Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

she would be reconciled after an act of rebellion on his part. When we came into the room we were received with the utmost coldness; and when he presented mé as Mr. Such-a-one, his very good friend, she just had patience to suffer my salutation; but when he himself with a very gay air, offered to follow me, she gave him a thundering box on the ear, called him a pitiful poor spirited wretch-how durst he see her face? His wig and hat fell on different parts of the floor. She seized the wig too soon for him to recover it, and kicking it down stairs, threw herself into an opposite room, pulling the door after her with a force that you would have thought the hinges would have given way. We went down, you must think, with no very good countenances, and, as we sneaked off, and were driying home together, he confessed to me her anger was thus highly raised, because he did not think fit to fight a gentleman who had said she was what she was; but, says he, a kind letter or two, or fifty pieces, will put her in humour again. , I asked why he did not part with her; he answered, he loved her with all the tenderness imaginable, and she had too many charms to be abandoned for a little quickness of spirit. Thus does this illegitimate hen-pecked overlook the hussy's having no regard to his life and fame, in putting him upon an infamous dispute about her reputation; yet has he the confidence to laugh at me, because I obey my poor dear in keeping out of harm's way, and not staying too late from my own family, to pass through the hazards of a town full of ranters and debauchees. You that are a philosopher should urge in our behalf, that when

we bear with a froward, woman, our patience is preserved, in consideration that a breach with her might be a dishonour to children who are descended from us, and whose concern makes us tolerate a thousand frailties, for fear they should redound dishonour upon the innocent. This and the like circumstances, which carry with them the most valuable regards of human life, may be mentioned for our long suffering; but in the case of gallants, they swallow ill usage from one to whom they have no obligation, but from a base passion, which it is mean to indulge, and which it would be glorious to overcome.

• These sort of fellow's are very numerous, and some have been conspicuously such, without shame; nay, they have carried on the jest in the very article of death, and to the diminution of the wealth and happiness of their families in bar of those honourably near to them, have left immense wealth to their paramours. What is this but being a cully in the grave! sure this is being henpecked with a vengeance! But without dwelling upon these less frequent instances of eminent cullyism, what is there so common as to hear a fellow curse his fate that he can not get rid of a passion to a jilt, and quote half a line out of a miscellany poem to prove his weakness is natural? If they will go on thus, I have nothing to say to it: but then let them not pretend to be free all this while, and laugh at us poor married patients. .

“I' have known one wench in this town carry a haughty dominion over her lovers so well, that she has at the same time been kept by a sea-captain in the Straits, a merchant in the city, a coun

try gentleman in Hampshire, and had all her correspondences managed by one she kept for her own uses. This happy man (as the phrase is) used to write very punctually every post, letters for the mistress to transcribe. He would sit in his night-gown and slippers, and be as grave giving an account, only changing names, that there was nothing in those idle reports they had heard of such a scoundrel as one of the other lovers was, and how could he think she could condescend so low after such a fine gentleman as each of them? For the same epistle said the same thing to and of every one of them. And so Mr. Secretary and his lady went to bed with great order. . . . .

To be short, Mr. Spectator, we husbands shall never make the figure we ought in the imaginations of young men growing up in the world except you can bring it about that a man of the town shall be as infamous a character as a woman of the town. But of all that I have met with in my time, commend me to Betty Duall; she is the wife of a sailor, and the kept mistress of a man of quality; shedwells with the latter during the seafaring of the former. The husband asks no questions, sees his apartments furnished with riches not his, when he comes into port, and the lover is as joyful as a man arrived at his haven when the other puts to sea. Betty is the most eminently victorious of any of her sex, and ought to stand recorded the only woman of the age in which she lives, who has possessed at the same time two abused and two contented STEELE.

.

T.

No. 487. THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 18.

- Cum prostata sopore Urget membra quies, et mens sine pondere ludit. PETR. While sleep oppresses the tired limbs, the mind Plays without weight, and wantons unconfined.

Though there are many authors who have written on dreams, they have generally considered them only as revelations of what has already happened in different parts of the world, or as presages of what is to happen in future periods of time. .

I shall consider this subject in another light, as dreams may give us some idea of the great excellency of a human soul, and some intimation of its independency on matter. .

In the first place, our dreams are great instances of that activity which is natural to the human soul, and which it is not in the power of sleep to deaden or abatê. When the man appears tired and worn out with the labours of the day, this active part in his composition is still busied and unwearied. When the organs of sense want their due repose and necessary reparations, and the body is no longer able to keep pace with that spiritual substance to which it is united, the soul exerts herself in her several faculties, and continues in action till her partner is again qualified to bear her company. In this case dreams look like the relaxations and amusements of the soul when she is disencumbered of her machine, her sports and recreations when she has laid her charge asleep.

VOL. X.

In the second place, dreams are an instance of that agility and perfection which is natural to the faculties of the mind, when they are disengaged from the body. The soul is clogged and retarded in her operations when she acts in conjunction with a companion that is so heavy and unwieldy in its motions. But in dreams it is wonderful to observe with what a sprightliness and alacrity she exerts herself. The slow of speech make unpremeditated harangues or converse readily in languages that they are but little acquainted with. The grave abound in pleasantries, the dull in repartees and points of wit. There is not a more painful action of the mind than invention; yet in dreams it works with that ease and activity that we are not sensible when the faculty is employed. For instance, I believe every one, some time or other, dreams that he is reading papers, books, or letters, in which case the invention prompts so readily, that the mind is imposed upon, and mistakes its own suggestions for the compositions of another.

1 shall, under this head, quote a passage out of the Religio Medici, in which the ingenious author gives an account of himself in his dreaming and his waking thoughts. We are somewhat more than ourselves in our sleeps, and the slumber of the body seems to be but the waking of the soul. It is the ligation of sense, but the liberty of reason; and our waking conceptions do not match the fancies of our sleeps. At my nativity, my ascendant was the watery sign of Scorpius: I was born in the planetary hour of Saturn, and I think I have a piece of that leaden planet' in me; I am no way facetious, nor disposed for

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »