페이지 이미지

a Witch, and fills the whole Country with extravagant Fan. ceies, imaginary Distempers, and terrifying Dreams. In the mean time, the poor Wretch that is the innocent Occasion of so many Evils begins to be frighted at herself, and sometimes confesses secret Commerces and Familiarities that her Imagination forms in a delicious old Age. This fre. quently cuts off Charity from the greatest Objects of Compassion, and inspires People with a Malevolence towards those poor decrepid Parts of our Species in whom Huinan Nature is defaced by Infirmity and Dotage.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

THIS agreeable Seat is surrounded with so many plea. I sing Walks, which are struck out of a Wood, in the

midst of which the House stands, that one can hardly ever be weary of rambling from one Labyrinth of Delight to another. To one used to live in a City the Charms of the Country are so exquisite, that the Mind is loft in a certain Transport which raises us above ordinary Life, and yet is not strong enough to be inconsistent with Tranquility. This State of Mind was I in, ravished with the Mur. mur of Waters, the Whisper of Breezes, the Singing of * Birds; and whether I looked up to the Heavens, down on the Earth, or turned to the Prospects around me, ftill struck with new Sense of Pleasure, when I found by the Voice of iny Friend who walked by me, that we had insensibly ftroled into the Grove sacred to the Widow. This wóman, says he, is of all others the most unintelligible; the either designs to marry, or she does not. What is the most perplexing of all, is, that she does not either say to her Lovers she has any Refolution against that Condition of Life in general, or that she banishes them; but conscious of her own Merit, me permits their Addresses, without. Fear of any ill Consequence, or want of Respect, from their Rage or Despair. She has that in her Aspelt, againk which it is

im polis

[ocr errors]

impossible to offend. AMan whose Thoughts are conftantly bent upon fo agreeable an Object, must be excused if the ordinary Occurrences in Conversation are below his Attention. I call her indeed Perverse, but, alas! why do I call her so ? Because her superior Merit is such, that I cannot approach her without Awe, that my Heart is checked by too much Efteem: I am angry' that her Charms are not more accessible, that I am more inclined to worship than falute her: How often have I wished her unhappy, that I might have an opportunity of serving her ? and how of ten troubled in that very Imagination, at giving her the Pain of being obliged? Well, I have led a miserable Life in secret upon her Account; but fancy she would have condescended to have some Regard for me, if it had not been for that watchful Animal her Confident.

O Fall Persons under the Sun (continued he, calling me by my Name) be sure to set a Mark upon Confidents :

They are of all People the most impertinent. What is most pleasant to observe in them, is, that they assume to themselves'the Merit of the Perfons whom they have in their Cuftody. Orestilla is a great Fortune, and in won. derful Danger of Surprizes, therefore full of Sufpicions of the least indifferent thing, particularly careful of new Acquaintance, and of growing too familiar with the old. Themifta, her Favourite Woman, is every whit as careful of whoni she speaks to, and what she says. Let the Ward be a Beauty, her Confident shall treat you with an Airof Distance; let her be a Fortune, and the assumes the fuspicious Behaviour of her Friend and Patroness. Thus it is that very many of our unmarried Women of Distina aion, are to all Intents and Purposes married, except the Consideration of different Sexes. They are directly un. der the Conduct of their Whisperer ; and think they are in a State of Freedom, while they can prate with one of thete Attendants of all Men in general, and still avoid the Man they most like. You do not see one Heiress in a hundred whose Fate does not turn upon this Circumfance of chuling a Confident. Thus it is that the Lady is addressed to, presented, and flattered, only by Proxy, in her Woman. In my Care, how is it possible that Sir Roger was proceeding in his Harangue, when we heard the Voice of one speaking very importunately, and


[ocr errors]

repeating these Words, " What, not one Smile. We followed the Sound till we came to a close Thicket, on the other Side of which we saw a young Woman sitting as it were in a personated Sullenness just over a transparent Fountain. Opposite to her stood Mr. William, Sir ROGER'S Master of the Game. The Knight whispered me, ' Hist, " these are Lovers:' The Huntsman looking earneftly at the Shadow of the young Maiden in the Stream, “Oh " thou dear Picture, if thou could'It remain there in the • Absence of that fair Creature whom you represent in • the Water, how willingly could I stand here satisfied • for ever, without troubling my dear Betty her self < with any Mention of her unfortunate William, whom

she is angry with: But alas! when the pleases to be • gone, thou wilt also vanish- Yet let me talk to • thee while thou doft stay. Tell my deareft Betty “thou doft not more depend upon her, than does her William : Her Absence will make away with me as well

