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AS that ensign of honour which you wear, given you
by a Prince or a Lady that have « served ? If you bear it as an absent Lover, please to “ hang it on a black ribband : If as a rewarded Soldier, you may have my licence to continue the red.
Your faithful servant,
Bickerstaf, Cenfor. These little intimations do great service, and are very useful, not only to the persons themselves, but to inform others how to conduct themselves towards them.
Instead of this honest private method, or a friendly one face to face, of acquainting people with things in their power to explain or amend, the usual way among people is to take no notice of things you can help, and nevertheless expose you for those you cannot.
Plumbeus and Levis are constantly in each other's como pany : They would, if they took proper methods, be very agreeable companions, but they lo extravagantly aim at what they are unfit for, and each of them rallies the other so much in the wrong place, that instead of doing each other the offices of friends, they do but initruct the rest of the world to laugh at them with more knowledge and skill. Plumbeus is of a faturnine and fullen complexion ; Levis of a mercurial and airy dispofition. Both these Gentlemen have but very slow parts, hut would make a very good figure did they pursue what they ought. If Plumbeus would take to business, he would in a few years know the forms of orders fo well as to direct and dictate with so much ease, as to be u thought a solid, able, and at the same time a fure man of dispatch. Levis, with a little reading, and coming more into company, would soon be able to write a song or lead up a country-dance. Instead of these proper purfuits, in obedience to their respective genius's, Plumbeus endeavours to be a man of pleasure, and Levis the man of business. This appears in their speech, and in
their dress : Plumbeus is ever egregious fine, and talking fomething like wit ; Levis is ever extremely grave, and with a filly face repeating maxims. These two pardon each other for affecting what each is incapable of, the one to be wise, and the other gay ; but are extremely critical in their judgments of each other in their way to.wards what they pretend to. Plumbeus acknowledges Levi to be a man of great reach, because it is what Plumbeus never cared for being thought himself, and Levis allows Plumbeus to be an agreeable rake for the fame reason. Now were these dear friends to be free with each other, as they ought to be, they would change characters, and be both as commendable, instead of be. ing as ridiculous as their capacities will admit of.
Were it not too grave, all that I would urge on this subject is, that men are bewildered when they consider themselves in any other view than that of strangers, who are in a place where it is no great matter whether they can, or unreasonable to expect they mould, have every thing about them as well as at their own home. This way of thinking is, perhaps, the only one that can put this Being in a proper pofture for the ease of society. It is certain, that this would reduce all faults into those which proceed from malice or dishonefty : It would quite change our manner of beholding one another, and nothing that was not below a man's nature would be below his character. The arts of this life would be proper advances towards the next ; and a very good man would be a very fine Gentleman. As it now is, human life is inverted, and we have not learned half the knowledge of this world before we are dropping into another. Thus, instead of the raptures and contemplations which natu. rally attend a well-spent life from the approach of etere nity, even we old fellows are afraid of the ridicule of those who are born fince us, and alhamed not to-underfand, as well as peevish to resign, the Mode, the Fashion, the Ladies, the Fiddles, the Balls, and what not. Dick Reptile, who does not want humour, is very pleasant at our Club when he fees an old fellow touchy at being laughed at for any thing that is not in the mode, and bawls in his ear, “Prythee do not mind him ; tell him « thou art mortal.”
Tuesday, No 247. Tuesday, November 7, 1710.
E depol, næ nos æquè fumus omnes invise viris Propter paucas, quæ omnes faciunt digna ut videamur malo.
TER. Hecyr. Indeed we are all equally sighted by the men on account
of some few of our Sex, who make us all appear undeserving of their esteem.
By Mrs. Jenny Difiaft, Half-Sister to Mr. Bickers aff
From my own Apartment, November 6.
Y brother having written the above piece of Latin,
desired me to take care of the rest of the ensuing Paper. Towards this he bid me answer the following Letter, and said, nothing I could write properly on the subject of it would be disagreeable to the motto. It is the cause of my Sex, and I therefore enter upon it with great alacrity. The Epistle is literally thus : Mr. BICKE Ř S T AFF, Edenburgh, Octob. 23.
