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inany fine things as their stock of wit will allow; ( and if they are not deficient that way, generally (speak so as to admit of a double interpretation ; • which the credulous fair is too apt to turn to her own advantage, since it frequently happens to be a raw, innocent, young creature, who thinks all the « world as sincere as herself, and so her unwary heart
becomes an easy prey to those deceitful monsters, (who no sooner perceive it, but immediately they
grow cool, and shun her whom they before seemed iso much to admire, and proceed to act the same
common-place villany towards another. A cox6 comb flushed with many of these infamous victories • shall say he is sorry for the poor fools, protest and ( vow he never thought of matrimony, and wonder talking civilly can be so strangely misinterpreted.
Now, Mr. Spectator, you that are a professed friend 6 to love, will, I hope, observe upon those who abuse
that noble passion, and raise it in innocent minds by a deceitful affectation of it, after which they • desert the enamoured. Pray bestow a little of your
counsel to those fond believing females who already • have or are in danger of broken hearts; in which you will oblige a great part of this town, but in a particular manner, SIR, your (yet heart-whole) admirer, (and devoted humble servant,
Melainia's complaint is occasioned by so general a folly, that it is wonderful one could so long overlook it. But this false gallantry proceeds from an impotence of mind, which makes those who are guilty of it incapable of pursuing what they themselves approve. Many a man wishes a woman his wife whom he dares not take for such. Though no one has power over his inclinations or fortunes, he is a slave to common fame. For this reason I think Melainia
gives them too soft a name in that of male coquettes. I know not why irresolution of mind should not be more contemptible than impotence of body; and these frivolous admirers would be but tenderly used, in being only included in the same term with the insufficient another way. They whom my correspondent calls male coquettes, should hereafter be called fribblers. A fribbler is one who professes rapture and admiration for the woman whom he addresses, and dreads nothing so much as her consent. His heart can flutter by the force of imagination, but cannot fix from the force of judgment. It is not uncommon for the parents of young women of moderate fortune to wink at the addresses of fribblers, and expose their children to the ambiguous behaviour which Melainia complains of, until by the fondness to one they are to lose, they become incapable of love towards others, and by consequence in their future marriage lead a joyless or a miserable life. As therefore I shall in the speculations which regard love be as severe as I ought on jilts and libertine women, so will I be as little merciful to insignificant and mischievous men. In order to this, all visitants who frequent families wherein there are young females, are forth with required to declare themselves, or absent from places where their presence banishes such as would pass their time more to the advantage of those whom they visit. It is a matter of too great moment to be dallied with : and I shall expect from all my young people a satisfactory account of appearances. Strephon has from the publication hereof seven days to explain the riddle he presented to Eudamia; and Chloris an hour after this comes to her hand, to declare whether she will have Philotas, whom a woman of no less merit than herself, and of superior fortune, languishes to call her own.
To the Spectator.
• SINCE so many dealers turn authors, and write • quaint advertisements in praise of their wares, one
who from an author turned dealer may be allowed • for the advancement of trade to turn author again. • I will not, however, set up like some of them, for • selling cheaper than the most able honest trades
men can; nor do I send this to be better known for • choice and cheapness of china and japan wares, tea, • fans, muslins, pictures, arrack, and other Indian • goods. Placed as I am in Leadenhall-street, near • the India company, and the centre of that trade, " thanks to my fair customers, my warehouse is graced as well as the benefit days of my plays and operas; and the foreign goods I sell seem no less o acceptable than the foreign books. I translated, • Rabelais and Don Quixote ; this the critics allow 6 me; and while they like my wares they may dis
praise my writing. But as it is not so well knowu
yet that I frequently cross the seas of late, and • speaking Dutch and French, besides other lan
guages, I have the conveniency of buying and importing rich brocades, Dutch atlases, with gold and • silver, or without, and other foreign silks of the 6 newest modes and best fabrics, fine Flanders lace, linens, and pictures, at the best hand; this my new way of trade I have fallen into I cannot better pubolish than by an application to you. My wares are • fit only for such as your readers ; and I would beg 6 of you to print this address in your paper, that
those whose minds you adorn may take the ornaments for their persons and houses from me. This, • Sir, if I may presume to beg it, will be the greater • favour, as I have lately received rich silks and fine "lace to a considerable value, which will be sold 6.cheap for a quick return, and as I have also a large • stock of other goods. Indian silks were formerly a
' great branch of our trade ; and since we must not • sell them, we must seek amends by dealing in (others. This I hope will plead for one who would « lessen the number of teazers of the muses, and who
suiting his spirit to his circumstances, humbles the poet to exalt the citizen. Like a true tradesman,
I hardly ever look into any books but those of aco counts. To say the truth, I cannot, I think, give
you a better idea of my being a downright man of • traffic, than by acknowledging I oftener read the • advertisements, than the matter of even your paper. "I am under a great temptation to take this opportunity of admonishing other writers to follow my example, and trouble the town no more ; but as it is my present business to increase the number of • buyers rather than sellers, I hasten to tell you • that I am,
Sir, your most humble
most obedient servant, T
No. CCLXXXIX. THURSDAY, JANUARY 31.
Vitae summa brevis spem nos vetat inchoare longam.
forbids us to extend our cares, And stretch our hopes beyond our years.
UPON taking my seat in a coffee-house I often draw the eyes of the whole room upon me, when in the hottest seasons of news, and at a time that perhaps the Dutch mail is just come in, they hear me ask the coffee-man for his last week's bill of mortality : I find that I have been sometimes taken on
this occasion for a parish sexton, sometimes for an undertaker, and sometimes for a doctor of physic. In this, however, I am guided by the spirit of a philosopher, as I take occasion from hence to reflect upon the regular increase and diminution of mankind, and consider the several various ways through which we pass from life to eternity. I am very well pleased with these weekly admonitions, that bring into my mind such thoughts as ought to be the daily entertainment of every reasonable creature ; and can consider with pleasure to myself, by which of those deliverances, or, as we commonly call them, distempers, I may possibly make my escape out of this world of sorrows, into that condition of existence, wherein I hope to be happier than it is possible for me at present to conceive.
But this is not all the use I make of the abovementioned weekly paper. A bill of mortality is in my opinion an unanswerable argument for a Provi. dence. How can we, without supposing ourselves under the constant care of a Supreme Being, give any possible account for that nice proportion, which we find in every great city, between the deaths and births Qf its inhabitants, and between the number of males, and that of females, who are brought into the world? What else could adjust, in so exact a manner, the recruits of every nation to its losses, and divide these new supplies of people into such equal bodies of both sexes ? Chance could never hold the balance with so steady a hand. Were we not counted out by an intelligent supervisor, we should sometimes be overcharged with multitudes, and at others waste away into a desert: we should be sometimes a populus virorum, as Florus elegantly expresses it, “a gene. ration of males," and at others a species of women, We may extend this consideration to every species of living creatures, and consider the whole animal world as a huge army made up of innumerable corps,