that the rogues buy as hard as the plainest and modestest customers they have; besides which, they loll

upon their counters half an hour longer than they need, to drive away other customers, who are to share their impertinences with the milliner, or go to another shop. Letters from 'Change-alley are full of the same evil; and the girls tell me, except I can chase some eminent merchants from their shops, they shall in a short time fail. It is very unaccountable, that men can have so little deference to all mankind who pass by them, as to bear being seen toying by twos and threes at a time, with no other purpose but to appear gay enough to keep up a light conversation, of common-place jests, to the injury of her whose credit is certainly hurt by it, though their own may be strong enough to bear it. When we come to have exact accounts of these .conversations, it is not to be doubted but that their discourses will raise the usual style of buying and selling. Instead of the plain downright lying, and asking and bidding so unequally to what they will really

give and take, we may hope to have from these fine folks an exchange of compliments. There must certainly be a great deal of pleasant difference between the commerce of lovers, and that of all other dealers, who are, in a kind, adversaries. A sealed bond, or a bank-note, would be a pretty gallantry to convey unseen into the hands of one whom a director is charmed with; otherwise the city-loiterers are still more unreasonable than those at the other end of the town. At the New-Exchange they are eloquent for want of cash, but in the city they ought with cash to supply their want of eloquence.

If one might be serious on this prevailing folly, one might observe, that it is a melancholy thing, when the world is mercenary even to the buying and selling our very persons; that young women, though they have never so great attractions from nature, are never the nearer being happily disposed of in marriage; I say, it is very hard under this ne.


cessity, it shall not be possible for them to go into a way of trade for their maintenance, but their very excellencies and personal perfections shall be a dis

a advantage to them, and subject them to be treated as if they stood there to sell their persons to prosti. tution. There cannot be a more melancholy circumstance to one who has made any observation in the world, than one of those erring creatures exposed to bankruptcy. When that happens, none of these toying fools will do any more than any other man they meet, to preserve her from infamy, insult, and distemper. A woman is naturally more helpless than the other sex; and a man of honour and of sense, should have his view in all manner of commerce with her. Were this well weighed, inconsideration, ribaldry, and nonsense, would not be more natural to entertain women with than men; and it would be as much impertinence to go into a shop of one of these young women without buying, as into that of any other trader. I shall end this speculation with a letter I have received from a pretty milliner in the city.

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MR. SPECTATOR, "I HAVE read your account of beauties*, and was not a little surprised to find no character of myself in it. I do assure you I have little else to do but to give audience as I am such. Here are merchants of no small consideration, who call in as certainly as they go to 'Change, to say something of my roguish eye.

And here is one who makes me once or twice a week tumble over all my goods, and then owns it was only a gallantry to see me act with these pretty hands; then lays out three-pence in a little riband for his wristbands, and thinks he is a man of great vivacity. There is an ugly thing not far off me, whose shop is frequented only by people of business; that is all day long as busy as possible. Must I that am a beauty be treated with for nothing but my beauty? Be pleased to assign rates to my


* No 144

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kind glances, or make all pay who come to see me, or I shall be undone by my admirers, for want of customers. Albacinda, Eudosia, and all the rest, would be used just as we are, if they were in our condition ; therefore pray consider the distress of

; us the lower order of beauties, and I shall be

"Your obliged humble servant.'




NO 156. WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 1711.


Sed tu simul obligâsti
Perfidum votis caput, enitescis
Pulchrior multo-

HOR. Od. viii. 1. 2. ver. 5.

-But thou
Since perjur’d, dost more charming grow.

Do not think any thing could make a pleasanter entertainment, than the history of the reigning favourites among the women from time to time about this town. In such an account we ought to have a faithful confessior of each lady for what she liked such and such a man, and he ought to tell us by what particular action or dress he believed he should be most successful. As for my part, I have al. ways made as easy a judgment when a man dresses for the ladies as when, he is equipped for hunting or coursing. The woman's nian is a person in his air and behaviour quite different from the rest of our species. His garb is more loose and negligent, his manner more soft and indolent; that is to say, in both these cases there is an apparent endeavour to appear unconcerned and careless. In catching

. birds, the fowlers have a method of imitating their voices, to bring them to the snare : and your women's men have always a similitude of the creature they hope to betray, in their own conversation. A woman's man is very knowing in all that passes from one family to another, has little pretty officious.


nesses, is not at a loss what is good for a cold, and it is not amiss if he has a bottle of spirits in his pocket in case of any sudden indisposition.

Curiosity having been my prevailing passion, and indeed the sole entertainment of my life, I have sometimes made it my business to examine the course of intrigues, as well as the manners and accomplishments of such as have been most successful that way. In all my observation, I never knew a man of good understanding a general favourite ; some singularity in his behaviour, some wbim in his way of life, and what would have made him ridiculous among the men, has recommended him to the other sex. I should be very sorry to offend a people so fortunate as these of whom I am speaking; but let anyone look over the old beaux, and he will find the man of success was remarkable for quarrelling impertinently for their sakes, for dressing unlike the rest of the world, or passing his days in an insipid assiduity about the fair sex, to gain the figure he made amongst them. Add to this, that he must have the reputation of being well with other

women, to please any one woman of gallantry; for - you are to know, that there is a mighty ambition among the light part of the sex to gain slaves from the dominion of others. My friend Will Honeycomb says, it was a common bite * with him, to lay suspicions that he was favoured by a lady's enemy, that is, some rival beauty, to be well with herself. A little spite is natural to great beauty : and it is ordinary to snap up a disagreeable fellow lest another should have him. That impudent toad Bareface fares well among all the ladies he converses with, for no other reason in the world but that he has the skill to keep them from explanation with one another. Did they know there is not one who likes him in her heart, each would declare her scorn of bim the next moment, but he is well received by them because it is the fashion, and opposition to each other brings them insensibly into an imitation of each other. What adds to him the greatest grace is, that the pleasant thief, as they call him, is the most inconstant creature living, has a wonderful deal of wit and humour, and never wants something to say; besides all which, he has a most spiteful dangerous tongue if you should provoke him.

* See NO 47,

To make a woman's man, he must not be a man of sense, or a fool; the business is to entertain, and it is much better to have a faculty of arguing, than a capacity of judging right. But the pleasantest of all the women's equipage are your regular visitants; these are volunteers in their service, without hopes of pay or preferment. It is enough that they can lead out from a public place, that they are admitted on a public day, and can be allowed to pass away part of that heavy load, their time, in the company

of the fair. But commend me above all others to those who are known for your ruiners of ladies; these are the choicest spirits which our age produces. We have several of these irresistible gentlemen among us when the company is in town. These fellows are accomplished with the knowledge of the ordinary occurrences about court and town, have that sort of good-breeding which is exclusive of all morality, and consists only in being publicly decent, privately dissolute.

It is wonderful how far a fond opinion of herself can carry a woman, to make her have the least regard to a professed known woman's man; but as scarce one of all the women who are in the tour of gallantries ever hears any thing of what is the common sense of sober minds, but are entertained with a continual round of flatteries, they cannot be mistresses of themselves enough to make arguments for their own conduct from the behaviour of these men to others. It is so far otherwise, that a general fame of falsehood in this kind, is a recommendation; and the coxcomb, loaded with the favours of many others, is received like a victor that disdains his trophies, to be a victim to the present charmer.

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