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their faction. We should then single every | have been sometimes advanced, and all this
No. 126.] Wednesday, July 25, 1711.
If we look into the behaviour of ordinary
Rutulians, Trojans, are the same to me. Dryden. In my yesterday's paper I proposed, that the honest men of all parties should enter into a kind of association for the de-sembling this disinterested animal; and fence of one another, and the confusion of rather acting after the example of the their common enemies. As it is designed wild Tartars, who are ambitious of dethis neutral body should act with regard to stroying a man of the most extraordinary nothing but truth and equity, and divest parts and accomplishments, as thinking themselves of the little heats and prepos- that upon his decease the same talents, sessions that cleave to parties of all kinds, whatever post they qualified him for, enter I have prepared for them the following of course into his destroyer. form of an association, which may express their intentions in the most plain and simple manner.
As in the whole train of my speculations, I have endeavoured as much as I am able to extinguish that pernicious spirit of passion and prejudice which rages with the same violence with all parties, I am still the more desirous of doing some good in
'We whose names are hereunto subscribed, do solemnly declare, that we do in our consciences believe two and two make four; and that we shall adjudge any man this particular, because I observe that the whatsoever to be our enemy who endea-spirit of party reigns more in the country vours to persuade us to the contrary. We than in the town. It here contracts a kind are likewise ready to maintain, with the of brutality and rustic fierceness, to which hazard of all that is near and dear to us, men of a politer conversation are wholly that six is less than seven in all times and strangers. It extends itself even to the all places: and that ten will not be more return of the bow and the hat; and at the three years hence than it is at present. same time that the heads of parties preWe do also firmly declare, that it is our serve towards one another an outward show resolution as long as we live to call black of good-breeding, and keep up a perpeblack, and white white. And we shall tual intercourse of civilities, their tools that upon all occasions oppose such persons are dispersed in these outlying parts will that upon any day of the year shall call not so much as mingle together at a cockblack white, or white black, with the ut-match. This humour fills the country most peril of our lives and fortunes.' with several periodical meetings of Whig jockies and Tory fox-hunters; not to mention the innumerable curses, frowns, and whispers it produces at a quarter-sessions.
I do not know whether I have observed in any of my former papers, that my friends Sir Roger de Coverley and Sir Andrew Freeport are of different principles, the first of them inclined to the landed and the other to the monied interest. This humour is so moderate in each of them, that it proceeds no farther than to an agreeable raillery, which very often diverts the rest of the club. I find however that the knight is a much stronger Tory in the country than in town, which as he has told me in my ear, is absolutely necessary for the keeping up his interest. In all our journey from London to this house we did not so much as bait at a Whig inn; or if by chance the coachman stopped at a wrong place, one of Sir Roger's
Were there such a combination of honest men, who without any regard to place would endeavour to extirpate all such f rious zealots as would sacrifice one half of their country to the passion and interest of the other; as also such infamous hypocrites, that are for promoting their own advantage under colour of the public good; with all the profligate immoral retainers to each side, that have nothing to recommend them but an implicit submission to their leaders, we should soon see that furious party-spirit extinguished, which may in time expose us to the derision and contempt of all the nations about us.
A member of this society that would thus carefully employ himself in making room for merit, by throwing down the worthless and depraved part of mankind from those conspicuous stations of life to which they
servants would ride up to his master full coffee, and hear the old knight read Dyer's speed, and whisper to him that the master letters; which he does with his spectacles of the house was against such a one in the upon his nose, and in an audible voice, last election. This often betrayed us into smiling very often at those little strokes of hard beds and bad cheer; for we were not satire, which are so frequent in the writings so inquisitive about the inn as the innkeeper; of that author. I afterwards communicate and provided our landlord's principles were to the knight such packets as I receive unsound, did not take any notice of the stale-der the quality of Spectator. The following ness of his provisions. This I found still the letter chancing to please him more than more inconvenient, because the better the ordinary, I shall publish it at his request. host was, the worst generally were his accommodations; the fellow knowing very well that those who were his friends would take up with coarse diet and a hard lodging. For these reasons, all the while I was upon the road I dreaded entering into a house of any one that Sir Roger had applauded for an honest man.
Since my stay at Sir Roger's in the country, 1 daily find more instances of this narrow party humour. Being upon the bowling-green at a neighbouring market-town the other day, (for that is the place where the gentlemen of one side meet once a week) I observed a stranger among them of a better presence and genteeler behaviour than ordinary; but was much surprised, that notwithstanding he was a very fair bettor, nobody would take him up. But upon inquiry I found, that he was one who had given a disagreeable vote in a former parliament, for which reason there was not a man upon that bowling-green who would have so much correspondence with him as to win his money of him.
