love in a fair full-bottomed perriwig, and a plume of feathers; but with a voice fo full of shakes and quavers, that I should have thought the murmurs of a country brook the much more agreeable mu


I remember the laft opera I faw in that merry nation, was the rape of Proferpine, where Pluto, to make the more tempting figure, put himself in a French equipage, and brings Afcalaphus along with him as his Valet de Chambre. This is what we call folly and impertinence; but what the French look upon as gay and polite.

I fhall add no more to what I have here offered than that music, architecture, and painting, as well as poetry or oratory, are to deduce their laws and rules from the general fenfe and taste of mankind, and not from the principles of those arts themselves; or in other words, the taste is not to conform to the art, but the art to the tafte, Mufic is not defigned to please only chromatic ears, but all that are capable of distinguishing harsh from disagreeable notes. A man of an ordinary ear is a judge whether a paffion is expreffed in proper founds, and whether the melody of thofe founds be more or less pleasing.

Si, Mimnermus uti cenfet, fine amore jocifque
Nil eft jucundum; vivas in amore jocifque.

affembly for one of a fudden to rife and make a difcourfe concerning his paffion in general, and describe the temper of his mind in such a manner, as that the whole company shall join in the de scription, and feel the force of it. In this cafe, if any man has declared the violence of his flame in more pathetic terms, he is made president for that night, out of refpect to his fuperior paffion.

We had fomo years ago in this town a fet of people who met and dreffed like lovers, and were distinguished by the name of the Fringe-Glove Club; but they were perfons of fuch moderate intellects, even before they were impaired by their paffion, that their irregularities could not furnish fufficient variety of folly to afford daily new impertinences; by which means that inftitution dropped. These fellows could express their passion in nothing but their dress; but the Oxonians are phantastical, now they are lovers in proportion to their learning and understanding before they became fuch. The thoughts of the ancient poets on this agreeable phrenzy, are tranflated in honour of fome modern beauty; and Chloris is won to-day by the same compliment that was made to Lesbia a thousand Cyears ago. But as far as I can learn, the patron of the club is the renowned Don Quixote, The adventures of that gentle knight are frequently mentioned in the fociety, under the colour of laughing at the paffion and themfelves; but at the fame time, though they are fenfible of the extravagances of that unhappy warrior, they do not observe, that to turn all the reading of the beft and wifeft writings into rhapsodies of love, is a phrenzy no lefs diverting than that of the aforefaid accomplished Spaniard. A gentleman who, I hope, will continue his correfpondence, is lately admitted into the fraternity, and fent me the following letter.

HOR. Ep. I. vi. 56. If nothing, as Mimnernos ftrives to prove, Can e'er be pleafant without wanton love, Then live in wanton love, thy fports pursue. CREECH. NE common calamity makes men extremely

ON corebodaethough they differ in every

other particular. The paffion of love is the most general concern among men; and I am glad to hear by my laft advices from Oxford, that there are a fet of fighers in that univerfity, who have erected themselves into a fociety, in honour of that tender paffion. Thefe gentlemen are of that fort of inamoratos, who are not fo very much loft to common fenfe, but that they understand the folly they are guilty of; and for that reafon feparate themfelves from all other company, because they will enjoy the pleafure of talking incohe rently, without being ridiculous to any but each other. When a man comes into the club, he is not obliged to make any introduction to his difcourfe, but at once, as he is feating himself in his hair, fpeaks in the thread of his own thoughts, "She gave me a very obliging glance, the never "looked fo well in her life as this evening;" or the like reflection, without regard to any other member of the fociety; for in this affembly they do not meet to talk to each other, but every man claims the full liberty of talking to himself. Inftead of fnuff-boxes and canes, which are ufual helps to difcourfe with other young fellows, thefe have each fome piece of ribbon, a broken fan, or an old girdle, which they play with while they talk of the fair perfon remembered by each respective token. According to the representation of the matter from my letters, the company appear like fo many players rehearsing behind the scenes; one is fighing and lamenting his destiny in beseeching terms, another declaring he will break his chain, and another in dumb-fhow ftriving to express his passion by his gefture. It is very ordinary in the

