Copyright © 2000 Thomas Pollock aka Spartacus
                          All Rights Reserved




(selected essays)

   No. 151.    THURSDAY,  AUGUST  23,   1711.


   Maximas virtutes jacere omnes necesse est, voluptate dominante.
                                                                                  TULL. DE  FIN.                           [De Finibus by Marcus Tullius Cicero - "Tully"]

   Where pleasure prevails, all the greatest virtues will lose
their power.

    I KNOW no one character that gives reason a
greater shock, at the same time that it presents a
good ridiculous image to the imagination, than that
of a man of wit and pleasure about the town.  This
description of a man of fashion, spoken by some
with a mixture of scorn and ridicule, by others with
great gravity as a laudable distinction, is in every-
body's mouth that spends any time in conversation.
My friend Will Honeycomb [uses] this expression very                       ["has"]
frequently; and I never could understand by the
story which follows, upon his mention of such a
one, but that his man of wit and pleasure was either,
a drunkard, too old for wenching, or a young lewd
fellow with some liveliness, who would converse
with you, receive kind [services from] you, and at the                         ["offices of "]
same time debauch your sister, or lie with your wife.
According to his description, a man of wit, when he
could have wenches for crowns a-piece which he
liked quite as well, would be so extravagant as to
bribe servants, make false friendships, fight rela-
tions: I say, according to him, plain and simple vice
was too little for a man of wit and pleasure; but he
would leave an easy and accessible wickedness, to
come at the same thing with only the addition of
certain falsehood and possible murder.  Will thinks
the town grown very dull, in that we do not hear so
much as we used to do of these coxcombs, whom,                 [coxcomb; "A vain, showy fellow; a conceited, silly man,
without observing it, he describes as the most infa-                     fond of display; a  superficial pretender to knowledge
mous rogues in nature, with relation to friendship,                        or accomplishments; a fop."  Webster's 1913]
love, or conversation.
    When pleasure is made the chief pursuit of life,
it will necessarily follow that such monsters as these
will arise from a constant application to such blan-
dishments as naturally root out the force of reason
and reflection, and substitute in their place a general
impatience of thought, and a constant pruriency of
inordinate desire.
    Pleasure, when it is a man's chief purpose, dis-
appoints itself; and the constant application to it
palls the faculty of enjoying it, though it leaves the
sense of our inability for that we wish, with a dis-
relish of every thing else.  Thus the intermediate
seasons of the man of pleasure are more heavy than
one would impose upon the vilest criminal.  Take
him when he is awakened too soon after a debauch,
or disappointed in following a worthless woman
without truth, and there is no man living whose be-
ing is such a weight of vexation as his is.  He is
an utter stranger to the pleasing reflections in the
evening of a well-spent day, or the gladness of
heart or quickness of spirit in the morning after
profound sleep or indolent slumbers.  He is not to
be at ease any longer than he can keep reason and
good sense without his curtains; otherwise be will
be haunted with the reflection that he could not be-
lieve such a one the woman that upon [trying] he found                          ["trial"]
her.  What has be got by his conquest, but to
think meanly of her for whom a day or two before
be had the highest honour?  And of himself for
perhaps wronging the man whom of all men living
he himself would least willingly have injured?
    Pleasure seizes the whole man who addicts him-
self to it, and will not give him leisure for any good
office in life which contradicts the gayety of the
present hour.  You may indeed observe in people
of pleasure a certain complacency and absence of all
severity, which the habit of a loose unconcerned life
gives them; but tell the man of pleasure your secret
wants, cares, or sorrows, and you will find that he
has given up the delicacy of his passions to the crav-
ings of his appetites.  He little knows the perfect
joy he loses, for the disappointing gratifications which
he pursues.  He looks at Pleasure as she approaches,
and [which] comes to him with the recommendation
of warm wishes, gay looks, and graceful motion; but
he does not observe how she leaves his presence
with disorder, impotence, down-cast shame, and con-
scious imperfection.  She makes our youth inglori-
ous, our [old] age shameful.
    Will Honeycomb gives us twenty [personal stories] in                         ["intimations"]
an evening of [various] hags whose bloom was given                              ["several"]
up to his arms; and would [be praised]                                                   ["raise a value to himself "]
for having had, as the phrase is, " very good women."
Will's good women are the comfort of his heart, and
support him, I warrant, by the memory of past
[meetings] with persons of their condition.  No, there                               [" interviews"]
is not in the world an occasion wherein vice makes
so fantastical a figure, as at the meeting of two old
people who have been partners in unwarrantable
pleasure.  To tell a toothless old lady that she once
had a good set, or a defunct wencher that he once
was the admired thing of the town, are satires in-
stead of applauses; but on the other side, consider
the old age of those who have passed their days in
labour, industry, and virtue, their decays make them
but appear the more venerable, and the imperfec-
tions of their bodies are beheld as a misfortune to
human society that their make is so little durable.
    But to rerurn more directly to my man of wit and
pleasure.  In all orders of men, wherever this is the
chief character, the person who wears it is a negli-
gent friend, father, and husband, and entails poverty
on his unhappy descendants.  Mortgages, diseases,
and settlements, are the legacies a man of wit and
pleasure leaves to his family.  All the poor rogues
that make such lamentable speeches after every
sessions at Tyburn, were, in their way, men of wit                           [Tyburn - Place of executions near London. Speeches
and pleasure before they fell into the adventures                                 made by the condemned; was a popular attraction.]
which brought them thither.
    Irresolution and procrastination in all a man's
affairs, are the natural effects of being addicted to
pleasure.  Dishonour to the gentleman, and bank-
ruptcy to the trader, are the portion of either whose
chief purpose of life is delight.  The chief [reason                                  ["cause that"]
why] this pursuit has been in all ages received with
so much [leniency] from the soberer part of mankind,                           ["quarter"]
ha[s] been that some men of great talents have sacri-                            ["d"]
ficed themselves to it.  The shining qualities of such
people have given a beauty to whatever they were
engaged in, and a mixture of wit has [made attractive]                           ["recommended"]
[extravagance].  For let any man who knows what it is                          ["madness"]
to have passed much time in a series of jollity, mirth,
wit, or humorous entertainments, look back at what
he was all that while a doing, and he will find that
he has been at one instant a sharp to some man he
is sorry to have offended, impertinent to some one [who]
it was cruelty to treat with such freedom, ungracefully
noisy at such a time, unskilfully open at such a time,
unmercifully calumnious at such a time; and from
the whole course of his applauded satisfactions, un-
able in the end to recollect any circumstances which
can add to the enjoyment of his own mind alone, or
which be would put his character upon, with other
men.  Thus it is with those who are best made for
becoming pleasures; but how monstrous is it in the
generality of mankind who pretend this way, with-
out genius or inclination towards it!  The scene
then is wild to an extravagance: [that] is, as if fools                              ["this"]
should mimic madmen.  Pleasure of this kind is the
intemperate meals and loud jollities of the common
rate of country gentlemen, whose practice and way
of enjoyment is to put an end as fast as they can to
that little particle of reason they have when they are
sober.  These men of wit and pleasure despatch
their senses as fast as possible by drinking till they
cannot taste, smoking until they cannot see, and
roaring until they cannot hear.


