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along with the voice of the actor who pronounces it, as the violin or harpsichord accompanies the Italian recitativo.
It has often supplied the place of the ancient chorus, in the words of Mr. *** In short a bad poet has as great an antipathy to a cat-call, as many people have to a real cat. Mr. Collier, in his ingenious essay upon music, has the following passage :—
"I believe it is possible to invent an instrument that shall have a quite contrary effect to those martial ones now in use: 10 an instrument that shall sink the spirits, and shake the nerves, and curdle the blood, and inspire despair, and cowardice, and consternation, at a surprising rate. It is probable the roaring of a lion, the warbling of cats and screech-owls, together with a mixture of the howling of dogs, judiciously imitated and compounded, might go a great way in this invention. Whether such anti-music as this might not be of service in a camp, I shall leave to the military men to consider."
What this learned gentlemen supposes in speculation, I 20 have known actually verified in practice. The cat-call has struck a damp into generals, and frighted heroes off the stage. At the first sound of it I have seen a crowned head tremble, and a princess fall into fits. The Humorous Lieutenant himself could not stand it; nay, I am told that even Almanzor looked like a mouse, and trembled at the voice of this terrifying instrument.
As it is of a dramatic nature, and peculiarly appropriated to the stage, I can by no means approve the thought of that angry lover, who, after an unsuccessful pursuit of some years, 30 took leave of his mistress in a serenade of cat-calls.
I must conclude this paper with the account I have lately received of an ingenious artist, who has long studied this instrument, and is very well versed in all the rules of the drama. He teaches to play on it by book, and to express by . it the whole art of criticism. He has his base and his treble cat-call; the former for tragedy, the latter for comedy; only
in tragi-comedies they may both play together in consort. He has a particular squeak to denote the violation of each of the unities, and has different sounds to show whether he aims at the poet or the player. In short, he teaches the smut-note, the fustian-note, the stupid-note, and has composed a kind of air that may serve as an act-tune to an incorrigible play, and which takes in the whole compass of the cat-call.
XXXI. WOMAN ON HORSEBACK.
Saturday, July 19, 1712.
Nec duo sunt at forma duplex, nec fœmina dici
Both bodies in a single body mix,
A single body with a double sex.-Addison.
Ovid, Met. iv. 378.
Most of the papers I give the public are written on subjects that never vary, but are for ever fixed and immutable. Of this kind are all my more serious essays and discourses; but there is another sort of speculations, which I consider as occasional papers, that take their rise from the folly, extravagance, and caprice of the present age. For I look upon myself as one set to watch the manners and behaviour of my countrymen and contemporaries, and to mark down every 20 absurd fashion, ridiculous custom, or affected form of speech, that makes its appearance in the world, during the course of these my speculations. The petticoat no sooner begun to swell, but I observed its motions The party-patches had not time to muster themselves before I detected them. I had intelligence of the coloured hood the very first time it appeared in a public assembly. I might here mention several other the like contingent subjects, upon which I have bestowed distinct papers. By this means I have so effectually quashed
those irregularities which gave occasion to them, that I am afraid posterity will scarce have sufficient idea of them to relish those discourses which were in no little vogue at the time when they were written. They will be apt to think that the fashions and customs I attacked were some fantastic conceits of my own, and that their great-grandmothers could not be so whimsical as I have represented them. For this reason, when I think on the figure my several volumes of speculations will make about a hundred years hence, I con10 sider them as so many pieces of old plate, where the weight will be regarded, but the fashion lost.
Among the several female extravagances I have already taken notice of, there is one which still keeps its ground. I mean that of the ladies who dress themselves in a hat and feather, a riding-coat and a periwig; or at least tie up their hair in a bag or ribbon, in imitation of the smart part of the opposite sex. I have already shown my dislike of this immodest custom more than once; but in contempt of everything I have hitherto said, I am informed that the highways 20 about this great city are still very much infested with these female cavaliers.
I remember when I was at my friend Sir Roger de Coverley's about this time twelvemonth, an equestrian lady of this order appeared upon the plains which lay at a distance from his house. I was at that time walking in the fields with my old friend; and as his tenants ran out on every side to see so strange a sight, Sir Roger asked one of them who came by us, what it was? To which the country fellow replied, "Tis a gentlewoman, saving your worship's presence, 30 in a coat and hat." This produced a great deal of mirth at the knight's house, where we had a story at the same time of another of his tenants, who meeting this gentleman-like lady on the high-way, was asked by her whether that was Coverley Hall; the honest man seeing only the male part of the querist, replied, "Yes, sir"; but upon the second question, "whether Sir Roger de Coverley was a married man," having dropped
his eye upon the petticoat, he changed his note into “No, madam."
Had one of these hermaphrodites appeared in Juvenal's day, with what an indignation should we have seen her described by that excellent satirist. He would have represented her in her riding habit, as a greater monster than the Centaur. He would have called for sacrifices, or purifying waters, to expiate the appearance of such a prodigy. He would have invoked the shades of Portia or Lucretia, to see into what the Roman ladies had transformed them- 10 selves.
For my own part, I am for treating the sex with greater tenderness, and have all along made use of the most gentle methods to bring them off from any little extravagance into which they are sometimes unwarily fallen; I think it however absolutely necessary to keep up the partition between the two sexes, and to take notice of the smallest encroachments which one makes upon the other. I hope, therefore, that I shall not hear any more complaints on this subject. I am sure my she-disciples who peruse these my daily lectures, 20 have profited but little by them, if they are capable of giving into such an amphibious dress. This I should not have mentioned, had not I lately met one of these my female readers in Hyde Park, who looked upon me with a masculine assurance, and cocked her hat full in my face.
For my part, I have one general key to the behaviour of the fair sex. When I see them singular in any part of their dress, I conclude it is not without some evil intention; and therefore question not but the design of this strange fashion is to smite more effectually their male beholders. Now to 30 set them right in this particular, I would fain have them consider with themselves whether we are not more likely to be struck by a figure entirely female, than with such an one as we may see every day in our glasses: or, if they please, let them reflect upon their own hearts, and think how they would be affected should they meet a man on horseback in
his breeches and jack-boots, and at the same time dressed up in a commode and a night-rail.
I must observe that this fashion was first of all brought to us from France, a country which has infected all the nations in Europe with its levity. I speak not this in derogation of a whole people, having more than once found fault with those general reflections which strike at kingdoms or commonwealths in the gross ; a piece of cruelty, which an ingenious writer of our own compares to that of Caligula, who wished 10 the Roman people had all but one neck, that he might behead them at a blow. I shall therefore only remark, that as liveliness and assurance are in a peculiar manner the qualifications of the French nation, the same habits and customs will not give the same offence to that people, which they produce among those of our own country. Modesty is our distinguishing character, as vivacity is theirs; and when this our national virtue appears in that female beauty, for which our British ladies are celebrated above all others in the universe, it makes up the most amiable object that the eye of man can 20 possibly behold. C.
XXXII. PROCEEDINGS OF THE INFIRMARY FOR
Friday, July 25, 1712.
Vivere si rectè nescis, discede peritis. - Hor. 2 Ep. ii. 213.
I HAVE already given my reader an account of a set of merry fellows, who are passing their summer together in the country, being provided of a great house, where there is not only a convenient apartment for every particular person, but a large infirmary for the reception of such of them as are any