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Emperors, she thought a common Gladiator much the prettier Gentleman ; and had taken such Care to accomplish her Son Commodus according to her own Notions of a fine · Man, that when he ascended the Throne of his Father, he became the most foolish and abandoned Tyrant that was ever placed at the Head of the Roman Empire, signalizing himself in nothing but the fighting of Prizes, and knock. ing out Mens Brains. As he had no Tafte of true Glory, we see him in several Medals and Statues which are still ex. tant of him, equipped like an Hercules with a Club and a Lion's Skin.
I have been led into this Speculation by the Characters I have heard of a Country-Gentleman and his Lady, who do not live many Miles from Sir ROGER. The Wife is an old Coquet, that is always hankering after the Dic versions of the Town; the Husband a morose Rustick, that frowns and frets at the Name of it. The Wife is over-run with Affectation, the Husband sunk into Bruta
lity : The Lady cannot bear the Noise of the Larks and · Nightingales, hates your tedious Summer-Days, and is
fick at the sight of shady Woods and purling Streams; the Husband wonders how any one can be pleased with the Fooleries of Plays and Operas, and rails from Morning to Night at effenced Fops and tawdry Courtiers. The Children are educated in these different Notions of their Parents. The Sons follow the Father about his Grounds, while the Daughters read Volumes of Love-Letters and .. Romances to their Mother. By this means it comes to
pass, that the Girls look upon their Father as a Clown,
and the Boys think their Mother no better than the 4. should be.
HOW different are the Lives of Aristus and Afparia? the innocent Vivacity of the one is tempered and composed by the chearful Gravity of the other. The Wife grows wise by the Discourses of the Husband, and the Husband good-humour'd by the Conversations of the Wife. Aristus would not be so amiable were it not for his Afpatia, nor Afpatia so much efteemed were it not for her Aristus. Their Virtues are blended in their Children, and diffuse through the whole Family a perpetual Spirit of Benevolence, Complacency, and. Satisfaction.
- No 129.
Saturday, July 28.
Vertentem fefe frustra sectabere canthum
T People in the Fashion; as very well knowing that o the Head-dress, or Perriwig, that now prevails, and gives a Grace to their Portraitures at present, will make a very odd Figure, and perhaps look monstrous in the Eyes of Pofterity. For this Reason they often represent an illustrious Person in a Roman Habit, or in some other Dress that never varies. I could wish, for the sake of my Country Friends, that there was such a kind of everlasting Drapery to be made use of by all who live at a certain di stance from the Town, and that they would agree wpon. such Fashions as should never be liable to Changes and Innovations. For want of this Standing Dress, a Man who takes a Journey into the Country is as much surprized, as one who walks in a Gallery of old Family Pictures; and finds as great a Variety of Garbs and Habits in the Persons he converses with. Did they keep to one conftant Dress they would sometimes be in the Fashion, which they never are as Matters are managed at present. If instead of running after the Mode, they would continue fixed in one certain Habit, the Mode would some time or other overtake them, as a Clock that stands still is sure to point right once in twelve Hours: In this case therefore I would ad. vise them, as a Gentleman did his friend who was hunc- . ing about the whole Town after a rambling Fellow, If you follow him you will never find him, but if you plant your self at the Corner of any one Street, l'll engage it will not be long before you see him..
I have already touched upon this Subject, in a Speculation which shews how cruelly the Country are led astray in following the Town; and equipped in a ridiculous Habit, when they fancy themselves in the height of the Mode, Since that Speculation I have received a Letter (which I H5
there hinted at) from a Gentleman who is now in the WeItern Circuit.
Mr. SPECTATOR, ' PEING a Lawyer of the Middle-Temple, a Cornishman " D by Birth, I generally ride the Western Circuit for • my Health, and as I am not interrupted with Clients, • have leisure to make many Observacions that escape • the Notice of my Fellow-Travellers.
ONE of the most fashionable Women I met with • in all the Circuit was my Landlady at Stains, where I • chanced to be on a Holiday. Her Commode was not " halfa Foot high, and her Petticoat within fome Yards • of a modish Circumference. In the same Place I ob. • served a young Fellow with a tolerable Perriwig, had • it not been covered with a Hat that was shaped in the • Ramillie Cock. As I proceeded in my Journey I obo served the Petticoat grew scantier and scantier, and " about threescore Miles from London was so very unfa• Thionable, that a Woman might walk in it without any manner of Inconvenience.