Among other instances of this nature, I must not omit one which concerns myself. Will Wimble was the other day relating several strange stories that he had picked up, nobody knows where, of a certain great man; and upon my staring at him, as one that was surprised to hear such things in the country, which had never been so much as whispered in the town, Will stopped short in the thread of his discourse, and after dinner asked my friend Sir Roger in his ear if he was sure that I was not a fanatic.
It gives me a serious concern to sce such a spirit of dissention in the country; not only as it destroys virtue and common sense, and renders us in a manner barbarians towards one another, but as it perpetuates our animosities, widens our breaches, and transmits our present passions and prejudices to our posterity. For my own part, I am sometimes afraid that I discover the seeds of a civil war in these our divisions; and therefore cannot but bewail, as in their first principles, the miseries and calamities of our children. C.
No. 127.] Thursday, July 26, 1711.
-Quantum est in rebus inane!-Pers. Sat. i. 1.
'MR. SPECTATOR,-You have diverted the town almost a whole month at the expense of the country, it is now high time that you should give the country their revenge. Since your withdrawing from this place, the fair sex are run into great extravagances. Their petticoats which began to heave and swell before you left us, are now blown up into a most enormous concave, and rise every day more and more. In short, sir, since our women know themselves to be out of the eye of the Spectator they will be kept within no compass. You praised them a little too soon, for the modesty of their head-dresses; for as the humour of a sick person is often driven out of one limb into another, their superfluity of ornaments, instead of being entirely banished, seems only fallen from their heads upon their lower parts. What they have lost in height they make up in breadth, and, contrary to all rules of architecture, widen the foundations at the same time that they shorten the superstructure. Were they, like Spanish jennets, to impregnate by the wind, they could not have thought on a more proper invention. But as we do not yet hear any particular use in this petticoat, or that it contains any thing more than what was supposed to be in those of scantier make, we are wonderfully at a loss about it.
The women give out, in defence of these wide bottoms, that they are airy, and very proper for the season; but this I look upon to be only a pretence, and a piece of art, for it is well known we have not had a more moderate summer these many years, so that it is certain the heat they complain of cannot be in the weather. Besides I would fain ask these tender constitutioned ladies, why they should require more cooling than their mothers before them.
'I find several speculative persons are of opinion that our sex has of late years been very saucy, and that the hoop-petticoat is made use of to keep us at a distance. It is most certain that a woman's honour cannot be better intrenched than after this manner, in circle within circle, amidst such a variety of out-works and lines of circumvallation. A female who is thus invested in whalebone, is sufficiently secured against the approaches of an ill-bred fellow, who might as well think of Sir George Etherege's way of making "Love in a Tub," as in the midst of so many hoops.
'Among these various conjectures, there are men of superstitious tempers, who look
upon the hoop petticoat as a kind of prodigy. | tered into an Egyptian temple, and looked
The first time I saw a lady dressed in one of these petticoats, I could not forbear blaming her in my own thoughts for walking abroad when she was so near her time,' but soon recovered myself out of my error, when I found all the modish part of the sex as far gone as herself.' It is generally thought some crafty women have thus betrayed their companions into hoops, that they might make them accessary to their own concealments, and by that means escape the censure of the world; as wary generals have sometimes dressed two or
-Concordia discors.-Lucan, Lib. i. 98.
three dozen of their friends in their own No. 128.] Friday, July 27, 1711.
Should this fashion get among the ordinary people, our public ways would be so crowded, that we should want street-room. Several congregations of the best fashion find themselves already very much straitened, and if the mode increase, I wish it may not drive many ordinary women into meetings and conventicles. Should our sex at the same time take it into their heads to wear trunk breeches (as who knows what their indignation at this female treatment may drive them to?) a man and his wife would fill a whole pew.
WOMEN in their nature are much more gay and joyous than men; whether it be that their blood is more refined, their fibres more delicate, and their animal spirits more light and volatile; or whether, as some have imagined, there may not be a kind of sex in the very soul, I shall not pretend to determine. As vivacity is the gift of women, gravity is that of men. They should each of them therefore keep a watch upon the particular bias which nature has fixed in their minds, that it may not draw too much, and lead them out of the paths of reason. This will certainly happen, if the one in every word and action affects the character of being rigid and severe, and the other of being brisk and airy. Men should beware of being captivated by a kind of savage philosophy, women by a thoughtless gal
'You know, sir, it is recorded of Alexan-lantry. Where these precautions are not
observed, the man often degenerates into a
der the Great, that in his Indian expedition
By what I have said, we may conclude men and women were made as counterparts to one another, that the pains and anxieties of the husband might be relieved by the sprightliness and good-humour of the wife. When these are rightly tempered, care and cheerfulness go hand in hand; and the family, like a ship that is duly trimmed, wants neither sail nor ballast.
