, a beetle that kept him in distress, and chide off a dog that yelped at his heels, to which he would gladly have given up me to facilitate his own escape. Women naturally expect defence and protection from a lover or a husband, and therefore you will not think me culpable in refusing a wretch, who would have burdened life with unneceffary fears, and flown to
me for that fuccour which it was his duty to have
My next lover was Fungofa, the fon of a ftock. jobber, whose visits my friends, by the importunity of perfuafion, prevailed upon me to allow. Fungofa was no very fuitable companion; for having been bred in a counting-houfe, he spoke a language unintelligible in any other place. He had no defire of any reputation but that of an acute prognofticator of the changes in the funds; nor had any means of raising merriment, but by telling how fomebody was over-reached in a bargain by his father. He was, how, ever, a youth of great fobriety and prudence, and fre quently informed us how carefully he would improve my fortune. I was not in hafte to conclude the match, but was fo much awed by my parents, that I durft not dismiss him, and might perhaps have been doomed for ever to the groffness of pedlary, and the jargon of ufury, had not a fraud been discovered in the fettlement, which fet me free from the perfecu tion of groveling pride, and pecuniary impudence.
I was afterwards fix months without any particular notice, but at last became, the idol of the glittering Flofculus, who prefcribed the mode of embroidery to all the fops of his time, and varied at pleasure the cock of every hat, and the fleeve of every coat that appeared in fashionable affemblies. Flofculus made fome impreffion upon my heart by a compliment which few ladies can hear without emotion; he commended my skill in drefs, my judgment in fuiting colours, and my art in difpofing ornaments. But Flofculus was too much engaged by his own elegance, to be fufficiently attentive to the duties of a lover,
or to please with varied praise an ear made delicate by riot of adulation. He expected to be repaid part of his tribute, and ftaid away three days, because I neglected to take notice of a new coat. I quickly found, that Flofculus was rather a rival than an admirer; and that we fhould probably live in a perpe tual struggle of emulous finery, and spend our lives in ftratagems to be firft in the fashion.
I had foon after the honour at a feast of attracting the eyes of Dentatus, one of those human beings whose only happiness is to dine. Dentatus regaled me with foreign varieties, told me of meafures that he had laid for procuring the best cook in France, and entertained me with bills of fare, prefcribed the arrangement of dishes, and taught me two fauces invented by himself. At length, fuch is the uncer tainty of human happinefs, I declared my opinion too hastily upon a pie made under his own direction; after which he grew fo cold and negligent, that he was easily difmiffed.
Many other lovers, or pretended lovers, I have had the honour to lead a while in triumph. But two of them I drove from me, by difcovering that they had no taste or knowledge in mufick; three I difmiffed, because they were drunkards; two, because they paid their addreffes at the fame time to other ladies; and fix, because they attempted to influence my choice by bribing my maid. Two more I difcarded at the second vifit for obfcene allufions ; and five for drollery on religion. In the latter part of my reign, I fentenced two to perpetual exile, for offering me fettlements, by which the children of a former marriage would have been injured; four, for X A reprefent
representing falfely the value of their eftates; three for concealing their debts; and one, for raifing the rent of a decrepit tenant,
I have now sent you a narrative, which the ladies may oppose to the tale of Hymenæus. I mean not to depreciate the sex which has produced poets and phi lofophers, heroes and martyrs; but will not fuffer the rifing generation of beauties to be dejected by partial fatire; or to imagine that those who cenfured them have not likewife their follies, and their vices, I do not yet believe happiness unattainable in mar, riage, though I have never yet been able to find a man, with whom I could prudently venture an infe, parable union. It is neceffary to expofe faults, that their deformity may be feen; but the reproach ought not to be extended beyond the crime, nor either fex to be contemned, because fome women, or men, are indelicate or difhoneft.
NUMB. 120. SATURDAY, May 11, 1751,
Redditum Cyri folio Phraaten,
True virtue can the crowd unteach
Phraates, by his flaves ador'd,
IN N the reign of Jenghiz Can, conqueror of the east, in the city of Samarcand, lived Nouradin the merchant, renowned throughout all the regions of India, for the extent of his commerce, and the integrity of his dealings. His warehouses were filled with all the commodities of the remotest nations; every rarity of nature, every curiofity of art, whatever was valuable, whatever was ufeful, hafted to his hand. The streets were crowded with his carriages; the fea was covered with his fhips; the ftreams of Oxus were wearied with conveyance, and every breeze of the sky wafted wealth to Nouradin.
At length Nouradin felt himself seized with a flow malady, which he first endeavoured to divert by application, and afterwards to relieve by luxury and indulgence; but finding his ftrength every day less, he was at last terrified, and called for help upon the