Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

sume to take unbecoming liberties before you ; $0 you ought to be wholly unconstrained in the company of deserving men, when you have had suffi: cient experience of their discretion.

There is never wanting in this town a tribe of bold, swaggering, rattling ladies, whose talents pass among coscombs for wit and humour; their excellency lies in rude shocking expressions, and what they call running a man down. . If a gentleman in their company happens to have any blemish in his birth or person,

if
any

misfortune has befallen his family or himself for which he is ashamed, they will be sure to give him broad hints of it without any provocation. I would recommend you to the acquaintance of a common prostitute, rather than to that of such termagants as these. I have often thought, that no man is obliged to suppose such creatures to be women, but to treat them like insolent rascals disguised in female habits, who ought to be stripped and kicked down stairs.

I will add one thing, although it be a little out of place, which is to desire, that you will learn to value and esteem your husband for those good qualities, which he really possesses, and not to fancy others in him, which he certainly has not. For, although this latter is generally understood to be a mark of love, yet it is indeed nothing but affectation or ill judgment. It is true, he wants so very few accomplishments, that you are in no great danger of erring on this side ; but my caution is occasioned by a lady of your acquaintance, married to a very valuable is so unfortunate as to be always commending

for

a

person, whom

yet she

for those perfections to which he can least pretend.

I can give you no advice upon the article of expense; only I think, you ought to be well informed how much your husband's revenue amounts to, and be so good a computer, as to keep within it in that part of the management which falls to your share ; and not to put yourself in the number of those politick ladies, who think they gain a great point, when they have teased their husbands to buy them a new equipage, a laced head, or a fine petticoat, without once considering what long score remained unpaid to the butcher. I desire

you will keep this letter in your cabinet; and often examine impartially your whole conduct by it: and so God bless you, and make you a fair example to your sex, and a perpetual comfort to your husband and your parent*. I am, with great truth and affection,

MADAM,
Your most faithful friend,

and humble servant,

* “ The reader of this letter may be allowed to doubt, whether Swift's opinion of female excellence ought implicitly to be admitted; for, if his general thoughts on women were such as he exhibits, a very

little sense in a lady would enrapture, and a very little virtue would astonish him. Stella's supremacy, therefore, was perhaps only local. She was great, because her associates were litile.” JOHNSON.

TATLERS,

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

See also two poetical extracts from the Tatler, by Dr. Swift, in the sisteenth volume of this collection; a “Description of the Morning," from No. ix, and a “ Description of a City Shower,” from No. ccxxxviii. N.

**After copying all the TATLERS which can properly be ascribed to the Dean; it is but justice to mention four, which (having been said to be his) he has thus disclaimed: “The Tatler [237] upon Milton's Speech is not mine." Journal to Stella, Nov. 1, 1710.-" The Tatler of the Shilling (249] was not mine, more than the hint, and two or three general heads for it. I have much more important business on my hands.” Nov. 8.-—"You are mistaken in your guesses about Tatlers: I did neither write that on Noses [260], nor Religion (257); nor do I send him of late any hints at all.” Jan. 1, 1710-11. N.

THE TATLER, N° XXXII.

THURSDAY, JUNE 20, 1709.

“ To Isaac BICKERSTAFF, Esquire.

[ocr errors]

1

June 18, 1709. " I KNOW not whether you ought to pity or laugh at me; for I am fallen desperately in love with a professed Platonne, the most unaccountable creature of her sex. To hear her talk seraphics, and run over Norris *, and Moret, and Milton f; and the whole set of Intellectual Triflers, torments me heartily; for, to a lover who understands metaphors, all this pretty prattle of ideas gives very fine views of pleasure, which only the dear declaimer prevents, by understanding them literally: why should she wish to be a cherubim, when it is flesh and blood that makes her

* John Norris, a man of great ingenuity, learning, and piety, was born in 1657, and died in 1711, aged 54. He published in 1688, “ The Theory and Regulation of Love," in which he considers all virtues and vices as the various modifications and irregularities of love. N.

+ Henry More, whose name is affectedly mispelled Moor in the original paper, an eminent divine and Platonic Philosopher, was born in 1614, and died in 1687, aged 73. He composed many books, which he called "preaching at his finger ends.” Mr. Chishull, an eminent bookseller, declared, that Dr. More's “ Mystery of Godliness," and his other works, ruled all the booksellers of London for 20 years together. N.

Milton, the fellow-collegian of Dr. Henry More, makes up the trio of Intellectual Trifers here mentioned. N.

adorable ?

« PredošláPokračovať »