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age, false shame, and groundless fear, with the ike vain imaginations, that shoot up in trifling, weak, and irresolute minds. The destinies, finding themselves in so great a perplexity, concluded that it would be impossible for them to execute the commands that had been given them, according to their first intention; for which reason they agreed to throw all the blessings and calamities together into one large vessel, and in that manner offer them up at the feet of Jupiter. This was performed accordingly; the eldest sister presenting herself before the vessel, and introducing it with an apology for what they had done: ‘O Jupiter,’ says she, “we have gathered together all the good and evil, the comforts and distresses of human life, which we thus present before thee in one promiscuous heap. We beseech thee, that thou thyself wilt sort them out for the future, as in thy wisdom thou shalt think fit. For we acknowledge, that there is none besides thee that can judge what will occasion grief or joy in the heart of a human creature, and what will prove a blessing or a calamity to the person on whom it is bestowed.’
No. 147.] Saturday, March 18, 1709–10.
Utameris, amabilis esto. Ovid.
-- Be lovely, that you may be loved.
From my own Apartment, March 17.
READING is to the mind, what exercise is to the body. As by the one, health is preserved, strengthened, and invigorated; by the other, virtue, which is the health of the mind, is kept alive, cherished, and confirmed. But as exer. cise becomes tedious and painful, when we make it of use only as the means of health, so reading is apt to grow uneasy and burdensome, when we apply ourselves to it only for our improvement in virtue. For this reason, the virtue which we gather from a fable, or an allegory, is like the health we get by hunting; as we are engaged in an agreeable pursuit that draws us on with pleasure, and makes us insensible of the fatigues that accompany it.
After this preface, I shall set down a very beautiful allegorical fable of the great poet whom I mentioned in my last paper, and whom it is very difficult to lay aside when one is engaged in the reading of him. And this I particularly design for the use of several of my fair correspondents, who, in their letters, have complained to me, that they have lost the affections of their husbands, and desire my advice how to recover them.
Juno, says Homer, seeing her Jupiter seated on the top of mount Ida, and knowing that he had conceived an aversion to her, began to study how she should regain his affections, and make herself amiable to him.* With this thought she
*—resolv'd to prove The old, yet still successful cheats of love:
immediately retired into her chamber, where she bathed herself in ambrosia; which gave her . person all its beauty, and diffused so divine an odour, as refreshed all nature, and sweetened both heaven and earth. She let her immortal tresses flow in the most graceful manner, and took a particular care to dress herself in several ornaments, which the poet describes at length, and which the goddess chose out as the most proper to set off her person to the best advantage. In the next place, she made a visit to Venus, the deity who presides over love, and begged of her, as a particular favour, that she would lend her for a while those charms with which she subdued the hearts both of gods and men. “For," says the goddess, ‘I would make use of them to reconcile the two deities, who took care of me in my infancy, and who at present are at so great a variance, that they are estranged from each other's bed.’ Venus was proud of an opportunity of obliging so great a goddess," and therefore made her a present of the cestus which she used to wear about her own waist, with advice to hide it in her bosom until she had accomplished her intention. This cestus was a fine party-coloured girdle, which, as Homer tells us, had all the attractions of the sex wrought into it. The four principal figures in the embroidery were love, desire, fondness of speech, and conversation, filled with that sweetness and complacency, which, says the poet, insensibly steal away the hearts of the wisest men. Juno, after having made these necessary preparations, came, as by accident, into the presence of Jupiter, who is said to have been as much inflamed with her beauty, as when he first stole to her embraces without the consent of their parents. Juno, to cover her real thoughts, told him, as she had told Venus, that she was going to make a visit to Occanus and Tethys. He prevailed upon her to stay with him, protesting to her, that she appeared more amiable in his eye, than ever any mortal, goddess, or even her. self, had appeared to him until that day. The poet then represents him in so great an ardour, that, without going up to the house which had been built by the hands of Vulcan according to Juno's direction, he threw a golden cloud over their heads as they sat upon the top of mount Ida, while the earth beneath them sprung up in lotuses, saffrons, hyacinths, and a bed of the softest flowers for their repose. This close translation of one of the finest passages in Homer, may suggest abundance of instruction to a woman, who has a mind to preserve or recall the affection of her husband. The care of the person, and the dress, with the particular blandishments woven in the cestus, are
Against his wisdom to oppose her charms,
so plainly recommended by this fable, and so indispensably necessary in every female who desires to please, that they need no further explanation. The discretion likewise in covering all matrimonial quarrels from the knowledge of others, is taught in the pretended visit to Tethys, in the speech where Juno addresses herself to Venus; as the chaste and prudent management of a wife's charms is intimated by the same pretence for her appearing before Jupiter, and by the concealment of the cestus in her bo.
sonn. I shall leave this tale to the consideration of such good housewives who are never well dressed but when they are abroad, and think it necessary to appear more agreeable to all men living than their husbands: as also to those prudent ladies, who, to avoid the appearance of being overfond, entertain their husbands with indifference, aversion, sullen silence, or exasperating language.
Sheer-lane, March 17.
