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one of our universities. I will not deny but this made my behaviour and mien bear in it a figure of thought rather than action; and a man of a quite contrary character, who never thought in his life,rallied me one day upon it, and said, he believed I was still a virgin. There was a young lady of virtue present, and I was not displeased to favour the insinuation; but it had a quite contrary effect from what I expected. I was ever after treated with great coldness both by that lady and all the rest of my acquaintance. In a very little time I never came into a room but I could hear a whisper, .Here comes the maid.' A girl of humour would on some occasion say, “Why, how do you know more than any of us? An expression of that kind was generally followed by a loud laugh. In a word, for no other fault in the world than that they really thought me as innocent as themselves, I became of no consequence among them, and was received always upon the foot of a jest. This made so strong an impression upon me, that I resolved to be as agreeable as the best of the men who laughed at me; but I observed it was nonsense for me to be impudent at first among those who knew me. My character for modesty was so notorious wherever I had hitherto appeared, that I resolved to shew my new face in new quarters of the world. My first step I chose with judgment; for I went to Astrop*, and came down among a crowd of academics, at one dash, the impudentest fellow they had ever seen in their lives. Flushed with this success, I made love and was happy. Upon this conquest I thought it would be unlike a gentleman to stay long with my mistress,
* Astrop-wells in Oxfordshire; into which Doctor Rad. chiffe put a toad.'
and crossed the country to Bury. I could give you a very good account of myself at that place also. At these two ended my first summer of gallantry.-The winter following, you would wonder at it, but I relapsed into modesty upon coining among people of figure in London, yet not so much but that the ladies who had formerly laughed at me, said, Bless uns! how wonderfully that gentleman is improved !' Some familiarities about the play-houses towards the end of the ensuing winter, made me conceive new hopes of adventures. And instead of returning the next summer to Astrop or Bury, I thought myself qualified to go to Epsom, and followed a young woman, whose relations were jealous of my place in her favour, to Scarborough. I carried my point, and in my third year aspired to go to Tunbridge, and in the autumn of the same year made my appearance at Bath. I was now got into the way of talk proper for ladies, and was run into a vast acquaintance among them, which I always improved to the best advantage. In all this course of time, and some years following, I found a sober modest man was always looked upon by both sexes as a precise unfashioned fellow of no life or spirit. It was ordinary for a man who had been drunk in good company, or passed a night with a wench, to speak of it next day before women for whom he had the greatest respect. He was reproved, perhaps, with a blow of the fan, or with an oh fie!' but the angry lady still preserved an apparent approbation in her countenance. He was called a strange wicked fellow, a sad wretch; he shrugs his shoulders, swears, receives another blow, swears again he did not know he swore, and all was well. You might often see men game in the
• Bury-fair. A place of fashionable resort.
presence of women, and throw at once for more than they were worth, to recommend themselves as men of spirit. I found by long experience that the loosest principles and most abandoned behaviour, carried all before them in pretensions to women of fortune. The encouragement given to people of this stamp made me soon throw off the remaining impressions of a sober education. To the above-mentioned places, as well as in town, I. always kept company with those who lived most at large; and in the process of time I was a pretty rake among the men, and a very pretty fellow among the women. I must confess, I had some melancholy hours upon the account of the narrowness of my fortune, but my conscience at the same time gave me the comfort that I had qualified myself for marrying a fortune.
• When I had lived in this manner for some time, and became thus accomplished, I was now in the twenty-seventh year of my age, and about the fortyseventh of my constitution, my health and estate wasting very fast; when I happened to fall into the company of a very pretty young lady in her own disposal. I entertained the company, as we men of gallantry generally do, with the many haps and disasters, watchings under windows, escapes from jealous husbands, and several other perils. The young thing was wonderfully charmed with one that knew the world so well, and talked so fine ; with Desdemona, all her lover said affected her;
it was strange, it was wondrous strange.' In a word, I saw the impression I had made upon her, and with a very little application the pretty thing has married me. There is so much charm in her innocence and beauty, that I do now as much detest the course I have been in for many years, as I ever did before I entered into it. VOL. II.
• What I intend, Mr. Spectator, by writing all this to you, is that you would, before you go any further with your panegyrics on the fair sex, give them some lectures upon their silly approbations.
-It is that I am weary of vice, and that it was not my natural way, that I am now so far recovered as not to bring this believing dear creature to contempt and poverty for her generosity to me. At the same time tell the youth of good education of our sex, that they take too little care of improving themselves in little things. A good air at entering into a room, a proper audacity in expressing himself with gaiety and gracefulness, would make a young gentleman of virtue and sense capable of discountenancing the shallow impudent rogues, that shine among the women.
Mr. Spectator, I do not doubt but you are a very sagacious person, but you are so great with Tully of late, that I fear you will contemn these things as matters of no consequence: but believe me, sir, they are of the highest importance to human life; and if you can do any thing towards opening fair eyes, you will lay an obligation upon all your contemporaries who are fathers, husbands, or brothers to females. - Your most affectionate humble servant,
• SIMON HONEYCOMB.'
; N° 155. TUESDAY, AUGUST 28, 1711.
- Hæ nugæ seria ducunt In mala
Hor. Ars Poet. v. 451. These things which now seem frivolous and slight, : Will prove of serious consequence.
RoscoMMON. I HAVE more than once taken notice of an indecent licence taken in discourse, wherein the conversation on one part is involuntary, and the effect of some necessary circumstance. This happens in travelling together in the same hired coach, sitting near each other in any public assembly, or the like. I have, upon making observations of this sort, received innumerable messages from that part of the fair sex whose lot in life it is to be of any trade or public way of life. They are all, to a woman, urgent with me to lay before the world the unhappy circumstances they are under from the unreasonable liberty which is taken in their presence, to talk on what subject it is thought fit by every coxcomb who wants understanding or breeding. One or two of these complaints I shall set down. 'MR. SPECTATOR,
"1 keep a coffee-house, and am one of those whom you have thought fit to mention as an Idol some time ago. I suffered a good deal of raillery upon that occasion; but shall heartily forgive you, who are the cause of it, if you will do me justice in another point. What I ask of you, is, to acquaint my customers (who are otherwise very good ones)