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accomplishments which are apt to captivate female hearts, I find that there is no person so irresistible as one who is a man of importance, provided it be in matters of no consequence. One who makes himself talked of, though it be for the particular cock of his hat, or for prating aloud in the boxes at a play, is in a fair way of being a favourite. I have known a young fellow make his fortune by knocking down a constable; and may venture to say, though it may seem a paradox, that many a fair one has died by a duel in which both the combatants have survived. About three winters ago I took notice of a young lady at the theatre, who conceived a passion for a notorious rake that headed a party of catcalls; and am credibly informed that the emperor of the Mohocks married a rich widow within three weeks after having rendered himself formidable in the cities of London and Westminster. Scouring and breaking of windows have done frequent execution upon the sex. But there is no set of these male charmers who make their way more successfully, than those who have gained themselves a name for intrigue, and have ruined the greatest number of reputations. There is a strange curiosity in the female world to be acquainted with the dear man who has been loved by others, and to know what it is that makes him so agreeable. His reputation does more than half his business. Every one, that is ambitious of being a woman of fashion, looks out for opportunities of being in his company: so that, to use the old proverb, "When his name is up, he may lie a bed.”
I was very sensible of the great advantage of being a man of importance upon these occasions on the day of the king's entry, when I was seated in a balcony behind a cluster of very pretty country ladies, who had one of these showy gentlemen in the midst of them. The first trick I caught him at was bowing to several persons of quality whom he did not know; nay, he had the impudence to hem at a blue garter who had a finer equipage than ordinary; and seemed a little concerned at the impertinent huzzas of the mob, that hindered his friend from taking notice of him. There was, indeed, one who pulled off his hat to him; and, upon the ladies asking who it was, he told them it was a foreign minister that he had been very merry with the night before; whereas in truth it was the city common hunt.
He was never at a loss when he was asked any person's name, though he seldom knew any one under a peer. He found dukes and earls among the aldermen, very good-natured fellows among the privy counsellors, with two or three agreeable old rakes among the bishops and judges.
In short, I collected from his whole discourse, that he was acquainted with every body, and knew nobody. At the same time, I am mistaken if he did not that day make more advances in the affections of his mistress, who sat near him, than he could have done in half a year's courtship.
Ovid has finely touched this method of making love, which I shall here give my reader in Mr. Dryden's trans lation.
Page the eleventh.
"Thus love in theatres did first improve,
Inquire whose chariot this, and whose that horse;
Suit all your inclinations to her mind.
Again, page the sixteenth.
"O when will come, the day by Heav'n design'd,
If she inquire the names of conquer'd kings,
No. 603. WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 6, 1714.
Ducite ab urbe domum, mea carmina, ducite Daphnim.
-Restore, my charms,
THE following copy of verses comes from one of my correspondents, and has something in it so original, that I do not much doubt but it will divert my readers.
My time, O ye Muses, was happily spent,
With such a companion, to tend a few sheep,
This Phoebe was Joanna, daughter of Dr. Richard Bentley, arch-deacon and prebendary of Ely, regius professor and master of Trinity College, Cambridge, who died in 1742. She was afterwards married to Dr. Dennison Cumberland, Bishop of Clonfert in Killaloe in Ireland, and grandson of Dr. Richard Cumberland, Bishop of Peterborough,
I was so good-humour'd, so cheerful and gay,
The fountain that wont to run sweetly along, And dance to soft murmurs the pebbles among, Thou know'st, little Cupid, if Phoebe was there, 'Twas pleasure to look at, 'twas music to hear: But now she is absent, I walk by its side, But still as it murmurs do nothing but chide; Must you be so cheerful while I go in pain? Peace there with your bubbling, and hear me complain.
When my lambkins around me would oftentimes play, And when Phoebe and I were as joyful as they, How pleasant their sporting, how happy their time, When spring, love, and beauty, were all in their prime? But now in their frolics when by me they pass, I fling at their fleeces an handful of grass; Be still, then, I cry, for it makes me quite mad, To see you so merry while I am so sad.
< My dog, I was ever well pleased to see
When walking with Phoebe, what sights I have seen? How fair was the flower, how fresh was the green! What a lovely appearance the trees and the shade, The corn fields and hedges, and every thing made? But now she has left me, though all are still there, They none of them now so delightful appear: 'Twas nought but the magic, I find, of her eyes, Made so many beautiful prospects arise.
'Sweet music went with us both all the wood thro', The lark, linnet, throstle, and nightingale too; Winds over us whisper'd, flocks by us did bleat, And chirp went the grasshopper under our feet.
But now she is absent, though still they sing on.
6 Rose, what is become of thy delicate hue?
And made yourselves fine for; a place in her breast:
How slowly Time creeps, till my Phoebe return? While amidst the soft Zephyr's cool breezes I burn; Methinks if I knew whereabouts he would tread, I could breathe on his wings, and 'twould melt down the lead.
Fly swifter, ye minutes, bring hither my dear,
Will no pitying power that hears me complain,