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Jam cras hesternum consumpsimus; ecce aliud cras
Pers. From thee both old and young, with profit learn
Corn. Unhappy he who does this work adjourn,
Pers. But is one day of case too much to borrow?
Who, like the hindmost chariot-wheels, art curst,
of two and twenty, and dodged with me above thirty years. I have loved her till she is grown as grey as a cat, and am with much ado become the master of her per son, such as it is at present. She is however in my eye a very charming old woman. We often lament that we did not marry sooner, but she has nobody to blame for it but herself. You know very well that she would never think of me whilst she had a tooth in her head. I have put the date of my passion, anno amoris trigesimo primo, instead of a posy on my wedding ring. I expect you should send me a congratulatory letter, or, if you please, an epithalamium upon this occasion. Mrs. Martha's and yours eternally, SAM HOPEWELL.'
In order to banish an evil out of the world, that does not only produce great uneasiness to private persons, but has also a very bad influence on the public, I shall endeavour to show the folly of demurrage, from two or three reflections which I earnestly recommend to the thoughts of my fair readers.
As my correspondents upon the subject of love are very numerous, it is my design, if possible, to range them under several heads, and address myself to them at different times. The first branch of them, to whose service I shall dedicate this paper, are those that have to do with women of dilatory tempers, who are for spinning out the time of courtship to an immoderate length, without being able either to close with their lovers, or to dismiss them. I have many letters by me filled with_comFirst of all, I would have them seriously plaints against this sort of women. In one think on the shortness of their time. Life of them no less a man than a brother of the is not long enough for a coquette to play all coif tells me, that he began his suit vicesimo her tricks in. A timorous woman drops into nono Caroli secundi, before he had been a her grave before she has done deliberating. twelve-month at the Temple; that he Were the of man the same that it was age secuted it for many years after he was called before the flood, a lady might sacrifice half to the bar; that at present he is a sergeant a century to a scruple, and be two or three at law; and notwithstanding he hoped that ages in demurring. Had she nine hundred matters would have been long since brought years good, she might hold out to the conto an issue, the fair one still demurs.I version of the Jews before she thought fit am so well pleased with this gentleman's to be prevailed upon. But, alas! she ought phrase, that I shall distinguish this sect of to play her part in haste, when she conwomen by the title of Demurrers. I find by siders that she is suddenly to quit the stage, another letter from one that calls himself and make room for others. Thyrsis, that his mistress has been demurIn the second place, I would desire my ring above these seven years. But among female readers to consider, that as the term all my plaintiffs of this nature, I most pity of life is short, that of beauty is much the unfortunate Philander, a man of a con- shorter. The finest skin wrinkles in a few stant passion and plentiful fortune, who sets years, and loses the strength of its colourforth that the timorous and irresolute Syl- ings so soon, that we have scarce time to via has demurred till she is past child- admire it. I might embellish this subject bearing. Strephon appears by his letter to with roses and rainbows, and several other be a very choleric lover, and irrecoverably ingenious conceits, which I may possibly smitten with one that demurs out of self- reserve for another opportunity. interest. He tells me with great passion that she has bubbled him out of his youth; that she drilled him on to five and fifty, and that he verily believes she will drop him in his old age, if she can find her account in another. I shall conclude this narrative with a letter from honest Sam Hopewell, a very pleasant fellow, who it seems has at last married a demurrer. I must only premise, that Sam, who is a very good bottlecompanion, has been the diversion of his friends, upon account of his passion, ever since the year one thousand six hundred and eighty-one.
'DEAR SIR,-You know very well my passion for Mrs. Martha, and what a dance she has led me. She took me out at the age
There is a third consideration which I would likewise recommend to a demurrer, and that is the great danger of her falling in love when she is about threescore, if she cannot satisfy her doubts and scruples be fore that time. There is a kind of latter spring, that sometimes gets into the blood of an old woman, and turns her into a very odd sort of an animal. I would therefore have the demurrer consider what a strange figure she will make, if she chances to get over all difficulties, and comes to a final resolution in that unseasonable part of her life.
I would not however be understood, by any thing I have here said, to discourage that natural modesty in the sex, which renders a retreat from the first approaches of
a lover both fashionable and graceful. All after the body is cast off and thrown aside.
The rib he form'd and fashion'd with his hands:
She disappear'd, and left me dark: I wak'd
I, overjoy'd, could not forbear aloud:
"This turn hath made amends: thou hast fulfill'd Thy words, Creator, bounteous and benign!
