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I do not know whether I have obferved in any
-Quantum eft in rebus inane?
of my former papers, that my friend Sir Roger De No 127. THURSDAY, JULY 26.
O'U have diverted the town almoft a
Since my stay at Sir Roger's in the country, I daily find more inftances of this narrow party-humour. Being upon the bowling-green at a neigh-humour of a fick perfon is often driven out of bouring market-town the other day, for that is the place where the gentlemen on one fide meet once a week, I obferved a stranger among them of a better prefence and genteeler behaviour than ordinary; but was much furprifed, that notwithftanding he was a very fair better, nobody would take him up. But upon inquiry I found, that he was one who had given a disagreeable vote in a former parliament, for which reafon there was not a man upon that bowling-green who would have fo much correfpondence with him as to win his money of him.
Among other inftances of this nature, I must not omit one which concerns myself. Will Wimble was the other day relating several strange stories that he had picked up nobody knows where of a certain great man; and upon my staring at him, as one that was furprised to hear fuch things in the country, which had never been fo much as whispered in the town, Will stopped fhort in the thread of his discourse, and after dinner asked my friend Sir Roger in his ear if he was fure that I was not a fanatic.
It gives me a serious concern to see such a fpirit of diffenfion in the country; not only as it deftroys virtue and common fenfe, and renders us in a manner barbarians towards one another, but as it perpetuates our animofities, widens our breaches, and tranfmits our prefent paffions and prejudices to our pofterity. For my own part, I am fometimes afraid that I difcover the feeds of a civil war in thefe our divifions; and therefore cannot but bewail, as in their first principles, the miferies and calamities of our children.
Perf. Sat. 1. V. I.
How much of emptinefs we find in things!
• Mr. Spectator,
( one limb into another, their fuperfluity of ornaments, instead of being intirely banifhed, feems only fallen from their heads upon their lower parts. What they have loft in height they make up in breadth, and contrary to all rules of architecture widen the foundations at the fame time that they fhorten the fuper• ftructure. Were they, like Spanish jennets,
to impregnate by the wind, they could not have thought on a more proper invention. But as we do not yet hear any particular use in this petticoat, or that it contains any thing more than what was supposed to be in thofe of fcantier make, we are wonderfully at a lofs ' about it.'
The women give out, in defence of thefe ' wide bottoms, that they are airy, and very proper for the feafon; but this I look upon to be only a pretence, and a piece of art, for it is 'well known we have not had a more moderate 'fummer thefe many years, fo that it is certain
the heat they complain of cannot be in the 'weather: befides, I would fain afk these tender conftitutioned ladies, why they should require more cooling than their mothers before them?
I find several fpeculative perfons are of opinion that our fex has of late years been very faucy, and that the hoop-petticoat is made ufe of to keep us at a diftance. It is most certain that a woman's honour cannot be better intrenched than after this manner, in circle within circle, amidst fuch a variety of out-works and lines of circumvallation. A female who is thus invefted in whale-bone is fufficiently fecured against the approaches of an ill-bred . fellow, who might as well think of Sir George Etherege's way of making love in a tub, as in the midst of fo many hoops,
Among thefe various conjectures, there are men of fuperftitious tempers, who look upon the hoop-petticoat as a kind of prodigy. Some will have it that it portends the downfal of the French king, and obferve that the farthingal · appeared in England a little before the ruin of
the Spanish monarchy. Others are of opinion ⚫ that it foretels battle and bloodshed, and believe it of the fame prognoftication as the tail of a blazing ftar. For my part, I am apt to think it is a fign that multitudes are coming into the world rather than going out of it.
The first time I faw a lady dreffed in one of thefe petticoats, I could not forbear blaming
her in my own thoughts for walking abroad No 128. FRIDAY, JULY 27.
all the modifh part of the fex as far gone as herself. It is generally thought fome crafty women have thus betrayed their companions into hoops, that they might make them acceffary to their own concealments, and by that means escape the cenfure of the world; as wary generals have fometimes dreffed two or three dozen of their friends in their own habit, that they might not draw upon themselves any particular attacks from the enemy. The ftrutting petticoat fmooths all diftinctions, levels the mother with the daughter, and fets maids and matrons, wives and widows, upon the fame bottom. In the mean while, I cannot but be troubled to fee fo many well-fhaped innocent virgins bloated up, and waddling up ⚫ and down like big-bellied women.
Should this fashion get among the ordinary people, our public ways would be fo crouded that we should want ftreet-room. Several con¿ gregations of the best fashion find themselves already very much straitened, and if the mode ' increases I wish it may not drive many ordinary women into meetings and conventicles. Should our fex at the fame time take it into their heads to wear trunk breeches, as who knows what ⚫ their indignation at this female treatment may drive them to, a man and his wife would fill a whole pew.
