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ered tunic, a beautiful coat of mail, with a mantle of the finest purple. “ A golden bow,” says he, “ hung “ upon his shoulder; his garinent was buckled with • a golden clasp, and his head was covered with an 6 helmet of the same shining inetal.” The Amazon immediately singled out this well-dressed warrior, being seized with a woman's longing for the pretty trap- pings that he was adorned with:
.... Totumque incauta per aginen
This heedless pursuit after these glittering trifles, the poet (by a nice concealed moral) represents to have been the destruction of his female hero.
No. XVI. MONDAY, MARCH 19.
Quod verum atque decens curo & rogo, & omnis in hoc sum.
I HAVE received a letier, desiring me to be very satirical upon the little muff that is now in fashion; another informs me of a pair of silver garters buckled below the knee, that have been lately seen at the Rainbow Coffee-house, in Fleet-street; a third sends me an heavy complaint against fringed gloves. To be brief, there is scarce an ornament of either sex which one or the other of my correspondents has not joveighed against with some bitterness, and recommended to my observation. I must therefore, once for all, inform my readers, that it is not my intention
to sink the dignity of this my paper with reflections upon red heels or top-knots; but rather to enter into the passions of mankind, and to correct those depraved sentiments that give birth to all those little extravagancies which appear in their outward dress and behaviour. Foppish and fantastic ornaments are only indications of vice, not criminal in themselves: Extinguish vanity in the mind, and you naturally retrench the little superfluities of garniture and equipage. The blossoms will fall of themselves when the root that nourishes them is destroyed. · I shall, therefore, as I have said, apply my remedies to the first seeds and principles of an affected dress, without descending to the dress itself; though at the same time I must own, that I have thoughts of creating an officer under me, to be entituled, “ The Censor « of small wares,” and of allotting him one day in a week for the execution of such his office. An operator of this nature might act under me with the same regard as a surgeon to a physician ; the one might be employed in healing those blotches and tumours which break out in the body, while the other is sweetening the blood and rectifying the constitution. To speak truly, the young people of both sexes are so wonderfully apt to shoot out into long swords or sweeping trains, bushy head-dresses, or full-boltomed perriwigs, with several other incumbrances of dress, that they stand in need of being pruned very frequently, lest they should be oppressed with ornaments, and over-run with the luxuriance of their habits. I am much in doubt whether I should give the preference to a quaker that is trimmed close and almost cut to the quick, or to a beau that is loaden with such a redundance of excrescences. I must, therefore, desire my correspondents to let me know how they approve my project, and whether they think the erecting of such a petty censorship may not turn to the emolument of the pub.
lic; for I would not do any thing of this nature rashly and without advice.
There is another set of correspondents to whom I must address myself in the second place; I mean such as fill their letters with private scandal and black accounts of particular persons and families. The world is so full of ill-nature, that I have lampoons sent me by people who cannot spell, and satires composed by those who scarce know how to write. By the last post in particular, I received a packet of scandal which is not legible; and have a whole bundle of letters in wo. men's hands that are full of blots and calumnies, inso. much, that when I see the name Cælia, Phillis, Pastora, or the like, at the bottom of a scrawl, I conclude of course that it brings me some account of a fallen virgin, a faithless wife, or an amorous widow. I must therefore inform these my correspondents, that it is not my design to be a publisher of intrigues and cuckoldoms, or to bring little infamous stories out of their present lurking-holes into broad day-light. If I attack the vicious, I shall only set upon them in a body; and will not be provoked, by the worst usage I can receive from others, to make an example of any particular criminal. In short, I have so much of a Drawcansir in me, that I shall pass over a single foe to charge whole armies. It is not Lais nor Silenus, but the harlot and the drunkard, whom I shall endeavour to expose; and shall consider the crime as it appears in a species, not as it is circumstanced in an individual. I think it was Caligula who wished the whole city of Rome had but one neck, that he might behead them at a blow. I shall do, out of humanity, what that emperor would have done in the cruelty of his temper, and aim every stroke at a collective body of offenders. At the same time, I am very sensible that nothing spreads a paper like private calumny and de
famation; but as my speculations are not under this necessity, they are not exposed to this temptation.
In the next place, I must apply myself to my party-correspondents, who are continually teazing me to take notice of one another's proceedings. How often am I asked by both sides, if it is possible for me to be an unconcerned spectator of the rogueries that are committed by the party which is opposite to him that writes the letter? About two days since, I was reproached with an old Grecian law, that forbids any man to stand as a neuter, or a looker-on in the divisions of his country. However, as I am very sensible my paper would lose its whole effect, should it run into the outrages of a party, I shall take care to keep clear of every thing which looks that way. If I can any way assuage private inflammations, or allay public ferments, I shall apply myself to it with my utmost enJeavours; but will never let my heart reproach me with having done any thing towards increasing those feuds and animosities that extinguish religion, deface government, and make a nation miserable.
What I have said under the three foregoing heads, will, I am afraid, very much retrench the number of my correspondents: I shall therefore acquaint my reader, that if he has started any hint which he is not able to pursue, if he has met with any surprising story which he does not know how to tell, if he has discovered any epidemical vice which has escaped my observation, or has heard of any uncommon virtue which he would desire to publish: in short, if he has any materials that can furnish out an innocent diver. sión, I shall promise him my best assistance in the working of them up for public entertainment.
This paper my reader will find was intended for an answer to a multitude of correspondents; but I hope he will pardon me if I single out one of them in
particular, who has made me so very humble a request, that I cannot forbear complying with it.
To the Spectator.
March 15, 1710-11.
"I AM at present so unfortunate, as to have noI thing to do but to mind my own business: and there'fore beg of you that you will be pleased to put me in.
to some small post under you. I observe that you
have appointed your printer and publisher to receive 5 letters and advertisements for the city of London; 6 and shall think myself very much honoured by you, <if you will appoint me to take in letters and adver6 tisements for the city of Westminster, and the du
chy of Lancaster. Though I cannot promise to fill í such an employment with sufficient abilities, I will i endeavour to make up with industry and fidelity 6 what I want in parts and genius.
"I am, Sir,