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Good and Ill in this Life; and the naturally thinks, if the is tall enough, she is wise enough for any thing for which her Education makes her think the is designed. To make her an agreeable Person is the main purpose of her Parents; to that is all their Cofts, to that all their Care directed; and from this general Folly of Parents we owe our prefent numerous Race of Coquets. These Reflecti. ons puzzle me, when I think of giving my Advice on the Subject of managing the wild Thing mentioned in the Letter of my Correspondent. But sure there is a middle Way to be followed; the Management of a young Lady's Person is not to be overlooked, but the Erudition of her Mind is much more to be regarded. According as this is managed, you will see the Mind follow the Appetites of the Body, or the Body exprefs the Virtues of the Mind.
CLEOMIRA dances with all the Elegance of Motion imaginable; but her Eyes are so chastised with the Simplicity and Innocence of her Thoughts, that she raises in her Beholders Admiration and good Will, but no loose Hope or wild Imagination. The true Art in this Cafe is, To make the Mind and Body improve together; and if possible, to make Gesture follow Thought, and not let Thought be employed upon Gesture,
Thursday, May 17.
Saltare elegantiùs quam necesse est probe. Sal. UCIAN, in one of his Dialogues, introduces a Philofopher chiding his Friend for his being
a Lover of Dancing, and a Frequenter of Balls. The other undertakes the Defence of his Favourite Diversion, which, he says, was at first invented by the Goddess Rhea, and preserved the Life of Jupiter himself, from the Cruelty of his Father Saturn. He proceeds to shew, that it had been Approved by the greatest Men in all Ages; that Homer calls Merion a Fine Dancer; and says, That the graceful Mein and great Agility which he had acquired by that Exercife, diftinguifhed him above the reft in the Armies, both of Greeks and Trojans.
HE adds, that Pyrrhus gained more Reputation by Inventing the Dance which is called after his Name, 'than by all his other Actions: That the Lacedemonians, who were the braveft People in Greece, gave great Encouragement to this Diversion, and made their Hormus (a Dance much resembling the French Brawl) famous over all Asia : That there were still extant fome Theffalian Statues erect. ed to the Honour of their best Dancers: And that he wondered how his Brother Philosopher could declare himfelf against the Opinions of those iwo Persons, whom he professed so much to admire, Homer and Hefiod; the latter of which compares Valour and Dancing together; and fays, That the Gods have beftowed Fortitude on some Men, and on others a Difpofition for Dancing. LASTLY, he
him in mind that Socrates, (who, in the Judgment of Apollo, was the wiseft of Men) was not only a professed Admirer of this Exercise in others, but learned it himself when he was an old Man.
THE Morose Philosopher is so much affected by there, and foine other Authorities, that he becomes a Convert to his Friend, and desires he would take him with him when he went to his next Ball.
I love to shelter my self under the Examples of great Men; and, I think, I have fufficiently showed that it is not below the Dignity of these my Speculations to take Notice of the following Letter, which, I suppose, is sent me by some fubftantial Tradesman about Change.
Am a Man in Years, and by an honeft Industry in the World have acquired enough to give my
Chila «dren a liberal Education, though I was an utter Stranger - to it my self. My eldest Daughter, a Girl of Sixteen, « has for some time been under the Tuition of Monsieur
Rigadoon, a Dancing-Master in the City; and I was pre“ vailed upon by her and her Mother to go last Night to
one of his Balls. I must own to you, Sir, that having never been at any such Place before, I was very much
pleased and surprized with that part of his Entertain• ment which he called French Dancing. There were se
veral young Men and Women, whose Limbs seemed to : have no other Motion, than purely what the Musick?
..gave them. After this Part was over, they began a • Diversion which they call Country Dancing, and wherein • there were also some things not disagreeable, and divers • Emblematical Figures, Compos'd, as I guess, by Wise • Men, for the Instruction of Youth.
"AMONG the rest, I observed one, which, I think, they call Hunt the Squirrel, in which while the Woman Aies the Man pursues her ; but as soon as she turns, • he runs away, and she is obliged to follow.
« THE Moral of this Dance does, I think, very aptly recommend Modesty and Disoretion to the Female . Sex.
