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pinners, which, I have some hopes, will contribute to the amendment of the present head-dresses, to which I have solid and unanswerable objections. But most of the errors in that, and other particulars of adorning the head, are crept into the world from the ignorance of the modern tirewomen; for it is come to that pass, that an awkward creature in the first year of her apprenticeship, that can hardly stick a pin, shall take upon her to dress a woman of the first quality. However, it is certain, that there requires in a good tirewoman a perfect skill in optics; for all the force of ornament is to contribute to the intention of the eyes. Thus she who has a mind to look killing, must arm her face accordingly, and not leave her eyes and cheeks undressed. There is Araminta, who is so sensible of this, that she never will see even her own husband without a hood on. Can any one living bear to see Miss Gruel, lean as she is, with her hair tied back after the modern way? But such is the folly of our ladies, that because one who is a beauty, out of ostentation of her being such, takes care to wear something that she knows cannot be of any consequence to her complexion; I say, our women run on so heedlessly in the fashion, that though it is the interest of some to hide as much of their faces as possible, yet because a leading Toast appeared with a backward head-dress, the rest shall follow the mode, without observing that the author of the fashion assumed it because it could become no one but herself.
Flavia* is ever well-dressed, and always the genteelest woman you meet: but the make of her mind very much contributes to the ornament of her body. She has the greatest simplicity of manners of any of This makes every thing look native about
* Mrs. Ann Oldfield, the actress.
her, and her clothes are so exactly fitted that they appear, as it were, part of her person. Every one that sees her knows her to be of quality; but her distinction is owing to her manner, and not to her habit. Her beauty is full of attraction, but not of allurement. There is such a composure in her looks, and propriety in her dress, that you would think it impossible she should change the garb you one day see her in, for any thing so becoming, till you next day see her in another. There is no other mystery in this, but that however she is apparelled, she is herself the same for there is so immediate a relation between our thoughts and gestures, that a woman must think well to look well.
But this weighty subject I must put off for some other matters, in which my correspondents are urgent for answers; which I shall do where I can, and appeal to the judgement of others where I
"Taking the air the other day on horseback, in the green lane that leads to Southgate, I discovered coming towards me a person well mounted in a mask and I accordingly expected, as any one would, to have been robbed. But when we came up with each other, the spark, to my greater surprise, very peaceably gave me the way; which made me take courage enough to ask him, if he masqueraded, or how? He made me no answer, but still continued incognito. This was certainly an ass in a lion's skin; a harmless bull-beggar, who delights to fright innocent people, and set them a galloping. I bethought myself of putting as good a jest upon him, and turned my horse with a design to pursue him to London, and get him apprehended on suspicion
of being a highwayman: but when I reflected, that
"Your friend and servant,
"August 15, 1710."
The gentleman begs your pardon, and frighted you out of fear of frighting you: for he is just come out of the small-pox.
"Your distinction concerning the time of commencing virgins is allowed to be just. I write you my thanks for it, in the twenty-eighth year of my life, and twelfth of my virginity. But I am to ask another question: may a woman be said to live any more years a maid, than she continues to be
"I am," &c.
"I observe that the Postman of Saturday last, giving an account of the action in Spain, has this elegant turn of expression; general Stanhope, who in the whole action expressed as much bravery as conduct, received a contusion in his right shoulder. I should be glad to know, whether this cautious politician means to commend or to rally him, by
saying, He expressed as much bravery as conduct?' you can explain this dubious phrase, it will inform the public, and oblige, Sir,
"Your humble servant, &c."
“August 15, 1710.”
No. 213. SATURDAY, AUGUST 19, 1710.
SHEER-LANE, AUGUST 16.
THERE has of late crept in among the downright English a mighty spirit of dissimulation. But, before we discourse of this vice, it will be necessary to observe, that the learned make a difference between simulation and dissimulation. Simulation is a pretence of what is not, and dissimulation is a concealment of what is. The latter is our present affair. When you When you look round you in public places in this island, you see the generality of mankind carry in their countenance an air of challenge or defiance; and there is no such man to be found among us, who naturally strives to do greater honours and civilities than he receives. This innate sullenness or stubbornness of complexion is hardly to be conquered by any of our islanders. For which reason, however they may pretend to chouse one another, they make but very awkward rogues; and their dislike to each other is seldom so well dissembled, but it is suspected. When once it is so, it had as good be professed. A man who dissembles well must have none of what we call stomach, otherwise he will be cold in his professions of good-will where he hates; an imperfection of the last ill consequence
in business. This fierceness in our natures is apparent from the conduct of our young fellows, who are not got into the schemes and arts of life which the children of this world walk by. One would think, that of course, when a man of any consequence for his figure, his mien, or his gravity, passes by a youth, he should certainly have the first advances of salutation; but he is, you may observe, treated in a quite different manner, it being the very characteristic of an English temper to defy. As I am an Englishman, I find it a very hard matter to bring myself to pull off the hat first; but it is the only way to be upon any good terms with those we meet with. Therefore the first advance is of high moment. Men judge of others by themselves ; and he that will command with us must condescend. It moves one's spleen very agreeably, to see fellows pretend to be dissemblers without this lesson. They are so reservedly complaisant till they have learned to resign their natural passions, that all the steps they make towards gaining those whom they would be well with, are but so many marks of what they really are, and not of what they would appear.
The rough Britons, when they pretend to be artful towards one another, are ridiculous enough; but when they set up for vices they have not, and dissemble their good with an affectation of ill, they are insupportable. I know two men in this town who make as good figures as any in it, that manage their credit so well as to be thought atheists, and yet say their prayers morning and evening. Tom Springly, the other day, pretended to go to an assignation with a married woman at Rosamond's pond, and was seen soon after reading the responses with great gravity at six of clock prayers.