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little in the second, and determined to think of something very frightful all the while my maid was reading it to me, that no double meaning might escape me. Betty cried out, It's too bad! it's too bad !' and looked very pleased at several passages, particularly when you talked about your infant : but I own it was not wicked enough for me, and produced neither flushing in my cheeks, nor titillation in my thoughts.
“ If you wish to sell your publication among us dashing women, you must let your humour come home to our business and bosoms, like those shocking allusions on the stage, which penetrate the clouded understandings of the gods in the galleries, and run through and through the delicate part of the audience. Adieu—Take pains to become more shocking, and perhaps you may find a friend in
“P. S. If you want any shocking stuff, I know a
most impertinent creature of a man who will send you some communications.”
" REVEREND SIMON,
“ Your age, your situation, your profession, and your promises, had all led me to expect a revival of that Spectatorial humour, in which it was difficult to decide whether there was most delicacy, wit, or wisdom. I must candidly confess that my expectations have every way been egregiously disappointed. Instead of that scrupulous reserve, and chastity of expression, which distinguished the labours of your great predecessor, there is an uncomeliness in your jokes, and an irreverence in your raillery, which offends the chaste ear, and
savours much of the theatrical gust. I cannot bear that desperate sort of humour, which, rather than miss of being understood in all its points, descends to be its own commentator. Your vessel will never come safe into harbour, if you make it thus a rule to spread out your canvas in all weathers.
“ Should my rude daughter-in-law, who is indelicate enough to doat upon your style and manner, have the assurance to write you word that I do not like to spare the money for your paper, you are desired to set her down for one of the falsest and most impertinent chits on earth. If I have discontinued to take in your paper, it is because I have chastised
notions to a certain rule of morality and decorum, which must not be sacrificed to the titillation of a rude jest. Forgive me the sincerity which I use towards you, and believe me to be
“ Your well-wisher,
DEAR MR. SIMON,
“ I happened yesterday to see a letter on my mother-in-law's table, directed to you, which most probably, contains a great many untruths, especially if she speak of me in the course of it ; for you are to know we have just had a most terrible quarrel about your paper. I am very certain that the objection she makes to it is very far from being sincere, and is merely a cover to that regard for her money which only yields to certain selfish gratifications, which I am sure she will never own. The other evening a tall gentleman in the militia brought her some books, which she has kept in her drawers among lavender and rose-leaves all this week; and since she has been in possession of this treasure, she has been very bitter against what she calls the
loose turn of your papers. The other day, while she was out on a visit at captain Gorget's, I stole into her chamber, and, finding the drawer satisfied my curiosity at leisure.
“ I thought, to be sure, that I should find the Whole Duty of Man, or Gregory's Last Legacy to his Daughters, or some such instructive manual; when, to my great astonishment, I discovered that this treasure, which had been preserved with such pious care, was nothing less than the memoirs of a very notorious female, who has lately published her infamy in several volumes. I think, therefore, meek Mr. Olive-Branch, we may very charitably suppose her objections to your paper, on the score of indelicacy, insincere.
“ For my part, I am delighted with it, and have already wept over the urn of poor Eugenio. Alas! do try and find me such a man, for I have quite tired my imagination with fancying a young fellow after his mould, and myself the object of his admiration. Poor comfort ! unsubstantial bliss! Do, do, Mr. Simon, either show me his parallel, or show me yourself, who were his friend; and if you can reconcile yourself to a young woman of some talents, and some beauty, and very fond of vistas, and moonlight walks, perhaps—but I have said enough. Remember, Rhodope fell in love with Æsop, who was, to the full, as much an oddity in figure as you have represented yourself. Adieu, dear little old man- Adieu.
66 Yours ever,
GOOD MR. OLIVE-BRANCH,
" I am a constant reader of your papers; and, upon the whole, am very much pleased with them. I cannot help thinking, however, that sometimes you treat us people of fashion with too much asperity: your taste too is a little rustic, in regard to the qualities of our sex. In solitude and in theory your simplicity, your nature, and your sensibility, may do admirably well; but believe me, the business of fashionable life cannot be carried on without a little duplicity, a little imposition, a little dishonour, a little impiety, and a great deal of effrontery; which, when mixed up in due proportion with virtue and religion, have a wonderfully accommodating influence upon them, and tend very powerfully to facilitate their diffusion, by adjusting their duties and principles to our worldly interest and gratifications. Thus, if you will compound for a little ogling, young women will go regularly to church ; if you will allow a little feasting and peculation, a man of the world will concern himself with the affairs of the
poor; will admit a little hypocrisy, a fine lady will be content to be religious ; and a handsome wife will love her neighbour as herself, if you will but in. dulge her in a few freedoms with him.
« You must not indeed, Mr. Simon, be so testy; you are for burning out our complaints with a hot iron, like the savages ; and if you are sprightly for a moment, it is all malice in disguise; and your smiles are sure to end like the wedding of St. Bartholomew. Besides, Sir, this rigour will only provoke opposition; and you know but little of our sex,
think we are to be reasoned into what is right.
“ About three months ago, my youngest sister was made desperately in love with a young gentleman, whom my father and mother thought a very prudent match for her, by telling her to be par
ticularly cautious of fixing her affections upon Mr. Summers, as he was absolutely engaged to another, The consequence was, as might be expected; Lætitia was far gone in love with Mr. Summers before a week was over, and is since become a happy wife. If you tell me once more that you are determined never to marry, you will certainly provoke me to pay you a visit. In the mean time,
“ Since your paper on the Rights of Women, I have unordered a pair of half-boots for snipeshooting, and have taken my name out of the eleven in the famous cricket-match that was to be played between the Maids of Kent and the Merry Wives of Windsor.
“ I have now been married six years, but have only tasted the true delights of matrimony these last six weeks ; a circumstance to which you have the honour of being greatly instrumental. To make this clear to you, I will just give a sketch of my life since my wedding day.-My husband and myself are first-cousins, who were paired by our friends as soon as we had both finished our education, and had passed the critical age of twentyone. As our fortunes were ample, and our persons not disagreeable, it was agreed on all hands, that, although we might not be happy, we could not be miserable.
“ No sooner had I promised obedience in due