• Not far from Salisbury I took Notice of a Justice of • Peace's Lady, who was at least ten Years behind-hand rin her Dress, but at the same time as fine as Hands could • make her. She was flounced and furbelowed from Head " to Foot; every Ribbon was wrinkled, and every Part • of her Garments in Curl, so that she looked like one of "thore Animals which in the Country we call a Frieze. rland Hen.
• Not many Miles beyond this Place I was informed " that one of the last Year's little Muffs had by some means
or other straggled into those Parts, and that all the Wo'n men of Fashion were cutting their old Muffs in two, or « retrenching them, according to the little Model which ' was got among them, I cannot believe the Report they • have there, that it was sent down frank'd by a Parliaa • ment-man in a little Packets but probably by next Wins • ter this Fashion will be at the height in the Country, • when it is quite out at London.
THE greatest Beau at our next County Sessions was "drelled in a most monstrous Flaxen Perriwig, that was made in King William's Reign. The Wearer of it goes,
sit seems, in his own Hair, when he is at honie, and lets 6 his Wig lie in Buckle for a whole halt Year, that he may 5 put it on upon Occasion to meet the Judges in it.
; I must not here omit an Adventure which happened s to us in a Country Church upon the Frontiers of Corn. • wall. As we were in the midst of the Service, a Lady
who is the chief Woman of the Place, and had passed the 6. Winter at London with her Husband, entered the Con.
gregation in a little Head-dress, and a hoop'd Petticoat. « The People, who were wonderfully startled at such a • Sight, all of them rose up. Some stared at the prodigious • Bottom, and some at the little Top of this strange Dress. • In the mean time the Lady of the Manor filled the Area • of the Church, and walked up to her Pew with an an
speakable Satisfaction, amidst the Whispers, Conjec. stures and Astonishments of the whole Congregation
..UPON our way from hence we saw a young Fel. .low riding towards us full Gallop, with a Bob- Wig and
a black Silken Bag tied to it. He stopt short at the Coach, Ito ask us how far the Judges were behind us. His Stay r was so very short, that we had only time to observe his s new Silk Wastcoat, which was unbuttoned in several
Places to let us see that he had a clean Shirt on, which was ruffled down to his middle.
• FROM this Place, during our Progress through the • most Western Parts of the Kingdom, we fancied our « felves in King Charles the Second's Reign, the People ha<ving made very little Variations in their Dress since that • time. The smartest of the Country Squires appear still
in the Monmouth Cock, and when they go a wooing 6 (whether they have any Post in the Militia or not) they “ generally put on a red Coat. We were indeed, very much
surprized, at the Place we lay at last Night, to meet with
a Gentleman that had accoutered himself in a Night-Cap ( Wig, a Coat with long Pockets and slit Sleeves, and a pair « of Shoes with high Scollop Tops; but we soon found
by his Conversation that he was a person who laughed .. at the Ignorance and Rufticity of the Country People, r and was resolved to live and die in the Mode.
"SIR, If you think this Account of my Travels may • be of any Advantage to the Publick, I will next Year • trouble you with such Occurrences as I shall meet with
' in other Parts of England. For I am informed there are
greater Curiosities in the Northern Circuit than in the Western ; and that a Fashion makes its Progress much
fower into Cumberland than into Cornwall. I have heard “ in particular, that the Steenkirk arrived but two months
ago at Newcastle, and that there are several Commodes in those Parts which are worth taking a Journey thither to see.
Monday, July 30. .,
Semperque recentes Convectare juvat pradus, e vivere rapto. Virg A S I was Yesterday riding our in the fields with my A Friend Sir ROGER, we saw at a little Distance from
us a Troop of Gypfies. Upon the first Discovery of them, my friend was in some doubt whether he should not exert the Justice of the Peace upon such a Band of Law. Jess Vagrants; but not having his Clerk with him, who is a neceffary Counsellor on these Occafions, and fearing that his Poultry might fare the worse for it, he let the Thought drop. But at the same Time gave me a particuJar Account of the Mischiefs they do in the Country, in ftealing Peoples Goods and spoiling their Seryants. It a ftray Piece of Linnen hangs upon an Hedge, says Sir RoGER, they are sure to have it; if a Hog loses his Way in the Fields, it is ten to one but he becomes their Prey ; our Geefe cannot live in Peace for them; if a Man prosecutes them with Severity, his Hen-rooft is sure to pay for it: They generally ftraggle into these Parts about this Time of the Year; and set the Heads of our Servant-Maids fo agog for Husbands, that we do not expect to have any Business done, as it should be, whilst they are in the Country. I have an honest Dairy-Maid who crosses their Hands with a Piece of Silver every Summer, and never fails being promised the handsomeft young Fellow in the Parish