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]



INCE I find you take notice of clubs, I beg leave to give you an account of one in Oxford, which you have no where mentioned, and perhaps never heard of. We diftinguish ourselves by the title of the Amorous Club, are all vota ries of Cupid, and admirers of the fair fex. The reafon that we are fo little known in the world, is the fecrecy which we are obliged to live under in the univerfity. Our conftitution runs counter to that of the place wherein we live; for in love there are no doctors, and we all profefs fo high a paffion, that we admit of no graduates in it. Our presidentship is bestowed according to our dignity of paffion; our number is unlimited; and our ftatutes are like thofe of the Druids, recorded in our own breasts only, and explained by the majority of the company. A mistress, and a poem in her praife, will introduce any candidate; without the latter no one can be ad'mitted; for he that is not in love enough to rhyme, is unqualified for our fociety. To fpcak difrefpectfully of any woman is expulfion from our gentle fociety. As we are at prefent all of us gown-men, inftead of duelling when we are rivals, we drink together the health of our miftreffes. The manner of doing this fometimes indeed creates debates; on fuch occafions we have recourfe to the rules of love among the an< cients,

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

Naevia fez eyathis, feptem Juflina bibatur.
MART. Epig. i. 72.

Six cups to Naevia, to Justina seven.

This method of a glafs to every letter of her name, occafioned the other night a difpute of fome warmth. A young ftudent, who is in love with Mrs. Elizabeth Dimple, was fo unreafonable as to begin her health under the name of Elizabetha; which fo exafperated the club, that ⚫ by common confent we retrenched it to Betty. We look upon a man as no company, that does not figh five times in a quarter of an hour; and • look upon a member as very abfurd, that is fo

[ocr errors]

'much himself as to make a direct answer to a

question. In fine, the whole affembly is made 6 up of abfent men, that is, of fuch perfons as have loft their locality, and whofe minds and < bodies never keep company with one another. As I am an unfortunate member of this diftracted fociety, you cannot expect a very regular account of it; for which reason, I hope you will pardon me that I fo abrubtly fubfcribe my• felf,


" Your moft obedient humble fervant.

T. B. I forgot to tell you, that Albina, who has fix votaries in this club, is one of your readers.'

No 31.



Sit miki fas audita loqui----VIRG. Æn. vi. 266. What I have heard, permit me to relate. AST night, upon my going into a coffee-houfe not far from the Hay-Market theatre, I diverted myfelf for about half an hour with overhearing the difcourfe of one, who, by the fhabbinefs of his drefs, the extravagance of his conceptors, and the hurry of his fpcech, I difcovered to be of that fpecies who are generally diftinguished by the title of projectors. This gentleman, for I found he was treated as fuch by his audience, was entertaining a whole table of lifteners with the project of an opera, which he told us had not coft him above two or three mornings in the contrivance, and which he was ready to put in execution, provided he might find his account in it. He faid, that he had obferved the great trouble and inconvenience which ladies were at, in travelling up and down to the feveral fhows that are exhibited in different quarters of the town. The dancing monkies are in one place; the puppet show in another; the opera in a third; not to mention the lions, that are almost a whole day's journey from the politer part of the town. By this means people of figure are forced to lofe half the winter after their coming to town, before they have feen all the strange fights about it. In order to remedy this great inconvenience, our projector drew out of his pocket the fcheme of an opera, entitled, "The Expedition of Alexander the Great;" in which he had difpofed all the remarkable fhows about town among the fcenes and decorations of his piece. The thought, he confeffed, was not originally his own, but that he had taken the hint of it from feveral performances which he had feen upen our ftage; in one of which there was a rarefhow; in another, a ladder-dance; and in others pofture-man, a moving picture, with many cufities of the like nature.

