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No. 485. Tuesday, Sept. 16, 1712,
Temple, Paper Buildings. I received a Letter from you some Time ago, which I should have answered sooner, had you informed me in yours to what Part of this Island I might have directed my Impertinence; but having been let into the Knowledge of that Matter, this handsome Excuse is no longer serviceable. My Neighbour Prettyman shall be the Subject of this Letter; who falling in with the SPECTATOR's Doctrine concerning the Month of May, began from that Season to dedicate himself to the Service of the Fair in the following Manner. I observed at the Beginning of the Month he bought him a new Night-gown, either Side to be worn outwards, both equally gorgeous and attractive; but 'till the End of the Month I did not enter so fully into the Knowledge of his Contrivance, as the Use of that Garment has since suggested to me. Now you must know that all new Cloaths raise and warm the Bearer's Imagination into a Conceit of his being a much finer Gentleman than he was before, banishing all Sobriety and Reflection, and giving him up to Gallantry and Amour. Inflam'd therefore with this Way of Thinking, and full of the Spirit of the Month of May, did this merciless Youth resolve upon the Business of Captivating. At first he confin'd himself to his Room only, now and then appearing at his Window in his Night-gown, and practising that easy Posture which expresses the very Top and Dignity of Languishment It was pleasant to see him diversity, his Loveliness, sometimes obliging the Passengers only with a Side-Face, with a Book in his Hand; sometimes being so generous as to expose the Whole in the Fullness of its Beauty; at the other Times, by a judicious throwing back of his Perriwig, he would throw in his Ears. You know he is that Sort of Person which the Mob call a handsome jolly Man; which Appearance can't miss of Captives in this part of the Town, Being emboldened by daily Success, he leaves his Room with a Resolution to extend his Conquests and I have apprehended him in his Night-gown smiting in all Parts of this Neighbourhood. This I, being of an amorous Complexion, saw with
Indignation, and had Thoughts of purchasing a Wig in No. 485. these Parts; into which, being at a greater Distance Tuesday, from the Earth, I might have thrown a very liberal Mix- Sept. 16,
1712. ture of white Horse-hair, which would make a fairer, and consequently a handsomer Appearance, while my Situation would secure me against any Discoveries. But the Passion to the handsome Gentleman seems to be so fixed to that part of the Building, that it will be extremely difficult to divert it to mine; so that I am rer solved to stand boldly to the Complection of my own Eye-brow, and prepare me an immense black Vig of the same Sort of Structure with that of my Rival Now, tho' by this I shall not, perhaps, lessen the Number of the Admirers of his Complexion, I shall have a fair Chance to divide the Passengers by the irresistible Force of mine.
I expect sudden Dispatches from you, with Advice of the Family you are in now, how to deport my self upon this so delicate a Conjuncture with some comfortable Resolutions in favour of the handsome black Man against the handsome fair one.
Your most humble Servant,
N. B. He who writ this is a black Man, two Pair of Stairs, the Gentleman of whom he writes is fair, and one Pair of Stairs.'
• Mr. SPECTATOR, I only say, that it is impossible for me to say how much
P. S. I shall think it a little hard, if you do not take as much Notice of this Epistle as you have of the ingenious Mr. Short's, I am not afraid to let the World see which is the deeper Man of the two.'
London, September 15. Whereas a young Woman on Horseback, in an Equestrian Habit, on the 13th Instant in the Evening, met the SPECTATOR, within a Mile and an Half of this Town, and flying in the Face of Justice, pulled off her Hat, in which there was a Feather, with the Mein and Air of a young Officer, saying at the same Time, Your Servant Mr. SPEC, or Words to that Purpose ; This is to give Notice, that if any Person can discover the Name, and Place, and Abode of the said Offender, so as she can be brought to Justice, the Informant shall have all fitting Encouragement
T No. 486. (STEELE.]
