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fifteen hundred pounds a year; half of which I have spent in discovering myself to be a fool, and with the rest I am resolved to retire with some plain honest partner, and study to be wiser. I had my education in a laced coat, and a French dancingschool; and, by my travel into foreign parts, have just as much breeding to spare, as you may think you want, which I intend to exchange as fast as I can for old English honesty and good sense. I will not impose on you by a false recommendation of my person, which, to show you my sincerity, is none of the handsomest, being of a figure somewhat short: but what I want in length, I make out in breadth. But, in amends for that and all other defects, if you can like me when you see me, I shall continue to you, whether I find you fair, black, or brown,
The most constant of Lovers.”
The letter seems to be written by a wag, and for that reason I am not much concerned for what reception Mopsa shall think fit to give it; but the following certainly proceeds from a poor heart, that languishes under the most deplorable misfortune that possibly can befal a woman. A man that is treacherously dealt with in love, may
have recourse to many consolations. He may gracefully break through all opposition to his mistress, or explain with his rival: urge his own constancy, or aggravate the falsehood by which it is repaid. But a woman that is ill-treated, has no refuge in her griefs but in silence and secrecy. The world is so unjust, that a female heart which has been once touched, is thought for ever blemished. The very grief in this case is looked upon as a reproach, and a complaint, almost a breach of chastity. For these reasons we see treachery and falsehood are become, as it were, male vices, and are seldom found, never acknowledged, in the other sex.
may serve to introduce Statira's letter: which, without any turn of art, has something so pathetical and moving in it, that I verily believe it to be true, and therefore heartily pity the injured creature that writ it.
“ To ISAAC BICKERSTAFF, Esquire.
" You seem in many
your writings to be a man of a very compassionate temper, and well acquainted with the passion of love. This encourages me to apply myself to you in my present distress, which I believe you will look upon to be very great, and treat with tenderness, notwithstanding it wholly arises from love, and that it is a woman that makes this confession. I am now in the twenty-third year of my age, and have for a great while entertained the addressess of a man, who, I thought, loved me more than life. I am sure I did him; and must own to you, not without some confusion, that I have thought on nothing else for these two long years, but the happy life we should lead together, and the means I should use to make myself still dearer to him. My fortune was indeed much beyond his; and as I was always in the company of my relations, he was forced to discover his inclinations, and declare himself to me by stories of other persons, kind looks, and many ways, which he knew too well that I understood. Oh! Mr. Bickerstaff, it is impossible to tell you, how industrious I have been to make him appear lovely in my thoughts. I made it a point of conscience to think well of him, and of no man else : but he has since had an estate fallen to him, and makes love to another of a greater fortune than mine. I could not believe the report of this at first; but about a fortnight ago I was vinced of the truth of it by his own behaviou
came to make our family a formal visit, when, as there were several in company, and many things talked of, the discourse fell upon some unhappy woman, who was in my own circumstances. It was said by one in the room, that they could not believe the story could be true, because they did not believe any man could be so false. Upon which, I stole a look upon him with an anguish not to be expressed. He saw my eyes full of tears, yet had the cruelty to say, that he could see no falsehood in alterations of this nature, where there had been no contracts or vows interchanged. Pray do not make a jest of misery, but tell me seriously your opinion of his behaviour; and if you can have any pity for my condition, publish this in your next paper ; that being the only way I have of complaining of his unkindness, and showing him the injustice he has done me.
I am your humble servant,
The unfortunate STATIRA.”
The name my correspondent gives herself, puts me in mind of my old reading in romances, and brings into my thoughts a speech of the renowned Don Bellianis, who, upon a complaint made to him of a discourteous knight, that had left his injured paramour in the same manner, dries up her tears with a promise of relief. “ Disconsolate damsel,” quoth he, "a foul disgrace it were to all right-worthy professors of chivalry, if such a blot to knighthood should pass unchastised. Give me to know the abode of this recreant lover, and I will give him as a feast to the fowls of the air, or drag him bound before you at my horse's tail !”
I am not ashamed to own myself a champion of distressed damsels, and would venture as far to relieve them as Don Bellianis; for which reason, I do invite this lady to let me know the name of the traitor who has deceived her; and do promise, not only her, but all the fair ones of Great Britain, who lie under the same calamity, to employ my righthand for their redress, and serve them to my last drop of ink.
N°129. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4,1709-10.
Ingenio manus est et cervix cæsa
Juv. Sat x. 120.
From my own Apartment, February 3. When my paper for to-morrow was prepared for the
press, there came in this morning a mail from Holland, which brought me several advices from foreign parts, and took my thoughts off domestic affairs. Among others, I have a letter from a burgher of Amsterdam, who makes me his compliments, and tells me he has sent me several draughts of humorous and satirical pictures by the best hands of the Dutch nation. They are a trading people, and in their very minds mechanics. They express their wit in manufacture, as we do in manuscript. He informs me, that a very witty hand has lately represented the present posture of public affairs in a landscape, or rather a sea-piece, wherein the potentátes of the alliance are figured as their interests correspond with, or affect each other, under the appearance of commanders of ships. These vessels carry
the colours of the respective nations concerned in the present war. The whole design seems to tend to one point, which is, that several squadrons of British and Dutch ships are battering a French
of war, in order to make her deliver up a long-boat with Spanish colours. My correspondent informs me, that a man must understand the compass perfectly well, to be able to comprehend the beauty and invention of this piece; which is so skilfully drawn, that the particular views of every prince in Europe are seen according as the ships lie to the main figure in the picture, and as that figure may help or retard their sailing. It seems this curiosity is now on board a ship bound for England, and, with other rarities, made a present to me. As soon as it arrives, I design to expose it to public view at my secretary Mr. Lillie's, who shall have an explication of all the terms of art; and I doubt not but it will give as good content as the moving picture in Fleet-street.
But, above all the honours I have received from the learned world abroad, I am most delighted with the following epistle from Rome.
“ Pasquin of Rome to ISAAC BICKERSTAFF, of
Great Britain, Greeting.
“Your reputation has passed the Alps, and would have come to my ears by this time, if I had any. In short, Sir, you are looked upon here as a northern droll, and the greatest virtuoso among the Tramontanes. Some indeed say, that Mr. Bickerstaff and Pasquin are only names invented to father compositions which the natural parent does not care for owning. But, however that is, all agree, that there are several persons, who, if they durst attack you, would endeavour to leave you no more limbs than I have. I need not tell
my adversaries have joined in a confederacy with Time to demolish me, and that, if I were not a very great wit, I should make the worst figure in Europe, being abridged of my legs, arms, nose,
think fit to