This Expedition of Alexander opens with his confulting the Oracle at Delphos, in which the dumb conjurer, who has been vifited by fo many perfons of quality of late years, is to be introduced as telling him his fortune: at the fame time Clinch of Barnet is reprefented in another corner of the temple, as ringing the bells of Delphos, for joy of his arrival. The tent of Darius is to be peoder is to fall in love with a piece of wax-work, that pled by the ingenious Mrs. Salmon, where Alexanreprefents the beautiful Statira. When Alexander comes into that country in which Quintus Curtius tells us the dogs were fo exceeding fierce that they would not lofe their hold, though they would hang upon their prey by their teeth when were cut to pieces limb by limb, and that they they had nothing but a mouth left; there is to be a fcene of Hockley in the Hole, in which is to be reprefented all the diverfions of that place, the Bull-baiting only excepted, which cannot poffibly nefs of the roof. The feveral woods in Afia, which be exhibited in the theatre, by reafon cf the lowAlexander must be fuppofed to pass through, will give the audience a fight of monkies dancing upon ropes, with many other pleafantries of that ludicrous fpecies. At the fame time, if there chance to be any frange animals in town, whether birds or beafts, they may be either let loose among the woods, or driven across the ftage by fome of the country people of Afia. In the laft great battle, Pinkethman is to perfonate king Porus upon an elephant, and is to be encountered by Powell, reprefenting Alexander the great, upon a dromedary, which neverthelefs Mr. Powell is defired to call by the name of Bucephalus. Upon the close of this great decifive battle, when the kings are thoroughly reconciled, to fhew the mutual friendship and good correfpondence that reign between them, they both of them go together to a puppet-show, in which the ingenious Mr. Powell, junior, may have an opportunity of difplaying his whole art of machinery, for the diverfion of the two monarchs. Some at the table urged, the puppethow was not a fuitable entertainment for Alexander the Great; and that it might be introduced more properly, if we fuppofe the conquerer touched upon that part of India which is faid to be inhabited by the pygmies. But this objection was looked upon as frivolous, and the propofal immediately over-ruled. Our projector further added, that after the reconciliation of thefe two kings, they might invite one another to dinner, and either of them entertain his gueft with the German artists, Mr. Pinkethman's heathen gods, or any of the like diverfions, which shall then chance to be in


This project was received with very great applaufe by the whole table. Upon which the undertaker told us, that he had not yet communicated to us above half his defign; for that Alexander, being a Greek, it was his intention that the whole opera fhould be acted in that language, which was a tongue he was fure would wonderfully pleafe the ladies, efpecially when it was a little raifed and rounded by the Ionic dialect; and could not but be acceptable to the whole audience, becaufe there are fewer of them who underftand Greek than Italian. The only difficulty that remained, was how to get performers, unless we could perfuade fome gentlemen of the Universities to learn to fing, in order to qualify themselves for the ftage; but this objection foon vanished, when the projectar informed us that the Greeks were at


prefent the only muficians in the Turkish empire, and that it would be very cafy for our factory at Smyrna to furnish us every year with a colony of musicians, by the opportunity of the Turkey fleet; besides, fays he, if we want any fingle voice for any lower part in the opera, Lawrence can learn to fpcak Greek, as well as he does Italian, in a fortnight's time.

