« PredošláPokračovať »
rakes and bullies have a great advantage over others) make a discourse of any tolerable length, without “That is ;" and if he be a very grave man indeed, without “That is to say?" And how instructive as well as entertaining are those usual expressions in the mouths of great men, "Such things as That," and "The like of That.”
'I am not against reforming the corruptions of speech you mention, and own there are proper seasons for the introduction of other words besides That ; but I scorn as much to supply the place of a Who or a Which at every turn, as they are unequal always to fill mine and I expect good language and civil treatment, and hope to receive it for the future: That, That I shall only add is, That I am,
I am told that many virtuous matrons, who formerly have been taught to believe that this artificial spotting of the face was unlawful, are now reconciled by a zeal for their cause, to what they could not be prompted by a concern for their beauty. This way of declaring war upon one another, puts me in mind of what is reported of the tigress, that several spots rise in her skin when she is angry, or as Mr. Cowley has imitated the verses that stand as the motto of this paper,
She swells with angry pride,
And calls forth all her spots on every side *.
When I was in the theatre the time above mentioned, I had the curiosity to count the patches on both sides, and found the tory patches to be about twenty stronger than the whig; but to make amends for this small inequality, I the next morning found the whole puppet-show filled with faces spotted after the whiggish manner. Whether or no the ladies had retreated hither in order to rally their forces I cannot tell; but the next night they came in so great a body to the opera, that they out-numbered the enemy.
This account of party-patches will, I am afraid, appear improbable to those who live at a distance from the fashionable world; but as it is a distinction of a very singular nature, and what perhaps may never meet with a parallel, I think I should not have discharged the office of a faithful Spectator, had not I recorded it.
I have, in former papers, endeavoured to expose this party-rage in women, as it only serves to aggravate the hatreds and animosities that reign among men, and in a great measure deprives the fair sex of
* Davideis, Book III, page 409. Vol. II. 1710. 8vo.
those peculiar charms with which nature has endowed them.
When the Romans and Sabines were at war, and just upon the point of giving battle, the women, who were allied to both of them, interposed with so many tears and intreaties, that they prevented the mutual slaughter which threatened both parties, and united them together in a firm and lasting peace.
I would recommend this noble example to our British ladies, at a time when their country is torn with so many unnatural divisions, that if they continue, it will be a misfortune to be born in it. The Greeks thought it so improper for women to interest themselves in competitions and contentions, that for this reason, among others, they forbad them under pain of death, to be present at the Olympic games, notwithstanding these were the public diversions of all Greece.
As our English women exceed those of all nations in beauty, they should endeavour to outshine them in all other accomplishments proper to the sex, and to distinguish themselves as tender mothers, and faithful wives, rather than as furious partizans. Female virtues are of a domestic turn. The family is the proper province for private women to shine in. If they must be shewing their zeal for the public, let it not be against those who are perhaps of the same family, or at least of the same religion or nation, but against those who are the open, professed, undoubted enemies of their faith, liberty, and country. When the Romans were pressed with a foreign enemy, the ladies voluntarily contributed all their rings and jewels to assist the government under a public exigence, which appeared so laudable an action in the eyes of their countrymen, that from thenceforth it was permitted by a law to pronounce public orations at the funeral of a woman in praise of the deceased person, which
till that time was peculiar to men. English ladies, instead of sticking on a patch against those of their own country, shew themselves so truly public-spirited as to sacrifice every one her necklace against the common enemy, what decrees ought not to be made in favour of them?
Since I am recollecting upon this subject such passages as occur to my memory out of ancient authors, I cannot omit a sentence in the celebrated funeral oration of Pericles, which he made in honour of those brave Athenians that were slain in a fight with the Lacedemonians *. After having addressed himself to the several ranks and orders of his countrymen, and shewn them how they should behave themselves in the public cause, he turns to the female part of his audience: And as for you,' says he, 'I shall advise you in very few words. Aspire only to those virtues that are peculiar to your sex; follow your natural modesty, and think it your greatest commendation not to be talked of one way or other.' C.
*Thucyd. Hist.' L. II. p. 130, edit. H. Steph. 1588, folio.
N° 82. MONDAY, JUNE 4, 1711.
PASSING under Ludgate* the other day, I heard a voice bawling for charity, which I thought I had somewhere heard before. Coming near to the grate, the prisoner called me by my name, and desired I would throw something into the box: I was out of countenance for him, and did as he bid me, by putting in half a crown. I went away, reflecting upon the strange constitution of some men, and how meanly they behave themselves in all sorts of conditions. The person who begged of me is now, as I take it, fifty: I was well acquainted with him till about the age of twenty-five; at which time a good estate fell to him by the death of a relation. Upon coming to this unexpected good fortune, he ran into all the extravagancies imaginable; was frequently in drunken disputes, broke drawers' heads, talked and swore loud, was unmannerly to those above him, and insolent to those below him. I could not but remark, that it was the same baseness of spirit which worked in his behaviour in both fortunes: the same little mind was insolent in riches, and shameless in poverty. This accident made me muse upon the circumstance of being in debt in general, and solve in
* Ludgate was a prison for such debtors as were freemen of the city of London; it was taken down in the year 1762, and the prisoners removed to the London workhouse.