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The Grand Cyrus; with a pin stuck in one of the middle leaves.
Locke of Human Understanding; with a paper of patches in it.
A Spelling Book.
Father Malebranche's Search after Truth, translated into English.
A book of Novels.
Tales in Verse, by Mr. Durfey : bound in red leather, gilt on the back, and doubled down in several places.
All the classic authors, in wood.
Clelia : which opened of itself in the place that describes two lovers in a bower.
A Prayer-Book; with a bottle of Hungary-water by the side of it,
Dr. Sacheverell's Speech.
I was taking a catalogue in my pocket-book of these, and several other authors, when Leonora entered, and, upon my presenting her with a letter from the knight, told me, with an unspeakable grace, that she hoped sir Roger was in good health. I answered Yes, for I hate long speeches, and after a bow or two retired.
Leonora was formerly a celebrated beauty, and is still a very lovely woman. She has been a widow for two or three years, and, being unfortunate in her first marriage, has taken a resolution never to venture upon a second. She has no children to take care of, and leaves the management of her estate to my good friend sir Roger. But as the mind naturally sinks into a kind of lethargy, and falls asleep, that is not agitated by some favourite pleasures and pursuits, Leonora has turned all the passion of her sex into a love of books and retirement. She converses chiefly with men (as she has often said herself), but it is only in their writings; and admits of very few male visitants, except my friend sir Roger, whom she hears with great pleasure and without scandal.
As her reading has lain very much among romances, it has given her a very particular turn of thinking, and discovers itself even in her house, her gardens, and her furniture. Sir Roger has entertained me an hour together with a description of her country-seat, which is situated in a kind of wilderness, about a hundred miles distant from London, and looks like a little enchanted palace. The rocks
about her are shaped into artificial grottos covered with woodbines and jessamines. The woods are cut into shady walks, twisted into bowers, and filled with cages of turtles. The springs are made to run among pebbles, and by that means taught to murmur very agreeably. They are likewise collected into a beautiful lake that is inhabited by a couple of swans, and empties itself by a little rivulet which runs through a green meadow, and is known in the family by the name of The Purling Stream. The knight likewise tells me that this lady preserves her game better than any of the gentlemen in the country, not (says sir Roger) that she sets so great a value upon her partridges and pheasants, as upon her larks and nightingales. For she says that every bird which is killed in her ground will spoil a concert, and that she shall certainly miss him the next year.
When I think how oddly this lady is improved by learning, I look upon her with a mixture of admiration and pity. Amidst these innocent entertainments which she has formed to herself, how much more valuable does she appear than those of her sex, who employ themselves in diversions which are less reasonable, though more in fashion ! What improvements would a woman have made, who is so susceptible of impressions from what she reads, had she been guided to such books as have a tendency to enlighten the understanding and rectify the passions, as well as to those which are of little more use than to divert the imagination!
ON LADIES PAINTING. STORY OF A PICT. No.41.
COMPASSION for the gentleman who writes the following letter should not prevail upon me to fall upon the fair sex, if it were not that I find they are frequently fairer than they ought to be. Such impostures are not to be tolerated in civil society; and I think his misfortune ought to be made public, as a warning for other mon always to cxamine into what they admire.
Supposing you to be a person of general knowledge, I make my application to you on a very particular occasion. I have a great mind to be rid of my wife, and hope, when you consider my case, you will be of opinion I have very just pretensions to a divorce. I am a mere man of the town, and have
little improvement but what I have got from plays.
I remember in The Silent Woman, the learned Dr. Cutberd, or Dr. Otter (I forget which), makes one of the causes of separation to be error persone, when a man marries a woman, and finds her not to be the same woman whom he intended to marry, but another. If that be law, it is, I presume, exactly my case. For you are to know, Mr. Spectator, that there are women who do not let their husbands see their faces till they are married.
Not to keep you in suspense, I mean plainly that part of the sex who paint. They are some of them so exquisitely skilful this way, that, give them but a tolerable pair of eyes to set up with, and they will make bosom, lips, cheeks, and eye-brows, by their own in
dustry. As for my dear, never man was so enamoured as I was of her fair forehead, neck, and arms, as well as the bright jet of her hair; but to my great astonishment I find they were all the effect of art. Her skin. is so tarnished with this practice, that, when she first wakes in a morning, she scarce seems young enough to be the mother of her whom I carried to bed the night before. I shall take the liberty to part with her by the first opportunity, unless her father will make her portion suitable to her real, not her assumed countenancc. This I thought fit to let him and her know by your
I am, sir,
I cannot tell what the law, or the parents of the lady, will do for this injured gentleman, but mlist allow he has very much justice on his side. I have indeed very long observed this evil, and distinguished those of
from those in borrow: ed complexions, by the Picts and the British. There does not need any great discernment to judge which are which. The British have a lively animated aspect; the Picts, though never so beautiful, have dead uninformed countenances. The muscles of a real face sometimes swell with soft passion, sudden surprise, and are flushed with agreeable confusions, according as the objects before them, or the ideas presented to them, affect their imagination. But the Picts behold all things with the same air, whether they are joyful or sad; the same fixed insensibility appears upon all occasions. A Pict, though she takes all that pains to invite the approach of lovers, is obliged to keep them at a certain distance;