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upon them. It is with this intention that I publish the following letter, which brings to light some secrets of this nature.
« MR. SPECTATOR, “ THERE are none of your speculations which I read over with greater delight, than those which are designed for the improvement of our sex. You have endeavoured to correct our unreasonable fears and superstitions, in your seventh and twelfth papers; our fancy for equipage, in your fifteenth; our love of puppet-shows, in your thirty-first; our notions of beauty, in your thirtythird ; our inclination for 'romances, in your thirtyseventh; our passion for French fopperies, in your forty-fifth; our manhood and party-zeal, in your diftyseventh; our abuse of dancing, in your sixty-sixth and sixty-seventh; our levity, in your hundred and twentyeighth ; our love of coxcombs, in your hundred and fifty-fourth, and hundred and fifty-seventh; our tyranny over the henpeckt, in your hundred and seventy-sixth. You have described the Pict in your forty-first; the Idol, in your seventy-third; the Demurrer, in your eighty-ninth; the Salamander, in your hundred and ninety-eighth. You have likewise taken to pieces our dress, and represented to us the extravagances we are often guilty of in that particular. You have fallen upon our patches, in your fiftieth and eighty-first; our commodes, in your ninety-eighth; our fans, in your hundred-andsecond; our riding habits, in your hundred-and-fourth; our hoop-petticoats, in your hundred and twentyseventh; besides a great many little blemishes, which you have touched upon in your several other papers, and in those many letters that are scattered up and down your works. At the same time we must own, that the compliments you pay our sex are innumerable, and that those very faults which you represent in us, are neither black in themselves, nor, as you own, universal among us. But, sir, it is plain that these your discourses are calculated for none but the fashionable part of womankind, and for the use of those who are
rather indiscreet than vicious. But, sir, there is a sort of prostitutes in the lower part of our sex, who are a scandal to us, and very well deserve to fall under your
I know it would debase your paper too much to enter into the behaviour of these female libertines; but as your remarks on some part of it would be a doing of justice to several women of virtue and honour, whose reputations suffer by it, I hope you will not think it improper to give the public some accounts of this nature. You must know, sir, I am provoked to write you this letter by the behaviour of an infamous woman, who having passed her youth in a most shameless state of prostitution, is now one of those who gain their livelihood by seducing others that are younger than themselves, and by establishing a criminal commerce between the two sexes. Among several of her artifices to get money, she frequently persuades a vain young felJow, that such a woman of quality, or such a celebrated toast, entertains a secret passion for him, and wants nothing but an opportunity of revealing it: nay, she has gone so far as to write letters in the name of a woman of figure, to borrow money of one of these foolish Roderigos, which she has afterwards appropriated to her own use. In the mean time, the person who has lent the money, has thought a lady under obligations to him, who scarce knew his name; and wondered at her ingratitude when he has been with her, that she has not owned the favour, though at the same time he was too much a man of honour to put her in mind of it.
“ When this abandoned baggage meets with a man who has vanity enough to give credit to relations of this nature, she turns him to a very good account, by repeating praises that were never uttered, and delivering messages
that were never sent. As the house of this shameless creature is frequented by several foreigners, I have heard of another artifice, out of which she often raises money. The foreigner sighs after some British beauty, whom he only knows by fame: upon which she promises, if he can be secret, to procure him a
meeting. The stranger, ravished at his good fortune, gives her a present, and in a little time is introduced to some imaginary title; for you must know that this cunning purveyor has her representatives, upon this occasion, of some of the finest ladies in the kingdom. By this means, as I am informed, it is usual enough to meet with a German count in foreign countries, that shall make his boasts of favours he has received from women of the highest ranks, and the most unblemished characters. Now, sir, whạt safety is there for a woman's reputation, when a lady may be thus prostituted as it were by proxy, and be reputed an unchaste woman; as the hero in the ninth book of Dryden's Virgil is looked upon as a coward, because the phantom which appeared in his likeness ran away from Turnus? You may depend upon what I relate to you to be matter of fact, and the practice of more than one of these female panders. If you print this letter, I may give you some further accounts of this vicious race of women.
“ Your humble servant, BELVIDERA."
I shall add two other letters on different subjects to fill up my paper.
« MR. SPECTATOR, “I am a country clergyman, and hope you will lend me your assistance, in ridiculing some little indecencies which cannot so properly be exposed from the pulpit.
“ A widow lady, who straggled this summer from London into my parish for the benefit of the air, as she says, appears every Sunday at church with many fashionable extravagancies, to the great, astonishment of my congregation.
“ But what gives us the most offence, is her, theatrical manner of singing the psalms. She introduces above fifty Italian airs into the hundredth psalm ; and whilst we begin all people in the old solemn tune of our forefathers, she, in a quite different key, runs divisions on the vowels, and adorns them with the graces of Nico
lini : if she meets with eke or aye, which are frequent in the metre of Hopkins and Sternhold, we are certain to hear her quavering them half a minute after us to some sprightly airs of the opera.
“ I am very far from being an enemy to church music; but fear this abuse of it may make my parish ridiculous, who already look on the singing psalms as an entertainment, and not part of their devotion : besides, I am apprehensive that the infection may spread; for Squire Squeekum, who by his voice, seems (if I may use the expression) to be cut out for an Italian singer, was last Sunday practising the same airs.in
"I know the lady's principles, and that she will plead the toleration, which (as she. fancies) allows her non-conformity in this particular; but I beg you to acquaint lier, that singing the psalms in a different tune from the rest of the congregation, is a sort of schism not tolerated by that act.
“ I am, sir,
your paper upon temperance, you prescribe to us a rule for drinking, out of Sir William Temple, in the following words: The first glass for myself, the second for my friends, the third for good humour, and the fourth for mine enemies.? Now, sir, you must know that I have read this your Spectator in a whereof I am a member;, when our president told us there was certainly an error in the print, and thạt the word glass should be bottles and therefore, has ordered me to inform you of this mistake, and to desire you to publish the following errata : In the paper of Saturday, October 13, col. 3, line 11, for glass, read bottle.
“ Yours, ROBIN GOOD-FELLOW."
club No. 207. SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27.
Omnibus in terris, quæ sunt à Gadibus usque
my last Saturday's paper I laid down some thoughts upon devotion in general, and shall here shew what were the notions of the most refined heathens on this subject, as they are represented in Plato's dialogue upon prayer, entitled, ' Alcibiades the Second,' which doubtless gave occasion to Juvenal's tenth Satire, and to the second Satire of Persius; as the last of these authors has almost transcribed the preceding dialogue, entitled, ' Alcibiades the First,' in his fourth Satire.
The speakers in this dialogue upon prayer, are Socrates and Alcibiades; and the substance of it (when drawn together out of the intricacies and digressions) as follows.
Socrates meeting his pupil Alcibiades, as he was going to his devotions, and observing his eyes to be fixed upon the earth with great seriousness and attention, tells him, that he had reason to be thoughtful on that occasion, since it was possible for a man to bring down evils upon himself by his own prayers, and that those things which the gods send him in answer to his petitions might turn to his destruction : This, says he, may not only happen when a man prays for what he knows is mischievous in its own nature, as Oedipus implored the gods to sow dissension between his sons; but when he prays for what he believes would be for his good, and against what he believes would be to his detriment. This the philosopher shews must necessarily happen among us, since most men are blinded with ignorance, prejudice, or passion, which hinder them from seeing such things as are really beneficial to them. For an instance, he asks Alcibiades, Whether he would not be