      No. 154.   MONDAY,  AUGUST 27,  1711.


    Nemo repentè fuit turpissimus.---                 JUV.  SAT.  ii.  83.

    No man e'er reach'd the heights of vice at first.          TATE.

         " MR.  SPECTATOR,

    "YOU are frequent in the mention of matters
which concern the feminine world, and take upon
you[rself] to be very severe against men upon all those
occasions; but all this while I am afraid you have
been very little conversant with women, or you
would know the generality of them are not so angry
as you imagine at the general vices among us.  I
am apt to believe, begging your pardon, that you
am still what I myself was once, a queer modest
fellow; and therefore, for your information, shall
give you a short account of myself, and the reasons
why I was forced to wench, drink, play, and do
every thing which are necessary to the character
of a man of wit and pleasure, to be well with the
    "You are to know then that I was bred a gentle-
man, and had the finishing part of my education
under a man of great probity, wit, and learning, in
one of our universities.  I will not deny but this
made my behaviour and mien bear in it a figure of
thought rather than action; and a man of a quite
contrary character, who never thought in his life,
[made fun of] me one day upon it, and said,  " he                              ["rallied"]
believed I was still a virgin."  There was a young
lady of virtue present, and I was not displeased to
favour the insinuation; but it had a quite contrary effect
from what I expected.  I was ever after treated with great
coldness both by that lady and all the rest of my
acquaintance.  In a very little time I never came
into a room [without hearing] a whisper,  " Here                                ["but I could hear"]
comes the maid."  A girl of humour would on some
occasion say,  " Why, how do you know more than
any of us? "  An expression of that kind was gene-
rally followed up a loud laugh.   In a word, for no
other [reason] in the world than that they really thought                      ["fruit"]
me as innocent as themselves, I became of no con-
sequence among them, and was received always upon
the foot of a jest.  This made so strong an impres-
sion upon me, that I resolved to be as agreeable as
the best of the men who laughed at me; but I ob-
served it was nonsense for me to be impudent at
first among those who knew me.  My character for
modesty was so notorious wherever I had hitherto
appeared, that I resolved to show my new face in
new quarters of the world.  My first step I chose
with judgment; for I went to Astrop,* and came
down among a crowd of academics, at one dash, the
impudentist fellow they had ever seen in their lives.
Flushed with this success, I made love and was
happy.  Upon this conquest I thought it would be
unlike a gentleman to stay long with my mistress,
and crossed the country to Bury.  I could give
you a very good account of myself at that place
also.  At these two [places I] ended my first summer
of gallantry.  The winter following, you would wonder
at it, but I relapsed into modesty upon coming
among people of figure in London, yet not so much

   * Astrop-wells in Oxfordshire; into which Doctor Radcliffe
"put a toad."
   Bury-fair.  A place of fashionable resort.

but that the ladies who had formerly laughed at me,
said,  " Bless us! how wonderfully that gentleman is
improved! "   Some familiarities about the play-
houses towards the end of the ensuing winter,
made me conceive new hopes of adventures.  And
instead of returning the next summer to Astrop or
Bury, I thought myself qualified to go to Epsom,
and followed a young woman, whose relations were
jealous of my place in her favour, to Scarborough.
I [achieved my goal], and in my third year aspired to                          ["carried my point"]
go to Tunbridge, and in the autumn ot the same
year made my appearance at Bath.  I was now got
into the way of talk proper for ladies, and was run
into a vast acquaintance among them, which I al-
ways improved to the best advantage.  In all this
course of time, and some years following, I found a
sober modest man was always looked upon by both
sexes as a [strict] unfashioned fellow of no life or                                ["precise"]
spirit.  It was ordinary for a man who had been
drunk in good company, or passed a night with a
wench, to speak of it next day before women for
whom he had the greatest respect.  He was re-
proved, perhaps, with a blow of the fan, or with an
" oh fie! " but the angry lady still preserved an ap-
parent approbation in her countenance.  He was
called a strange wicked fellow, a sad wretch; he
shrugs his shoulders, swears, receives another blow,
swears again he did not know he swore, and all was
well.  You might often see men [gamble] in the pre-                            ["game"]
sence of women, and throw at [one time] for more than                      ["once"]
they were worth, to recommend themselves as men
of spirit.  I found, by long experience, that the
loosest principles and most abandoned behaviour,
carried all before them in pretensions to women of
fortune.  The encouragement given to people of
this stamp made me soon throw off the remaining
impressions of a sober education.  In the above-
mentioned places, as well as in town, I always kept
company with those who lived most at large; and in
the process of time I was a very pretty rake among
the men, and a very pretty fellow among the wo-
men.  I must confess, I had some melancholy hours
upon the account of the narrowness of my [wealth],                             ["fortune"]
but my conscience at the same time gave me the
comfort that I had qualified myself for marrying a
[woman of wealth].                                                                             [" fortune"]
    " When I had lived in this manner for some time,
and became thus accomplished, I was now in the
twenty-seventh year of my age, and about the forty-
seventh of my constitution, my health and estate
wasting very fast; when I happened to fall into the
company of a very pretty young lady [who was on                               ["in her own disposal"]
her own].  I entertained the company as we men of
gallantry generally do, with the many [mis]haps and dis-
asters, watchings under windows, escapes from jea-
lous husbands, and several other perils.  The young
thing was wonderfully charmed with one that knew
the world so well, and talked so fine; with Desde-
mona, all her lover said effected her;  " ' twas strange,
wondrous strange."  In a word, I saw the impres-
sion I had made upon her, and with a very little
application the pretty thing has married me.  There
is so much charm in her innocence and beauty, that
I do now as much detest the course I have been
in for many years, as I ever did before I entered
into it.
    " What I intend, Mr. Spectator, by writing all
this to you, is that you would, before you go any
further with your panegyrics on the fair sex, give
them some lectures upon their silly approbations.
It is that I am weary of vice, and that it was not
my natural way, that I am now so far recovered as
not to bring this believing dear creature to contempt
and poverty for her generosity to me.  At the same
time tell the youth of good education of our set,
that they take too little care of improving them-
selves in little things.  A good air at entering into
a room, a proper audacity in expressing himself with
gayety and gracefulness, would make a young gen-
tleman of virtue and sense capable of [looking down upon]                    ["discountenancing"]
the shallow impudent rogues, that shine among
the women.
    " Mr. Spectator, I don't doubt but you are a very
sagacious person, but you are so [full of Cicero] of                                ["great with Tully"]
late, that I fear you will contemn these things as
matters of no consequence; but believe me, Sir, they
are of the highest importance to human life; and if
you can do anything towards opening fair eyes, you
will lay an obligation upon all your contemporaries
who are fathers, husbands, or brothers to females.
          " Your most affectionate humble servant,
                                      " SIMON HONEYCOMB."