You know, Sir, it is recorded of Alexander the Great, that in his Indian expedition he buried feveral fuits of armour, which by his direction were made much too big for any of his foldiers, in order to give pofterity an extraordinary idea of him, and make them believe he had commanded an army of giants. I am perfuaded that if one of the prefent petticoats happens to be hung up in any repofitory of curiofities, it will lead into the fame error the generations that lie fome removes from us; unlefs we can believe our pofterity will think fo 'difrefpectfully of their great grand-mothers, that ⚫ they made themselves monftrous to appear amiable.
'larities of dress, I believe you will not think it 'below you, on fo extraordinary an occasion, to unhoop the fair fex, and cure this fafhionable tympany that is got among them. I am apt to think the petticoat will shrink of its own ac'cord at your first coming to town; at least a touch of your pen will make it contract itself, like the fenfitive plant, and by that means 'oblige feveral who are either terrified or aftonished at this portentous novelty, and among the reft,
· Your humble fervant, &c.'
When I furvey this new-fashioned Rotunda in all its parts, I cannot but think of the old philofopher, who, after having entered into an Ægyptian temple, and looked about for the idol of the place, at length discovered a little black monkey enfhrined in the midft of it, upon which he could not forbear crying out, to the ⚫ great scandal of the worshippers, what a magnificent place is here for fuch a ridiculous inhabitant?
Though you have taken a refolution in one of your papers, to avoid defcending to particu.
LUCAN. 1. 1. v. 98.
WOMEN in their nature are much more gay and joyous that men; whether it be that their blood is more refined, their fibres more delicate, and their animal fpirits more light and volatile; or whether, as fome have imagined, there may not be a kind of fex in the very foul, I fhall not pretend to determine. As vivacity is the gift of women, gravity is that of men. They fhould each of them therefore keep a watch upon the particular bias which nature has fixed in their minds, that it may not draw too much and lead them out of the paths of reafon. This will certainly happen, if the one in every word and action affects the character of being rigid and fevere, and the other of being .brifk and airy. Men should beware of being captivated by a kind of favage philofophy, women by a thoughtless gallantry. Where thefe precautions are not obferved, the man often degenerates into a cynic, the woman into a coquette; the man grows fullen and morofe, the woman impertinent and fantaftical.
By what I have faid, we may conclude, men and women are made as counterparts to one another, that the pains and anxieties of the hufband might be relieved by the sprightliness and good humour of the wife. When thefe are rightly tempered, care and chearfulness go hand in hand; and the family, like a fhip that is duly trimmed, wants neither fail nor bailast.
Natural hiftorians obferve, (for whilst I am in the country I must fetch my allufions from thence,) that only the male birds have voices; that their fongs begin a little before breedingtime, and end a little after; that whilft the hen is covering her eggs, the male generally takes his ftand upon a neighbouring bough within her hearing; and by that means amufes and diverts her with his fongs during the whole time of her fitting.
This contract among birds lasts no longer than till a brood of young ones arifes from it; fo that in the feathered kind, the cares and fatigues of the married state, if I may fo call it, lie principally upon the female. On the contrary, as in our fpecies the man and the woman are joined together for life, and the main burden rests upon the former, nature has given all the little arts of foothing and blandifhment to the female, that the may chear and animate her companion in a conftant and affiduous application to the making a provifion for his family, and the educating of their common children. This however is not to be taken fo ftrictly, as if the fame dutics were not often reciprocal, and incumbent on both partics;
parties; but only to fet forth what feems to have been the general intention of nature, in the different inclinations and endowments which are beftowed on the different fexes.
But whatever was the reafon that man and woman were made with this variety of temper, if we obferve the conduct of the fair fex, we find that they choose rather to affociate themfelves with a perfon who refembles them in that light and volatile humour which is natural to them, than to fuch as are qualified to moderate and counter-balance it. It has been an old complaint, that the coxcomb carries it with them before the man of fenfe. When we fee a fellow loud and talkative, full of infipid life and laughter, we may venture to pronounce him a female favourite: noife and flutter are fuch accomplishments as they cannot withstand. To be fhort, the paffion of an ordinary woman for a man is nothing elfe but felf-love diverted upon another objest: the would have the lover a woman in every thing but the fex. I do not know a finer piece of fatire on this part of womankind, than thofe fines of Mr. Dryden.
"Our thoughtless fex is caught by outward
And empty noife, and loves itself in man,"
This is a fource of infinite calamities to the fex, as it frequently joins them to men, who in their own thoughts are as fine creatures as themfelves; or if they chance to be good-humoured, ferve only to diffipate their fortunes, inflame their follies, and aggravate their indifcretions.