Natural historians observe (for whilst I am in the country I must fetch my allusions from thence) that only the male birds have voices; that their songs begin a little before breeding-time, and end a little after; that whilst the hen is covering her eggs, the male generally takes his stand upon a
"When I survey this new-fashioned rotunda in all its parts, I cannot but think of the old philosopher, who after having en
Viz. in 1558.
"Though you have taken a resolution, in one of your papers, to avoid descending to particularities of dress, I believe you will not think it below you, on so extraordinary an occasion, to unhoop the fair sex, and cure this fashionable tympany that is got among them. I am apt to think the petticoat will shrink of its own accord at your first coming to town; at least a touch of your pen will make it contract itself like the sensitive plant, and by that means oblige several who are either terrified or astonished at this portentous novelty, and among the rest, your humble servant, &c.' C.
neighbouring bough within her hearing; and by that means amuses and diverts her with his songs during the whole time of her sitting.
This contract among birds lasts no longer than till a brood of young ones arises from it; so that in the feathered kind, the cares and fatigues of the married state, if I may so call it, lie principally upon the female. On the contrary, as in our species the man and the woman are joined together for life, The younger Faustina was a lively inand the main burden rests upon the former, stance of this sort of women. Notwithnature has given all the little arts of sooth-standing she was married to Marcus Aureing and blandishment to the female, that lius, one of the greatest, wisest, and best she may cheer and animate her companion of the Roman emperors, she thought a comin a constant and assiduous application to mon gladiator much the prettier gentlethe making a provision for his family, and man; and had taken such care to accomthe education of their common children. plish her son Commodus according to her This however is not to be taken so strictly, own notions of a fine man, that when he as if the same duties were not often reci- ascended the throne of his father, he beprocal, and incumbent on both parties; but came the most foolish and abandoned tyrant only to set forth what seems to have been that was ever placed at the head of the the general intention of nature, in the differ- Roman empire, signalizing himself in noent inclinations and endowments which are thing but the fighting of prizes, and knockbestowed on the different sexes. ing out men's brains. As he had no taste of true glory, we see him in several medals and statues, which are still extant of him, equipped like a Hercules, with a club and a lion's skin.
But whatever was the reason that man and woman were made with this variety of temper, if we observe the conduct of the fair sex, we find that they choose rather to associate themselves with a person who resembles them in the light and volatile humour which is natural to them, than to such as are qualified to moderate and counterbalance it. It has been an old complaint, that the coxcomb carries it with them before the man of sense. When we see a fellow loud and talkative, full of insipid life and laughter, we may venture to pronounce him a female favourite. Noise and flutter are such accomplishments as they cannot withstand. To be short, the passion of an ordinary woman for a man is nothing else but self-love diverted upon another object. She would have the fover a woman in every thing but the sex. I do not know a finer piece of satire on this part of womankind, than those lines of Mr. Dryden:
Our thoughtless sex is caught by outward form,
This is a source of infinite calamities to the sex, as it frequently joins them to men, who in their own thoughts are as fine creatures as themselves; or if they chance to be good-humoured, serve only to dissipate their fortunes, inflame their follies, and aggravate their indiscretions.
The same female levity is no less fatal to them after marriage than before. It represents to their imaginations the faithful, prudent husband, as an honest, tractable, and domestic animal; and turns their thoughts upon the fine gay gentleman, that laughs, sings, and dresses so much more agreeably.
As this irregular vivacity of temper leads astray the hearts of ordinary women in the
choice of their lovers and the treatment of their husbands, it operates with the same pernicious influence towards their children, who are taught to accomplish themselves in all those sublime perfections that appear captivating in the eye of their mother. She admires in her son what she loved in her gallant; and by that means contributes all she can to perpetuate herself in a worthless progeny.
I have been led into this speculation by the characters I have heard of a country gentleman and his lady, who do not live many miles from Sir Roger. The wife is an old coquette, that is always hankering after the diversions of the town; the husband a morose rustic, that frowns and frets at the name of it. The wife is over-run with affectation, the husband sunk into brutality. The lady cannot bear the noise of the larks and nightingales, hates your tedious summer-days, and is sick at the sight of shady woods and purling streams; the husband wonders how any one can be pleased with the fooleries of plays and operas, and rails from morning to night at essenced fops and tawdry courtiers. The children are educated in these different notions of their parents. The sons follow the father about his grounds, while the daughters read volumes of love-letters and romances to their mother. By this means it comes to pass, that the girls look upon their father as a clown, and the boys think their mother no better than she should be.
