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morning (it being past my usual hour) she answered the SPECTA "OR was not yet come in; but that the tea-kettle boiled, and she expected it every moment. Having thus in part signified to you the esteem and veneration which I 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,
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 an account of.
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 Oue tells me, that he thinks it absolutely necessary for women to have true notions of right and equity, and that therefore they can. not peruse a better book than Dalton's Country Justice : another thinks they cannot be without The complete Jockey. A third, observing the curiosity 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
1 V. No. 37-140-163 and note.-C.
2 V. No. 37-163 and note.-C.
a This gaiety on Mr. Mede's Book may be forgiven to Mr. Addison, who was not likely to comprehend the subject, or the merit of it, when so many of our best divines did not.-H.
Treaties and Negotiations of the Marshal D'Estrades. Mr. Jacob Tonson, jun. 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 I have forgotten, thinks it highly proper that every woman with child should read Mr. Wall's History of Infant Baptism; as 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 can. not tell, but the books they recommend are as follows. A Paraphrase on the History of Susanna. Rules to keep Lent. The Christian's Overthrow prevented. A Dissuasive from the Playhouse. 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 young wives to make themselves mistresses of Wingate's Arithmetic, and concludes with a postscript, that he hopes I will not forget The Countess of Kent's Receipts. I 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 Cassandra. Coquetilla begs me not to think of nailing women upon their knees with manuals of devotion, nor of scorching their faces with books of housewifery. Florella desires to know if there are any books written against prudes, and entreats me, if there are, to give them a place in my library. Plays of all sorts have their several advocates: All for Love is mentioned in above fifteen letters; Sophonisba, or Hannibal's Overthrow, in a dozen
1--2 Two celebrated romances, written by M. la Calprenede.--C.
the Innocent Adultery is likewise highly approved of ; Mithridates King of Pontus has many friends ; Alexander the Great and Aurenzebe have the same number of voices': but Theodosius, or the Force of Love, carries it from all the rest.
I should, in the last place, mention such books as have been proposed by men of learning, and those who appear competent judges of this matter, and must here take occasion to thank AB, whoever it is that conceals himself under those two letters, for his advice upon this subject : but as I find the work I have undertaken to be very difficult, I shall defer the executing of it till I am further acquainted with the thoughts of my judicious contemporaries, and have time to examine the several books they offer to me; being resolved, in an affair of this moment, to proceed with the greatest caution.
In the meanwhile, as I have taken the ladies under my particular care, I shall make it my business to find out in the best authors, ancient and modern, such passages as may be for their use, and endeavour to accommodate them as well as I can to their taste; not questioning but the valuable part of the sex will easily pardon me, if from time to time I laugh at those little vanities and follies which appear in the behaviour of some of them, and which are more proper for ridicule than a serious censure. Most books being calculated for male readers, and generally written with an eye to men of learning, makes a work of this nature the more necessary; besides, I am the more encouraged, because I flatter myself that I see the sex daily improving by these my speculations. My fair readers are already deeper scholars than the beaus : I could name some of them who talk much better than several gentlemen that make a figure at Will's; and as I frequently receive letters from the fine ladies and pretty fellows, I cannot but observe, that the former are superior to the others not only in the sense but in the spelling
This cannot but have a good effect upon the female world, and keep them from being charmed by those empty coxcombs that have hitherto been admired among the women, though laughed at among
the men. I am credibly informed that Tom Tattle passes for an im. pertinent fellow, that Will. Trippet begins to be smoked, and that Frank Smoothly himself is within a month of a coxcomb, in case I think fit to continue this paper. For my part, as it is my business in some measure to detect such as would lead astray weak minds by their false pretences to wit and judgment, humour and gallantry, I shall not fail to lend the best lights I am able to the fair sex for the continuation of these discoveries. L.
No. 93. SATURDAY, JUNE 16.
HOR, 1 Od. xi. 6.
Doth make swift haste away:
We all of us complain of the shortness of time, saith Seneca, and yet have much more than we know what to do with. Our lives, (says he) are spent either in doing nothing at all, or in doing nothing to the purpose, or in doing nothing that we ought to do: we are always complaining our days are few, and acting as though there would be no end of them.' That noble philo
Bopher has described our inconsistency with ourselves in this particular, by all those various turns of expression and thought which are peculiar to his writings.
I often consider mankind as wholly inconsistent with itself in a point that bears some affinity to the former. Though we seem grieved at the shortness of life in general, we are wishing every period of it at an end. The minor longs to be at age then to be a man of business, then to make up an estate, then to arrive at honours, then to retire. Thus although the whole life is allowed by every one to be short, the several divisions of it appear long and tedious. We are for lengthening our span in general, but would fain contract the parts of which it is conposed. The usurer would be very well satisfied to have all the time annihilated that lies between the present moment and next quarter-day. The politician would be contented to lose three years in his life, could he place things in the posture which he fancies they will stand in after such a revolution of time. The lover would be glad to strike out of his existence all the moments that are to pass away before the happy meeting. Thus, as fast as our time runs, we should be very glad in most parts of our lives, that it ran much faster than it does. Several hours of the day hang upon our hands ; nay, we wish away whole
and travel through time as through a country filled with many wild and empty wastes, which we would fain hurry over, that we may arrive at those several little settlements or imaginary points of rest which are dispersed up and down in it.
If we divide the life of most men into twenty parts, we shall find that at least nineteen of them are mere gaps and chasms, which are neither filled with pleasure nor business. I do not, however, include in this calculation the life of those men who are in a perpetual hurry of affairs, but of those only who are not always engaged in scenes of action ; and I hope I shall not da