Presume to lay before you an affair of mine, and
begs you will be very finceir in giving me your judgment and advice in this matter, which is as follows.
“ A very agreeable young Gentleman, who is endowed “ with all the good qualities that can make a man com
plete, has this long time maid Love to me in the most
passionate manner that was pofable. He has left no“ thing unsaid to make me believe his affections real ; « and in his Letters expressed himself so hansomly, and “ tenderly, that I had all the reason imaginable to be“ lieve him sincere. In short, he positively has pro«« mised me he would marry me : But I find all he said “ nothing; for when the question was pat to him, he “ would not; but still would continue my humble ser
vant, and would go on at the ould rate, repeating " the assurances of his fidelity, and at the same time • has none in him. He now writs to me in the same
endearing ftile he ust to do, would have me speak to
no man but himself. His estate is in his own hand, * his father being dead. My fortune at my own dis
posal, mine being also dead, and to the full answers “ his estate. Pray, Sir, be ingenious, and tell me cor
dially, if you do not think I shall do myself an injury " if I keep company or a correspondance any longer " with this Gentleman. I hope you will faver an honest “ North Britain, as I am, with your advice in this
for I am resolved just to follow your direc" tions. Sir, you will do me a sensable pleasure, and
very great honour, if you will please to infert this poor Scrole, with your answer to it, in your Tatler.
Pray fail not to give me your answer ; for on it de“pends the happiness of,
Have frequently read over your Letter, and am of common of any evil that attends our Sex. I am very “ much troubled for the tenderness you express towards
your Lover, but rejoice at the same time that you can “ so far surmount your inclination for him as to resolve
to dismiss him when you have my brother's opinion " for it. His sense of the matter, he desired me to “ communicate to you. Oh Almeira ! the common fail
ing of our Sex is to value the Merit of our Lovers ra“ther from the Grace of their Address, than the Sin“ cerity of their Hearts. He has expressed himself so " handsomely! Can you say that, after you have reason “ to doubt his truth? It is a very melancholy thing, 66 that in this circumstance of Love, which is the most
important of all others in female life, we women, “ who are, they say, always weak, are still weaker,
• The “ The true way of valuing a man, is to consider his " Reputation among the men : For want of this necef“ sary rule towards our conduct, when it is too late,
we find ourselves married to the out.cast of that Sex ; " and it is generally from being disagreeable among "s men, that fellows endeavour to make themselves
pleasing to us. The little accomplishments of coming “ into a room with a good air, and telling while they « are with us, what we cannot hear
ourselves, usually make up the whole of a woman's man's merit. “ But if we, when we began to reflect upon our Lovers, “ in the first place considered what figures they make in " the Camp, at the Bar, on the Exchange, in their “ Country, or at Court, we should behold them in quite ". another view than at present.
“ Were we to behave ourselves according to this rule, “ we should not have the just imputation of favouring " the filliest of mortals, to the great scandal of the "s wiselt, who value our favour as it advances their i pleasure, not their reputation. In a word, Madam, " if you would judge arighi ia Love, you must look
upon it as in a cale of friendhip. Were this Gen. " tleman treating with you for any thing but your“ felf, when you had consented to his offer, if he fell * ott, you would call him a cheat and an impostor. * There is therefore nothing left for you to do, but to
despise him, and yourself for doing it with regret.
I have heard it often argued in conversation, that this evil practice is owing to the perverted taste of the Wits in the last generation. A Libertine on the Throne could very easily make the language and the fashion turn his own way. Hence it is, that woman is treated as à mistress, and not a wife. It is from the writings of these times, and the traditional accounts of the debau. ches of their men of pleasure, that the Coxcombs nowa-days take upon them, forsooth, to be false swains, and perjured lovers. Methinks I feel all the woman rise in me, when I reflect upon the nauseous rogues that pre