The projector having thus fettled matters, to the good liking of all that heard him, he left his feat at the table, and planted himself before the fire, where I had unluckily taken my stand for the convenience of over-hearing what he had faid. Whether he had obferved me to be more attentive than ordinary, I cannot tell, but he had not stood by me above a quarter of a minute, but he turned fhort upon me on a fudden, and catching me by a button of my coat, attacked me very abruptly after the following manner. Befides, Sir, I have heard of a very extraordinary genius for mufic that lives in Switzerland, who has fo ftrong a fpring in his fingers, that he can make the board of an organ found like a drum, and if I could but procure a fubfcription of about ten thousand pound every winter, I would undertake to fetch him over and oblige him by articles to fet every thing that hould be fung upon the English stage. After this he looked full in my face, expecting I would make an answer; when by good luck, a gentleman that had entered the coffee-house fince the projector applied himself to me, hearing him talk of his Swifs compofitions, cry'd out with a kind of laugh, Is our mufic then to receive farther improvements from Switzerland. This alarmed the projector, who immediately let go my button, and turned about to answer him. I took the opportunity of the diverfion which feemed to be made in favour of me, and laying down my penny upon the bar, retired with fomne precipitation, C

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


[ocr errors]

occafion of this. Who fhould I meet at the cof'fee-house door t'other night, but my old friend Mr. Prefident; I faw fomewhat had pleased him; and as foon as he had caft his eye upon me, "Oho, Doctor, rare news from London, " fays he; the SPECTATOR has made honoura"ble mention of the club (man) and published to "the world his fincere defire to be a member, "with a recommendatory defcription of his phiz: "and though our conftitution has made no par"ticular provision for fhort faces, yet, his being «< an extraordinary cafe, I believe we shall find an "hole for him to creep in at; for I affure you he " is not against the canon; and if his fides are as "compact as his joles, he need not disguise him-`' "felf to make one of us." I prefently called for the paper, to fee how you looked in print;' and after we had regaled ourselves a while upon the pleafant image of our profelyte, Mr. Prefi'dent told me I fhould be his ftranger at the next night's club: where we were no fooner come, ' and pipes brought, but Mr. President began an ' harangue upon your introduction to my epistle, fetting forth with no lefs volubility of speech than ftrength of reafon, "That a fpeculation of "this nature was what had been long and much "wanted; and that he doubted not but it would "be of ineftimable value to the public, in recon"ciling even of bodies and fouls; in composing "and quieting the minds of men under all cor "poral redundancies, deficiencies, and irregulari"ties whatsoever; and making every one fit down " content in his own carcafe, though it were not "perhaps fo mathematically put together as he "could with." And again. "How that for want "of a due confideration of what you firft advance, "viz, that our faces are not of our own choofing, "people had been transported beyond all good"breeding, and hurried themselves into unac "countable and fatal extravagances: as, how "many impartial looking-glaffes had been cen"fured and calumniated, nay, and sometimes fhi"vered into ten thousand fplinters, only for a "fair reprefentation of the truth? how many "headftrings and garters had been made acceffa


ry, and actually forfeited, only because folks "muft needs quarrel with their own fhadows? And who, continues he, but is deeply fenfible that one great fource of the uneafiness and mi"fery of human life, efpecially amongst those of "diftinétion, arifes from nothing in the world elfe, "but too fevere a contemplation of an indefea"fible contexture of our external parts, or cer"tain natural and invincible difpofitions to be "fat or lean? When a little more of Mr. SPEC"TATOR'S philofophy would take off all this; "and in the mean time let them obferve, that "there's not one of their grievances of this fort, "but perhaps, in fome ages of the world, has "been highly in vogue; and may be so again; "nay, in fome country or other, ten to one is fo at this day. My Lady Ample is 'the most mi "ferable woman in the world, purely of her own making; the even grudges herfelf meat and "drink, for fear flie fhould thrive by them; and is conftantly crying out, In a quarter of a year "more I fhall be quite out of all manner of "fhape! Now the lady's misfortune feems to be

HE late difcourfe concerning the ftatutes of" the Ugly Club, having been fo well received at Oxford, that, contrary to the strict rules of the fociety, they have been fo partial as to take my own teftimonial, and admit me into that felect body'; I could not reftrain the vanity of publishing to the world the honour which is dore me. It is no fmall fatisfaction, that I have given occafion for the prefident's fhewing both his invention and reading to fuch advantage as my correfpondent reports he did: but it is not to be doubted there were many very improper hums and paufes in his harangue, which lofe their uglinefs in the narat on, and which my correfpondent, begging his pardon, has no very good talent at reprefenting, I very much approve of the contempt the fociety" has of beauty: nothing ought to be laudable in a man, in which his will is not concerned; there fore cur fociety can follow nature, and where fhe has thought fit, as it were, to mock herself, we can do fo too, and be merry upon the occafion.

