« 上一頁繼續 »
sensible, that one great source of the uneasiness and « misery of human life, especially among those of disItinction, arises from nothing in the world else, but ' too severe a contemplation of an indefeasible con
texture of our external parts, or certain natural and • invincible dispositions to be fat or lean? When • a little more of Mr. Spectator's philosophy would
take off all this ; and in the mean time let them ob• serve, that there is not one of their grievances of this
sort, but perhaps, in some ages of the world, has • been highly in vogue; and may be so again; nay, ' in some country or other, ten to one is so at this ' day. My lady Ample is the most miserable woman
in the world, purely of her own making; she even grudges herself meat and drink, for fear she should
thrive by them; and is constantly crying out, In a ' quarter of a year more I shall be quite out of all 'manner of shape! Now the lady's misfortune seems. • to be only this, that she is planted in a wrong soil; ' for, go but tothe other side of the water, it is a jest at
Harlem to talk of a shape under eighteen stone. . These wise traders regulate their beauties as they
do their butter, by the pound; and Miss Cross, when
she first arrived in the Low Countries, was not com( puted to be so handsome as Madam Van Brisket by near half a tun. On the other hand, there is 'squire
Lath, a proper gentleman of fifteen hundred pounds . per annum, as well as of an unblameable life and
conversation; yet would not I be the esquire for half his estate; for if it was as much more he would freely part with it all for a pair of legs to his mind: where. as in the reign of our first king Edward of glorious
memory, nothing more modish than a brace of your s fine taper supporters: and his majesty, without an • inch of call, managed affairs in peace and war as
laudably as the bravest and most politic of his ancestors; and was as terrible to his neighbours under
• the royal name of Long-shanks, as Cour de Lion ( to the Saracens before him. If we look farther back 4 into history, we shall find that Alexander the Great
wore his head a little over his left shoulder ; and (then, not a soul stirred out 'till he had adjusted his 6 neck-bone; the whole nobility addressed the prince
and each other obliquely, and all matters of imporAtance were concerted and carried on in the Mace
donian court with their polls on one side. For about 6 the first century nothing made more noise in the ( world than Roman noses, and then not a word of (them untill they revived again in eighty-eight. Nor < is it so very long since Richard the third set up half 6 the backs of the nation; and high shoulders, as well 6 as high noses, were the top of the fashion. But to 6 come to ourselves, gentlemen, though I find by my ( quinquennial observations, that we shall never get i ladies enough to make a party in our own country, ( yet might we meet with better success among some t of our allies. And what think you if our board sat
for a Dutch piece? Truly I am of opinion, that as i odd as we appear in flesh and blood, we should be
no such strange things in metzo-tinto. But this project may rest 'till our number is complete; and this being our election night, give me leave to pro
pose Mr. Spectator. You see his inclinations, and • perhaps we may not have his fellow."
• I found most of them (as is usual in all such cases) were prepared; but one of the seniors (whom by the <bye Mr. President had taken all this pains to bring cover) sat still, and cocking his chin, which seemed
only to be levelled at his nose, very gravely declared, " That in case he had had sufficient knowledge of you, 6 no man should have been more willing to have sery.
ed you; but that he, for his part, had always had re6 gard to his own conscience, as well as other people's i merit; and he did not know but that you might be a handsome fellow; for, as for your own certificate, it I was every body's business to speak for themselves."
Mr. President immediately retorted, “ A handsome I fellow! why he is a wit, Sir, and you know the pro. 6.verb:" and to ease the ola gentleman of his scruples, I cried, " That for matter of merit it was all one, you 6 might wear a mask.” This threw him into a pause, 6 and he looked desirous of three days to consider on ( it; but Mr. President improved the thought, and, I followed him up with an old story, “ That wits were s privileged to wear what masks they pleased in all (ages; and that a vizard had been the constant crown " of their labours, which was generally presented " them by the hand of soine satyr, and sometimes of 6 Apollo himself:" For the truth of which he ape " pealed to the frontispiece of several books, and par. rticularly to the English Juvenal, to which he refer. o red him; and only added, “ That such authors were o the Larvati, or Larva donati of the ancients." This
cleared up all, and in the conclusion you were chose probationer: and Mr. President put round your • health as such, protesting, " That though indeed he I talked of a vizard. he did not believe all the while s you had any more occasion for it than the cat-amountain;" so that all ycu have to do now is to pay your fees, which here are very reasonable, if you are not imposed upon: ard you may stile yourself 5 informis Societatis Socius: Which I am desired to ( acquaint you with ; and upon the same I beg you ( to accept of the congratulation of,
"Ac. Oxford, March 21.
The graces with their zones unloos’d,
From every spring, and every plain;
And Mercury compose thy train. CREECH.
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 out-side. 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 sai 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. Daphine has a countenance that appears chearful, 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; inso. much that he would often say to her, “ Dear Daphne, • wert thou but as handsome as Lætitia”-She received the 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 repeated instances of good-humour he had observed in Daphne, he one day
told the latter, that he had something to say to her he . hoped she would he pleased with— Faith, Daphne,"
continued he, “ I am in love with thee, and despise (66 thy sister sincerely.” The manner of his declar• ing himself gave his mistress occasion for a very hearty - laughter."Nay,” says he. “I knew you would laugh 16 at me, but I'll 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