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somne 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 resolved to stand boldly to the complexion of my own eyebrow, and prepare me an immense black wig of the same sort of structure with that of my rival. Now, though 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 myself upon this so delicate a conjuncture; with some comfortable resolutions in favour of the handsome black man against the handsome fair one.
“ I am, Sir, your 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 I am
" ROBIN SHORTER. “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 a half of this town, and, flying in the face of justice, pulled off her hat, in which there was a feather, with the mien 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 of abode of the said offender, so as she can be brought to justice, the informant shall have all fitting encouragement.
N° 486: WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 17, 1712.
Audire est operæ pretium, procedere rectè
Hor. 1 Sat. ii. 37.
who think the city ne'er can thrive
PoPE. 6 MR. SPECTATOR, “THERE are very many of my acquaintance followers
of Socrates, with more particular regard to that part of his philosophy which we, among ourselves, call his domestics; 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-pecked, 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 crowd 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 farther favour in behalf of our harmless brotherhood, and hope you will shew in a true light the unmarried hen-pecked, as well as you have done justice to us, who submit to the conduct of our wives. I am very particularly acquainted with one who is under entire submission to a kind girl, as he calls her; and though he knows I have been witness both to the ill usage he has received from her, and his inability to resist her tyranny, he still 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 herself, 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, were received with the utmost coldness; and when he presented me as Mr. Such-a-one, 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 herself 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
many charms to be abandoned for a little quickness of spirit. Thus does this illegitimate hen-pecked 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 own family, to pass through the hazards of a town full of ranters and debauchees. You, that are a philosopher, should urge in our behalf, that, when we bear with a froward woman, our patience is preserved, in consideration that a breach
with her might be a dishonour to children who are descended from us, and whose concern makes 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 human 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 over
“ 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 hen-pecked 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 a 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 a haughty dominion over her lovers, so well, that she has at the same time been kept by a sea-captain in the Straits, 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 nightgown and slippers, and be as grave giving an account, only changing names, that there was nothing in those idle reports they had heard of such a scoundrel as one of the other lovers was; and how could he think she could condescend so low, after such a fine gentleman as each of them? For the same epistle said the same thing to, and of every one of them. And so Mr. Secretary and his lady went to bed with great order.
“To be short, Mr. Spectator, we husbands shall never make the figure we ought in the imaginations of young men growing up in the world, except you can bring it about that a man of the town shall be as infamous a character as a woman of the town. But, of all that I have met in my time, commend me to Betty Duall : she is the wife of a sailor, and the kept mistress of a man of quality; she dwells with the latter during the seafaring of the former. The husband asks no questions, sees his apartments furnished with riches not his, when he comes into port, and the lover is as joyful as a man arrived at his
haven, when the other puts to sea. Betty is the most eminently victorious of any of her sex, and ought to stand recorded the only woman of the age in which she lives, who has possessed at the same time two abused, and two contented
N° 487. THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 1712.
Cùm prostrata sopore
Plays without weight, and wantons unconfined.
on dreams, they have generally considered them only as revelations of what has already happened in distant parts of the world, or as presages of what is to happen in future periods of time.
I shall consider this subject in another light, as dreams may give us some idea of the great excellency of a human soul, and some intimations of its independency on matter.
In the first place, our dreams are great instances of that activity which is natural to the human soul, and which it is not in the power of sleep to deaden or abate. When the man appears
tired and worn out with the labours of the day, this active part in his composition is still busied and unwearied. When the organs of sense want their due repose and necessary reparations, and the body is no longer able to keep pace with that spiritual substance to which it is united, the soul exerts herself in her several faculties, and continues in action until her partner is again qualified to bear her company. In this case dreams look like the relaxations and amusements of the soul, when she is disencumbered of her machine; her sports and recreations, when she has laid her charge asleep.
In the second place, dreams are an instance of that agility, and perfection which is natural to the faculties of the mind, when they are disengaged from the body. The soul is clogged and retarded in her operations, when she acts in conjunction with a companion that is so heavy and unwieldy in its motions. But in dreams it is wonderful to observe with what a sprightliness and alacrity she ex