The fame female levity is no lefs fatal to them after marriage than before: it reprefents to their imaginations the faithful prudent husband as an honeft tractable and domeftic animal; and turns
their thoughts upon the fine gay gentleman that laughs, fings, and dreffes fo much more agreeably.
always hankering after the diverfions of the town; the husband a morofe ruftic, that frowns and frets at the name of it. The wife is over.run with affectation, the husband funk into brutality: the lady cannot bear the noife of the larks and nightingales, hates your tedious fummer days, and is fick at the fight of fhady woods, and purling fireams; the husband wonders how' any one can be pleafed with the fooleries of plays and operas, and rails from morning to night at effenced fops and taudry courtiers. The children are educated in thefe different notions of their parents. The fons follow the father about his grounds, while the daughters read volumes of love-letters and romances to their mother. By this means it comes to pafs, that the girls look upon their father as a clown, and the boys think their mother no better than the fhould be.
As this irregular vivacity of temper leads aftray the hearts of ordinary women in the choice of their lovers and the treatment of their hufbands, it operates with the fame pernicious influence towards their children, who are taught to accomplish themfelves in all thofe fublime perfections that appear captivating in the eye of their mother. She admires in her fon what the loved in her gallant; and by that means contributes all that he can to perpetuate herself in a worthlefs progeny.
The younger Fauftina was a lively inftance of this fort of women. Notwithstanding the was married to Marcus Aurelius, one of the greateft, wifeft, and beft of the Roman emper ors, the thought a common gladiator much the prettier gentleman; and had taken fuch care to accomplish her fon Comniodus according to her own notions of a fine man, that when he afcendel the throne of his father, he became the moft foolish and abandoned tyrant that was ever placed at the head of the Roman empire, fignalizing himself in not ing but the fighting of As he prizes, and knocking out mens brains. had no tate of true glory, we fee him in feveral medals and ftatues which are fill extant of him, equipped like an Hercules with a club and a Jon's ftin.
I have been led into this fpeculation by the charafers I have heard of a country gentleman and his lady, who do not live many miles from Roger, The wife is an old coquette, that is
How different are the lives of Ariftus and Afpafia? The innocent vivacity of the one is tempered and compofed by the chearful gravity of the other. The wife grows wife by the difcourfes of the husband, and the hufband goodhumoured by the converfations of the wife. Ariftus would not be fo amiable were it not for
his Afpafia, nor Afpafia fo much efteemed were
it not for her Ariftus. Their virtues are blended in their children, and diffufe through the whole family a perpetual spirit of benevolence, complacency, and fatisfaction.
No 129.. SATURDAY, JULY 28.
DRYDEN. REAT mafters in painting never care
well knowing that the head-drefs, or periwig, that now prevails, and gives a grace to their portraitures at prefent, will make a very odd figure, and perhaps look monftrous in the eyes of pofterity. For this reason they often reprefent an illuftrious perfon in a Roman habit, or in fome other drefs that never varies. I could wifh, for the fake of my country friends, that there was fuch a kind of everlasting drapery to be made ufe of by all who live at a certain diftance from the town, and that they would agree upon fuch fashions as fhould never be liable to changes and innovations. For want of this ftanding drefs, a man who takes a journey into the country is as much furprifed, as one who waiks in a gallery of old family pictures; and finds as great a variety of garbs and habits in the perfons he converfes with. Did they keep to one conftant drefs they would fometimes be in the fashion, which they never are as matters are managed at prefent. If inftead of running after the mode, they would continue fixed in one certain habit, the mode would fome time or other overtake them, as a clock that ftands ftill is fure to point right once in twelve hours: in this cafe therefore I would advite them, as a gentleman did his friend who was hunting about the whole town after a rambling fellow, if you follow him you will never find him, but if you plant
plant yourself at the corner of any street, I will engage it will not be long before you fee him.
I have already touched upon this fubject in a fpeculation which fhews how cruelly the country are led aftray in following the town; and equipped in a ridiculous habit, when they fancy themselves in the height of the mode. Since that Speculation I have received a letter, which I there hinted at, from a gentleman who is now in the Western circuit.
• Mr. Spectator,
· EING a lawyer of the Middle-Temple, a Cornishman by birth, I generally ride the Western circuit for my health, and as I am not interrupted with clients, have leifure to make many obfervations that escape the notice of my fellow-travellers.
One of the most fashionable women I met with in all the circuit was my landlady at Stains, where I chanced to be at on a holiday. Her commode was not half a foot high, and her petticoat within fome yards of a modish ⚫ circumference. In the fame place I obferved a young fellow with a tolerable periwig, had it not been covered with a hat that was fhaped in the Ramilie cock. As I proceeded in my journey I obferved the petticoat grew scantier, and about threefcore miles from London was fo • very unfashionable, that a woman might walk in it without any manner of inconvenience. 'Not far from Salisbury I took notice of a juftice of peace's lady, who was at least ten years behind-hand in her dress, but at the fame time as fine as hands could make her. She was flounced and furbelowed from head to foot; ⚫ every ribbon was wrinkled, and every part of her garments in curl, fo that he looked like one of thofe animals which in the country we call Friezland hens.
Not many miles beyond this place I was in• formed that one of the last year's little muffs had by fome means or other ftraggled into thofe parts, and that all the women of fashion were cutting their old muffs in two, or retrenching them, according to the little model which was got among them. I cannot believe the report they have there, that it was fent down franked by a parliament-man in a little packet, but • probably by next winter this fashion will be at the height in the country, when it is quite out at London.
The greatest beau at our next county feffions
wig, that was made in king William's reign. The wearer of it goes, it seems, in his own hair, when he is at home, and lets his wig lie in buckle for a whole half year, that he may put it on upon occafion to meet the Judges in
an unspeakable fatisfaction, amidst the whifp'ers, conjectures, and astonishments of the whole congregation.
Upon our way from hence we saw a young fellow riding towards us full gallop, with a bob wig and a black filken bag tied to it. He ftopt fhort at the coach, to ask us how far the Judges 'were behind us. His ftay was fo very fhort, that
I must not here omit an adventure which happened to us in a country church upon the
frontiers of Cornwall. As we were in the midft of the fervice, a lady who is the chief woman of the place, and had paffed the winter • at London with her husband, entered the congregation in a little head-dress, and a hooped petticoat. The people, who were wonderfully tartled at fuch a fight, all of them rose up. Some stared at the prodigious bottom, and fome at the little top of this ftrange drefs. In the ⚫ mean time the lady of the manor filled the area • of the church, and walked up to her pew with
we had only time to obferve his new filk waistcoat, which was unbuttoned in feveral places to let us fee that he had a clean fhirt on, which was ruffled down to his middle.
From this place, during our progress through the most western parts of the kingdom, we fan⚫cied ourselves in king Charles the fecond's reign, 'the people having made very little variations in their drefs fince that time. The fmarteft of the country fquires appear ftill in the Mon'mouth-cock, and when they go a wooing, whether they have any poft in the militia or not, they generally put on a red coat. We were, indeed, very much surprised, at the place we lay at last night, to meet with a gentleman that had accoutered himself in a night-cap wig,
a coat with long pockets, and flit fleeves, and a pair of fhoes with high fcollop tops; but we foon found by his converfation that he was a 'person who laughed at the ignorance and rufticity of the country people, and was refolved to live and die in the mode.
Sir, if you think this account of my travels may be of any advantage to the public, I will next year trouble you with fuch occurrences as I fhall meet with in other parts of England. For I am informed there are greater curiofities in the northern circuit than in the western; and that a fashion makes its progrefs much flower into Cumberland than into Cornwall. I have heard in particular, that the Steenkirk arrived but two months ago at Newcastle, and that there are feveral commodes in those parts which are worth taking a journey thither to fee.' с
No 130. MONDAY, JULY 30.
IS I was yesterday riding out in the fields with my friend Sir Roger, we faw a little diftance from us a troop of Gipfies: upon the first discovery of them, my friend was in fome doubt whether he fhould not exert the Juftice of the Peace upon fuch a band of lawless vagrants, but not having his clerk with him, who is a neceffary counsellor on thefe occafions, and fearing that his poultry might fare the worfe for it, he let the thought drop; but at the fame time gave me a particular account of the mischiefs they do in the country, in ftealing people's goods and fpoiling their fervants. If a ftray piece of linen hangs upon a hedge, fays Sir Roger, they are fure to have it; if the hog lofes his way in the fields, it is ten to one but he becomes their prey; our geefe cannot live in peace for them; if a man profecutes them with feverity, his hen-rooft is fure to pay for it; they generally straggle into thefe parts about this time of the year; and set the heads of our servant-maids fo agog for hufY bands,
bands, that we do not expect to have any bufinefs done as it fhould be, whilft they are in the country. I have an honest dairy-maid who croffes their hands with a piece of filver every summer, and never fails being promifed the handfomest young fellow in the parifh for her pains. Your friend the butler has been fool enough to be feduced by them; and, though he is fure to lofe a knife, a fork, or a fpoon every time his fortune is told him, generally fhuts himfelf up in the pantry with an old gipfy for above half an hour once in a twelvemonth. Sweet-hearts are the things they live upon, which they beftow very plentifully upon all thofe that apply themfelves to them. You fee now and then fome handfome young. jades among them: the fluts have very often white teeth and black eyes.
"As the Trekfchuyt, or hackney-boat, which
languages, and learned upon farther exami"nation that he had been ftolen away when he "was a child by a gipfy, and had rambled ever. "fince with a gang of ftrollers up and down. "feveral parts of Europe. It happened that the "merchant, whofe heart feems to have inclined "towards the boy by a fecret kind of inftin&t,
had himfelf loft a child fome years before.. "The parents, after a long fearch for him, gave.
him for drowned in one of the canals with "which that country abounds; and the mother
was fo afflicted at the lofs of a fine boy, who. was her only fon, that he died for grief of it. "Upon laying together all particulars, and ex"amining the feveral moles and marks by which, "the mother used to defcribe the child when he "was first miffing, the boy proved to be the "fon of the merchant whofe heart had fo unac"countably melted at the fight of him. The "lad was very well pleafed to find a father who
was fo rich, and likely to leave him a good "eftate; the father on the other hand was not a "little delighted to fee a fon return to him, "whom he had given for loft, with fuch a « ftrength of conftitution, sharpness of under"ftanding, and fkill in languages." Here the printed ftory leaves off; but if I may give credit to reports, or linguift having received fuch extraordinary rudiments towards a good education, was afterwards trained up in every thing that. becomes a gentleman; wearing off by little and, little all the vicious habits and practices that he, had been used to in the courfe of his peregrinati-. ons: nay, it is faid, that he has fince been employed in foreign courts upon national business with great reputation to himfelf, and honour to thofe who fent him, and that he has visited feveral countries as a public minifter, in which he formerly wandered as a gipfy. с
Sir Roger obferving that I liftened with great attention to his account of a people who were fo intirely new to me, told me, that if I would they fhould tell us our fortunes. As I was very well pleafed with the knight's propofal, we rid up and communicated our hands to them. A. Catfandra of the crew, after having examined my. lines very diligently, told me, that I loved a pretty maid in a corner, that I was a good woinan's man, with some other particulars which I do not think proper to relate. My friend Sir Roger alighted from his horfe, and expofing his palm to two or three that stood by him, they crumpled it into all shapes, and diligently fcanned every wrinkle that could be made in it; when one of them, who was older and more fun-burnt than the reft, told him, that lie had a widow in his line of life: upon which the knight cried, Go, go, you are an idle baggage; and at the fame time fmiled upon me. The gipfy finding he. was not difpleafed in his heart, told him, after a farther inquiry into his hand, that his truelove was conftant, and that the fhould dream of him to-night: my old friend cried pifh, and bid her go on. The gipfy told him that he was a batchelor, but would not be fo long; and that he was dearer to fome-body than he thought: the knight ftill repeated, fhe was an idle baggage, and bid her go on. Ah mafter, fays the gipfy, that roguish leer of yours makes a pretty woman's heart ach; you have not that fimper about the mouth for nothing. The uncouth gibberish with which all this was uttered, like the darkness of an oracle, made us the more at tentive to it. To be fhort, the knight left the money with her that he had croffed her hand with, and got up again on his horfe.
As we were riding away, Sir Roger told me, that he knew feveral fenfible people who believed-Ipfæ thefe gipfies now and then fortetold very ftrange things; and for half an hour together appeared more jocund than ordinary. In the height of his good-humour, meeting a common he went
upon the was no
I might here entertain my reader with hiftorical remarks on this idle profligate people, who infeft all the countrics of Europe, and live in the midft of governments in a kind of commonwealth by themfelves. But instead of entering into obfervations of this nature, I thall fill the remaining part of my paper with a ftory which is fill fresh in Holland, and was printed in one of our monthly accounts about twenty years ago.
N° 131. TUESDAY, JULY 31.
VIRG. Eccl. 10. v. 63.
Once more, ye woods, adieu.
T is ufual for a man who loves country sports
to preferve the game in his own grounds, and divert himfelf upon thofe that belong to his neighbour. My friend Sir Roger generally goes two or three miles from his houfe, and gets into the frontiers of his eftate, before he beats about in fearch of a hare or partridge, on purpose to fpare his own fields, where he is always fure of finding diverfion, when the worst comes to the worst. By this means the breed about his house has time to increase and multiply, bendes that the fport is the more agreeable where the game is the harder to come at, and where it does not lie fo thick as to produce any perplexity or confusjon