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Crab from his sour look, and the only man who did not pretend to get off) was nominated for chaplain ; and nothing was wanting but some one to sit in the elbow-chair by way of president, at the upper end of the table; and there the business stuck, for there was no contention for superiority there. This affair made so great a noise that the k-g, who was then at Newmarket, heard of it, and was pleased merrily and graciously to say he could not be there himself, but he would send them a brace of bucks.
'I would desire you, sir, to set this affair in a true light, that posterity may not be misled in so important a point: for, when the wise man who shall write your true history shall acquaint the world that you had a diploma sent from the Ugly Club at Oxford, and that by virtue of it you were admitted into it; what a learned war will there be among future critics about the original of that club, which both universities will contend so warmly for? and perhaps some hardy Cantabrigian author may then boldly affirm, that the word Oxford was an interpolation of some Oxonian instead of Cambridge. This affair will be best adjusted in your lifetime; but I hope your affection to your mother will not make you partial to your aunt.
To tell you, sir, my own opinion: though I cannot find any ancient records of any acts of the Society of the Ugly Faces, considered in a public capacity; yet in a private one they have certainly antiquity on their side. I am persuaded they will hardly give place to the Loungers, and the Loungers are of the same standing with the university itself.
'Though we well know, sir, you want no motives to do justice, yet I am commissioned to tell you,
that you are invited to be admitted ad eundem at Cambridge; and I believe I may venture safely to deliver this as the wish of our whole university.'
'To Mr. SPECTATOR.
'The Humble Petition of WHO and WHICH, 'Sheweth,
"THAT your poor petitioners being in a forlorn and destitute condition, know not to whom we should apply ourselves for relief, because there is hardly any man alive who has not injured us. Nay, we speak it with sorrow, even you yourself, whom we should suspect of such a practice the last of all mankind, can hardly acquit yourself of having given us some cause of complaint.' We are descended of ancient families, and kept up our dignity and honour many years, till the jack-sprat That supplanted us. How often have we found ourselves slighted by the clergy in their pulpits, and the lawyers at the bar? Nay, how often have we heard in one of the most polite and august assemblies in the universe, to our great mortification, these words, "That that that noble L-d urged"? which if one of us had had justice done, would have sounded nobler thus, "That which that noble L-d urged." Senates themselves, the guardians of British liberty, have degraded us, and preferred That to us; and yet no decree was ever given against us. In the very Acts of Parliament, in which the utmost right should be done to everybody, word, and thing, we find ourselves often
1 That' in the folio issue was frequently altered to who' or 'which' when the Spectator was reprinted in volumes.
either not used, or used one instead of another. In the first and best prayer children are taught they learn to misuse us: "Our Father Which art in heaven," should be, "Our Father Who art in heaven"; and even a Convocation, after long debates, refused to consent to an alteration of it. In our General Confession we say: "Spare thou them, O God, Which confess their faults"; which ought to be, "Who confess their faults." What hopes then have we of having justice done us, when the makers of our very prayers and laws, and the most learned in all faculties, seem to be in a confederacy against us, and our enemies themselves must be our judges?
'The Spanish proverb says, Il sabio muda conscio, il necio no-i.e. "A wise man changes his mind, a fool never will." So that we think you, sir, a very proper person to address to, since we know you to be capable of being convinced, and changing your judgment. You are well able to settle this affair, and to you we submit our cause. We desire you to assign the butts' and bounds of each of us; and that for the future we may both enjoy our own. We would desire to be heard by our council, but that we fear in their very pleadings they would betray our cause. Besides, we have been oppressed so many years, that we can appear no other way but in formâ pauperis. All which considered, we hope you will be pleased to do that which to right and justice shall appertain.
And your Petitioners, &c.'
Here is my journey's end; here is my butt,
No. 79. Thursday, May 31, 1711.
Oderunt peccare boni virtutis amore.
-HOR., 1 Ep. xvi. 52.
HAVE received very many letters of late from my female correspondents, most of whom are very angry with me for abridging their pleasures, and looking severely upon things, in themselves indifferent. But I think they are extremely unjust to me in this imputation. All that I contend for is, that those excellences which are to be regarded but in the second place, should not precede more weighty considerations. The heart of man deceives him in spite of the lectures of half a life spent in discourses on the subjection of passion; and I do not know why one may not think the heart of woman as unfaithful to itself. If we grant an equality in the faculties of both sexes, the minds of women are less cultivated with precepts, and consequently may, without disrespect to them, be accounted more liable to illusion in cases wherein natural inclination is out of the interests of virtue. I shall take up my present time in commenting upon a billet or two which came from ladies, and from thence leave the reader to judge whether I am in the right or not, in thinking it is possible fine women may be mistaken.
The following address seems to have no other design in it, but to tell me the writer will do what she pleases for all me:
'I AM young, and very much inclined to follow the paths of innocence; but, at the same time, as I have a plentiful fortune, and am of quality, I am unwilling to resign the pleasures of distinction, some little satisfaction in being admired in general, and much greater in being beloved by a gentleman whom I design to make my husband. But I have a mind to put off entering into matrimony till another winter is over my head, which (whatever, musty sir, you may think of the matter) I design to pass away in hearing music, going to plays, visiting, and all other satisfactions which fortune and youth, protected by innocence and virtue, can procure for,
Your most humble Servant,
'My lover does not know I like him, therefore, having no engagements upon me, I think to stay, and know whether I may not like any one else better.'
I have heard Will Honeycomb say, 'A woman seldom writes her mind but in her postscript.' I think this gentlewoman has sufficiently discovered hers in this. I'll lay what wager she pleases against her present favourite, and can tell her that she will like ten more before she is fixed, and then will take the worst man she ever liked in her life. There is no end of affection taken in at the eyes only; and you may as well satisfy those eyes with seeing, as control any passion received by them only. It is from loving by sight that coxcombs so frequently