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ten merely local; in some situations the air diseases the body, and in others poisons the mind. Being obliged to remove my habitation, I was led by my evil genius to a convenient house in a street where many of the nobility reside. We had scarcely ranged our furniture, and aired our rooms, when my wife began to grow discontented, and to wonder what the neighbours would think when they saw so few chairs and chariots at her door.
Her acquaintance who came to see her from the quarter that we had left, mortified her without design, by continual inquiries about the ladies whose houses they viewed from our windows. She was ashamed to confess that she had no intercourse with them, and sheltered her distress under general answers, which always tended to raise suspicion that she knew more than she would tell ; but she was often reduced to difficulties, when the course of talk introduced questions about the furniture or ornaments of their houses, which, when she could get no intelligence, she was forced to pass slightly over, as things which she saw so often that she never minded them.
To all these vexations she was resolved to put an end, and redouble her visits to those few of her friends, who visited those who kept good company; and, if ever she met a lady of quality, forced herself into notice by respect and assiduity. Her advances were generally rejected; and she heard them, as they went down stairs, talk how some creatures put themselves forward.
She was not discouraged, but crept forward from one to another; and, as perseverance will do great things, sapped her way unperceived, till, unexpectedly, she appeared at the card-table of Lady Biddy Porpoise, a lethargic virgin of seventy-six, whom all the families in the next square visited very punctually when she was not at home.
This was the first step of that elevation to which my wife has since ascended. For five months she had no name in her mouth but that of Lady Biddy, who, let the world say what it would, bad a fine understanding, and such a command of her temper, that, whether she won or lost, she slept over her cards.
At Lady Biddy's she met with Lady Tawdry, whose favour she gained by estimating her ear-rings, which were counterfeit, at twice the value of real diamonds. When she had once entered two houses of distinction, she was easily admitted into more, and in ten weeks had all her time anticipated by parties and engagements. Every morning she is bespoke, in the summer, for the gardens; in the winter, for a sale ; every afternoon she has visits to pay, and every night brings an inviolable appointment, or an assembly in which the best company in the town were to appear.
You will easily imagine that much of my domestic comfort is withdrawn. I never see my wife but in the hurry of preparation, or the languor of weariness. To dress and to undress is almost her whole business in private ; and the servants take advantage of her negligence to increase ex. pense.
But I can supply her omission by my own diligence, and should not much regret this new course of life, if it did nothing more than transfer to me the care of our accounts. The changes which it has made are more vexatious. My wife has no longer the use of her understanding. She has no rule of action but the fashion. She has no opinion but that of the people of quality. She has no language but the diaJect of her own set of company. She hates and admires in humble imitation; and echoes the words charming and detestable without consulting her own perceptions.
If for a few minutes we sit down together, she entertains me with the repartees of Lady Cackle, or the conversation of Lord Whiffler and Miss Quick; and wonders to find me receiving with indifference sayings which put all the company into laughter.
By her old friends she is no longer very willing to be seen, but she must not rid herself of them all at once; and is sometimes surprised by her best visitants in company which she would not show, and cannot hide ; but from the moment that a countess enters, she takes care neither to hear nor see thein ; they soon find themselves neglected and retire, and she tells her ladyship that they are some-how related at a great distance, and that, as they are good sort of people, she cannot be rude to them.
As by this ambitious union with those that are above her, she is always forced upon disadvantageous comparisons of her condition with theirs, she has a constant source of misery within ; and never returns from glittering assemblies and magnificent apartments but she growls out her discontent, and wonders why she was doomed to so indigent a state. When she attends the duchess to a sale, she always sees something that she cannot buy; and, that she may not seem wholly insignificant, she will sometimes venture to bid, and often makes acquisitions which she did not want at prices which she cannot afford.
What adds to all this uneasiness is, that this expense is without use, and this vanity without honour; she forsakes houses where she might be courted, for those where she is only
suffered ; her equals are daily made her enemies, and her superiors will never be her friends.
I am, Sir, yours, &c.
No. 54. SATURDAY, April 28, 1759.
TO THE IDLER.
SIR-You have lately entertained your admirers with the case of an unfortunate husband, and thereby given a demonstrative proof you are not averse even to hear appeals, and terminate differences between man and wife ; I therefore take the liberty to present you with the case of an injured lady, which, as it chiefly relates to what I think the lawyers call a point of law, I shall do in as juridical a manner as I am capable, and submit it to the consideration of the learned gentlemen of that profession.
Imprimis. In the style of my marriage articles, a marriage was “bad and solemnized,” about six months ago, between me and Mr. Savecharges, a gentleman possessed of a plentiful fortune of his own, and one who, I was persuaded, would improve, and not spend mine.
