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brings a Man under an everlasting Jealousie and Suspici. " on, fo that he is not believed when he speaks Truth, nor • trusted when perhaps he means honestly. When a Man • hath once forfeited the Reputation of his Integrity, he is • set fast, and nothing will then lerve his Turn, neither • Truth nor Fallhood.
Friday, June 29.
- Qualis equos Threissa fatigat Harpalyce
TT would be a noble Improvement, or rather a Reco... | very of what we call good Breeding, if nothing were - to pass amongst us for agreeable which was the least Transgression against that Rule of Life called Decorum, or a Regard to Decency. This would command the Respect of Mankind, because it carries in it Deference to their good Opinion, as Humility lodged in a worthy Mind, is always attended with a certain Homage, which no haughty Soul, with all the Arts imaginable, will ever be able to purchase. Tully says, Virtue and Decency are so nearly related, that it is difficult to separate them from each other but in our Imagination.. As the. Beauty of the Body always accompanies the Health of it, fo certainJy is Decency concomitant to Virtue: As Beauty of Body, with an agreeable Carriage, pleases the Eye, and that Pleasure consists in that we observe all the Parts with a certain Elegance are proportioned to each other; - so does Decency of Behaviour which appears in our Lives, obtain the Approbation of all with whom we converse, from the Order, Consistency, and Moderation of our Words and A&tions. This flows from the Reverence we bear tom wards every good Man, and to the World in general; for to be negligent of what any one thinks of you, doos not only shew you arrogant but abandoned. In all there Considerations we are to distinguish how one Virtue differs from another: As it is the part of Justice never to do Violence, it is of Modesty never to commit Offence.
In this last Particular lies the whole Force of what is call. ed Decency; to this purpose that excellent Moralist a. bove-mentioned talks of Decency; but this Quality is more easily comprehended by an ordinary Capacity, than expressed with all his Eloquence. This Decency of Behaviour is generally transgressed among all Orders of Men; day, the very Women, though themselves created it as it were for Ornament, are often very much mistaken in this ornamental Part of Life. It would methinks be a short Rule for Behaviour, if every young Lady in her Dress, Words and Actions were only to recommend hes felf as a Sifter, Daughter or Wife, and make her self the more esteemed in one of those Characters. The Care of themselves, with Regard to the Families in which Women are born, is the best Motive for their being courted to come into the Alliance of other Houses.. Nothing can promote this End more than a strict Preservation of De. cency. I should be glad if a certain Equestrian Order of Ladies, some of whom one meets in an Evening at every Outlet of the Town, would take this Subject into their ferious Consideration : In order thereunto the following Letter may not be wholly unworthy their Perusal...
Mr. SPECTATOR, onOING lately to take the Air in one of the most
U beautiful Evenings this Season has produced ; « as I was admiring the Serenity of the Sky, 'the lively « Colours of the Fields, and the variety of the Landskip ' every way around me, my Eyes were suddenly called '" off from these inanimate Objects by a little Party of • Horsemen I saw passing the Road.' The greater Part • of them escaped my particular Observation, by reason • that my whole Attention was fixed on a very fair Youth ' who rode in the midst of them, and seemed to have « been dressed by fome Description in a Romance. His • Features, Complexion and Habit had a remarkable Ef. • feminacy, and a certain languishing Vanity appeared in & his Air : His Hair, well curl'd and powder'd, hung to a o considerable Length on his Shoulders and was wantonly • ty'd, as if by the Hands of his Mistress, in a Scarlet • Ribbon, which played like a Streamer behind him: He had a Coat and Wastecoat of blue. Camlet trimmed'and:
• embroidered with Silver ; a Cravat of the finest Lace; and 'wore, in a smart Cock, a little Beayer Hat edged with • Silver, and made more sprightly by, a Feather. ' His ' Horse too, which was a Pacer, was adorned after the • same airy inanner, and seemed to share in the Vanity ' of the Rider. As I was pitying the Luxury of this 'young Person, who appeared to me to have been edu• cated only as an Object of Sight, I perceived on my
nearer Approach, and as I turned my Eyes downward,
a Part of the Equipage I had not observed before, which ' was a Petticoat of the same with the Coat and Wafte. ' coat. After this Discovery, I looked again on the Face ' of the fair Amazon who had thus deceived me, and " thought those Features which had before offended me
by their Softness, were now strengthned into as im• proper a Boldness; and tho'her Eyes, Nose, and Mouth • seemed to be formed with perfect Symmetry, I am ! not certain whether the, who in Appearance was a very handsome Youth, may not be in Reality a very indifferent Woman. • THERE is an Objection which, naturally presents
it self against these occasional Perplexities and Mixtures " of Drets, which is, that they seem to break in upon • that Propriety and Distinction of Appearance in which
the Beauty of different Characters is preserved; and if • they should be more frequent than they are at present, I would look like turning our publick Aflemblies into a « general Masqueradę. The Model of this Amazonian • Hunting Habit for Ladies, was, as I take it, first im.
ported from France, and well enough expresses the • Gaiety of a People, who are taught to do any thing 19
it be with an Allurance; but I cannot help thinking it
fits aukwardly yet on our English Modesty. The Petti. ? coat is a kind of Incumbrance upon it, and if the * Amazons should think fit to go on in this Plunder of ( our Sex's Ornaments, they ought to add to their Spoils, ' and compleat their Triumph over us, by wearing the Breeches.
If it be natural to contract insensibly the Manners of those we imitate, the Ladies who are pleased with • assuming our Dresses will do us more Honour than we
deserve, but they will do it at their own Expence.
Why should the lovely Camilla deceive us in more Shapes than her own, and affect to be represented in her Piąture I with a Gun and a Spaniel ; while her elder Brother, the
Heir of a worthy Family, is drawn in Silks like his Sifter? The Drels and Air of a Man are not well to be divided; and those who would not be content with the · Latter, ought never to think of assuming the Former.
There is so large a Portion of natural Agreeableness ai mong the fair Sex of our Iland, that they seem betrayed
into these romantick Habits without having the same Or. i casion for them with their Inventors : Alì that needs to ?be defired of them is, that they would be themselves, that
is what Mature designed them; and to see their Mistake ! when they depart from this, let them look upon a Man .? who affects the Softness and Effeminacy of a Woman, ? to learn how their Sex must appear to us, when apo proaching to the Resemblance of a Man.
I am S IR,
Your most humble servant.
Mankind, which has cost him many. Disasters in
Auously confesses, that for half his Life his Head ached every Morning with reading of Men over-night; and at present comforts himself under certain Pains which he endures from time to time, that without them he could not have been acquainted with the Gallantries of the Age. This Will, looks upon as the Learning of a Gentleman, and regards all other kinds of Science as the Accomplishments of one whom he calls a Scholar, a Bookish Man, or a Philosopher.
FOR these Reasons Will, shines in mixed Company, where he has the Difcretion not to go out of his Depth, and has often a certain way of making his real Ignorance appear a seeming one. Our Club however has frequently caught him tripping, at which times they never spare him. For as Will. often insults us with the Knowledge of the Town, we sometimes take our Revenge upon him by our Knowledge of Books.
He was last Week producing two or three Letters which he writ in his Youth to a "Coquet Lady. The Raillery of them was natural, and well enough for a meer Man of the Town; but, very unluckily, several of the Word's were wrong spelt. WILL. l'aught this off at first as well as he could, but finding himself pushed on all sides; and especially by the Templar, he told us, with a little Passion, that he never liked Pedantry in Spelling, and that he spelt like a Gentleman, and not like a Scholar: Upon this WILL, had recourse to his old Topick of thewing the narrow-Spiritedness, the Pride, and ignorance of Pea dants; which he carried so far, that upon my retiring to my Lodgings, I could not förbear throwing together such Réflections as occurred to me upon that Subje&t.
A Man who has been brought up among Books, and.is able to talk of nothing else, is a very indifferent Companion, and what we call a Pedant. But, methinks, we fhould enlarge the Title, and give it every one that does not know how to think out of his Profession and particular way of Life.
WHAT is a greater Pedant than a meer Man of the Town: Bar him the Play-houses, a Catalogue of the reigning Beauties, and an Account of a few fashionable Diftempers that have befallen him, and you strike him Dunb. How many a pretty Gentleman's Knowledge