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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 ; there( fore, 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
6 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 treinble 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 meddler 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, Madam, were 1 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 indis"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 ought to have of the subordination in which you are placed. And I must acquaint you, once for all, that
the fellow without, ha Toni! (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 myself, 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 your pride, ' 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
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 me; upon which I 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 errors, without the least admonition. Mr. Freeman
was going to make a scftening 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 ;
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 ( went off, I being forced to bid the coachman drive
We were no sooner come to my lodgings, but 6 all his wife's relations came to enquire after him ; 6 and Mrs. Freeman's mother writ a note, wherein
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,
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. + He has indeed sent word home he shall lie at · Hampstead to-night; but I believe fear of the first 6 onset after this rupture has two great a place in o this resolution. Mrs. Freeman has a very pretty • 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 6 as well as I can? What makes me doubt my man, 6 is, that I find he thinks it reasonable to expostu• late at least with her; and Capt. Sentry will tell you,
you will let your orders be disputed, you o are no longer a commander. I wish you could
advise me how to get clear of this business handsomely,
- Tom MEGGOT.'