« НазадПродовжити »
I saw, and made up of Scaramouches, Lions, Mona kies, Mandarines, Trees, Shells, and a thousand other odd Figures in China Ware. In the Midst of the Room was a little Japan Table, with a Quire of gilt Paper upon it, and on the Paper a Silver Snuff-box made ia the Shape of a little Book. I found there were several other counterfeit Books upon the upper Shelves, which were carved in Wood, and served only to fill up the Number, like Fagots in the Muster of a Regiment. I was wonderfully pleased with such a mixt kind of Furniture, as seemed very suitable both to the Lady and the Scholar, and did not know at first whether I should fancy my self in a Grotto, or in a Library.
UPON my looking into the Books, I found there were some few which the Lady had bought for her own use, but that most of them had been got together, either because she had heard them praised, or because she had seen the Authors of them. Among several that I examined, I very well remember these that follow,
The Grand Cyrus; with a Pin stuck in one of the middle Leaves.
Lock of Human Understanding; with a Paper of Patches in it.
Father Malbranche's Search after Truth, translated into English.
A Book of Novels.
The Ladies Calling
Tales in Verse by Mr. Durfey: Bound in Red Leather, gilt on the Back, and doubled down in several Places,
All the Classick Authors in Wood.
Clelia : Which opened of it self in the Place that des fcribes two Lovers in a Bower,
A Prayer Book: With a Bottle of Hungary Water by the side of it.
Dr. Sacheverell's Speech.
I was taking a Catalogue in my Pocket-Book of thefe, and several other Authors, when Leonora entred, and upon iny presenting her with the Letter from the Knight, told me, with an unspeakable Grace, that she hoped Sir ROGER was in good Health : I answered Yes, for I hate long Speeches, and after a Bow or two retired.
LEONOR A was formerly a celebrated Beauty, and is still a very lovely Woman.' She has been a Widow for two or three Years, and being unfortunate in her first Marriage, has taken a Resolution never to venture upon
fecond, She has no Children to take care of, and leaves the Management of her Estate to my good friend Sir ROGER. But as the Mind naturally sinks into a kind of lethargy and falls afleep, that is not agitated by some Javourite Pleasures and Pursuits, Leonora has turned all the Passions of her Sex, into, a Love of Books and Retirement, She converses chiefly with Men, (as she has often faid her self) but it is only in their Writings; and admits of very few Male-Visitants, except my Friend Sir ROGER, whom she hears with great pleasure, and without Scandal, As her Reading has lain very much ainong Romances, it has given her a very particular Turn of Thinking, and discovers it self even in her House, her Gardens, and her Furniture, Sir ROGER
has entertained me an Hour together with a Description of her Country-Seat, which is situated in a kind of Wilderness, about an hundred Miles diftant from London, and looks like a little Enchanted Palace. The Rocks about her are shaped into Artificial Grottoes covered with Wood-Bines and Jessamines. The Woods are cut into shady Walks, twisted into Bowers, and filled with Cages of Turtles.) The Springs are made to run among Pebbles, and by that means taught to Murinur very agreeably. They are likewise collected into a Beautiful Lake, that is inhabited by a couple of Swans, and empties it self by a little Rivulet which runs through a Green Meadow, and is known in the Family by the Name of The Purling Stream. The Knight likewise tells me, that this Lady preserves her Game better than any of the Gentlemen in the Country, not (says Sir ROGER) that she sets so great a Value upon her Partridges and Pheasants, as upon her Larks and Nightingales. For she says that every Bird which is killed in her Ground, will spoil a Consort, and that she shall certainly miss hiin the next Year.
WHEN I think how odly this Lady is improved by Learning, I look upon her with a mixture of Adiniration and Pity. Amidst these Innocent Entertainments which she has formed to her felf, how much mors Valuable does she appear than those of her Sex, who employ themselves in Diversions that are less Reasonable, tho' more in Fashion? What Improvements would a Woman have made, who is so Susceptible of Impressions from what she reads, bad the been guided to such Books as have a tendency to enlighten the Understanding and rectifie the Passions, as well as to those which are of little more use chan to diyert the Imagination ?
