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• A lady of this place had some time since a box of the newest ribbons sent down by the coach : whe(ther it was her own malicious invention or the wan• tonness of a London milliner, I am not able to in• form you; but, among the rest, there was one cherry
coloured ribbon, consisting of about half a dozen yards "made up in the figure of a small head-dress. The 6 aforesaid lady had the assurance to affirm, amidst a • circle of female inquisitors, who were present at the opening of the box, that this was the newest fashion worn at court. Accordingly the next Sunday we had several females who came to church with their heads « dressed wholly in ribbons, and looked like so many • victims ready to be sacrificed. This is still a reign' ing mode among us. At the same time we have a • set of gentlemen who take the liberty to appear in
all public places without any buttons to their coats, ! which they supply with several little silver hasps,
though our freshest advices from London make no ( mention of any such fashion; and we are something
shy of affording matter to the button-makers for a • second petition.
" What I would humbly propose to the public is, that there may be a society erected in London, to consist of the most skilful persons of both sexes, for
the “ inspection of modes and fashions;" and that, • hereafter no person or persons shall presume to ap
pear singularly habited in any part of the country, (without a testimonial from the aforesaid society, that - their dress is answerable to the mode at London. By ! this means, Sir, we shall know a little whereabout
• If you could bring this matter to bear, you would very much oblige great numbers of your country 6 friends, and among the rest,
* Your very humble servant,
• Jack Modish.'
Parvula, pumilio, xapitwy jix, tota merum sal.
A little, pretty, witty, charming she !
THERE are in the following letter, matters, which I, a bachelor, cannot be supposed to be acquainted with ; therefore shall not pretend to explain upon it until farther consideration, but leave the author of the epistle to express his condition his own way.
Mr. Spectator, ( I DO not deny but you appear in many of your papers to understand human life pretty well; but " there are very many things which you cannot possibly have a true notion of, in a single life; these are such as respect the married state ; otherwise I cannot account for your having overlooked a very good sort of people, which are commonly called in scorn the Hen-peckt. You are to understand that I am one of those innocent mortals who suffer derision ( under that word, for being governed by the best of (wives. It would be worth your consideration to en( ter into the nature of affection itself, and tell us, according to your philosophy, why it is that our
dears should do what they will with us, shall be " froward, ill-natured, assuming, sometimes whine, o at others rail, then swoon away, then come to life,
have the use of speech to the greatest fluency ima'ginable, and then sink away again, and all because " they fear we do not love them enough; that is, the
poor thing loves us so heartily, that they cannot ' think it possible we should be able to love them in
so great à degree, which makes them take on so. I
say, Sir, a true good-natured man, whom rakes and • libertines call Hen-peckt, shall fall into all these dif
(ferent moods with his dear life, and at the same ' time see they are wholly put on; and yet not be
hard-hearted enough to tell the dear good creature • that she is an hypocrite.
« This sort of good men is very frequent in the populous and wealthy city of London, and is the • true Hen-peckt man ; the kind creature cannot break
through his kindnesses so far as to come to an explanation with the tender soul, and therefore goes
on to comfort her when nothing ails her, to appease • her when she is not angry, and to give her his cash 6 when he knows she does not want it ; rather than be
uneasy for a whole month, which is computed by • hard-hearted men the space of time which a frow
ard woman takes to come to herself, if you have courage to stand out.
• There are indeed several other species of the Her• peckt, and in my opinion they are certainly the best • subjects the Queen has; and for that reason I take it to be your duty to keep us above contempt.
. I do not know whether I make myself understood ' in the representation of a Hen-peckt life, but I shall ( take leave to give you an account of myself, and my own spouse.
You are to know that I am reckoned no fool, have on several occasions been tried whe(ther I will take ill-usage, and the event has been to
my advantage ; and yet there is not such a slave in • Turkey as I am to my dear. She has a good share of wit, and is what you call a very pretty agreeable
I perfectly dote on her, and my affection to her gives me all the anxieties imaginable but that ! of jealousy. My being thus confident of her, I take
as much as I can judge of my heart, to be the rea
son, that whatever she does, though it be never so ( much against my inclination, there is still left some5 thing in her manner that is amiable. She will some( times look at me wih an assumed grandeur, and
pretend to resent that I have not had respect enough
for her opinion in such an instance in company. I
cannot but smile at the pretty anger she is in, and " then she pretends she is used like a child. In a
word, our great debate is, which has the superiority • in point of understanding. She is eternally forming
an argument of debate ; to which I very indolently
answer, thou art mighty pretty. To this she answers, • all the world but you think I have as much sense as
yourself. I repeat to her, indeed you are pretty. Upon this there is no patience ; she will throw down
any thing about her, stamp and pull off her head6 clothes. Fy, my dear, says I ; how can a woman
of your sense fall into such an intemperate rage ? • This is an argument which never fails. Indeed, my • dear, says she, you make me mad sometimes, so
you do, with the silly way you have of treating me • like a pretty idiot. Well, what have I got by putting her into good-humour ? Nothing, but that I must convince her of my good opinion by my practice ; and then I am to give her possession of my little ready-imoney, and, for a day and a half following,
dislike all she dislikes, and extol every thing she ' approves. I am so exquisitely fond of this darling, that I seldom see any of my friends, am uneasy in all companies until I see her again ; and when
I come home she is in the dumps, because she says • she is sure I came so soon only because I think her
handsome. I dare not upon this occasion laugh ; • but though I am one of the warmest churchmen in • the kingdom, I am forced to rail at the times, because ( she is a violent whig. Upon this we talk politics so • long, that she is convinced I kiss her for her wis• dom. It is a common practice with me to ask her
some questions concerning the constitution, which • she answers me in general out of Harrington's • Oceana : then I commend her strange memory,
and her arm is immediately locked in mine. • While I keep her in this temper she plays before
me, sometimes dancing in the midst of the room, • sometimes striking an air at her spinnet, varying • her posture and her charms in such a manner that
I am in continual pleasure. She will play the fool, if I allow her to be wise ; but if she suspects I like • her for her trifling, she immediately grows grave.
• These are the toils in which I am taken, and I carry off my servitude as well as most men ; but • my application to you is in behalf of the Hen-peckt ' in general, and I desire a dissertation from you in
defence of us. You have, as I am informed, very • gcod authorities in our favour, and hope you will
not omit the mention of the renowned Socrates, 6 and his philosophic resignation to his wife Xantip
pe. This would be a very good office to the world
in general, for the Hen-peckt are powerful in their « quality and numbers, not only in cities but in courts ;
in the latter they are ever the most obsequious, in the former the most wealthy of all men. When you
have considered wedlock thoroughly, you ought • to enter into the suburbs of matrimony, and give
us an account of the thraldom of kind keepers, and ! irresolute lovers; the keepers who cannot quit their « fair ones, though they see their approaching ruin ; ¢ the lovers who dare not marry, though they know " they never shall be happy without the mistresses ( whom they cannot purchase on other terms.
" What will be a great embellishment to your dis. course, will be, that you may find instances of the « haughty, the proud, the frolic, the stubborn, who are ( each of them in secret downright slaves to their
wives or mistresses. I must beg of you in the last
place to dwell upon this, that the wise and valiant ? in all ages have been Hen-peckt; and that the sturdy
tempers who are not slaves to affection, owe that exemption to their being inthralled by ambition, avarice, or some meaner passion. I have ten thou.