occasion say, ' Why, how do you know more thanany of us ?' An expression of that kind was generally followed by a loud laugh. In a word, for no other fault in the world than that they really thought me as innocent as themselves, I became of no consequence among them, and was received always upon the foot of a jest. This made so strong an impression upon me, that I resolved to be as agreeable as the best of the men who laughed at me; but I observed it was nonsense for me to be impudent at first among those who knew me. My character for modesty was so notorious wherever I had hitherto appeared, that I resolved to shew my new face in new quarters of the world. My first step I chose with judgment; for I went to Astrop*, and came down among a crowd of academics, at one dash, tbe impudentest fellow they had ever seen in their lives. Flushed with this success, I made love and was happy. Upon this conquest I thought it would be unlike a gentleman to stay long with my mistress, and crossed the country to Bury t. I could give you a very good account of myself at that place also.. At these two ended

my first summer of gallantry. The winter following, you would wonder at it, but I relapsed into modesty upon coming among people of figure in Lon. don, yet not so much but that the ladies who had formerly laughed at me, said, “ Bless us! how wonderfully that gentleman is improved !! Some familiarities about the play-houses towards the end of the ensuing winter, made me conceive new hopes of adventures. And instead of returning the next summer to Astrop or Bury, I thought myself qualified to go to Epsom, and followed a young woman, whose relations were jealous of my place in her favour, to Scarborough. I carried my point, and in my third year aspired to go to Tunbridge, and in

* Astrop-wells, in the parish of King's Sutton, in Oxfordshire.

+ Bury-fair: a place at that time, and long before, resorted to by persons of fashion and pleasure. It gives the title to one of Shadwell's eomedies, of which the scene is laid there.

he swore,

the autumn of the same year made my appearance at Bath. I was now got into the way of talk proper for ladies, and was run into a vast acquaintance among them, which I always improved to the best advantage. In all this course of time, and some years following, I found a sober modest man was always looked upon by both sexes as a precise unfashioned fellow of no life or spirit. It was ordinary for a man who had been drunk in good company, or passed a night with a wench, to speak of it next Vlay before women for whom he had the greatest respect. He was reproved, perhaps, with a blow of 'the fan, or an oh fy ! but the angry lady still preserved an apparent approbation in her countenance. He was called a strange wicked follow, a sad wretch; he shrugs his shoulders, swears, receives another blow, swears again he did not know

and all was well. You might often see men game in the presence of women, and throw at once for more than they were worth, to recommend themselves as men of spirit. I found by long ex. perience, that the loosest principles and most abandoned behaviour carried all before them in pretensions to women of fortune. The encouragement given to people of this stamp, made me soon throw off the reinaining impressions of a sober education. In the above mentioned places, as well as in town, I always kept company with those who lived most at large; and in due process of time I was a pretty rake among the men, and a very pretty fellow among the women. I must confess, I had some melancholy hours upon the account of the narrowness of my fortune, but my conscience at the same time gave me the comfort that I had qualified myself for marrying a fortune.

"When I had lived in this manner, for some time, and became thus accomplished, I was now in the twenty-seventh year of my age, and about the fortyseventh of my constitution, my health and estate wasting very fast ; when I happened to fall into the company of a very pretty young lady in her own disposal.. I entertained the company, as we men of gallantry generally do with the many haps and disasters, watchings under windows, escapes from jealous husbands, and several other perils. The young thing was wonderfully charmed with one that knew the world so well, and talked so fine; with Desdemona, all her lover said affected her ; «s it was strange, it was wondrous strange.” In a word, I saw the impression I had made upon her, and with a very little application, the pretty thing has married me. There is so much charm in ber innocence and beauty, that I do now as much detest the course I have been in for many years, as I ever did before I entered into it.

"What I intend, Mr. Spectator, by writing all this to you, is that you would, before you go any further with your panegyrics on the fair sex, give them some lectures upon their silly approbations. It is, that I am weary of vice, and that it was not my natural


that I am now so far recovered as not to bring this believing dear creature to contempt and poverty for her generosity to me. At the same time tell the youth of good education of our sex, that they take too little care of improving themselves in little things. A good air at enitering into a room, a proper audacity in expressing himself with gaiety and gracefulness, would make a young gentleman of virtue and sense capable of discountenancing the shallow impudent rogues that shine among the women.

Mr. Spectator, I do not doubt but you are a very sagacious person, but you are so great with Tully of late, that I fear you will contemn these things as matters of no consequence; but believe me, Sir, they are of the highest importance to human life; and if you can do any thing towards opening fair eyes, you will lay an obligation upon all your contemporaries who are fathers, husbands, or brothers to females. * Your most affectionate humble servant,






NO 155. TUESDAY, AUGUST 23, 1711.

nuga seria ducunt In mala

HOR. Ars Poet. ver. 451. These things, which now seem frivolous and slight, Will prove of serious consequence.


HAVE more than once taken notice of an indecent licence taken in discourse, wherein the conversation on one part is involuntary, and the effect of some necessary circumstance.

This happens in travelling tegether in the same hired coach, sitting near each other in any public assembly, or the like. I have, upon making observations of this sort, received innumerable messages from that part of the fair sex whose lot in life, is to be of any

trade or public way of life. They are all, to a woman, urgent with me to lay before the world the unhappy circumstances they are under, from the unreasonable liberty which is taken in their presence, to talk on what subject it is thought fit by every coxcomb who wants understanding or breeding. One or two of these complaints I shall set down.

MR. SPECTATOR, I KEEP a coffee-house, and am one of those whom you have thought fit to mention as an Idol some time ago*. I suffered a good deal of raillery upon

: that occasion ; but shall heartily forgive you, who are the cause of it, if you will do me justice in another point. What I ask of you is, to acquaint my customers (who are otherwise very good ones) that I am unavoidably hasped in my bar, and cannot help hearing the improper discourses they are pleased to entertain me with. They strive who shall say the most immodest things in my hearing. At the same time half a dozen of them loll at the bar star

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* See the second letter in NO 87.


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ing just in my face, ready to interpret my looks and gestures according to their own imaginations. In this passive condition I know not where to çast my eyes, place my hands, or what to employ myself in. But this confusion is to be a jest, and I hear them say in the end, with an insipid air of mirtlı and subtlety, Let her alone, she knows as well as we, for all she looks so.. Good Mr. Spectator, persuade gentlemen that it is out of all decency. Say, it is possible a woman may be modest and yet keep a public-house. Be pleased to argue, that in truth the affront is the more unpardonable because I am obliged to suffer it, and cannot fy from it. I do assure you, Sir, the chearfulness of life, which would arise from the honest gain I have, is utterly lost to me, from the endless, Hat, impertinent pleasantries which I hear from morning to night. In a word, it is too much for me to bear; and I desire you to acquaint them, that I will keep pen and ink, at the bar, and write down all they say to me, and send it to you for the press. It is possible when they see how empty what they speak, without the advantage of an impudent countenance and gesture, will appear, they may come to some sense of themselves, and the insults they are guilty of towards me.

I am, SIR,
«Your most humble servant,


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This representation is so just, that it is hard to speak of it without an indignation which perhaps would appear too elevated to such as can be guilty of this inhuman treatment, where they see they affront a modest, plain, and ingenuous behaviour. This correspondent is not the only sufferer in this kind, for I have long letters both from the Royal and New-Exchange on the same subject. They tell me that a young fop cannot buy a pair of gloves, but he is at the same time straining for some ingenious ribaldry to say to the young woman who helps them on.

li is no small addition to the calamit,

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