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appearance I made, who am pretty tall, rid well, and was very well dressed, at the head of a whole county, with music before me, a feather in my hat, and my

horse well bitted. I can assure you I was not a little 5 pleased with the kind looks and glances I had from

all the balconies and windows as I rode to the hall where the assizes were held. But when I came there, a beautiful creature in a widow's habit sat in court,

to hear the event of a cause concerning her dower. to This commanding creature (who was born for destruc

tion of all who behold her) put on such a resignation in her countenance, and bore the whispers of all around the court with such a pretty uneasiness, I warrant

you, and then recovered herself from one eye to 15 another, till she was perfectly confused by meeting

something so wistful in all she encountered, that at last, with a murrain to her, she cast her bewitching eye upon me. I no sooner met it but I bowed like a

great surprised booby; and knowing her cause to be 20 the first which came on, I cried, like a captivated calf

as I was, ‘Make way for the defendant's witnesses.' This sudden partiality made all the county immediately see the sheriff also was become a slave to the

fine widow. During the time her cause was upon 23 trial, she behaved herself, I warrant you, with such a deep attention to her business, took opportunities to have little billets handed to her counsel, then would be in such a pretty confusion, occasioned, you must know, by acting before so much company, that not only I but the whole court was prejudiced in her s favor; and all that the next heir to her husband had to urge was thought so groundless and frivolous, that when it came to her counsel to reply, there was not half so much said as every one besides in the court thought he could have urged to her advantage. You to must understand, sir, this perverse woman is one of those unaccountable creatures, that secretly rejoice in the admiration of men, but indulge themselves in no further consequences. Hence it is that she has ever had a train of admirers, and she removes from her 15 slaves in town to those in the country, according to the seasons of the year. She is a reading lady, and far gone in the pleasures of friendship: she is always accompanied by a confidant, who is witness to her daily protestations against our sex, and consequently za a bar to her first steps towards love, upon the strength of her own maxims and declarations.

“However, I must needs say this accomplished mistress of mine has distinguished me above the rest, and has been known to declare Sir Roger de Coverley was 25


the tamest and most human of all the brutes in the country. I was told she said so by one who thought he rallied me; but upon the strength of this slender encouragement of being thought least detestable, I made new liveries, new-paired my coach-horses, sent them all to town to be bitted, and taught to throw their legs well, and move all together, before I pretended to cross the country and wait upon her. As soon as I thought my retinue suitable to the character of

my fortune and youth, I set out from hence to make my addresses. The particular skill of this lady has ever been to inflame your wishes, and yet command respect. To make her mistress of this art, she has a

greater share of knowledge, wit, and good sense than 15 is usual even among men of merit. Then she is beautiful beyond the race of women.

If you won't let her go on with a certain artifice with her eyes, and the skill of beauty, she will arm herself with her real

charms, and strike you with admiration. It is certain 20 that if you were to behold the whole woman, there is

that dignity in her aspect, that composure in her motion, that complacency in her manner, that if her form makes you hope, her merit makes you fear. But

then again, she is such a desperate scholar, that no 25 country gentleman can approach her without being a jest. As I was going to tell you, when I came to her house I was admitted to her presence with great civility; at the same time she placed herself to be first seen by me in such an attitude, as I think you call the posture of a picture, that she discovered new S charms, and I at last came towards her with such an awe as made me speechless. This she no sooner observed but she made her advantage of it, and began a discourse to me concerning love and honor, as they both are followed by pretenders, and the real votaries is to them. When she had discussed these points in a discourse, which I verily believe was as learned as the best philosopher in Europe could possibly make, she asked me whether she was so happy as to fall in with my sentiments on these important particulars. 15 Her confidant sat by her, and upon my being in the last confusion and silence, this malicious aid of hers turning to her says, 'I am very glad to observe Sir Roger pauses upon this subject, and seems resolved to deliver all his sentiments upon the matter when he 20 pleases to speak.' They both kept their countenances, and after I had sat half an hour meditating how to behave before such profound casuists, I rose up and took my leave. Chance has since that time thrown me very often in her way, and she as often has directed 25


a discourse to me which I do not understand. This barbarity has kept me ever at a distance from the most beautiful object my eyes ever beheld. It is thus also

she deals with all mankind, and you must make love 5 to her, as you would conquer the sphinx, by posing

her. But were she like other women, and that there were any talking to her, how constant must the pleasure of that man be, who could converse with a creature

But, after all, you may be sure her heart is fixed on 10 some one or other; and yet I have been credibly in

formed - but who can believe half that is said ? After she had done speaking to me, she put her hand to her bosom and adjusted her tucker. Then she cast

her eyes a little down, upon my beholding her too 15 earnestly. They say she sings excellently: her voice

in her ordinary speech has something in it inexpressibly sweet. You must know I dined with her at a public table the day after I first saw her, and she

helped me to some tansy in the eye of all the gentle20 men in the country: she has certainly the finest hand

of any woman in the world. I can assure you, sir, were you to behold her, you would be in the same condition; for as her speech is music, her form is

angelic. But I find I grow irregular while I am talk. 25 ing of her; but indeed it would be stupidity to be

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