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Discourses of morality, and reflections upon
human nature, are the best means we can make use of to improve our minds, and gain a true knowledge of ourselves, and consequently to recover our souls out of the vice, ignorance, and prejudice, which naturally cleave to them. I have all along professed myself in this paper a promoter of these great ends; and I flatter myself that I do from day to day contribute something to the polishing of men's minds : at least my design is laudable whatever the execution may be. I must confess I am not a little encouraged in it by many letters which I receive from unknown hands, in approbation of my endeavours; and must take this opportunity of returning my thanks to those who write them, and excusing myself for not inserting several of them in my papers, which I am sensible would be a very great ornament to them. Should I publish the praises which are so well penned, they would do honor to the persons who write them, but my publishing of them would, I fear, be a sufficient instance to the world that I did not deserve them.
No. CCXVI. WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7,
Siquidem herclè possis, nil prius, neque fortius ;
If indeed you can keep to your resolution, you will act a noble and a manly part: but if, when you have set about it, your courage fails you, and you make a voluntary subinission, acknowledging the violence of your passion, and your inability to hold out any longer, all is over with you; you are undone, and may go hang yourself; she will insult over you, when she finds you her slave.
To the Spectator.
« THIS is to inform you, that Mr. Freeman had no sooner taken coach, but his lady was taken with a • terrible fit of the vapours, which, it is feared, will make her miscarry, if not endanger her life ; therefore, dear Sir, if you know of any receipt that is 'good against this fashionable reigning distemper, be
pleased to communicate it for the good of the pub• lic, and you will oblige
Mr. Spectator, • THE uproar was so great, as soon as I had read the Spectator concerning Mrs. Freeman, that after many revolutions in her temper, of raging, swoon. ing, railing, fainting, pitying herself, and reviling her • husband, upon an accidental coming-in of a neigh
bouring lady, who says she has writ to you also, she ( had nothing left for it but to fall in a fit. I had the honour to read the paper to her, and have a pretty
good command of my countenance and temper on (such occasions; and soon found my historical name (to be Tom Meggot in your writings, but concealed ( myself until I saw how it affected Mrs. Freeman. She • looked frequently at her husband, as often at me; and < she did not treible as she filled tea, until she came ( to the circumstance of Armstrong's writing out a - piece of Tully for an opera tune : then she burstout, • She was exposed, she was deceived, she was wrong
ed and abused. The tea-cup was thrown in the fire ; 6 and without taking vengeance on her spouse, she ( said of me, that I was a pretending coxcomb, a smeddler that knew not what it was to interpose in
so nice an affair, as between a man and his wife. To (which Mr. Freeman said, Maciam, were I less fond • of you than I am, I should not have taken this way
of writing to the Spectator, to inform a woman whom « God and nature has placed under my direction, with ( what I request of her ; but since you are so indisI creet as not to take the hint which I
gave you in that paper, I must tell you, Madam, in so many ( words, that you have for a long and tedious space
of time acted a part unsuitable to the sense you rought to have of the subordination in which you are placed. And I must acquaint you, once for all, that the fellow without, ha Ton! (here the footman entered, and answered, Madam) sirrah, do not you • know my voice ? look upon me when I speak to you: • I say, Madam, this fellow here is to know of me my6 self, whether I am at leisure to see company or not. “I am from this hour master of this house; and my • business in it, and every where else, is to behave
myself in such a manner as it shall hereafter be an 'honour to you to bear my name; and " that you are the delight, the darling and ornament of a man of honour, useful and esteemed by his friends; and I no longer one that has buried some merit in the world, in compliance. to a froward hu
; upon which
mour which has grown upon an agreeable woman by
his indulgence. Mr. Freeman ended this with a • tenderness in his aspect and a down-cast eye, which
shewed he was extremely moved at the anguish he
saw her in ; for she sat swelling with passion, and ( her eyes firmly fixed on the fire ; when I, fearing ( he would lose all again, took upon me to provoke her out of that amiable sorrow she was in, to fall upon
said very seasonably for my friend, that indeed Mr. Freeman was become the
common talk of the town; and that nothing was so ( much a jest, as when it was said in company
Mr. • Freeman has promised to come to such a place.
Upon which the good lady turned her softness into downright rage, and threw the scalding tea-kettle
upon your humble servant ; flew into the middle of • the room, and cried out she was the unfortunatest • of all women : others kept family dissatisfactions « for hours of privacy and retirement : no apology
was to be made to her, no expedient to be found, no ' previous manner of breaking what was amiss in her; ' but all the world was to be acquainted with her er
rors, without the least admonition. Mr. Freeman was going to make a softening speech, but I inter
posed ; look you, madam, I have nothing to say to ' this matter, but you ought to consider you are now
past a chicken ; this humour, which was well • enough in a girl, is insufferable in one of your mc(therly character. With that she lost all patience, ' and flew directly at her husband's periwig. I got
her in my arms, and defended my friend : he mak
ing signs at the same time that it was too much ; I • beckoning, nodding, and frowning over her shoulder, " that he was lost if he did not persist. In this man
ner she flew round and round the room in a moment, ' until the lady I spoke of above and servants entered;
upon which she fell on a couch as breathless. I still kept up my friend ; but he with a very silly
• air, bid them bring the coach to the door, and we I went off, I being forced to bid the coachman drive
We were no sooner come to my lodgings, but « all his wife's relations came to enquire after him ; ( and Mrs. Freeman's mother writ a note, wherein 6 she thought never to have seen this day, and so « forth.
• In a word, Sir, I am afraid we are upon a thing we have not talents for ; and I can observe alrea• dý, my friend look upon me rather as a man who • knows a weakness of him that he is ashamed of, I than one who has rescued him from slavery. Mr. • Spectator, I am but a young fellow, and if Mr. • Freeman submits, I shall be looked upon as an in
cendiary, and never get a wife as long as I breathe. i He has indeed sent word home he shall lie at
Hampstead to-night; but I believe fear of the first o onset after this rupture has too great a place in
this resolution. Mrs. Freeman has a very pretty o sister ; suppose I delivered him up, and articled " with the mother for her for bringing him home. • If he has not courage to stand it, you are a great
casuist, is it such an ill thing to bring myself off as well as I can? What makes me doubt my man,
is, that I find he thinks it reasonable to expostu6 late at least with her; and Capt. Sentry will tell
you, if you will let your orders be disputed, you o are no longer a commander. I wish you could o advise me how to get clear of this business handsomely
• Your's, T.