Giver of all things fair; but fairest this
Of all thy gifts, nor enviest. I now see
Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, myself."
She heard me thus, and though divinely brought,
Her virtue, and the conscience of her worth,
The more desirable; or, to say all.
Nature herself, though pure of sinful thought,
Paradise Lost, viii. 469-511.
No. 90.] Wednesday, June 13, 1711.
-Magnus sine viribus ignis
Virg. Georg. iii. 99.
In all the rage of impotent desire,
In this therefore, (say the Platonists,) consists the punishment of a voluptuous man after death. He is tormented with desires which it is impossible for him to gratify; solicited by a passion that has neither objects nor organs adapted to it. He lives in a state of invincible desire and impotence, and always burns in the pursuit of what he always despairs to possess. It is for this reason (says Plato) that the souls of the dead appear frequently in cemeteries, and hover about the places where their bodies are buried, as still hankering after their old brutal pleasures, and desiring again to enter the body that gave them an opportunity of fulfilling them.
Some of our most eminent divines have made use of this Platonic notion, so far as it regards the subsistence of our passions after death, with great beauty and strength of reason. Plato indeed carries the thought very far when he grafts upon it his opinion of ghosts appearing in places of burial. Though I must confess, if one did believe that the departed souls of men and women wandered up and down these lower regions, and entertained themselves with the sight of their species, 'one could not devise a more proper hell for an impure spirit than that which Plato has touched upon.
The ancients seem to have drawn such a state of torments in the description of Tantalus, who was punished with the rage THERE is not, in my opinion, a consi- of an eternal thirst, and set up to the chin deration more effectual to extinguish inor-in water that fled from his lips whenever dinate desires in the soul of man, than the he attempted to drink it.
notions of Plato and his followers upon that Virgil who has cast the whole system of
-Lucent genealibus altis
Aurea fulcra toris, epulæque ante ora paratæ
They lie below on golden beds display'd,
sheets, with my head (which was indeed
That I may a little alleviate the severity of this my speculation (which otherwise may lose me several of my polite readers,) I shall translate a story that has been quoted upon another occasion by one of the most learned men of the present age, as I find it in the original. The reader will see it is not foreign to my present subject, and I dare say will think it a lively representation of a person lying under the torments of such a kind of tantalism, or Platonic hell, as that which we have now under consideration. Monsieur Pontignan, speaking of a loveadventure that happened to him in the country, gives the following account of it. * "When I was in the country last summer, I was often in company with a couple of charming women, who had all the wit and beauty one could desire in female companions, with a dash of coquetry, that from time to time gave me a great many agreeable torments. I was, after my way, in love with both of them, and had such frequent opportunities of pleading my passions to them when they were asunder, that I had reason to hope for particular favours from each of them. As I was walking one evening in my chamber with nothing about me out my night-gown, they both came into my room, and told me they had a very pleasant trick to put upon a gentleman that was in the same house, provided I would bear a part in it. Upon this they told me such a plausible story, that I laughed at their contrivance, and agreed to do whatever they should require of me. They immediately began to swaddle me up in my night gown, with long pieces of linen, which they folded about me till they had wrapt me in above an hundred yards of swathe. My arms were pressed to my sides, and my legs closed together by so many wrappers one over another, that I looked like an Egyptian mummy. As I stood bolt upright upon one end in this antique figure, one of the ladies burst out a laughing. "And now, Pontignan," says she, "we Dryden. intend to perform the promise that we find you have extorted from each of us. You THOUGH the subject I am now going have often asked the favour of us, and upon would be much more properly the I dare say you are a better bred cava- foundation of a comedy, I cannot forbear lier than to refuse to go to bed with two inserting the circumstance which pleased ladies that desire it of you." After having me in the account a young lady gave me stood a fit of laughter, I uncase me, and do with me what they pleased. No, no," said they, "we like you very well as you are;" and upon that ordered me to be carried to one of their houses, and put to bed in all my swaddles. The room was lighted up on all sides: and I was laid very decently between a pair of
This is a paraphrase of a story in the " Academie
Galante," a little book printed at Paris in 1682.
No. 91.] Thursday, June 14, 1711.