BUT the manner of a Lady's Employing her self usefully in Reading fhall be the subject of another PAper, in which I design to recommend such particular Books as may be proper for the Improvement of the Sex. And as this is a Subject of a very nice Naiure, I shall desire my Correspondents to give me their Thoughts upon it.
Friday, April 13.
Cupias non placuiffe nimis.
Late Conversation which I fell into, gave me an
a very handsome Woman, and as much Wit in an ingenious Man, turned into Deformity in the one, and Absurdity in the other, by the meer Force of Affectation. The Fair One had something in her Person upon which her Thoughts were fixed, that the attempted to shew to Advantage in every Look, Word, and Gesture. The Gentleman was as diligent to do Justice to his fine Parts, as the Lady to her beauteous Form: You mnight see his Imagination on the Stretch to find out something uncommon, and what they call bright, to enterrain her; while he writhed her self into as many different Poftures to engage him. When she laughed, her Lips were to sever at a greater Distance than ordinary to shew her Teeth; Her Fan was to point to somewhat at a Distance, that in the Reach she may discover the Roundness of her Arm; then she is utterly mistaken in what he saw, falls back, smiles at her own Folly, and is ro wholly discomposed, that her Tucker is to be adjufted, her Borom exposed, and the whole Woman put into new Airs and Graces. While she was doing all this, the Gallant had Time to think of something very pleasant to say next to her, or make some unkind Observation on some other Lady to feed her Vanity. These unhappy Effe&ts of Affectation, 'naturally led me to look into that strange State of Mind which so generally discolours the Behaviour of most people we meet with.
THE learned Dr. Burnet, in his Theory of the Earth, takes Occasion to observe, That every Thought is attended with Consciousness and Representativeness; the Mind has nothing presented to it, but what is imme
diately followed by a Reflection or Conscience, which tells you whether that which was so presented is graceful or unbecoming. This Act of the Mind discovers it self in the Gesture, by a proper Behaviour in those whose Consciousness goes no further than to direct them in the just Progress of their present Thought or A&ion; but betrays an Interruption in every second Thought, when the Consciousness is employed in too fondly approving a Man's own Conceptions; which sort of Consciousness is what we called Affectation.
AS the Love of Praise is implanted in our Bosoms as a strong Incentive to worthy Actions, it is a very difficult Task to get above a Desire of it for things that should be wholly indifferent. Women, whose Hearts are fixed upon the Pleasure they have in the Confciousness that they are the Objects of Love and Admiration, are ever changing the Air of their Countenances, and altering the Attitude of their Bodies, to strike the Hearts of their Beholders with new Sense of their Beauty. The dressing Part of our Sex, whose Minds are the same with the fillier Part of the other, are exactly in the like uneafie Condition to be regarded for a welltied Cravat, an Hat cocked with an unusual Briskness, a very well-chosen Coat, or other Instances of Merit, which they are impatient to see unobserved.
BUT this apparent Affectation, arising from an illgoverned Consciousness, is not so much to be wondered ar in such loose and trivial Minds as these: But when you see it reign in Characters of Worth and Distinction, it is what you cannot but lament, not withou: some Indignation. It creeps into the Heart of the wise Man as well as that of the Coxcomb. When you see a Man of Sense look about for Applause, and discover an itching Inclination to be commended; lay Traps for a little Incense, even from those whofe Opinion he values in nothing but his own Fayour; Who is safe against this Weakness? or who knows whether he is guilty of it or not? The best Way to get clear of such a liglit Fondness for Applause, is to take all possible Care to throw off the Love of ir upon Occasions that are not in themselves laudable; but, as it appears, we hope for no Praise from them. Of this Nature are all Graces in Mens Persons, Dress, and bodily