« ПредишнаНапред »
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 countenance. This I thought fit to let him and her know by your
'I am, sir,
"Your most obedient
I cannot tell what the law, or the parents of the lady, will do for this injured gentleman, but must allow he has very much justice on his side. I have indeed very long observed this evil, and distinguished those of our women who wear their own, from those in borrowed 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; a sigh
study, eat, drink, and sleep in it; insomuch that I may be said for these last three years to have lived in a pair of scales. I compute myself, when I am in full health, to be precisely two hundred weight, falling short of it about a pound after a day's fast, and exceeding it as much after a very full meal; so that it is my continual employment to trim the balance between these two volatile pounds in my constitution. In my ordinary meals I fetch myself up to two hundred weight and half a pound; and if after having dined I find myself fall short of it, i drink just so much small beer, or eat such a quantity of bread, as is sufficient to make me weight. In my greatest excesses I do not transgress more than the other half pound; which, for my health's sake, I do the first Monday in every month. As soon as I find myself duly poised after dinner, I walk till I have perspired five ounces and four scruples; and when I discover, by my chair, that I am so far reduced, I fall to my books, and study away three ounces more. As for the remaining parts of the pound, I keep no account of them. I do not dine and sup by the clock, but by my chair; for, when that informs me my pound of food is exhausted, I conclude myself to be hungry, and lay in another with all diligence. In my days of abstinence I lose a pound and a half, and on solemn fasts am two pound lighter than on other days in the year.
I allow myself, one night with another, a quarter of a pound of sleep, within a few grains more or less; and if upon my rising I find that I have not consumed my whole quantity, I take out the rest in my chair. Upon an exact calculation of what I expended and received the last year, which I always register in a book, I find the medium to be two hundred weight, so that I cannot discover that I am impaired one ounce in my health
health during a whole twelvemonth. And yet, sir, notwithstanding this my great care to ballast myself equally every day, and to keep my body in its proper poise, so it is, that I find myself in a sick and languishing condition. My complexion is grown very sallow, my pulse low, and my body hydropical. Let me therefore beg you, sir, to consider me as your patient, and to give me more certain rules to walk by than those I have already observed, and you will very much oblige
( Your humble servant.'
This letter puts me in mind of an Italian epitaph written on the monument of a Valetudinarian; Stave ben, ma per star meglio, sto qui,
LETITIA AND DAPHNE.
A FRIEND of mine has two daughters, whom I will call Lætitia and Daphne: the former is one of the greatest beauties of the age in which she lives, the latter no way remarkable for any charms in her person. Upon this one circumstance of their outward form, the good and ill of their life seems to turn. Lætitia has not, from her very childhood, heard any thing else but commendations of her features and complexion; by which means she is no other than nature made her, a very beautiful outside. The consciousness of her charms has rendered her insupportably vain and insolent, towards all who have to do with her. Daphne, who was almost twenty before one civil thing had ever been said to her, found herself obliged to acquire some
accomplishments to make up for the want of those attractions which she saw in her sister. Poor Daphne was seldom submitted to in a debate wherein she was concerned; her discourse had nothing to recommend it but the good sense of it, and she was always under a necessity to have very well considered what she was to say before she uttered it: while Lætitia was listened to with partiality, and approbation sat in the countenances of those she conversed with, before she communicated what she had to say. These causes have produced suitable effects, and Lætitia is as insipid a companion as Daphne is an agreeable one. Lætitia, confident of favour, has studied no arts to please; Daphne, despairing of any inclination towards her person, has depended only on her merit. Lætitia has always something in her air that is sullen, grave, and disconsolate. Daphne has a countenance that appears cheerful, open, and unconcerned. A young gentleman saw Lætitia this winter at a play, and became her captive. His fortune was such, that he wanted very little introduction to speak his sentiments to her father. The lover was admitted with the utmost freedom into the family, where a constrained behaviour, severe looks, and distant civilities, were the highest favours he could obtain of Lætitia; while Daphne used him with the good humour, familiarity, and innocence of a sister: insomuch that he would often say to her, "Dear Daphne, wert thou but as handsome as Lætitia-" She received such language with that ingenuous and pleasing mirth which is natural to a woman without design. He still sighed in vain for Lætitia, but found certain relief in the agreeable conversation of Daphne. At length, heartily tired with the haughty impertinence of Lætitia, and charmed with the repeated instances of good-hu
mour he had observed in Daphne, he one day told the latter that he had something to say to her he hoped she would be pleased with-" "Faith, Daphne," continued he, "I am in love with thee, and despise thy sister sincerely." The manner of his declaring himself gave his mistress occasion for a very hearty laughter.“ Nay," says he, says he, "I knew you would laugh at me, but I will ask your father." He did so the father received his intelligence with no less joy than surprise, and was very glad he had now no care left but for his Beauty, which he thought he could carry to market at his leisure. I do not know any thing that has pleased me so much a great while, as this conquest of my friend Daphne's. All her acquaintance congratulated her upon her chance-medley, and laugh at that premedi→ tating murderer her sister.
A LADY'S LIBRARY.
SOME months ago my friend sir Roger, being in the country, inclosed 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 consequence, desired me to deliver it to her with my own hand. Accordingly
I waited upon her ladyship pretty early in the morning, and was desired by her woman to walk into her lady's library, till such time as she was in readiness to receive me. The very sound of a lady's library, gave me a great curiosity to see 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