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filled with so many zephyrs and gentle breezes as are very refreshing in that season of the year, though they might be dangerous to ladies of a tender constitution in any other.
There is an infinite variety of motions to be made use of in the futter of a fan. There is the angry flutter, the modest Autter, the timorous flutter, the confused flutter, the merry flutter, and the amorous flutter. Not to be tedious, there is scarcely any emotion in the mind which does not produce a suitable agitation in the fan; insomuch that if I only see the fan of a disciplined lady I know very well whether she laughs, frowns, or blushes. I have seen a fan so very angry, that it would have been dangerous for the absent lover who provoked it to have come within the wind of it; and at other times so very languishing, that I have been glad for the lady's sake the lover was at a sufficient distance from it. I need not add that a fan is either a prude or a coquette, according to the nature of the person who bears it.
Sir Roger de Coverley at Church
As Sir Roger is landlord to the whole congregation, he keeps them in very good order, and will suffer nobody to sleep in it besides himself; for if by chance he has been surprised into a short nap at sermon, upon recovering out of it he stands up and looks about him, and if he sees anybody else nodding, either wakes them himself or sends his servants to them. Several other of the old Knight's particularities break out upon these occasions. Sometimes he will be lengthening out a verse in the singing-psalms, half a minute after the rest of the congregation have done with it. Sometimes, when he is pleased with the matter of his devotion, he pronounces Amen three or four times to the same prayer; and sometimes stands up when everybody else is upon their knees, to count the congregation, or see if any of his tenants are missing.
I was yesterday very much surprised to hear my old friend, in the midst of the service, calling out to one John Matthews to mind what he was about, and not disturb the congregation. This John Matthews, it seems, is remarkable for being an idle fellow, and at that time was kicking his heels for his diversion. This authority of the Knight, though exerted in that odd manner which accompanies him in all circumstances of life, has a very good effect upon the parish, who are polite enough not to see anything ridiculous in his behaviour; besides that, the general good sense and worthiness of his character makes his friends observe these little singularities as foils that rather set off than blemish his good qualities.
As soon as the sermon is finished, nobody presumes to stir till Sir Roger is gone out of the church. The Knight walks down from his seat in the chancel between a double row of his tenants, that stand bowing to him on each side, and every now and then inquires how such an one's wife, or mother, or son, or father do, whom he does not see at church; which is understood as a secret reprimand to the person that is absent.
The chaplain has often told me that, upon a catechising day, when Sir Roger has been pleased with a boy that anThe Picts
ell, he has ordered a Bible to be given him next day for his encouragement, and sometimes accompanies it with a Aitch of bacon to his mother.
COMPASSION for the gentleman who writes the following letter should not prevail upon me to fall upon the fair sex, if it were not that I find they are frequently fairer than they ought to be. Such impostures are not to be tolerated in civil society, and I think his misfortune ought to be made public, as a warning for other men always to examine into what they admire.
“Sir: Supposing you to be a person of general knowledge, I make my application to you on a very particular occasion. I have a great mind to be rid of my wife, and hope, when you consider my case, you will be of opinion I have very just pretensions to a divorce. I am a mere man of the town, and have very little improvement but what I have got from plays. I remember in the “Silent Woman,” the learned Dr. Cutberd-or Dr. Otter, I forget which-makes one of the causes of separation to be error persona (when a man marries a woman and finds her not to be the same woman whom he intended to marry, but another). If that be law, it is, I presume, exactly my case. For you are to know, Mr. Spectator, that there are women who do not let their husbands see their faces till they are married.
“Not to keep you in suspense, I mean plainly that part of the sex who paint. They are some of them so exquisitely skilful this way that, give them but a tolerable pair of eyes to set up with, and they will make bosom, lips, cheeks, and eyebrows, by their own industry. As for my dear, never man was so enamoured as I was of her fair forehead, neck, and arms, as well as the bright jet of her hair; but, to my great astonishment, I find they were all the effect of art. Her skin is so tarnished with this practice, that, when she first wakes in a morning, she scarce seems young enough to be the mother of her whom I carried to bed the night before. I shall take the liberty to part with her by the first opportunity, unless her father will make her portion suitable to her real, not her assumed, countenance. This I thought fit to let him and her know by your means. I am, sir,
“ Your most obedient humble servant.”
I cannot tell what the law or the parents of the lady will do for this injured gentleman, but must allow he has very much justice on his side. I have indeed very long observed this evil, and distinguished those of our women who wear their own from those in borrowed complexions by the Picts and the British. There does not need any great discernment to judge which are which. The British have a lively, animated aspect; the Picts, though never so beautiful, have dead, uninformed countenances. The muscles of a real face sometimes swell with soft passion, sudden surprise, and are flushed with agreeable confusions, according as the objects before them, or the ideas presented to them, affect their imagination. But the Picts behold all things with the same air, whether they are joyful or sad; the same fixed insensibility appears upon all occasions. A Pict, though she takes all that pains to invite the approach of lovers, is obliged to keep them at a certain distance; a sigh in a languishing lover, if fetched too near her, would dissolve a feature; and a kiss snatched by a forward one, might transfer the complexion of the mistress to the admirer. It is hard to speak of these false fair ones without saying something uncomplaisant; but I would only recommend to them to consider how they like coming into a room new painted; they may assure themselves the near approach of a lady who uses this practice is much more offensive.
Will Honeycomb told us, one day, an adventure he once had with a Pict. This lady had wit, as well as beauty, at will, and made it her business to gain hearts for no other reason but to rally the torments of her lovers. She would make great advances to ensnare men, but without any manner of scruple break off when there was no provocation. Her ill-nature and vanity made my friend very easily proof against the charms of her wit and conversation; but her beauteous form, instead of being blemished by her falsehood and inconstancy, every day increased upon him, and she had new attractions every time he saw her. When she observed Will irrevocably her slave, she began to use him as such, and after many steps toward such a cruelty, she at last utterly banished him. The unhappy lover strove in vain, by servile epistles, to revoke his doom; till at length he was forced to the last refuge, a round sum of money to her maid. This corrupt attendant placed him early in the morning behind the hangings in her mistress's dressing-room. He stood very conveniently to observe, without being seen. The Pict begins the face she designed to wear that day, and I have heard him protest she had worked a full half-hour before he knew her to be the same woman. As soon as he saw the dawn of that complexion for which she had so long languished, he thought fit to break from his concealment, repeating that verse of Cowley: