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sir, but she is rather too old.”—“ She will make the more discreet manager, boy." Then my mother plays her part. "Is not Mrs. Betty exceeding fair?"" Yes, madam, but she is of no conversation; she has no fire, no agreeable vivacity; she neither speaks nor looks with spirit.""True, son, but for those very reasons she will be an easy, soft, obliging, tractable creature.""After all," cries an old aunt (who belongs to the class of those who read plays with spectacles on,) "what think you, nephew, of proper Mrs. Dorothy?"-"What do I think? why, I think she cannot be above six foot* two inches high."—" Well well, you may banter as long as you please, but height of stature is commanding and majestic."
"Come, come," says a cousin of mine in the family, "I will fit him; Fidelia is yet behindpretty miss Fiddy must please you."-" Oh! your very humble servant, dear coz, she is as much too young as her eldest sister is too old.”"Is it so indeed," quoth she, "good Mr. Pert? You that are but turned of twenty-two, and miss Fiddy in half a year's time will be in her teens, and she is capable of learning any thing. Then she will be so observant; she will cry perhaps now and then, but never be angry." Thus they will think for me in this matter, wherein I am more particularly concerned than any body else. If I name any woman in the world, one of these daughters has certainly the same qualities. You see by these few hints, Mr. Spectator, what a comfortable life I lead. To be still more open and free with you, I have been passionately fond of a young lady (whom give me leave to call Miranda) now for these three years. I have often urged
the matter home to my parents with all the submission of a son, but the impatience of a lover. Pray, sir, think of three years: what inexpressible scenes of inquietude, what variety of misery must I have gone through in three whole years! Miranda's fortune is equal to those I have mentioned; but her relations are not intimates with mine! Ah! there's the rub! Miranda's person, wit, and humour, are what the nicest fancy could imagine; and, though we know you to be so elegant a judge of beauty, yet there is none among all your various characters of fine women preferable to Miranda. In a word, she is never guilty of doing any thing but one amiss (if she can be thought to do amiss by mc,) in being as blind to my faults, as she is to her own perfections. I am, Sir,
Your very humble
6 MR. SPECTATOR,
'WHEN you spent so much time as you did lately in censuring the ambitious young gentlemen who ride in triumph through town and Country on coach-boxes, I wished you had employed those moments in consideration of what passes sometimes within-side of those vehicles. I am sure I suffered sufficiently by the insolence and ill-breeding of some persons who travelled lately with me in the stage-coach out of Essex to London. I am sure, when you have heard what I have to say, you will think there are persons under the character of gentlemen, that are fit to be no where else but on the coach-box. Sir, I am a young woman of a sober and religious education, and have preserved that character; but on Mon
day was fortnight, it was my misfortune to come to
invited two or three friends who were very severe against the manners and morals of gentlemen of that profession. It happened one of them brought two captains of his regiment newly come into the army, who at first onset engaged the company with very lewd healths and suitable discourse. You may easily imagine the confusion of the entertainer, who finding some of his friends very uneasy, desired to tell them the story of a great man, one Mr. Locke (whom I find you frequently mention,) that being invited to dine with the then lords Halifax, Anglesey, and Shaftesbury, immediately after dinner, instead of conversation, the cards were called for, where the bad or good success produced the usual passions of gaming. Mr. Locke retiring to a window, and writing, my lord Anglesey desired to know what he was writing: "Why, my lords," answered he, "I could not sleep last night for the pleasure and improvement I expected from the conversation of the greatest men of the age." This so sensibly stung them, that they gladly compounded to throw their cards in the fire, if he would his paper, and so a conversation ensued fit for such persons. This story pressed so hard upon the young captains, together with the concurrence of their superior officers, that the young fellows left the company in confusion. Sir, I know you hate long things; but if you like it, you may contract it, or how you will; but I think it has a moral in it.
'But, sir, I am told you are a famous mechanic as well as a looker-on, and therefore humbly propose you would invent some padlock, with full power under your hand and seal, for all modest persons, either men or women, to clap upon the mouths of all such impertinent impudent fellows: and I wish you would publish a proclamation that
no modest person who has a value for her countenance, and consequently would not be put out of it, presume to travel after such a day without one of them in their pockets. I fancy a smart Spectator upon this subject would serve for such a padlock; and that public notice may be given in your paper where they may be had, with directions, price two-pence; and that part of the directions may be, when any person presumes to be guilty of the above-mentioned crime, the party aggrieved may produce it to his face, with a request to read it to the company. He must be very much hardened that could outface that rebuke; and his further punishment I leave you to prescribe.
Your humble servant,
No. 534. WEDNESDAY, NOV. 12, 1712.
Rarus enim ferme sensus communis in illâ
Juy. Sat. viii. 78.
-We seldom find
"I AM a young woman of nineteen, the only daughter of very wealthy parents, and have my whole life been used with a tenderness which did me no great service in my education. I have perhaps an uncommon desire for knowledge of what is suitable for my sex and quality; but, as far