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nity; and to resign conquests is a task as difficult in a beauty as a hero. In the very entrance upon this work she must burn all her love-letters; or, since she is so candid as not to call her lovers, who follow her no longer, unfaithful, it would be a very good beginning of a new life from that of a beauty, to send them back to those who writ them, with this honest inscription, Articles of a marriage-treaty broken off by the small-pox. I have known but one instance where a matter of this kind went on after a like misfortune; where the lady, who was a woman of spirit, writ this billet to her lover:
flattered me before I had this terrible malady, pray come and see me now: but if you sincerely liked me, stay away: for I am not the
The lover thought there was something so sprightly in her behaviour, that he answered,
“I am not obliged, since you are not the same woman, to let you know whether I flattered you or not, but I assure you I do not, when I tell you 1 like
above all your sex, and hope you will bear what may befall me when we are both one, as well as you do what happens to yourself now you are single; therefore I am ready to take such a spirit for my companion as soon as you please.
If Parthenissa can now possess her own mind, and think as little of her beauty as she ought to have done when she had it, there will be no great diminution of her charms; and if she was formerly affected too much with them, an easy behaviour will more than make up for the loss of them. Take the whole sex together, and you find those who have the strongest possession of men's hearts are not eminent for their beauty: you see it often happens, that those who engage men to the greatest violence, are such as those who are strangers to them would take to be remarkably defective for that end. The fondest lover I know, said to me one day in a crowd of women at an entertainment of music, . You have often heard me talk of my beloved; that woman there,' continued he, smiling, when he had fixed my eye, 'is her very picture. The lady he showed me was by much the least remarkable for beauty of any in the whole assembly; but having my curiosity extremely raised, I could not keep my eyes off her. Her eyes at last met mine, and with a sudden surprise she looked round her to see who near her was remarkably handsome that I was gazing at. This little act explained the secret: she did not understand herself for the object of love, and therefore she was so. The lover is a very honest plain man; and what charmed him was, a person that goes along with him in the cares and joys of life, not taken up with herself, but sincerely attentive, with a ready and cheerful mind, to accompany him in either.
I can tell Parthenissa for her comfort, that the beauties generally speaking, are the most impertinent and disagreeable of women. An apparent desire of admiration, a reflection upon
their own merit, and a precise behaviour in their general conduct, are almost inseparable accidents in beauties. All you obtain of them is granted to importunity and solicitation for what did not deserve so much of your time, and you recover from the possession of it as out of a dream.
You are ashamed of the vagaries of fancy which so strangely misled you; and your admiration of a beauty, merely as such, is inconsistent with a tolerable reflection upon yourself: the cheerful good-humoured creatures, into whose heads it never entered that they could make any man unhappy, are the persons formed for making men happy. There is Miss Liddy can dance a jig, raise paste, write a good hand, keep an account, give a reasonable answer, and do as she is bid; while her eldest sister, Madam Martha, is out of humour, has the spleen, learns by reports of people of higher quality new ways of being uneasy and displeased. And this happens for no reason in the world, but that poor Liddy, knows she has no such thing as a certain negligence that is so becoming; that there is not I know not what in her air; and that if she talks like a fool, there is no one will say, "Well, I know not what it is, but every thing pleases when she speaks it.'
Ask any of the husbands of your great beauties, and they will tell you that they hate their wives nine hours of every day they pass together. There is such a particularity forever affected by them, that they are encumbered with their charms in all they say or do. They pray at public de votions as they are beauties; they converse on ordinary occasions as they are beauties. Ask
Belinda what it is o'clock, and she is at a stand whether so great a beauty should answer you. In a word, I think, instead of offering to administer consolation to Parthenissa, I should congratulate her metamorphosis; and however she thinks she was not the least insolent in the prosperity of her charms, she was enough so to find she may make herself a much more agreeable creature in her present adversity. The endeavour to please is highly promoted by a consciousness that the approbation of the person yoụ would be agreeaable to is a favour you do not deserve; for in this case assurance of success is the most certain way to disappointment. Good nature will always supply the absence of beauty, but beauty can not long supply the absence of good nature.
February 18. • I have yours of this day, wherein you twice bid me not disoblige you; but you must explain yourself farther before I know what to do. Your most obedient servant, 6 THE SPECTATOR.'
No. 307. THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 21.
Versate diu, quid ferre recusent,
HOR. ARS. POET.
1 AM so well pleased with the following letter, that I am in hopes it will not be a disagreeable present to the public.
Though I believe none of your readers more admire your agreeable manner of working up trifles than myself, yet as your speculations are now swelling into volumes, and will in all probability pass down to future ages, methinks I would have no single subject in them, wherein the general good of mankind is concerned, left unfinished.
I have a long time expected, with gres impatience, that you would enlarge upon the ordinary mistakes which are committed in the education of our children. I the more easily flattered myself that you would, one time or other, resume this consideration, because you tell us that your 168th paper was only composed of a few broken hints; but finding myself hitherto disappointed, I have ventured to send you my own thoughts on this subject.
• I remember Pericles, in his famous oration at the funeral of those Athenian young men who perished in the Samian expedition, has a thought