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

only this, that he is planted in a wrong foil; for, go but t'other fide of the water, it's a jeft at Harlem to talk of a fhape under eighteen Iftone. Thefe wife traders regulate their beau"ties as they do their butter, by the pound; and


"Mifs Erofs, when the first arrived in the Low"Countries, was not computed to be fo handfome as Madam Van Brisket by near half a tun. "On the other hand, there's fquire Lath, a proper gentleman of fifteen hundred pounds per 66 annum, as well as of an unblameable life and converfation; yet would not I be the efquire "for half his eftate; for if it was as much more "he'd freely part with it all for a pair of legs to "his mind: whereas in the reign of our first king Edward of glorious memory, nothing more mo• dish than a brace of your fine taper fupporters; ❝and his majefty, without an inch of calf, ma"naged affairs in peace and war as laudably as "the bravest and moft politic of his ancestors; "and was as terrible to his neighbours under the royal name of Long-fhanks, as Cour de Lion <to the Saracens before him. If we look farther "back into history, we shall find that Alexander "the Great wore his head a little over the left "fhoulder; and then not a foul stirred out 'till ❝he had adjusted his neckbone; the whole nobi"lity addreffed the prince and each other obli"quely, and all matters of importance were con

[ocr errors]

"certed and carried on in the Macedonian court "with their polls on one fide. For about the "first century nothing made more noife in the "world than Roman nofes, and then not a word

of them 'till they revived again in eighty-eight. <<Nor is it fo very long fince Richard the third fet "up half the backs of the nation; and high

fhoulders, as well as high nofes, were the top of "the fashion. But to come to ourfelves, gentle"men, though I find by my quinquennial obfervations, that we fhall never get ladies enough "to make a party in our own country, yet might, we meet with betterfuccefs among fome of our allies. And what think you if our board fat "for a dutch piece? Truly I am of opinion, that as odd as we appear in flesh and blood, we "fhould be no fuch strange things in metzo-tin


[ocr errors]

<< to.

But this project may reft 'till our number " is complete; and this being our election night, "give me leave to propofe Mr. SPECTATOR. "You fec his inclinations, and perhaps we may

❝ not have his fellow."

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

"pollo himself:" For the truth of which he ap'pealed to the frontispiece of feveral books, and particularly to the English Juvena], to which he ⚫ referred him; and only added; "That fuch au"thors were the Larva, or Larvâ donati of the "ancients." This cleared up all, and in the conclufion you were chofe probationer: and Mr. • President put round your health as such, protesting, "That though indeed he talked of a vi"zard, he did not believe all the while you had any more occafion for it than the cat-a-mountain;" fo that all you have to do now is to pay your fees, which here are very reasonable, if you are not impofed upon: and you may ftile your⚫ felf Informis Societatis Socius; which I am defired to acquaint you with; and upon the fame I beg you to accept of the congratulation of, Sir, * Your obliged humble fervant,

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

I found most of them (as is ufual in fuch ca4 fes) were prepared; but one of the seniors (whom by the by Mr. Prefident had taken all this pains to bring over) fat ftill, and cocking his chin, which feemed only to be levelled at his nofe, very gravely declared, "That in cafe he had had "fufficient knowledge of you, no man fhould have "been more willing to have ferved you; but that he, for his part, had always had regard to his ❝own confcience, as well as other people's me"rit; and he did not know but that you might "be a handsome fellow; for as for your own cer-. ❝tificate, it was every body's bufinefs to speak "for themfelves." Mr. Pref dent immediately retorted. A handfome fellow! why he is a "wit, Sir, and you know the proverb :" and to cafe the old gentleman of his fcruples, cried,' That for matter of merit it was all one, you «might wear a mask." This threw him into a pause, and he looked defirous of three days to confider on it; but Mr. President improved the thought, and flowed him up with an old ftory, "That wits were privileged to wear what "masks they pleafed in all ages; and that a vi"zard had been the conftant crown of their la"bours, which was generally prefented them by "the hand of fome fatyr, and fometimes of A