No.  175.   THURSDAY,  SEPTEMBER 20,  1711.


          Proximus à tectis ignis defenditur ægrè.
                                                          OVID.  REM.  AM.  625.

          To save your house from neighb'ring fire is hard.   TATE.

    I SHALL this day entertain my readers with two or
three letters I have received from my correspond-
ents: the first discovers to me a species of females
which have hitherto escaped my notice, and is as

        " MR. SPECTATOR,

    " I am a young gentleman of a competent fortune,
and a sufficient taste of learning, to spend five or
six hours every day very agreeably among my books.
That I might have nothing to divert me from my
studies, and to avoid the noises of coaches and chair-
men, I have taken lodgings in a vary narrow street
not far from Whitehall; but it is my misfortune
to be so posted, that my lodgings are directly op-
posits to those of a Jezebel.  You are to know sir,
that a Jezebel, so called by the neighbourhood from
displaying her pernicious charms at her window,
appears constantly dressed at her sash, and has a
thousand little tricks and fooleries to attract the eyes
of all the idle young fellows in the neighbourhood.
I have seen more than six persons at once from their
[various] windows observing the Jezebel I am now                         ["several"]
complaining of.  I at first looked on her myself with
the highest contempt, could divert myself with her
airs for half an hour, and afterwards take up my
Plutarch with great tranquillity of mind; but was
a little vexed to find that in less than a month she
had considerably stolen upon my time, so that I re-
solved to look at her no more.  But the Jezebel,
who, as I suppose, might think it a diminution to
her honour, to have the number of her gazers lessen-
ed, resolved not to part with me so, and began to
play so many new tricks at her window, that it was
impossible for me to forbear observing her.  I verily
believe she put herself to the expense of a new wax
baby on purpose to plague me; she used to dandle
and play with this figure as impertinently as if if had
been a real child: sometimes she would let fall a
glove or a pin-cushion in the street, and shut or open
her casement three or four times in a minute.  When
I had almost weaned myself from this, she came in her
shift-sleeves, and dressed at the window.  I had no
way left but to let down my curtains, which I sub-
mitted to, though it considerably darkened my room,
and was pleased to think that I had at last got the
better of her; but was surprised the next morning
to hear her talking out of her window quite across
the street, with another woman that lodges over me.
I am since informed that she made her a visit, and
got acquainted with her within three hours after the
fall of my window-curtains.
    " Sir, I am plagued every hour in the day, one
way or other, in my own chambers; and the Jezebel
has the satisfaction to know, that though I am not
looking at her, I am listening to her impertinent dia-
logues, that pass over my head.  I would immedi-
ately change my lodgings, but that I think it might
look like a plain confession that I am conquered;
and besides this, I am told that most quarters of the
town are infested with these creatures.  If they are
so I am sure it is such an abuse, as a lover of learn-
ing and silence ought to take notice of.
                                      " I am, Sir, yours," &c.

 *          *         *          *         *          *          *


No. 176.    FRIDAY,  SEPTEMBER 21, 1711.


     Parvula, pumilio, [Greek writing], tota merum sal.
                                                                LUCR. iv. 1155.

     A little pretty, witty, charming she!

    THERE are in the following letter matters, which
I, a bachelor, cannot be supposed to be acquainted
with: therefore shall not pretend to explain upon it
till further consideration, but leave the author of
the epistle to express his condition his own way.