as thee. If she offers to remove thee, I'll jump into " these Waves to lay hold on thee; her herself, her own . dear Person, I must never embrace again. Still do

you hear me without one Smile I t is too much • to bear . He had no sooner spoke these Words, but he made an Offer of throwing himselfinto the Water : At which his Mistress started up, and at the next Instant he jumped across the Fountain and met her in an Embrace. She half recovering from her Fright, said in the most charming Voice imaginable, and with a Tone of Complaint, “ I thought how well you would drown your self. No, no, you won't drown your self till you have taken “ your leave of Susan Holiday. The Huntsman, with a Tenderness that spoke the most passionate Love, and with his Cheek close to hers, whispered the softeft Vows of Fidelity in her Ear, and cryed, “Don't, my Dear, be

lieve a Word Kate Willow lays; she is spiteful and makes Stories, because she loves to hear me talk to her ! self for your Sake. Look you there, quoth Sir ROGER, do you see there, all Mischief comes from Confidents! But let us not interrupt them; the Maid is honest, and the Man dare not be otherwise, for he knows I loved her Father: I will interpose in this Matter, and haften the Wedding. Kate Willow is a witty mischievous Wench

in the Neighbourhood, who was a Beauty ; and makes me hope I shall see the perverse Widow in her Condition. She was so Aippant with her Answers to all the honeft Fellows that came near her, and so very vain of her Beauty, that she has valued her self upon her Charms till they are ceased. She therefore now makes it her Byfiness to prevent other young Women from being more Discreet than she was her self: However, the sawcy Thing said the other Day well enough, “Sir Roger and I muft ' make a Match, for we are both despised by those we . loyed:' The Husly has a great deal of Power whereever she comes, and has her Share of Cunning.

HOWEVER, when I reflect upon this Woman, I do not know whether in the main I am the worse for having loved her : Whenever she is recalled to my Imagination my Youth returns, and I feel a forgotten Warmth in my Veins. This Affli&tion in my Life has streaked all my Conduct with a Softnefs, of which I should otherwise have been incapable. It is, perhaps, to this dear Image in my Heart owing, that I am apt to relent, that I easily forgive, and that many desirable things are grown into my Temper, which I should not have arrived at by bet

ter Motives than the Thought of being one Day hers. I -am pretty well satisfied such a passion as I have had is

never well cured ; and between you and me, I am often apt to imagine it has had some whimsical Effect upon my Brain: For I frequently find, that in my most serious Discourse I let fall some comical Familiarity of Speech or odd Phrase that makes the Company laugh; However I cannot but allow she is a most excellent Woman. When she is in the Country I warrant she does not run into Dairies, but reads upon the Nature of Plants; but has a Glass Hive, and comes into the Garden out of - Books to see them work, and observe the Policies of their Common-wealth. She understands every thing. I'd

give ten Pounds to hear her argue with my Friend Sir An: DREW FREE POR T about Trade. No, no, for all

she looks so innocent as it were, take my Word for, it she is no Fool.



No 119.

Tuesday, July 17.

Urbem quam dicunt Romam, Melibee, putavi,
Stultus ego buic noftra fimilem-


T HE first and most obvious Reflections which arise T in a Man who changes the City for the Country,

are upon the different Manners of the People whom he meets with in those two different Scenes of Life. By Manners I do not mean Morals, but Behaviour and good Breedirg as they shew themselves in the Town and in the Country.

AND here, in the first place, I must obferve a very great Revolution that has happened in this Article of good. Breeding. Several obliging Deferences, Condescen. lions and Submissions, with many outward Forms and Ceremonies that accons pany them, were first of all brought up among the politer Part of Mankind, who lived in Courts and Cities, and distinguished themselves from the Rustick part of the Species (who on all Occafions acted bluntly and naturally) by such a mutual Complaisance and Intercourse of Civilities. These Forms of Conversation by degrees multiplied and grew troublesome; the modish World found too great a Constraint in them, and have therefore thrown most of them aside. Conversation, like the Romis Religion, was so encumbered with Show and Ceremony, that it ftood in need of a Reformation to retrench 'its Superfuities, and refore it to its natural good Sense and Beauty. At present therefore an unconstrained Carriage, and a certain Openness of Behaviour, are the height of good Breeding. The Fashionable World is grown free and ealie ; our Manners fit more loose upon us : Nothing is so mo. dish as an agreeable Negligence. In a Word, Good Breeding shews it self most, where to an ordinary Eye it appears the least.

« 이전계속 »