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No 36. near Bloomsbury-Square, commodioufly fituated next the fields in a good air; where fhe teaches all forts of birds of the loquacious kinds, as parrots, ftarlings, magpyes, and others, to imitate human voices in greater perfection than ever yet was practifed. They are not only inftructed to pronounce words diftinctly, and in a proper tone and accent, but to speak the language with ⚫ great purity and volubility of tongue, together with all the fafhionable phrafes and compliments now in ufe ⚫ either at tea-tables or visiting-days. Thofe that have good voices may be taught to fing the newest operaairs, and, if required, to fpeak either Italian or French, paying fomething extraordinary above the common rates. They whofe friends are not able to pay the full prices may be taken as half-boarders. She teaches fuch as are defigned for the diverfion of the public, and to act in enchanted woods on the theatres, by the ( great. As fhe has often obferved with much concern how indecent an education is ufually given these innocent creatures, which in fome measure is owing to their being placed in rooms next the street, where, to the great offence of chaste and tender ears, they learn ribaldry, obfcene fongs, and immodeft expreffions from paffengers, and idle people, as alfo to cry fifh, and cardinatches, with other useless parts of learning to birds ⚫ who have rich friends; fhe has fitted up proper and neat apartments for them in the back part of her faid house where the fuffers none to approach them but herself, ⚫ and a fervant-maid who is deaf and dumb, and whom the provided on purpose to prepare their food and cleanfe their cages; having found by long experience how hard a thing it is for thofe to keep filence who have the use of speech, and the dangers her scholars ⚫ are exposed to by the ftrong impreffions that are made by harsh founds and vulgar dialects. In fhort, if they are birds of any parts or capacity, fhe will undertake to render them fo accomplished in the compafs of a twelvemonth, that they fhall be fit converfation for fuch ladies as love to choose their friends and companions out of this fpecies.'
SOME months ago, my friend fir ROGER being in
the country, inclofed a letter to me, directed to a certain lady whom I shall here call by the name of Leonora, and as it contained matters of confequence, defired me to deliver it to her with my own hand. Accordingly I waited upon her ladyfhip pretty early in the morning, and was defired by her woman to walk into her lady's library, till fuch time as fhe was in a readinefs to receive me. The very found of a lady's library gave me a great curiofity to fee it; and as it was some time before the lady came to me, I had an opportunity of turning over a great many of her books, which were ranged together in a very beautiful order. At the end of the folios, which were finely bound and gilt, were great jars of China placed one above another in a very noble piece of architecture. The quartos were feparated from the octavos by a pile of finaller veffels, which rofe in a delightful pyramid. The octavos were bounded by tea-dishes of all fhapes, colours and fizes, which were fo difpofed on a wooden frame, that they looked like one continued pillar indented with the finest strokes of fculpture, and ftained with the greatest variety of dyes. That part of the library which was defigned for the reception of plays and pamphlets, and other loofe papers, was inclosed in a kind of square, confifting of one of the prettiest grotesque works that ever I faw, and made up of fcaramouches, lions, monkies, mardarines, trees, fhells, and a thousand other odd figures in China-ware. In the midst of the room was a little japan table, with a quire
of gilt paper upon it, and on the paper a filver fnuffbox made in the shape of a little book. I found there were feveral other counterfeit books upon the upper shelves, which were carved in wood, and served only to fill up the number like faggots in the mufter of a regiment. I was wonderfully pleafed with fuch a mixt kind of furniture, as feemed very fuitable both to the lady and the fcholar, and did not know at firft whether I fhould fancy.myfelf in a grotto, or in a library.
Upon my looking into the books, I found there were fome few which the lady had bought for her own use, but that most of them had been got together, either be cause she had heard them praised, or because the had feen the authors of them. Among feveral that I examined, I very well remember these that follow :
Sir Ifaac Newton's Works.
The Grand Cyrus; with a pin ftuck in one of the middle leaves.
Locke of Human Understanding; with a paper of patches in it.
A Dictionary for the Explanation of hard Words.
The Fifteen Comforts of Matrimony.
Sir William Temple's Effays.
Father Malebranche's Search after Truth, tranflated
A Book of Novels.
The Academy of Compliments.
The Ladies Calling.
Tales in Verfe, by Mr. Durfey: bound in red leather, gilt on the back, and doubled down in feveral places. All the Claffic Authors in wood.
A fet of Elzevirs by the fame hand.
Clelia which opened of itself. in the place that defcribes two lovers in a bower.
Advice to a Daughter.
The New Atalantis, with a key to it.
Mr. Steele's Chriftian Hero.
A Prayer-Book: with a bottle of Hungary water by the fide of it.
Dr. Sacheverell's Speech.
Taylor's Holy Living and Dying.
La Ferte's Instructions for Country Dances.
I was taking a catalogue in my pocket-book of these, and feveral other authors, when Leonora entered, and upon my presenting her with a letter from the knight, told me, with an unfpeakable grace, that the hoped fir ROGER was in good health: I anfwered Yes, for I hate long fpeeches, and after a bow or two retired.
Leonora was formerly a celebrated beauty, and is ftill a very lovely woman. She has been a widow for two or three years, and being unfortunate in her first marriage, has taken a refolution never to venture upon a fecond. She has no children to take care of, and leaves the management of her eftate to my good friend fir ROGER. But as the mind naturally finks into a kind of lethargy, and falls afleep, that is not agitated by fome favourite pleatures and purfuits, Leonora has turned all the paffions of her fex into a love of books and retirement. She converfes chiefly with men, as she has often faid herself, but it is only in their writings; and admits of very few male-vifitants, except my friend fir RoGER, whom the 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 difcovers itself even in her house, her gardens, and her furniture. Sir ROGER has entertained me an hour together with a defcription of her countryfeat, which is fituated in a kind of wilderness, about an hundred miles distant from London, and looks like a little enchanted palace. The rocks about her are fhaped
into artificial grottoes covered with woodbines and jef famines. The woods are cut into fhady walks, twisted into bowers, and filled with cages of turtles. The fprings 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 fwans, 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 likewife tells me, that this lady preferves her game better than any of the gentlemen in the try; not, fays fir ROGER, that the fets fo great a value upon her partridges and pheafants, as upon her larks and nightingales. For the fays that every bird which is killed in her ground, will fpoil a confort, and that she fhall certainly mifs 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 fhe has formed to herself, how much more valuable does fhe appear than those of her fex, who employ themfelves in diverfions that are lefs reasonable, though more in fashion? what improvements would a woman have made, who is fo fufceptible of impreffions from what she reads, had she been guided to fuch books as have a tendency to enlighten the understanding and rectify the paffions, as well as to thofe which are of little more use than to divert the imagination?
But the manner of a lady's employing herself usefully in reading fhall be the fubject of another paper, in which I defign to recommend fuch particular books as may be proper for the improvement of the fex. And as this is a fubject of a very nice nature, I fhall defire my correfpondents to give me their thoughts upon