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came on, I cried, like a captivated Calf as I was, • Make way
for the Defendant's Witnesses. This sudden Partiality made all the County immediately see the Sheriff also was become a Slave to the fine • Widow. During the Time her Cause was upon Trial, she behaved herself, I warrant you, with such a deep • Attention to her Business, took Opportunities to have • little Billets handed to her Counsel, then would be in * such a pretty Confusion, occasioned, you must know,
by acting before so much Company, that not only I “ but the whole Court was prejudiced in her Favour ; 6 and all that the next Heir to her Husband had to urge, was thought so groundless and frivolous, that when it came to her Counsel to reply, there was not half so much said as every one besides in the Court thought he could have urged to her Advantage. You
must understand, Sir, this perverse Woman is one of • those unaccountable Creatures, that secretly rejoice in the Admiration of Men, but indulge themselves in no farther Consequences. Hence it is that she has ever had a Train of Admirers, and she removes from her Slaves in Town to those in the Country, according to the Seasons of the Year. She is a reading · Lady, and far gone in the Pleasures of Friendship: • She is always accompanied by a Confident, who is • Witness to her daily Protestations against our Sex,
and consequently a Bar to her first Steps towards • Love, upon the Strength of her own Maxims and · Declarations.
• However, I must needs say this accomplished · Mistress of mine has distinguished me above the rest, and has been known to declare Sir ROGER DE Cov.
ERLEY was the tamest and most humane of all the • Brutes in the Country. I was told she said so by one who thought he rallied me; but upon the Strength of this slender Encouragement of being thought least detestable, I made new Liveries, new-paired my Coach-Horses, sent them all to Town to be bitted, "and taught to throw their Legs well, and move all together, before I pretended to cross the Country and wait upon her. As soon as I thought my Retinue suitable to the Character of my Fortune and • Youth, I set out from hence to make
Addresses. • The particular Skill of this Lady has ever been to inflame your Wishes, and yet command Respect. • To make her Mistress of this Art, she has a greater • Share of Knowledge, Wit, and good Sense, than is
usual even among Men of Merit. Then she is beau• tiful beyond the Race of Women. If you won't let her go on with a certain Artifice with her Eyes, and 'the Skill of Beauty, she will arm herself with her real Charms, and strike you with Admiration. It is
certain that if you were to behold the whole Woman, there is that Dignity in her Aspect, that Composure
in her Motion, that Complacency in her Manner, that if her Form makes you hope, her Merit makes you • fear. But then again, she is such a desperate Scholar, that no Country-Gentleman can approach her without being a Jest. As I was going to tell you, when I
came to her House, I was admitted to her Presence with great Civility; at the same Time she placed herself to be first seen by me in such an Attitude,
as I think you call the Posture of a Picture, that she • discovered new Charms, and I at last came towards her with such an Awe as made me speechless. This she no sooner observed but she made her Advantage of it, and began a Discourse to me concerning Love and Honour, as they both are followed by Pretenders, and the real Votaries to them. When she discussed these Points in a Discourse, which I verily believe • was as learned as the best Philosopher in Europe could possibly make, she asked me whether she was so happy as to fall in with my Sentiments on these important Particulars. Her Confident sat by her, and upon my being in the last Confusion and Silence, this malicious Aid of hers turning to her says, I am very • glad to observe Sir Roger pauses upon this Subject, and seems resolved to deliver all his Sentiments
upon the Matter when he pleases to speak. They both kept their Countenances, and after I had sat half • an Hour, meditating how to behave before such pro• found Casuists, I rose up and took my Leave. Chance • has since that time thrown me very often in her • Way, and she as often has directed a Discourse to
me which I do not understand. This Barbarity has kept me ever at a Distance from the most beautiful
Object my eyes ever beheld. It is thus also she • deals with all Mankind, and you must make Love to
her, as you would conquer the Sphinx, by posing her. • But were she like other Women, and that there were any talking to her, how constant must the Pleasure of that Man be, who could converse with a Crea
ture · But, after all, you may be sure her Heart ' is fixed on some one or other; and yet I have been credibly informed; but who can believe half that is said ! After she had done speaking to me, she put her Hand to her Bosom, and adjusted her Tucker. • Then she cast her Eyes a little down, upon my • beholding her too earnestly. They say she sings
excellently : her Voice in her ordinary Speech has something in it inexpressibly sweet. You must know “I dined with her at a public Table the Day after I 'first saw her, and she helped me to some Tansy in “the Eye of all the Gentlemen in the Country: She
has certainly the finest Hand of any Woman in the • World. I can assure you, Sir, were you to behold her, you would be in the same Condition ; for as her • Speech is Musick, her Form is Angelick. But I find 'I grow irregular while I am talking of her ; but • indeed it would be Stupidity to be unconcerned at such Perfection. Oh the excellent Creature! she is
as inimitable to all Women, as she is inaccessible to • all Men.'
I found my Friend began to rave, and insensibly led him towards the House, that we might be joined by some other Company ; and am convinced that the Widow is the secret Cause of all that Inconsistency which appears in some parts of my Friend's Dis. course ; though he has so much Command of himself as not directly to mention her, yet according to that of Martial, which one knows not how to render into English, Dum tacet hanc loquitur. I shall end this Paper with that whole Epigram, which represents with much Humour my honest Friend's Condition.
Quicquid agit Rufus, nihil est, nisi Nævia Rufo,
Si gaudet, si flet, si tacet, hanc loquitur :
Nævia ; Si non sit Navia, mutus erit.
Nævia lux, inquit, Nævia numen, ave.