-They rush into the flame;
shall be nameless; or rather, for the better sound and elevation of the history, instead of Mr. and Mrs. Such-a-one, I shall call them by feigned names. Without further preface, you are to know, that within the liberties of the city of Westminster lives the Lady Honoria, a widow about the age of forty, of a healthy constitution, gay temper, and elegant person. She dresses a
little too much like a girl, affects a childish | surviving beau of the last age, and Tom al-
late been pretenders in this family: Dick
"Tis I can in soft battles pass the night,
'Sedley has that prevailing gentle art,
When Crastin had uttered these verses
Lord Rochester's Imitation of the first Satire of
to Honoria, Tom to Flavia. Dick is the only Horace.
and the conversation fell upon untimely passion, after-love, and unseasonable youth. Tulip sung, danced, moved before the glass, led his mistress half a minuet, hummed
'Celia the fair, in the bloom of fifteen l'
In answer to my fair disciple, whom I am very proud of, I must acquaint her and the rest of my readers, that since I have called out for help in my catalogue of a lady's library, I have received many letters upon that head, some of which I shall give
when there came a servant with a letter to an account of. him, which was as follows:
'SIR,-I understand very well what you meant by your mention of Platonic love. I shall be glad to meet you immediately in Hyde-park, or behind Montague-house, or attend you to Barn-elms, or any other fashionable place that's fit for a gentleman to die in, that you shall appoint for, sir,
"Your most humble servant,
Tulip's colour changed at the reading of this epistle; for which reason his mistress snatched it to read the contents. While she was doing so, Tulip went away; and the ladies now agreeing in a common calamity, bewailed together the danger of their lovers. They immediately undressed to go out, and took hackneys to prevent mischief; but, after alarming all parts of the town, Crastin was found by his widow in his pumps at Hyde-park, which appointment Tulip never kept, but made his escape into the country. Flavia tears her hair for his inglorious safety, curses and despises her charmer, and is fallen into love with Crastin: which is the first part of the history of the rival mother. R.
No. 92.] Friday, June 15, 1711.
-Convive prope dissentire videntur, Poscentes vario multum diversa palato; Quid dem? Quid non dem?
Hor. Lib. 2. Ep. ii. 61.
-What would you have me do,
In the first class, I shall take notice of those which come to me from eminent booksellers, who every one of them mention with respect the authors they have printed, and consequently have an eye to their own advantage more than to that of the ladies. One tells me, that he thinks it absolutely necessary for women to have true notions of right and equity, and that therefore they cannot peruse a better book than Dalton's Country Justice. Another thinks they cannot be without The Complete Jockey. A third observing the cu riosity and desire of prying into secrets, which he tells me is natural to the fair sex, is of opinion this female inclination, if well directed, might turn very much to their advantage, and therefore recommends to me Mr. Mede upon the Revelations. A fourth lays it down as an unquestioned truth, that a lady cannot be thoroughly accomplished who has not read The Secret Treaties and Negotiations of Marshal d'Estrades. Mr. Jacob Tonson, junior, is of opinion, that Bayle's Dictionary might be of very great use to the ladies, in order to make them general scholars. Another, whose name! have forgotten, thinks it highly proper that every woman with child should read Mr. Wall's History of Infant Baptism; and another is very importunate with me to recommend to all my female readers The finishing Stroke; being a Vindication of the Patriarchal Scheme, &c.
In the second class, I shall mention books which are recommended by husbands, if I may believe the writers of them. Whether or no they are real husbands or personated ones I cannot tell; but the books they re commend are as follow. A Paraphrase the History of Susannah. Rules to keep Lent. The Christian's Overthrow prelet-vented. A Dissuasive from the Play-house The Virtues of Camphire, with Directions to make Camphire Tea. The Pleasures of a Country Life. The Government of the Tongue. A letter dated from Cheapside, desires me that I would advise all with a postscript, that he hopes I will not young wives to make themselves mistresses of Wingate's Arithmetic, and concludes forget the Countess of Kent's Receipts. I
LOOKING Over the late packets of ters which have been sent to me, I found the following:
MR. SPECTATOR,-Your paper is a part of my tea-equipage, and my servant knows breakfast this morning, (it being past my my humour so well, that calling for my usual hour,) she answered, The Spectator was not yet come in; but that the teakettle boiled, and she expected it moment. Having thus in part signified to you the esteem and veneration which 1 have for you, I must put you in mind of the catalogue of books which you have promised to recommend to our sex; for I have deferred furnishing my closet with authors, till I receive your advice in this particular, being your daily disciple and humble servant, LEONORA.'
may reckon the ladies themselves as a third class among these my correspondents and privy-counsellors. In a letter from one of them, I am advised to place Pharamond at the head of my catalogue, and, if I think proper, to give the second place to Cassan dra. * Coquetilla begs me not to think of
nailing women upon their knees with Two celebrated French romances, written by M