Wednesday, September 17 Audire est operae pretium, procedere recte
Qui moechos non vultis -Hor. * Mr. SPECTATOR WHERE are very many of my Acquaintance Followers
of Socrates, with more particular Regard to that Part of his Philosophy which we, among our selves, cali his Domesticks, under which Denomination, or Title, we include all the Conjugal Joys and Sufferings. We have indeed, with very great pleasure, observed the Honour you do the whole Fraternity of the Hen-peck'd, in placing that illustrious Man at our Head ; and it does in a very great Measure baffle the Raillery of pert Rogues, who have no Advantage above us, but in that they are single. But when you look about into the Croud of Mankind, you will find the fair Sex reigns with greater Tyranny over Lovers than Husbands. You shall hardly meet one in a thousand who is wholly exempt from their Dominion, and those that are so are capable of no Taste of Life, and breathe and walk about the Earth as Insignificants. But I am going to desire your further Favour in Behalf of our harmless Brotherhood, and hope you will shew in a true Light the unmarried Hen-peck'd as well as you have done Justice to us, who submit to the Conduct of our Wives. I am very particularly ac
quainted with one who is under entire Submission to a No. 486. kind Girl, as he calls her; and tho' he knows I have Wednesbeen Witness both to the ill Usage he has received from day, her, and his inability to resist her Tyranny, he still
1712. pretends to make a Jest of me for a little more than ordinary Obsequiousness to my Spouse. No longer than Tuesday last he took me with him to visit his Mistress and he having, it seems, been a little in Disgrace before thought by bringing me with him she would constrain her self, and insensibly fall into general Discourse with him and so he might break the Ice, and save himself all the ordinary Compunctions and Mortifications she used to make him suffer before she would be reconciled after any Act of Rebellion on his Part When we came into the Room, we were received with the utmost Coldness, and when he presented me as Mr. Such-arone, his very good Friend, she just had Patience to suffer my Salutation, but when he himself, with a very gay Air, offered to follow me, she gave him a thundering Box on the Ear, called him pitiful poor-spirited Wretch, how durst he see her Face? His Wig and Hat fell on different Parts of the Floor. She seized the Wig too soon for him to recover it, and kicking it down Stairs, threw her self into an opposite Room, pulling the Door after her with a Force, that you would have thought the Hinges would have given Way. We went down, you must think, with no very good Countenances; and as we sneaked off, and were driving home together, he confessed to me that her Anger was thus highly raised, because he did not think fit to fight a Gentleman who had said she was what she was ; but, says he, a kind Letter or two, or fifty Pieces, will put her in Humour again. I asked him why he did not part with her, he answered, he loved her with all the Tenderness imaginable, and she had too many Charms to be abandoned for a little Quickness of Spirit. Thus does this illegitimate Hen-peck'd overlook the Hussy's having no Regard to his very Life and Fame, in putting him upon an infamous Dispute about her Reputation ; yet has he the Confidence to laugh at me, because I obey my poor Dear in keeping out of Harm's Way, and not staying too late from my owa Family, to pass through the Hazards IV.
No. 486. of a Town full of Ranters and Debauchees. You that are Wedness a Philosopher should urge in our Behalf, that when we day, bear with a froward Woman, our Patience is preserved, Sept. 17, 1712.
in Consideration that a Breach with her might be a Dishonour to Children who are descended from us, and whose Concern make us tolerate a thousand Frailties, for Fear they should redound Dishonour upon the Innocent This and the like Circumstances, which carry with them the most valuable Regards of humane Life, may be mentioned for our long Suffering, but in the Case of Gallants, they swallow ill Usage from one to whom they have no Obligation, but from a base Passion which it is mean to indulge, and which it would be glorious to overcome.
These Sort of Fellows are very numerous, and some have been conspicuously such without Shame nay, they have carried on the Jest in the very Article of Death, and, to the Diminution of the Wealth and Happiness of their Families, in Bar of those honourably near to them, have left immense Wealth to their Paramours. What is this but being a Cully in the Grave! Sure this is being Henpeck'd with a Vengeance! But without dwelling upon these less frequent Instances of eminent Cullyism, what is there so common as to hear a Fellow curse his Fate that he cannot get rid of a Passion to a Jilt, and quote an Half-Line out of a Miscellany Poem to prove his Weakness is natural. If they will go on thus, I have nothing to say to it; but then let them not pretend to be free all this While, and laugh at us poor married Patients.
I have known one Wench in this Town carry an haughty Dominion over her Lovers so well, that she has at the same Time been kept by a Sea Captain in the Streights, a Merchant in the City, a Country Gentleman in Hampshire, and had all her Correspondences managed by one she kept for her own Uses. This happy Man (as the Phrase is) used to write very punctually every Post Letters for the Mistress to transcribe. He would sit in his Night-Gown and Slippers, and be as grave giving an Account, only changing Names, that there was nothing in these idle Reports they had heard of such a