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to this, I told him he might sometimes extend it to bis own destruction. As you are now, said I, you are out of the reach of beauty; the shafts of the finest eyes lose their force before they can come at you; you cannot distinguish a toast from an orangewench; you can see a whole circle of beauty without any interruption from an impertinent face to discompose you. In short, what are snares for others My petitioner would hear no more, but told me very seriously, Mr. Bickerstaff, you quite mistake your man; it is the joy, the pleasure, the employment of my life, to frequent public assemblies, and gaze upon the fair. In a word, I found his use of a glass was. occasioned by no other infirmity but his vanity, and was not so much designed to make him see, as to make him be seen and distinguished by others. I therefore refused him a licence for a perspective, but allowed him a pair of spectacles, with full permission to use them in any public assembly as he should think fit. He was followed by so very few of this order of men, that I have reason to hope this sort of cheats are almost at an end.
The orange-flower-men appeared next with petitions, perfumed so strongly with musk that I was almost overcome witb the scent; and for my own sake was. obliged forthwith to license their handkerchiefs, especially when I found they had sweetened them at Charles Lillie's, and that some of their persons would not be altogether inoffensive without them. John Morphew, whom I have made the general of my dead men, acquainted me that the petitioners were all of that crders and could produce certificates to prove it, if I required it. I was so well pleased with this way of their embalming themselves, that I commanded the aforesaid Morphew
to give it in orders to his whole army, that every one, who did not surrender himself up to be disposed of by the upholders, should use the same method to keep himself sweet during his present state of putrefaction.
I finished my session with great content of mind, reflecting upon the good I had done ; for, however slightly men may regard these particularities and little follies in dress and behaviour, they lead to greater evils. The bearing to be laughed at for such singularities teaches us insensibly an impertinent fortitude, and enables us to bear public censure for things which more substantially deserve it. By this means they open a gate to folly, and oftentimes render a mån so ridiculous, as to discredit his virtues and capacities, and unqualify them from doing any good in the world. Besides, the giving into uncommon habits of this nature is a want of that humble deference which is due to mankind, and, what is worst of all, the certain indication of some secret flaw in the mind of the person that commits them. When I was a young man, I remember a gentleman of great integrity and worth was very remarkable for wearing a broad belt and a hanger, instead of a fashionable sword, though in all other points a very well-bred man. I suspected him at first sight to have something wrong in him, but was not able for a long while to discover any collateral proofs of it. I watched him narrowly for six-and-thirty years; when at last, to the surprise of every body but myself, who had long expected to see the folly break out, he married his own cookmaid.
ADDISON AND STEELE
THERE has not some years been such a tumult in our neighbourhood as this evening about six. At the lower end of the lane the word was given, that there was a great funeral coming by. The next moment came forward, and in a very hasty instead of solemn manner, a long train of lights; when at last a footman, in very high youth and health, with all his force ran through the whole art of beating the door of the house next to me, and ended his rattle with the true finishing rap. This did not only bring one to the door at which he knocked, but to that of every one in the lane in an instant. Among the rest, my country maid took the alarm, and, immediately running to me, toid nie there was a fine, fine lady, who had three men with burial torches making way before her, carried by two men upon poles, with looking-glasses on each side of her, and one glass also before, she herself appearing the prettiest that ever was. The girl was going on in her story, when the lady was come to my door in her chair, having mistaken the house. As soon as she entered, I saw she was Mr. Isaac's scholar, by her speaking air, and the becoming stop she made when she began her apology. You will be surprised, sir, said she, that I take this liberty, who am utterly a stranger to you; besides that it may be thought an indecorum that I visit a man. She made here a pretty hesitation, and held her fan to her face-Then, as if recovering her resolution, she proceeded—But I think you have said that men of your age are of no sex ; therefore I may be as free with
you as one of
own. The lady did me the honour to consult me on some particular matters, which I am not at liberty to report. But be
fore she took her leave, she produced a long list of names, which she looked upon to know whither she was to go next. I must confess, I could hardly forbear discovering to her immediately, that I secretly laughed at the fantastical regularity she observed in throwing away her time; but I seemed to indulge her in it, out of a curiosity to hear her own sense of her way of life. Mr. Bickerstaff, said she, you cannot imagine how much you are obliged to me in staying thus long with you, having so many visits to make; and indeed, if I had not hopes that a third part of those I am going to will be abroad, I should be unable to dispatch them this evening. Madam, said I, are you in all this haste and perplexity, and only going to such as you have not a mind to see? Yes, sir, said she, I have several now with whom I keep a constant correspondence, and return visit for visit punctually every week, and yet we have not seen each other since last November was twelvemonth.
She went on with a very good air, and, fixing her eyes on her list, told me, she was obliged to ride aboạt three miles and a half before she arrived at her own house. I asked after what manner this list was taken, whether the persons writ their names to her, and desired that favour, or how she knew she was not cheated in her muster-roll? The method we take, says she, is, that the porter or servant who comes to the door writes down all the names who come to see us, and all such are entitled to a return of their visit. But, said I, madam, I presume those who are searching for each other, and know one another by messages, may be understood as candidates only for each other's favour; and that after so many how-do-ye-does, you proceed to visit or not, as you like the run of each other's reputation or fortune. You understand it aright, said
she ; and we become friends as soon as we are convinced that our dislike to each other may be of any consequence : for to tell you truly, said she, for it is in vain to hide any thing from a man of your penetration, general visits are not made out of good-will, but for fear of ill-will. Punctuality in this case is often a suspicious circumstance; and there is nothing so common as to have a lady say, I hope she has heard nothing of what I said of her, that she grows so great with
But indeed my porter is so dull and negligent, that I fear he has not put down half the people I owe visits to. Madam, said I, methinks it would be very proper if your gentleman usher or groom of the chamber were always to keep an account by way of debtor and creditor. I know a city lady who uses that method, which I think very laudable; for though you may possibly at the court end of the town receive at the door, and light up better than within Temple Bar, yet I must do that justice to my friends the ladies within the walls, to own, that they are much more exact in their correspondence. The lady I was going to men-, tion as an example, has always the second apprentice out of the counting-house for her own use on her visiting days, and he sets down very methodically all the visits which are made her. I remember very well, that on the first of January last, when she made up her account for the year 1708, it stood thus: Mrs. Courtwood-Debtor. Per Contra-Creditor.