          "MR. SPECTATOR,

    "I do not deny but you appear in many of your
papers to understand human life pretty well; but
there are very many things which you cannot pos-
sibly have a true notion of, in a single life; these
are such as respect the married state: otherwise I
cannot account for your having overlooked a very
good sort of people, which are commonly called in
scorn  " the Hen-peckt."  You are to understand
that I am one of those innocent mortals who suffer
derision under that word, for being governed by the
best of wives.  It would be worth your considera-
tion to enter into the nature of affection itself, and
tell us, according to your philosophy, why it is that
our dears shall do what they will with us, shall be
froward, ill-natured, assuming, sometimes whine, at
others rail, then swoon away, then come to life, have
the use of speech to the greatest fluency imaginable,
and then sink away again, and all because they fear
we do not love them enough; that is, the poor
things love us so heartily, that they cannot think it
possible we should be able to love them in so great
a degree, which makes them take on so.  I say, Sir,
a true good-natured man, whom rakes and libertines
call hen-peckt, shall fall into all these different
moods with his dear life, and at the same time see
they are wholly put on; and yet not be hard-hearted
enough to tell the dear good creature that she is a
    " This sort of good men is very frequent in the
populous and wealthy city of London, and is the
true hen-peckt man.  The kind creature cannot
break through his kindnesses so far as to come to an
[agreement] with the tender soul, and therefore goes                     ["explanation"]
on to comfort her when nothing ails her, to appease
her when she is not angry, and to give her his cash
when he knows she does not want it; rather than
be uneasy for a whole month, which is computed
by hard-hearted men the space of time which a
froward woman takes to come to herself if you
have courage to stand [it] out.
    " There are indeed several other species of the
hen-peckt, and in my opinion they are certainly the
best subjects the queen has; and for that reason I
take it to be your duty to keep us above contempt.
    " I do not know whether I make myself under-
stood in the representation of a hen-peckt life, but
I shall take leave to give you an account of myself,
and my own spouse. You are to know that I am
reckoned no fool, have on several occasions been
tried whether I will take ill-usage, and the event
has been to my advantage; and yet there is not
such a slave in Turkey as I am to my dear.  She
has a good share of wit, and is what you call a very
pretty agreeable woman.  I perfectly doat on her,
and my affection to her gives me all the anxieties
imaginable but that of jealousy.  My being thus
confident of her, I take, as much as I can judge of
my heart, to be the reason, that whatever she does,
though it be never so much against my inclination,
there is still left something in her manner that is
amiable.  She will sometimes look at me with an
assumed grandeur, and pretend to resent that I have
not had respect enough for her opinion in such an
instance in company.  I cannot but smile at the
pretty anger she is in, and then she pretends she is
used like a child.  In a word, our great dabate is,
which has the superiority in point of understanding.
She is eternally forming an argument of debate; to
which I very indolently answer,  " Thou art mighty
pretty."   To this she answers,  " All the world but
you think I have as much sense as yourself."  I re-
peat to her,  " Indeed you are pretty."  Upon this
there is no patience; she will throw down anything
about her, stamp, and pull off her head-clothes.
" Fy, my dear," say I,  " how can a woman of your
sense fall into such an intemperate rage?"  This is
an argument that never fails.  " Indeed, my dear,"
says she,  " you make me mad sometimes, so you do,
with the silly way you have of treating me like a
pretty idiot."  Well, what have I got by putting her
in good humour?  Nothing, but that I must convince
her of my good opinion by my practice; and then
I am to give her possession of my little ready mo-
ney, and, for a day and a half following, dislike all
she dislikes, and extol everything ahe approves.  I
am so exquisitely fond of this darling, that I seldom
see any of my friends, am uneasy in all companies
till I see her again; and when I come home she is
in the dumps, because she says she is sure I came
so soon only because I think her handsome.  I dare
not upon this occasion laugh; but though I am one
of the warmest churchmen in the kingdom, I am
forced to rail at the times, because she is a violent
Whig.  Upon this we talk politics so long, that she
is convinced I kiss her for her wisdom.  It is a com-
mon practice with me to ask her some question con-
cerning the constitution, which she answers me in
general out of Harrington's Oceana.  Then I com-                            [Oceana (1656): an influential political treatise]
mend her strange memory, and her arm is imme-
diately locked in mine.  While I keep her in this
temper she plays before me, sometimes dancing in
the midst of the room, sometimes striking an air at
her spinnet, varying her posture and her charms in
such a manner that I am in continual pleasure.  She
will play the fool if I allow her to be wise! but if
she suspects I like her for her trifling, she imme-
diately grows grave.
    " These are the toils in which I am taken, and I
carry off my servitude as well as most men; but
my application to you is in behalf of the hen-peckt
in general and I desire a dissertation from you in
defence of us.  You have, as I am informed, very
good authorities in our favour, and hope you will
not omit the mention of the renowned Socrates, and
his philosophic resignation to his wife Xantippe.
This would be a very good [service] to the world in                           ["office"]
general, for the hen-peckt are powerful in their qua-
lily and numbers, not only in cities, but in courts;
in the latter they are ever the most obsequious, in
the former the most wealthy of all men.  When you
have considered wedlock thoroughly, you ought to
enter into the suburbs of matrimony, and give us an
account of the thraldom of kind keepers, and irre-
solute lovers ; the keepers who cannot quit their fair
ones, though they see their approaching ruin; the
lovers who dare not marry, though they know they
shall never he happy without the mistresses whom
they cannot purchase on other terms.
    " What will be a greater embellishment to your
discourse will be, that you may find instances of the
haughty, the proud, the frolic, the stubborn, who
are each of them in secret downright slaves to their
wives, or mistresses.  I must beg of you in the last
place to dwell upon this, that the wise and valiant
in all ages have been hen-peckt; and that the sturdy
tempers who are not slaves to affection, owe that
exemption to their being enthralled by ambition,
avarice, or some meaner passion.  I have ten thou-
sand thousand things more to say, but my wife sees
me writing, and will, according to custom, be con-
sulted, if I do not seal this immediately.
                                " Yours,
                                        " NATHANIEL HENROOST."


      No.  187.   THURSDAY,  OCTOBER 4,  1711.


            --Miseri quibus
               Intentata nites.--                                    HOR. OD.  i.  5.  12.

              Ah wretched they! whom Pyrrhas's smile
              And unsuspected arts beguile!      DUNCOMBE.

    THE [information] given by this correspondent is                              ["intelligence"]
so important and useful, in order to avoid the per-
sons he speaks of; that I shall insert his letter at

        " MR. SPECTATOR,

    " I do not know that you have ever touched upon
a certain species of women, whom we ordinarily call
jilts.  You cannot possibly go upon a more useful
work, than the consideration of these dangerous ani-
mals.  The coquette is indeed one degree towards
the jilt; but the heart of the former is bent upon
admiring herself and giving false hopes to her lov-
ers; but the latter is not contented to be extremely
amiable, but she must add to that advantage a cer-
tain delight in being a torment to others.  Thus
when her lover is in the full expectation of success,
the jilt shall meet him with a sudden indifference,
and admiration in her face at his being surprised
that he is received like a stranger, and a cast of her
head another way with a pleasant scorn of the fel-
low's insolence.  It is very probable the lover goes
home utterly astonished and dejected, sits down to
his [writing desk], sends her word in the most abject                             ["scrutoire"]
time, pining in secret, and out of humour with all
things which he meets with.  At length he takes a
resolution to try his fate, and explain with her reso-
lutely upon her unaccountable [behavior].  He walks                             ["carriage"]
up to her apartment, with a thousand inquietudes
and doubts [about] what manner he shall meet the first                          ["in"]
cast of her eye; when upon his first appearance she
flies towards him, wonders where he has been, ac-
cuses him of his absence, and treats him with a fa-
miliarity as surprising as her former coldness.  This
good correspondence continues till the lady observes
the lover grows happy in it, and then she interrupts
it with some new inconsistancy of behaviour.  For,
as I just now said, the happiness of a jilt consists
only in the power of making others uneasy.  But
such is the folly of this sect of women, that they
carry on this pretty skittish behaviour, until they
have no charms left to render it supportable.  Co-
rinna, that used to torment all who conversed with
her with false glances, and little heedless unguarded
motions that were to betray some inclination towards
the man she would ensnare, finds at present all she
attempts that way unregarded; and is obliged to
indulge the jilt in her constitution, by laying artificial
plots, writing perplexing letters from unknown
hands, and making all the young fellows in love with
her, till they find out who she is.  Thus, as before
she gave torment by disguising her inclinations, she
now is obliged to do it by hiding her person.
    " As for my own part, Mr. Spectator, it has been
my unhappy fate to be jilted from my youth up-
ward; and as my taste has been very much towards
intrigue, and having intelligence with women of wit,
my whole life has passed away in a series of  impo-
sitions.   I shall, for the benefit of the present race
of young men, give some account of my loves.  I
know not whether you have ever heard of the famous
girl about town called Kitty.  This creature, for I
must take shame upon myself was my mistress in
the days when keeping was in fashion.  Kitty, under
the appearance of being wild, thoughtless, and irre-
gular in all her words and actions, concealed the
most accomplished jilt of her time.  Her [carelessness]                            ["negligence"]
had to me a charm in it like that of chastity, and
want of desires seemed as great a merit, as the con-
quest of them.  The air she gave herself was that
of a romping girl, and whenever I talked to her with             [romp; "Rude, boisterous play or frolic; rough sport." Web. 1913]
any turn of fondness, she would immediately snatch
off my periwig, try it upon herself in the glass, clap
her arms a-kimbo, draw my sword, and make passes
on the wall, take off my cravat, and seize it to make
some other use of the lace, or run into some other
unaccountable rompishness, till the time I had ap-
pointed to pass away with her was over.  I went
from her full of pleasure at the reflection that I had
the keeping of so much beauty in a woman, who as
she was too heedless to please me, was also too un-
attentive to form a design to wrong me.  Long did
I divert every hour that hung heavy upon me in the
company of this creature, whom I looked upon as
neither guilty nor innocent, but could laugh at my-
self for my unaccountable pleasure in [spending time with]                        ["an expense upon"]
her, till in the end it appeared my pretty in-
sensible was with child by my footman.
    " This accident roused me into a disdain against
all libertine women, under what appearance soever
they hid their insincerity, and I resolved after that
time to converse with none but those who lived
within the rules of decency and honour.  To this
end I formed myself into a more regular turn of be-
haviour, and began to make visits, frequent assem-
blies, and lead out ladies from the theatres, with all
the other insignificant duties which the professed
servant of the fair place themselves in constant
readiness to perform.  In a very little time, having
a plentiful fortune, fathers and mothers began to re-
gard me as a good match, and I found easy admit-
tance into the best families in town to observe their
daughters; but I, who was born to follow the fair to
no purpose, have by the force of my ill stars, made
my application to three jilts successively.
    " Hyæna is one of those who form themselves into
a melancholy and indolent air, and endeavour to gain
admirers from their inattention to all around them.
Hyæna can loll in her coach, with something so fixed
in her countenance, that it is impossible to conceive
her meditation is employed only on her dress and
her charms in that posture.  If it were not too coarse
a simile, I should say, Hyæna, in the figure she af-
fects to appear in, is a spider in the midst of a cob-
web, that is sure to destroy every fly that approaches
it.   The net Hyæna throws is so fine, that you are
taken in it before you can observe any part of her
work.  I attempted her for a long and weary season,
but I found her passion went no further than to be
admired; and she is of that unreasonable temper, as
not to [appraise] the inconstancy of her lovers, provided                      ["value"]
she can boast she once had their addresses.
    " Biblis was the second I aimed at, and her vanity
lay in purchasing the adorers of others, and not in
rejoicing in their love itself.  Biblis is no man's mis-
tress, but every woman's rival.  As soon as I found this
I fell in love with Chloe, who is my present pleasure
and torment.  I have writ to her, danced with her,
and fought for her, and have been her man in the
sight and expectation of the whole town these three
years, and thought myself near the end of my wishes;
when the other day she called me into her closet,                             [closet; "A small room or apartment for retirement;
and told me with a very grave face, that she was a                                a room for privacy." Webster's 1913]
woman of honour, and [dishonoured] to deceive a man                    ["scorned"]
who loved her with so much sincerity as she saw I did,
and therefore she must inform me that she was by
nature the most inconstant creature breathing and
begged of me not to marry her.  If I insisted upon
it I should; but that she was lately fallen in love
with another.  What to do or say I know not, but
desire you to inform me, and you will infinitely
                                " Sir,
                            " Your humble servant,
                                    " CHARLES YELLOW."


       No.  194.   FRIDAY,  OCTOBER 12,  1711.


            --Difficili bile tumet jecur.---      HOR.  OD.  i.  13.  4.

              With jealous pangs my bosom swells.

    THE present paper shall consist of two letters which
observe upon faults that are easily cured both in love
and friendship.  In the latter, as far as it merely
regards conversation, the person who neglects visit-
ing an agreeable friend is punished in the very
trangression; for good companion is not found
in every room we go into.  But the case of love is
of a more delicate nature, and the anxiety is inex-
pressible, if every little instance of kindness is not
reciprocal.  There are things in this sort of com-
merce which there are not words to express, and a
man may not possibly know how to represent, which
yet may tear his heart into ten thousand tortures.
To be grave to a man's mirth, unattentive to his
discourse, or to interrupt either with something that
argues a disinclination to be entertained by him,
has in it something so disagreeable, that the utmost
steps which may be made in further enmity cannot
give greater torment.  The gay Corinna, who [professes]                                ["sets up for"]
an indifference and becoming heedlessness,
gives her husband all the torment imaginable out of
mere indolence, with this peculiar vanity, that she is
to look as gay as a maid in the character of a wife.
It is no matter what is the reason of a man's grief,
if it be heavy as it is.  Her unhappy man is con-
vinced that she means him no dishonour, but pines
to death because she will not have so much deference
to him as to avoid the appearances of it.  The author
of the following letter is perplexed with an injury
that is in a degree yet less criminal, and yet the
source of the utmost unhappiness.

         " MR. SPECTATOR,

    " I have read your papers which relate to jea-
lousy, and desire your advice in my case, which you
will say is not common.  I have a wife, of whose
virtue I am not in the least doubtful; yet I cannot
be satisfied she loves me, which gives me as great
uneasiness as being faulty the other way would do.
I know not whether I am not yet more miserable than
in that case, for she keeps possession of my heart,
without the return of hers.  I would desire your ob-
servations upon that temper in some women, who
will not condescend to convince their husbands of
their innocence or their love, but are wholly negli-
gent of what reflections the poor men make upon
their conduct, so they cannot call it criminal, when
at the same time a little tenderness of behaviour,
or regard to show an inclination to please them,
would make them entirely at ease.  Do not such
women deserve all the misrepresentation which they
neglect to avoid?  Or are they not in the actual
practice of guilt, who care not whether they are
thought guilty or not?  If my wife does the most or-
dinary thing, as visiting her sister, or taking the air
with her mother, it is aways carried with the air of a
secret.  Then she will sometimes tell a thing of no
consequence, as if it was only want of memory [that] made
her conceal it before; and this only to dally with my
anxiety.  I have complained to her of this behaviour
in the gentlest terms imaginable, and beseeched her
not to use him, who desired only to live with her like
an indulgent friend, as the most morose and un-
sociable husband in the world.  It is no easy matter
to describe our circumstance, but it is miserable with
this aggravation, that it might be easily mended,
and yet no remedy endeavoured.  She reads you,
and there is a phrase or two in this letter which she
will know came from me.  If we enter into an
[agreement] which may tend to our future quiet by                                  ["explanation"]
your means, you shall have our joint thanks; in
mean time I am, as much as can in this ambiguous
condition be any thing,           "Sir,
                                   "Your humble servant."

         " MR. SPECTATOR,

    " Give me leave to make you a present of a cha-
racter not yet described in your papers, which is
that of a man who treats his friend with the same
odd variety which a fantastical female tyrant prac-
tices towards her lover....

*          *         *          *         *          *          *



   No.  205.   THURSDAY,  OCTOBER 25,  1711.


           Decipimur specie recti.--         HOR.  ARS  POET.  25.

               Deluded by a seeming excelIence.       BOSCOMMON.