How different are the lives of Aristus and Aspasia! The innocent vivacity of the one is tempered and composed by the cheerful gravity of the other. The wife grows wise by the discourses of the husband, and the husband good-humoured by the conversations of the wife. Aristus would not be so amiable were it not for his Aspasia, nor Aspasia so much esteemed were it not for her Aristus. Their virtues are blended in their children, and diffuse through the whole family a perpetual spirit of benevolence, complacency, and satisfaction. C.
No. 129.] Saturday, July 28, 1711.
Vertentem sese frustra sectabere canthum,
GREAT masters in painting never care for drawing people in the fashion, as very well knowing that the head-dress, or periwig, that now prevails, and gives a grace to their portraitures at present, will make a very odd figure, and perhaps look monstrous in the eyes of posterity. For this reason they often represent an illustrious person in a Roman habit, or in some other dress that never varies. I could wish for the sake of my country friends, that there was such a kind of everlasting drapery to be made use of by all who live at a certain distance from the town, and that they would agree upon such fashions as should never be liable to changes and innovations. For want of this standing dress, a man who takes a journey into the country is as much surprised as one who walks in a gallery of old family pictures, and finds as great a variety of garbs and habits in the persons he converses with. Did they keep to one constant dress they would sometimes be in the fashion, which they never are as matters are managed at present. If instead of running after the mode, they would continue fixed in one certain habit, the mode would some time or other overtake them, as a clock that stands still is sure to point right once in twelve hours. In this case therefore I would advise them, as a gentleman did his friend who was hunting about the whole town after a rambling fellow-If you follow him you will never find him, but if you plant yourself at the corner of any one street, I will engage it will not be long before you see him.
I have already touched upon this subject in a speculation which shows how cruelly the country are led astray in following the town; and equipped in a ridiculous habit, when they fancy themselves in the height of the mode. Since that speculation I have received a letter (which I there hinted at) from a gentleman who is now in the western circuit.
The greatest beau at our next county sessions was dressed in a most monstrous flaxen periwig, that was made in King William's reign. The wearer of it goes, it seems, in his own hair when he is at home, and lets his wig lie in buckle for a whole half year, that he may put it on upon occasion to meet the judges in it.
'I must not here omit an adventure which happened to us in a country church upon the frontiers of Cornwall. As we were in the midst of the service, a lady who is the chief woman of the place, and had passed the winter at London with her husband, entered the congregation in a little head-dress, and a hooped petticoat. The people, who were wonderfully startled at such a sight, all of them rose up. Some stared at the prodigious bottom, and some at the little top of this strange dress. In the mean time the lady of the manor filled
MR. SPECTATOR,-Being a lawyer of the Middle-Temple, a Cornishman by birth, I generally ride the western circuit for my health, and as I am not interrupted with Upon our way from hence we saw a clients, have leisure to make many observations that escape the notice of my fellow-lop, with a bob wig and black silken bag young fellow riding towards us full gal
the area of the church, and walked up to amidst the whispers, conjectures, and astoher pew with an unspeakable satisfaction, nishment of the whole congregation.
tied to it. He stopt short at the coach, to ask us how far the judges were behind had only time to observe his new silk waistHis stay was so very short, that we coat, which was unbuttoned in several places to let us see that he had a clean shirt
on, which was ruffled down to his middle.
'One of the most fashionable women I met with in all the circuit was my landlady at Staines, where I chanced to be on a holíday. Her commode was not half a foot high, and her petticoat within some yards of a modish circumference. In the same place I observed a young fellow with a
tolerable periwig, had it not been covered with a hat that was shaped in the Ramiliecock. As I proceeded in my journey, I observed the petticoat grew scantier and scantier, and about threescore miles from London was so very unfashionable, that a woman might walk in it without any manner of inconvenience.
'Not far from Salisbury I took notice of a justice of peace's lady, who was at least ten years behind-hand in her dress, but at the same time as fine as hands could make her. She was flounced and furbelowed from head to foot; every ribbon was wrinkled, and every part of her garments in curl, so that she looked like one of those animals which in the country we call a Friezeland hen.
'Not many miles beyond this place I was informed that one of the last year's little muffs had by some means or other straggled into those parts, and that all the women of fashion were cutting their old muffs in two, or retrenching them, according to the little model which was got among them. I cannot believe the report they have there, that it was sent down franked by a parliament-man in a little packet; but probably by next winter this fashion will be at the height in the country, when it is quite out at London.
* Counsellors generally go on the circuit through their
From this place, during our progress through the most western parts of the kingdom, we fancied ourselves in King