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dect upon some things people say of you, as they will of men who distinguish themselves, which I ! hope are not true; and wish you as good a man as you are an author.
"I am, Sir,
Your most obedient humble servant, z.
No. CCXI. THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1.
Fictis meminerit nos jocari fabulis.
Let it be remember'd that we sport in fabled stories.
HAVING lately translated the fragment of an old poet which describes womankind under several characters, and supposes
them to have drawn their different manners and dispositions from those animals and elements out of which he tells us they were compounded; I had some thoughts of giving the sex their revenge, by laying together in another paper the many vicious characters which prevail in the male world, and shewing the different ingredients that go to the making up of such different humours and constitutions. Horace has a thought which is something akin to this, when, in order to excuse himself to his mistress for an invective which he had written against her, and to account for that unreasonable fury with which the heart of man is often transported, he tells us, that when Prometheus made his man of clay, in the kneading up of the heart, he seasoned it with some furious particles of the lion. But upon turning this plan to and fro in my thoughts, I observed so many unaccountable humours in man, that I did not know out of what animals to fetch them. Male souls are diver. sified with so many characters, that the world has not variety of materials sufficient to furnish out their different tempers and inclinations. The creation, with allits animals and elements, would not be large enough to supply their several extravagancies.
Instead, therefore, of pursuing the thought of Simonides, I shall observe, that as he has exposed the vicious part of women from the doctrine of pre-existence, some of the ancient philosophers have, in a manner, satirized the vicious part of the human species in general, from a notion of the soul's post-existence, if I may so call it; and that as Simonides describes brutes entering into the composition of women, others have represented human souls as entering into brutes. This is commonly termed the doctrine of transmigration, which supposes that human souls, upon their leaving the body, become the souls of such kinds of brutes as they most resemble in their manners; or, to give an account of it as Mr. Dryden has described it, in his translation of Pythagoras' speech in the fifteenth book of Ovid, where that philosopher dissuades his hearers from eating flesh:
“ Thus all things are but alter'd, nothing dies,
“ Then let not piety be put to flight,
Plato in the vision of Erus the Armenian, which I may possibly make the subject of a future speculation, records some beautiful transmigrations : as that the soul of Orpheus, who was musical, melancholy, and a woman-hater, entered into a swan ; the soul of Ajax, which was all wrath and fierceness, into a lion ; the soul of Agamemnon, that was rapacious and imperial, into an eagle : and the soul of Thersites, who was a mimic and a buffoon, into a monkey.
Mr. Congreve, in a prologue to one of his comedies, has touched upon this doctrine with great humour.
" Thus Aristotle's soul of old that was,
I shall fill up this paper with some letters which my last Tuesday's speculation has produced. My following correspondents will shew, what I there observed, that the speculation of that day affects only the lower part of the sex.
• From my house in the Strand, October 30, 1711.
Mr. Spectator, • UPON reading your Tuesday's paper, I find by • several symptoms in my constitution that I am a bee. My shop, or if you please to call it so, my cell, is in that great hive of females which goes by ' the name of “ The New Exchange;" where I am • daily employed in gathering together a little stock • of gain from the finest flowers about the town, I
mean the ladies and the beaus. I have a numerous swarm of children, to whom I give the best
education I am able : but, Sir, it is my misfortune " to be married to a drone, who lives upon what I get,
without bringing any thing into the common stock. • Now, Sir, as on the one hand I take care not to be
have myself towards him like a wasp, so likewise I • would not have him look upon me as an humble• bee; for which reason I do all I can to put him.
upon laying up provisions for a bad day, and fre
quently represent to him the fatal effects his sloth " and negligence may bring upon us in our old age. " I must beg that you will join with me in your good " advice upon this occasion, and you will for ever
o Your humble servant,
Piccadilly, October 31, 1711. SIR, "I AM joined in wedlock for my sins to one of those fillies who are described in the old poet with
that hard name you gave us the other day. She « has a flowing mane, and a skin as soft as silk: but, “Sir, she passes half her life at her glass, and alo most ruins me in ribbons. For my own part, I
am a plain handicraft man, and in danger of break
ing by her laziness and expensiveness. Pray, mas(ter, tell me in your next paper, whether I may • not expect of her so much drudgery as to take care
of her family, and to curry her hide in case of reI fusal. • Your loving friend,
6 BARNABY BRITTLE.'
Cheapside, October 30. • Mr. Spectator, • I AM mightily pleased with the humour of the • cat; be so kind as to enlarge upon that subject.
Your's till death,
• JOSIAH HENPECK.' P.S. You must know I am married to a Gri« malkin.'
Wapping, October 31, 1711.
• EVER since your Spectator of Tuesday last came into our family, my husband is pleased to • call me his Oceana, because the foolish old poet
that you have translated says, that the souls of some women are made of sea-water. This, it seems, 'has encouraged my sauce-box to be witty upon me. 'When I am angry, he cries pr’ythee, my dear, be
calm ; when I chide one of my servants, pr’ythee, • child, do not bluster. He had the impudience about
an hour ago to tell me, that he was a sea-faring man, and must expect to divide his life between storm and sunshine. When I bestir myself with any spirit in my family, it is high sea in his house ;
and when I sit still without doing any thing, his "affairs forsooth are wind-bound. When I ask him whether it rains, he makes answer, it is no matter,
so that it be fair weather within doors. In short, • Sir, I cannot speak my mind freely to him, but I * either swell or rage, or do something that is not fit
for a civil woman to hear. Pray, Mr. Spectator, since you are so sharp upon other women, let us • know what materials your wife is made of, if you i have one.
I suppose you would make us a parcel of poor-spirited tame insipid creatures : but, Sir, • I would have you to know, we have as good pas
sions in us as yourself, and that a woman was ne6 ver designed to be a milk-sop. L.