    WHEN I meet with any vicious character that is
not generally known, in order to prevent its doing
mischief, I draw it at length, and set it up as a scare-
crow; by which means I do not only make an ex-
ample of the person to whom it belongs, but give
warning to all her Majesty's subjects, that they may
not suffer by it.  Thus, to change the allusion, I
have marked out several of the shoals and quick-
sands of life, and am continually employed in dis-
covering those which are still concealed, in order to
keep the ignorant and unwary from running upon
them.  It is with this intention that I publish the
following letter, which brings to light some secrets
of this nature.

        " MR.  SPECTATOR,

    " There are none of your speculations which I
read over with greater delight, than those which are
designed for the improvement of our sex.  You
have endeavoured to correct our unreasonable fears
and superstitions, in your seventh and twelfth pa-
pers; our fancy for equipage, in your fifteenth; our
love of of puppet-shows, in your thirty-first; our no-
tions of beauty, in your thirty-third; our inclina-
tion for romances, in your thirty-seventh; our pas-
sion for French fopperies, in your forty-fifth; our
manhood and party zeal, in your fifty-seventh; our
abuse of dancing, in your sixty-sixth and sixty-
seventh; our levity, in your hundred and twenty-
eighth; our love of coxcombs, in your hundred and
fifty-fourth, and hundred and fifty-seventh; our ty-
ranny over the hen-pecked, in your hundred and se-
venty-sixth.  You have described the Pict, in your
forty-first; the Idol, in your seventy-third; the De-
murrer, in your eighty-ninth; the Salamander, in
your hundred and ninety-eighth.  You have like-
wise taken to pieces our dress, and represented to
us the extravagances we are often guilty of in that
particular.  You have fallen upon our patches, in
your fiftieth and eighty-first; our commodes, in your
ninety-eighth; our fans, in your hundred and se-
cond; our riding-habits, in your hundred and fourth;
our hoop-petticoats, in your hundred and twenty-
seventh; besides a great many little blemishes which
you have touched upon in your [various] other pa-                              ["several"]
pers, and in those many letters that are scattered
up and down your works.  At the same time we
must own that the compliments you pay our sex
are innumerable, and that those very faults which
you represent in us, are neither black in themselves,
nor, as you own, universal among us.  But, Sir, it
is plain that these your discourses are calculated for
none but the fashionable part of womankind, and for
the use of those who are rather indiscreet than vi-
cious.   But, Sir, there is a sort of prostitutes in the
lower part of our sex, who are a scandal to us, and
very well deserving to fall under your censure.  I
know it would debase your paper too much to enter
into the behaviour of these female libertines; but,
as your remarks on some part of it would be a doing
of justice to several women of virtue and honour,
whose reputations suffer by it, I hope you will not
think it improper to give the public some accounts
of this nature.  You must know, Sir, I am provoked
to write you this letter, by the behaviour of an infa-
mous woman, who, having passed her youth in a
most shameless state of prostitution, is now one of
those who gain their livelihood by seducing others
that are younger than themselves, and by establish-
ing a criminal commerce between the two sexes.
Among several of her artifices to get money, she
frequently persuades a vain young fellow, that such
a woman of quality, or such a celebrated toast, en-
tertains a secret passion for him, and wants nothing
but an opportunity of revealing it.  Nay, she has
gone so far as to write letters in the name of. a wo-
man of figure, to borrow money of one of these fool-
ish Roderigos,*  which she has afterwards appro-
priated to her own use.  In the mean time, the
person who has lent the money, has thought a lady
under obligations to him, who scarce knew his name;
and wondered at her ingratitude when he has been
with her, that she has not owned the favour, though
at the same time he was too much a man of honour
to put her in mind of it.

* Alluding to the character so named in Shakespeare's Othello.

    " When this abandoned baggage meets with a man
who has vanity enough to give credit to relations of
this nature, she turns him to very good account by
repeating praises that were never uttered, and de-
livering messages that were never sent.  As the
house of this shameless creature is frequented by
several foreigners, I have heard of another artifice,
out of which she often raises money.  The foreigner
sighs after some British beauty, whom he only knows
by fame; upon which she promises, if he can be
secret, to procure him a meeting.  The stranger,
ravished at his good fortune, gives her a present, and
in a little time is introduced to some [woman with an] imaginary title;
for you must know that this cunning purveyor has
her representatives upon this occasion, of some of
the finest ladies in the kingdom.  By this means, as
I am informed, it is usual enough to meet with a
German count in foreign countries, that shall make
his boast of favours he has received from women of
the highest ranks, and the most unblemished cha-
racters.  Now, Sir, what safety is there for a woman's
reputation, when a lady may be thus prostituted as
it were by proxy, and be reputed an unchaste woman;
as the hero in the ninth book of Dryden's Virgil is
looked upon as a coward, because the phantom which
appeared in his likeness ran away from Turnus?
You may depend upon what I relate to you to be
matter of fact, and the practice of more than one of
these female panders.  If you print this letter, I
may give you some further accounts of this vicious
race of women.
                              " Your humble servant,
                                                 " BELVIDERA."

   I shall add two other letters on different subjects
to fill up my paper.

       " MR. SPECTATOR,

    " I am a country clergyman, and hope you will
lend me your assistance in ridiculing some little in-
decencies which cannot so properly be exposed from
the pulpit.
    " A widow lady, who straggled this summer from
London into my parish for the benefit of the air, as
she says appears every Sunday at church with many
fashionable extravagances, to the great astonishment
of my congregation.
    " But what gives us the most offence is her thea-
trical manner of singing the psalms.  She introduces
above fifty Italian airs into the hundredth psalm;
and whilst we begin  ' All people ' in the old solemn
tune of our forefathers, she, in a quite different key,
runs divisions on the vowels, and adorns them with
the graces of Nicolini: if she meets with  ' eke ' or
' aye,' which are frequent in the metre of Hopkins
and Sternhold, we are certain to hear her quavering
them half a minute after us, to some sprightly airs
of the opera.
    " I am very far from being an enemy to church
music; but fear this abuse of it may make my parish
ridiculous, who already look on the singing psalms
as an entertainment, and not part of their devotion:
besides, I am apprehensive that the infection may
spread; for Squire Squeakum, who by his voice
seems  ' if I may use the expression,'  to be cut out for
an Italian singer, was last Sunday practising the
same airs.
    " I know the lady's principles, and that she will
plead the toleration, which,  ' as she fancies,' allows                   [ "the toleration" I would guess is that given to
her nonconformity in this particular; but I beg of                           religious belief in the Act of Toleration (1689) ]
you to acquaint her, that singing the psalms in a
different tune from the rest of the congregation is a
sort of schism not tolerated by that act.
                            " I am Sir,
                     "Your very humble servant,
                                                             " R. S."

*          *         *          *         *          *          *


     No.  209.   TUESDAY, OCTOBER 30,  1711.


          [Greek writing]                SIMONIDES.

          Of earthly goods, the best is a good wife;
            A bad, the bitterest curse of human life.

    THERE are no authors I am more pleased with
than those who show human nature in a variety of
views, and describe the several ages of the world in
their different manners.  A reader cannot be more
rationally entertained, than by comparing the vir-
tues and vices of his own times with those which
prevailed in the times of his forefathers; and draw-
ing a parallel in his mind between his own private
character; and that of other persons, whether of his
own age, or of the ages that went before him. The
contemplation of mankind under these changeable
colours is apt to shame us out of any particular
vice, or animate us to any particular virtue; to make
us pleased or displeased with ourselves in the most
proper points, to clear our minds of prejudice and
[bias], and rectify that narrowness of temper                                         ["prepossession"]
which inclines us to think amiss of those who differ
from ourselves.
   If we look into the manners of the most remote
ages of the world, we discover human nature in her
simplicity; and the more we come downward to-
wards our own times, may observe her hiding herself
in artifces and refinements polished [gradually] out                                 ["insensibly"]
of her original plainness, and at length entirely lost
under form and ceremony, and, what we call good-
breeding.  Read the accounts of men and women as
they are given us by the most ancient writers, both
sacred and profane, and you would think you were
reading the history of another species.
   Among the writers of antiquity, there are none
who instruct us more openly in the manners of their
respective times in which they lived, than those who
have employed themselves in satire, under what
dress soever it may appear; as there are no other
authors whose province it is to enter so directly into
the ways of men, and set their miscarriages in so
strong a light.
   Simonides, a poet famous in his generation, is, I
think, author of the oldest satire that is now extant;
and, as some say, of the first that was ever written.
This poet flourished about four hundred years after
the siege of Troy; and shows, by his way of writing,
the simplicity, or rather coarseness, of the age in
which he lived.  I have taken notice, in my hundred
and sixty-first speculation that the rule of observing
what the French call the Bienseance in an allusion,
has been found out of latter years; and that the an-
cients, provided there was a likeness in their simili-
tudes, did not much trouble themselves about the
decency of the comparison.  The satires or iambics
of Simonides, with which I shall entertain my read-
ers in the present paper, are a remarkable instance
of what I formerly advanced.  The subject of this
satire is woman.   He describes the sex in their
several characters, which he [deduces] to them from a                           ["derives"]
fanciful supposition raised upon the doctrine of pre-
existence.  He tells us that the gods formed the
souls of woman out of those seeds and principles
which compose several kinds of animals and ele-
ments; and that their good or bad dispositions arise
in them according as such and such seeds and prin-
ciples predominate in their contitutions.  I have
translated the author very faithfully, and if not word
for word, which our language would not bear, at
least so as to comprehend every one of his senti-
ments, without adding any thing of my own.  I
have already apologized for this author's want of
delicacy, and must further [propose], that the follow-                              ["premise"]
ing satire [applies] only [to] some of the lower part of the                        ["effects"]
sex, and not those who have been refined by a po-
lite education, which was not, so common in the age
of this poet.

   " In the beginning God made the souls of woman-
kind out of different materials, and in a separate
state from their bodies.
   "  The souls of one kind of women were formed out
of those ingredients which compose a swine.  A
woman of this make is a slut in her house, and a
glutton at her table.  She is uncleanly in her person,
a [slovenly woman] in her dress, and her family is                                    ["slattern"]
no better than a dunghill.
   " A second sort of female soul was formed out of
the same materials that enter into the composition
of a fox.  Such a one is what we call a notable
discerning woman, who has an insight into every
thing, whether it be good or bad.  In this species of
females there are some virtuous and some vicious.
   " A third kind of women were made up of canine
particles.  These are what we commonly call scolds,
who imitate the animals out of which they were
taken, that are always busy and barking, that snarl
at every one who comes in their way, and lips in
perpetual clamour.
    " The fourth kind of women were made out of the
earth.  These are your sluggards, who pass away
their time in indolence and ignorance, hover over the
fire a whole winter, and apply themselves with ala-
crity to no kind of business but eating.
   " The fifth species of females were made out of the
sea.  These are women of variable uneven tempers,
sometimes all storm and tempest, sometimes all calm
and sunshine. The stranger who sees one of these
in her smiles and smoothness, would [praise her] for                                ["cry her up"]
a miracle of good-[nature]; but [all of] a sudden her looks                       ["humour", "on"]
and words are changed, she is nothing but fury and
outrage, noise and hurricane.
   " The sixth species were made up of the ingredients
which compose an ass, or a beast of burden.  These
are naturally exceeding slothful, but upon the bus-
band's exerting his authority, will live upon hard
fare, and do everything to please him.  They are,
however, far from being averse to venereal pleasure,
and seldom refuse a male companion.
   "  The cat furnished materials for a seventh species
of women, who are of a melancholy, froward, unami-
able nature, and so repugnant to the offers of love,
that they fly in the face of their husband when he
approaches them with conjugal endearments.  This
species of women are likewise subject to little thefts,
cheats, and pilferings.
   "  The mare with a flowing mane, which was never
broke to any servile toil and labour, composed an
eighth species of women.  These are they who have
little regard for their husbands, who pass away their
time in dressing, bathing, and perfuming; who throw
their hair into the nicest curls, and [dress] it up with                                 ["trick"]
the fairest flowers and garlands.  A woman of this
species is a very pretty thing for a stranger to look
upon, but very detrimental to the owner, unless it
be a king or a prince who takes a fancy to such a
   " The ninth species of females were taken out of
the ape.  These are such as are both ugly and ill-
natured, who have nothing beautiful in themselves,
and endeavour to detract from or ridicule everything
which appears so in others.
   " The tenth and last species of women were made
out of the bee; and happy is the man who gets such
a one for his wife.  She is altogether faultless and
unblamable.  Her family flourishes and improves
by her good management.  She loves her husband,
and is beloved by him.  She brings him a race of
beautiful and virtuous children.  She distinguishes
herself among her sex.  She is surrounded with
graces.  She never sits among the loose tribe of
women, nor passes away her time with them in wan-
ton discourses.  She is full of virtue and prudence,
and is the best wife that Jupiter can bestow on man."
   I shall conclude these iambics with the motto of
this paper, which is a fragment of the same author:
" A man cannot possess any thing that is better than
good woman, nor any thing that is worse than a
bad one."
   As the poet has shown a great penetration in this
diversity of female characters, he has avoided the
fault which Juvenal and Monsieur Boileau are guilty
of, the former in his sixth, and the other in his last
satire, where they have endeavoured to expose the
sex in general, without doing justice to the valuable
part of it.  Such [undiscriminating] satires are of no use to                         ["levelling"]
the world; and for this reason I have often wondered
how the French author above-mentioned, who was a
man of exquisite judgment, and a lover of virtue,
could think human nature a proper subject for satire
in another of his celebrated pieces, which is called
The Satire upon Man.  What vice or frailty can a
discourse correct, which censures the whole species
alike, and endeavours to show, by some superficial
strokes of wit, that brutes are the more excellent
creatures of the two?  A satire should expose nothing
but what is [correctable], and make a due discrimina-                              ["corrigible"]
tion between those who are, and those who are not
the proper objects of it.