Before our marriage Mr. Savecharges had all along preferred the salutary exercise of walking on foot, to the distempered ease, as he terms it, of lolling in a chariot ; but notwithstanding his fine panegyrics on walking, the great advantages the infantry were in the sole possession of, and the many dreadful dangers they escaped, he found I had very different notions of an equipage, and was not easily to be converted, or gained over to his party,
An equipage I was determined to have, whenever I married. I too well knew the disposition of my intended consort, to leave the providing one entirely to his honour, and flatter myself Mr. Savecharges has, in the articles made previous to our marriage, “agreed to keep me a coach ;" but lest I should be mistaken, or the attorneys should not have done me justice in methodising or legalizing these half dozen words, I will set about and transcribe that part of the agreement, which will explain the matter to you much better than can be done by one who is so deeply interested in the event; and show on what foundation I build my hopes of being soon under the transporting, delightful denomination of a fashion
able lady, who enjoys the exalted and much envied felicity of bowling about in her own coach.
“And, further, the said Solomon Savecharges, for divers good causes and considerations him hereunto moving, hath agreed, and doth hereby agree, that the said Solomon Savecharges shall and will, so soon as conveniently may be after the solemnization of the said intended marriage, at his own proper cost and charges, find and provide a certain vehicle or four-wheel carriage, commonly called or known by the name of a coach ;' which said vehicle or wheel-carriage, so called or known by the name of a coach, shall be used and enjoyed by the said Sukey Modish, his intended wife," [pray mind that, Mr. Idler,] “at such times and in such manner as she, the said Sukey Modish, shall think fit and convenient.”
Such, Mr. Idler, is the agreement my passionate admirer" entered into; and what the “dear frugal husband” calls a performance of it remains to be described. Soon after the ceremony of signing and sealing was over, our wedding clothes being sent home, and, in short, every thing in readiness except the coach, my own shadow was scarcely more constant than my passionate lover in his attendance on me. Wearied by his perpetual importunities for what he called a completion of his bliss, I consented to make him happy; in a few days I gave him my hand, and, attended by Hymen in his saffron robes, retired to a country seat of my husband's, where the honey-moon flew over our heads ere we had time to recollect ourselves, or think of our engagements in town. Well, to town we came, and you may be sure, Sir, I expected to step into my coach on my arrival here ; but what was my surprise and disappointment, when, instead of this, he began to sound in my ears, “ That the interest of money was low, very low; and what a terrible thing it was to be incumbered with a little regiment of servants in these hard times !" I could easily perceive what all this tended to, but would not seem to understand him ; which made it highly necessary for Mr. Savecharges to explain himself more intelligibly; to harp upon and protest he dreaded the expense of keeping a coach. And, truly, for his part, he could not conceive how the pleasure resulting from such a convenience could be any way adequate to the heavy expense attending it. I now thought it high time to speak with equal plainness, and told him, as the fortune I brought fairly entitled me to ride in my coach, and as I was sensible his circumstances would very well afford it, he must pardon me if I insisted on a performance of his agreement.
I appeal to you, Mr. Idler, whether any thing could be more civil, more complaisant, than this ? And (would you believe it?) the creature in return, a few days after, accosted me in an offended tone, with, “ Madam, I can now tell you your coach is ready; and since you are so passionately fond of one, I intend you the honour of keeping a pair of horses You insisted upon having an article of pin money; and horses are no part of my agreement.” Base, designing wretch !-I beg your pardon, Mr. Idler, the very recital of such mean, ungentleman-like behaviour fires my blood, and lights up a flame within me. But hence, thou worst of monsters, ill-timed
rage, and let me not spoil my cause for want of temper.
Now though I am convinced I might make a worse use of part of the pin-money, than by extending my bounty towards the support of so useful a part of the brute creation; yet, like a true-born Englishwoman, I am so tenacious of my rights and privileges, and moreover so good a friend to the gentleman of the law, that I protest, Mr. Idler, sooner than tamely give up the point, and be quibbled out of my right, I will receive my pin-money, as it were, with one hand, and pay it to them with the other; provided they will give me, or, which is the same thing, my trustees, encouragment to commence a suit against this dear frugal husband of mine.
And of this I cannot have the least shadow of doubt, inasmuch as I have been told by very good authority, it is some way or other laid down as a rule, "* That whenever the law doth give any thing to one, it giveth impliedly whatever is necessary for the taking and enjoying the same.” Now I would gladly know what enjoyment I, or any lady in the kingdom, can have of a coach without horses? The answer is obvious None at all! For as Serj. Catlyne very wisely observes, “Though a coach has wheels, to the end it may thereby and by virtue thereof be enabled to move; yet in point of utility it may as well have none, if they are not put in motion by means of its vital parts, that is, the horses."
And therefore, Sir, I humbly hope you and the learned in the law will be of opinion, that two certain animals, or quadruped creatures, commonly called or known by the name of horses, ought to be annexed to and go along with the coach.
Coke on Littleton.