• BUT as the best Institutions are liable to Corruptions, so, Sir, I must acquaint you, that very great A. : buses are crept into this Entertainment. I was
amazed • to see my Girl handed by, and handing young Fellows " with so much Familiarity; and I could not have thought • it had been in the Child. They very often made use of : a most impudent and lascivious Step called Setting, i which I know not how to describe to you, but by tel.
ling you that it is the very reverse of Back to Back. At • last an impudent young Dog bid the Fidlers play a • Dance called Mol. Pately, and after having made two ..or three Capers, ran to his Partner, locked his Arms
in hers, and whisked her round cleverly above Ground • in such manner, that I, who sat upon one of the low• eft Benches, saw further above her Shooe than I can " think fit to acquaint you with. I could no longer en• dure these Enormities, wherefore just as my Girl was • going to be made a Whirligig, I ran in, seized on the Child, and carried her home.
SIR, I am not yet old enough to be a Fool. I lupo • pose this Diversion might be at first invented to keep up • a good Understanding between young Men and Wo
men, and so far I am not against it; but I shall never • allow of these things. : I know not what you will say • to this Case at present, buç am sure that had you been • with me you would have seen matter of great Specula." • tion. I am
I must confeís I am afraid that my Correspondent had too much Reason to be a little out of Humour at the
Treatment of his Daughter, but I conclude that he would have been much more so, had he seen one of those kissing Dances in which WILL. HONEYCOMB assures me they are obliged to dwell almost a Minute on the Fair One's Lips, or they will be too quick for the Musick, and dance quite out of Time.
I am not able however to give my final Sentence againft this Diversion; and am of Mr. Cowley's Opinion, that so much of Dancing, at least, as belongs to the Behaviour and an handsome Carriage of the Body, is extr
xtreamly useful, if not absolutely necessary.
WE generally form such Ideas of People at first sight, as we are hardly ever perswaded to lay aside afterwards: For this Reason, a Man would wish to have nothing dilagreeable or uncomely in his Approaches, and to be able to enter a Room with a good Grace.
I might add, that a moderate Knowledge in the little Rules of Good-breeding gives a Man some Assurance, and makes him easie in all Companies. For Want of this, I hảve seen a Professor of a Liberal Science at a Loss to salute a Lady; and a moft excellent Mathematician not able to determine whether he should stand or sit while my Lord drank to him.
IT is the proper Business of a Dancing. Master to regulate these Matters; tho?.I take it to be a juft Observation, that unless you add something of your own to what these five Gentlemen teach you, and which they are wholly ignorant of themselves, you will much sooner get the Character of an Affected Fop, than of a well-bred Man.
AS for Country Dancing, it must indeed be confeffed that the great Familiarities between the two Sexes on this Occasion may sometimes produce very dangerous Consequences; and I have often thought that few Ladies Hearts are so obdurate as not to be melted by the Charms of Musick, the Force of Motion, and an handsome young Fellow who is continually playing before their Eyes, and convincing them that he has the perfect Use of all his Limbs.
BU T as this kind of Dance is the particular Invention of our own Country, and as every one is more or less a Proficient in it, I would not Discountenance it; but ra
ther fuppofe it may be pra&ised innocently by ochers, as well as my self, who am often Partner to my Landlady's Eldest Daughter.
POSTSCRIPT, HAVING heard a good Character of the Collection of Pictures which to be Exposed to Sale on Friday. next; and concluding, from the following Letter, that the Person who Collected them is a Man of no unelegant Taste, I will be so much his friend as to Publish it, provided the Reader will only look upon it as filling up the Place of an Advertisement.
From the three Chairs in the Piazza Covent Garden,
May 16, 171. : As you are SPECTATOR, I think
we, who make it our Business to exhibit any thing to publick • View, ought to apply our felves to you for your Appro• bation. I have travelled Europe to furnish out a Show . for you, and have brought with me what has been ad. mired in every country thro' which I passed. You have • declared in many Papers,
that your greatest Delights are • those of the Eye, which I do not doubt but I shall grati• fie with as beautiful Objects as yours ever beheld. If · Castles, Forests, Ruins, Fine Women, and Graceful • Men, can please you, I dare promise you much Sarisa • faction, if you will appear at my Auction on Friday
next. A Sight is, I suppose, as grateful to a SPEC• TATOR, as a Treat to another Person, and therefore • I hope you will
pardon this Invitation from,
SIR, Your most obedieni humble Servant, X
Friday, May 18.
Nos duo tarba fumus
Thoughts and Subjects would be started in discourse; but instead of this, we find the Conyersation is never fo