    No.  212.   FRIDAY,  NOVEMBER 2,  1711.


                     --Eripe turpi
    Colla jugo: liber, liber sum, dic age.--
                                         HOR.  SAT.  ii.  7.  92.

    --Loose thy neck from this ignoble chain,
     And boldly say thou 'rt free.--                      CREECH.

        " MR.  SPECTATOR "

    " I never look upon my dear wife, [without thinking]                          ["but I think"]
of the happiness Sir Roger de Coverley enjoys, in hav-
ing such a friend as you to expose in proper colours
the cruelty and perverseness of his mistress.  I have
very often wished you visited in our family, and
were acquainted with my spouse; she would afford
you, for some months at least, matter enough for
one Spectator a week.  Since we are not so happy
as to be of your acquaintance, give me leave to re-
present to you our present circumstances as well as
I can in writing.  You are to know then that I am
not of a very different constitution from Nathaniel
Henroost, whom you have lately recorded in your
speculations; and have a wife who makes a more
tyrannical use of the knowledge of my easy temper
than that lady ever pretended to.  We had not been
a month married, when she found in me a certain
[uneasiness] to give offence [to], and an indolence that                           ["pain"]
made me bear little inconveniences rather than dispute
about them.  From this observation it soon came to pass,
that if I offered to go abroad, she would get between
me and the door, kiss me, and say she could not part
with me; then down again I sat.  In a day or two
after this first pleasant step towards confining me,
she declared to me that I was all the world to her,
and she thought she aught to be all the world to me.
' If, ' said she,  ' my dear loves me as much as I love
him, he will never be tired of my company.'  This
declaration was followed by my being denied to all
my acquaintance; and it very soon came to that pass,
that to give an answer at the door, before my face,
the servants would ask her whether I was within or
not; and she would answer no, with great fondness,
and tell me I was a good dear.  I will not enume-
rate more little circumstances to give you a livelier
sense of my condition; but tell you in general, that
from such steps as these at first, I now live the life
of a prisoner of state; my letters are opened, and I
have not the use of pen, ink, and paper, but in her
presence.  I never go abroad, except she sometimes
takes me with her in her coach to take the air, if it
may be called so, when we drive, as we generally
do, with the glasses up.  I have overheard my ser-
vants lament my condition, but they dare not bring
me messages without her knowledge, because they
doubt my resolution to stand by them.  In the midst
of this insipid way of life, an old acquaintance of
mine, Tom Meggot, who is a favourite with her, and
allowed to visit me in her company because he sings
prettily, has roused me to rebel, and conveyed his
intelligence to me in the following manner:  My wife
is a great pretender to music, and very ignorant of
it; but far gone in the Italian taste.  Tom goes to
Armstrong, the famous fine writer of music, and de-
sires him to put this sentence of Tully in the scale
of an Italian air, and write it out for my spouse from
him.  An ille mihi liber cui mulier imperat ?  Cui le-
ges imponit, præscribit, jubet, vetat quod videtur ?
Qui nihil imperanti negare, nihil recusare audet ?
Poscit ?  dandum est.  Vocat ? veniendum.  Ejicit ?
abeundum.  Minitatur ?  extimescendum.   ' Does he
live like a gentleman who is commanded by a wo-
man?  He to whom she gives law, grants and de-
nies what she pleases? who can neither deny her
anything she asks, or refuse to do any thing she
commands? '
    " To be short, my wife was extremely pleased with
it; said the Italian was the only language for music;
and admired how wonderfully tender the sentiment
was, and how pretty the accent is of that language;
with the rest that is said by rote on that occasion.
Mr. Meggot is sent for to sing this air, which he
performs with mighty applause; and my wife is in
ecstasy on the occasion, and glad to find, by my being
so much pleased, that I was at last come into the
notion of the Italian ; ' for,' said she, ' it grows upon
one when one once comes to know a little of the lan-
guage; and pray, Mr. Meggot, sing again those notes,
Nihil imperanti negare, nihil recusare.  You may
believe I was not a little delighted with my friend
Tom's expedient to alarm me, and in obedience to
his summons I give all this story thus at large; and
I am resolved when this appears in the Spectator,
to declare for myself.  The manner of the insur-
rection I contrive by your means, which shall be no
other than that Tom Meggot, who is at our tea-table
every morning, shall read it to us; and if my dear
can take the hint and say not one word, but let this
be the beginning of a new life without further ex-
planation, it is very well; for as soon the Spectator
is read out, I shall, without more ado, call for the
coach, name the hour when I shall be at home, if I
come at all; if I do not, they may go to dinner.  If
my spouse only swells and says nothing, Tom and
I go out together, and all is well, as I said before;
but if she begins to command or expostulate, you
shall in my next [letter] to you receive a full account of
her resistance and submission, for submit the dear thing
must to,
                                 " Sir,
                  " Your most obedient
                             " humble servant,
                                         " ANTHONY FREEMAN."

   " P. S.  I hope I need not tell you that I desire
this may be in your very next."



Background and introductory essays:  1, 2, 3, 4,


The above, with some alteration and addition, was taken from Vol. III of THE SPECTATOR, Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1864.


Let me begin by saying that the modernizations or translations made to the essays above are the work of a rank amateur - so a strong caveat is in force. There were some obsolete words, that, of course, needed to be changed, but as to the style it was difficult to decide how much to change as I did not want to alter the particular flavor the words carry from their time, but on the other hand, I had to keep in mind that not everyone who reads this will be intellectually endowed and educated enough to be able to figure out the original without great difficulty. To this I add, that the WEB being an international phenomenon, many who read this will not have English as their first language and will be further burdened.  I wasn't always consistent with my translations; where the text went along smoothly I tended to let an occasional difficult word pass; but where two or three hard words close together made a passage difficult to read I changed it.  If two different connotations of a word could be substituted I generally left things uncorrected to avoid making an error; but where the meaning of a passage was likely be lost altogether I hazarded a guess.  The original words substituted for you will find in brackets and parentheses in the ["margin"], as well as some definitions I added.  At some future time when I am better versed in eighteen century English I will go over the material again. In the mean time suggestions are appreciated, particularly if you are an expert in the field.

    Prepared by Thomas Pollock aka Spartacus, Editor of The Men's Tribune                                                                                                        First Posted: June 2000       Last Update: