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and beft prayer children are taught, they learn to mifufe us. "Our Father Which art it Heaven," fhould be, "Our Father Who art in Heaven;" and even a Con• vocation, after long debates, refused to confent to an alteration of it. In our general Confeffion we fay,"Spare thou them, O God, Which confefs their faults." which ought to be, "Who confefs their faults." What hopes then have we of having juftice done us, when the makers of our very prayers and laws, and the most learned in all faculties, feem to be in a confederacy against us, and our enemies themselves must be our judges.
The Spanish Proverb fays. El fabio muda confejo, el necio no; i. e. "A wife man changes his mind, a "fool never will." So that we think you, Sir, a very proper perfon to addrefs to, fince we know you to be capable of being convinced, and changing your judg ment. You are well able to fettle this affair, and to you we fubmit our caufe. We defire you to affign the butts and bounds of each of us; and that for the future we may both enjoy our own. We would defire to be heard by our counfel, but that we fear in their very pleadings they would betray our caufe: befides, we have been oppreffed fo many years, that we can appear no other way, but in forma pauperis. All which confidered, we hope you will be pleafed to do that which to right and juftice fhall appertain.
And your Petitioners, &c.'
No. LXXIX. THURSDAY, MAY 31.
Oderunt peccare boni virtutis amore.
The good, for virtue's fake, abhor to fin.
HAVE received very many letters of late, from my female correfpondents, moft of whom are very angry with me for abridging their pleafures, and looking fc
verely upon things in themselves indifferent. But 1 think they are extremely unjust to me in this imputation; all that I contend for is, that thofe excellencies, which are to be regarded but in the fecond place, fhould not precede more weighty confiderations. The heart of man deceives him in fpite of the lectures of half a life spent in difcourfes on the fubjection of paffion; 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 fexes, the minds of woman are lefs cultivated with precepts, and confequently may, without difrespect to them, be accounted more liable to illufion in cafes wherein natural inclination is out of the interefts of virtue. I fhall take up my prefent 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 poffible fine women may be mistaken.
-The following addrefs feems to have no other defign in it, but to tell me the writer will do what the pleases for all me.
• Mr. Spectator,
young, and very much inclined to follow the paths of innocence; but at the fame time, as I have a plentiful fortune, and am of quality, I am unwilling to refign the pleasures of diftinction, fome little fatiffaction in being admired in general, and much greater in being beloved by a gentleman, whom I defign to make my hufband. But I have a mind to put off entering into matrimony till another winter is over my head, which, whatever, mufty Sir, you may think of the matter, I defign to pafs away in hearing mufic, going to plays, vifiting, and all other fatis factions which fortune and youth, protected by innocence and virtue, 6 can procure for,
• Your most humble fervant,
• M. T.
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 elfe better.'
I have heard Will. Honeycomb fay, A woman feldom writes her mind but in her poftfcript.' I think this gentlewoman has fufficiently difcovered hers in this. I'll lay what wager fhe pleases against her pre.ent favourite,
and can tell her that the will like ten more before the is fixed, and then will take the worst man fhe ever liked in her life. There is no end of affection taken in at the eyes only; and you may as well fatisfy thofe eyes with feeing, as control any pallion received by them only. It is from loving by fight that coxcombs fo frequently fucceed with women, and very often a young lady is beftowed by her parents to a man who weds her as innocence it elf, though he has, in her own heart, given her approbation of a different man in every aflembly the was in the whole year before. What is wanting among women, as well as among men, is the love of laudable things, and not to reft only in the forbearance of fuch as are reproachful.
How far removed from a woman of this light imagination is Eudofia! Eudofia has all the arts of life and goodbreeding with fo much ease, that the virtue of her conduct looks more like an inftinct than choice. It is as little difficult to her to think justly of perfons and things, as it is to a woman of different accomplishments to move ill or look awkward. That which was at first the effect of inftruction, is grown into an habit; and it would be as hard for Eudofia to indulge a wrong fuggeftion of thought, as it would be for Flavia, the fine dancer, to come into a room with an unbecoming air.
But the mifapprehenfions people themfelves have of their own ftate of mind, is laid down with much difcerning in the following letter, which is but an extract of a kind epiftle from my charining mitrefs H.catiffa, who is above the vanity of external beauty, and is the better judge of the perfections of the mind. < Mr.
• Mr. Spectator,
WRITE this to acquaint you, that very many dies, as well as myself, fpend many hours more than we used at the glass, for want of the female library of which you promifed us a catalogue. I hope, Sir, in the choice of authors for us, you will have a particular regard to bocks of devotion. What they are, and how many, must be your chief care; for upon the propriety of fuch writings depends a great deal. I have known thofe among us who think, if they every morning and evening spend an hour in their closet, and read over fo many prayers in fix or feven books of devotion, all equally nonfenfical, with a fort of warmth, that might as well be raised by a glass of wine, or a dram of citron, they may all the reft of their time go on in whatever their particular paffion leads them to. beauteous Philatnia, who is, in your language, an Idol, is one of thefe votaries; fhe has a very pretty furnished clofet, to which the retires at her appointed hours: this is her dreffing-room as well as chapel; fhe has conftantly before her a large looking-glass, and upon the table, according to a very witty author,
Together lie her prayer-book and paint,
It must be a good fcene, if one could be present at it, to fee this Idol by turns lift up her eyes to heaven, and fteal glances at her own dear perfon. It cannot but be a plcating conflict between vanity and humiliation. When you are upon this fubject, chcofe books which elevate the mind above the world, and give a pleafing • indifference to little things in it. For want of fuch inftructions, I am apt to believe fo many people take it in their heads to be fullen, crofs, and angry, under pretence of being abftracted from the affairs of this life, when at the fame time they betray their fondness for them by doing their duty as a talk, and pouting and reading good books for a week together. of this I take to proceed from the indifcretion of the • books themfelves, whofe very titles of weekly prepara
⚫tions, and fuch limited godliness, lead people of ordinary capacities into great errors, and raise in them a mechanical religion, intirely distinct from morality. I know a lady fo given up to this fort of devotion, that though the employs fix or eight hours of the twentyfour at cards, the never miffes one conftant hour of prayer, for which time another holds her cards, to which the returns with no little anxioufnefs till two or three in the morning. All these acts are but empty fhows, and, as it were, compliments made to virtue; the mind is all the while untouched with any true pleafure in the purfuit of it. From hence I prefume it arifes that fo many people call themselves virtuous from no other pretence to it but an absence of ill. There is Dulcianara, the most infolent of all creatures to her friends and domeftics, upon no other pretence in nature but that, as her filly phrafe is, no one can tay black is her ey. She has no fecrets, forfooth, which should • make her afraid to speak her mind, and therefore she is impertinently blunt to all her acquaintance, and unfeafonably imperious to all her family. Dear Sir, be pleafed to put fuch books in our hands as may make " our virtue more inward, and convince fome of us that in a mind truly virtuous the fcorn of vice is always accompanied with the pity of it. This and other things are impatiently expected from you by our whole fex; among the rest by,
Your most humble fervant,
• B. D.'
No. LXXX. FRIDAY, JUNE 1.
Cælum non animum mutant qui trans mare currunt.
Those that beyond-fea go, will fadly find,
N the year 1688, and on the fame day of that year, were born in Cheapfide, London, two females of exquifite feature and fhape; the one we fhall call Brunetta,