[blocks in formation]



Friend of mine has two daughters, whom I will call Lætitia and Daphne; the former is one of the greatest beauties of the age in which he lives, the latter no way remarkable for any charms in her perfon. Upon this one circumftance of their outward form, the good and ill of their life feems to turn. Lætitia has not, from her very childhood, heard any thing else but commendations of her features and complexion, by which means he is no other than nature made her, a very beautiful out-fide. The consciousness of her charms has rendered her infupportably vain and infolent towards all who have to do with her. Daphne, who was almost twenty before one civil thing had ever been faid to her, found herself obliged to acquire fome accomplishments to make up for the want of thofe attractions which she saw in her fifter. Poor Daphne was feldom fubmitted to in a debate wherein fhe was concerned; her difcourfe had nothing to recommend it but the good fense of it, and he was always under a neceffity to have very well confidered what fhe was to fay before the uttered it; while Lætitia was liftened to with partiality, and approbation fat in the coun tenances of thofe fhe converfed with, before she communicated what the had to fay. Thefe caufes have produced fuitable effects, and Lætitia is as infipid a companion, as Daphine is an agreeable one, Lætitia, confident of favour, has ftudied no arts to pleafe; Daphne, defpairing of any incli nation towards her perfon, has depended only on her merit. Lætitia has always fomething in her air that is fullen, grave, and difconfolate. Daphne has a countenance that appears chearful, open, and unconcerned. A young gentleman faw Lætitia this winter at a play, and became her captive,

take them out of the hands of quacks and pretenders, and to prevent their impofing upon 'themfelves, by discovering to them the true se

His fortune was fuch, that he wanted very little introduction to speak his fentiments to her father. The lover was admitted with the utmost freedom into the family, where a conftrained behaviour,cret and art of improving beauty. fevere looks and diftant civilities, were the highest In order to this, before I touch upon it difavours he could obtain of Lætitia; while Daph-rectly, it will be neceffary to lay down a few pre

[ocr errors]

liminary maxims, viz.

That no woman can be handfome by the force of features alone, any more than he can be witty only by the help of fpeech.

That pride destroys all fymmetry and grace, and affectation is a more terrible enemy to fine faces than the small-pox.

That no woman is capable of being beautiful, who is not incapable of being falfe.

And, that what would be odious in a friend, deformity in a miftrefs.

From thefe few principles, thus laid down, it will be eafy to prove, that the true art of affifting beauty consists in embellishing the whole perfon by the proper ornaments of virtuous and commendable qualities. By this help alone it is, that thofe who are the favourite work of nature, or, as Mr. Dryden expreffes it, the Porcelain clay of human kind, become animated, and are in a capacity of exerting their charms; and those who seem to have been neglected by her, ⚫ like models wrought in hafte, are capable in a great measure of finishing what he has left imperfect.

ne ufed him with the good-humour, familiarity, and innocence of a fifter; infomuch that he would often fay to her, "Dear Daphne, wert thou but "as handsome as Lætitia"-----She received fuch language with that ingenuous and pleasing mirth, which is natural to a woman without defign. He still figh'd in vain for Lætitia, but found certain relief in the agreeable converfation of Daphne. At length, heartily tired with the haughty impertinence of Lætitia, and charmed with repeated inftances of good-humour he had obferved in Daph-is ne, he one day told the latter, that he had fome. thing to fay to her he hoped the would be pleafed with--------"Faith, Daphne, continued he, I am "in love with thee, and defpife thy fifter fincere"ly." The manner of his declaring himself gave his mistress occafion for a very hearty laughter. ------"Nay, fays he, I knew you would laugh at me, but I'll ask your father." He did fo; the father received his intelligence with no lefs joy than furprife, and was very glad he had now no care left but for his Beauty, which he thought he could carry to market at his leifure. I do not know any thing that has pleafed me fo much a great while, as this conqueft of my friend Daphne's. All her acquaintance congratulate her upon her chance-medley, and laugh at that premedita-and foften the cares of humanity, by the most ting murderer her fifter. As it is an argument of a light mind, to think the worfe of ourfelves for the imperfections of our perfons, it is equally below us to value ourfelves upon the advantages of them. The female world feem to be almost incorrigibly gone aftray in this particular; for which reafon, I thall recommend the following extract out of a friend's letter to the profefs'd beauties, who are a people almost as unfufferable as the profefs'd wits.


[ocr errors]

[ocr errors]

It is, methinks, a low and degrading idea of that fex, which was created to refine the joys,

agreeable participation, to confider them merely as objects of fight. This is abridging then of • their natural extent of power, to put them upon a level with their pictures at Kneller's. How 'much nobler is the contemplation of beauty heightened by virtue, and commanding our ef teem and love, while it draws our obfervation? How faint and fpiritlefs are the charms of a coquette, when compar'd with the real loveliness of Sophronia's innocence, piety, good-humour and truth; virtues which add a new foftness to her fex, and even beautify her beauty! That agreeablenefs which must otherwife have ap< peared no longer in the modest virgin, is now preferved in the tender mother, the prudent friend, and the faithful wife. Coleurs artfully 'fpread upon canvas may entertain the eye, but not affect the heart; and he who takes no care to add to the natural graces of her perfon any ⚫ excellent qualities,may be allowed ftill to amufe, as a picture, but not to triumph as a beauty.

[ocr errors]

Onfieur St, Evremond has concluded one of his effays with affirming, that the laft fighs of a handfome woman are not fo much for the lofs of her life as of her beauty. Perhaps this raillery is puriued too far, yet it is turned 6 upon a very obvious remark, that woman's ftrongest paffion is for her own beauty, and that fhe values it as her favourite diftinction. From hence it is that all arts, which pretend to improve or preferve it, meet with fo general a reception among the fex. To fay nothing of many falfe helps, and contreband wares of beauty, which are daily vended in this great mart, there ⚫ is not a maiden gen:lewoman of a good family in any country of South-Britain, who has not heard of the virtues of May-dew, or is unfurnished with fome receipt or other in favour of her complexión; and I have known a phyfician« <of learning and sense, after eight years study in the university, and a course of travels into most countries in Europe, owe the first raising of his fortunes to a cofmetic wash.

'This has given me occafion to confider how fo univerfal a difpoûtion in womankind, which fprings from a laudable motive, the defire of < pleafing, and proceeds upon an opinion, not altogether groundlefs, that nature may be helped by art, may be turned to their advantage. And, methinks, it would be an acceptable service to

[ocr errors]

• When Adam is introduced by Milton, defcribing Eve in paradife, and relating to the angel 'the impreffions he felt upoh feeing her at her first creation, he does not reprefent her like a Grecian Venus, by her fhape or features, but by the luftre of her mind which fhone in them, and gave them their power of charming.

Grace was in all her stops, Heav'n in her eye, "In all her geftures dignity and love!"

Without this irradiating power the proudest fair-one ought to know, whatever her glafs may 'tell her to the contrary, that her most perfect features are uninformed and dead.

I cannot better clofe this moral, than by a 'fhort epitaph written by Ben Jonfon, with a fpirit which nothing could infpire but fuch an object as I have been defcribing;



« VorigeDoorgaan »