Upon my coming home last night, I found a very handsome present of wine left for me, as a taste “of two hundred and sixteen hogsheads, which are to be put to sale at twenty pounds a hogshead, at Garraway's coffee-house in Exchange-alley, on the twenty-second instant, at three in the afternoon, and to be tasted in major Long's vaults from the twentieth instant until the time of sale.' This having been sent to me with a desire that I would give my judgment upon it, I immediately empanelled a jury of men of mice palates, and strong heads, who be. ing all of them very scrupulous, and unwilling to proceed rashly in a matter of so great im. portance, refused to bring in their verdict until three in the morning ; at which time the fore. man pronounced, as well as he was able, ‘Extra-a-ordinary French claret.' For my own part, as I love to consult my pillow in all points of moment, I slept upon it before I would give my sentence, and this morning confirmed the verdict.
Having mentioned this tribute of wine, I must give notice to my correspondents for the future, who shall apply to me on this occasion, that, as I shall decide nothing unadvisedly in matters of this nature, I cannot pretend to give judgment of a right good liquor, without examining at least three dozen bottles of it. I must, at the same time, do myself the justice to let the world know, that I have resisted great temptations in this kind; as it is well known to a butcher in Clare-market, who endeavoured to corrupt me with a dozen and a half of marrowbones. I had likewise a bribe sent me by a fishmonger, consisting of a collar of brawn, and a jole of salmon; but not finding them excellent in their kinds, I had the integrity to eat them both up, without speaking one word of them. However, for the future, I shall have an eye to the diet of this great city, and will recommend the best and most wholesome food to them, if I receive these proper and respectful notices from the sellers; that it may not be said hereo, that my readers were better taught than fe
Having intimated in my last paper, that I design to take under my inspection the diet of this great city, I shall begin with a very earnest and serious exhortation to all my well-disposed readers, that they would return to the food of their forefathers, and reconcile themselves to beef and mutton. This was the diet which bred that hardy race of mortals who won the fields of Cressy and Agincourt. I need not go up so high as the history of Guy Earl of Warwick, who is well known to have eaten up a dun cow of his own killing. The renowned king Arthur is generally looked upon as the first who ever sat down to a whole roasted ox, which was certainly the best way to preserve the gravy; and it is further added, that he and his knights sat about it at his round table, and usually consumed it to the very bones before they would enter upon any debate of moment. The Black Prince was a professed lover of the brisket; not to mention the history of the surloin, or the institution of the order of Beefeaters; which are all so many evident and undeniable marks of the great respect, which our warlike predecessors have paid to this excellent food. The tables of the ancient gentry of this nation were covered thrice a-day with hot roast beef; and I am credibly informed, by an antiquary who has searched the registers in which the bills of fare of the court are recorded, that instead of tea and bread and butter, which have prevailed of late years, the maids of honour in queen Elizabeth's time were allowed three rumps of beef for their breakfast. Mutton has likewise been in great repute among our valiant countrymen; but was formerly observed to be the food rather of men of nice and delicate appetites, than those of strong and robust constitutions. For which reason, even to this day, we use the word Sheep-biter as a term of reproach, as we do Beef-eater in a respectful and honourable sense. As for the flesh of lamb, veal, chicken, and other animals under age, they were the invention of sickly and degenerate palates, according to that wholesome remark of Daniel the historian ; who takes notice, that in all taxes upon provisions during the reigns of several of our kings, there is nothing mentioned besides the flesh of such fowl and cattle as were arrived at their full growth, and were mature for slaughter. The common people of this kingdom do still keep up the taste of their ancestors; and it is to this that we, in a great measure, owe the unparalleled victories that have been gained in this reign: for I would desire my reader to consider, what work our countrymen would have made at Blenheim and Ramilies, if they had been fed with fricassees and ragouts.
For this reason, we at present see the florid complexion, the strong limb, and the hale con
stitution, are to be found chiefly among the meaner sort of people, or in the wild gentry who have been educated among the woods or mountains. Whereas many great families are insensibly fallen off from the athletic constitution of their progenitors, and are dwindled away into a pale, sickly, spindle-legged generation of valetudinarians. I may perhaps be thought extravagant in my notion; but, I must confess, I am apt to impute the dishonours that sometimes happen in great families, to the inflaming kind of diet which is so much in fashion. Many dishes can excite desire without giving strength, and heat the body without nourishing it; as physicians observe, that the poorest and most dispirited blood is most subject to severs. I look upon a French ragout to be as pernicious to the stomach as a glass of spirits; and when I have seen a young lady swallow all the instigations of high soups, seasoned sauces, and forced meats, I have wondered at the despair or tedious sighing of her lovers. The rules among these false delicates are to be as contradictory as they can be to nature. Without expecting the return of hunger, they eat for an appetite, and prepare dishes, not to allay, but to excite it. * They admit of nothing at their tables in its natural form, or without some disguise. They are to eat every thing before it comes in season, and to leave it off as soon as it is good to be eaten. They are not to approve anything that is agreeable to ordinary palates; and nothing is to gratify their senses, but what would offend those of their inferiors. I remember I was last summer invited to a friend's house, who is a great admirer of the French cookery, and, as the phrase is, ‘eats well.” At our sitting down, I found the table covered with a great variety of unknown dishes. I was mightily at a loss to learn what they were, and therefore did not know where to help myself. That which stood before me, I took to be a roasted porcupine, however did not care for asking questions; and have since been informed, that it was only a larded turkey. I afterwards passed my eye over several hashes, which I do not know the names of to this day; and, hearing that they were delicacies, did not think fit to meddle with them. Among other dainties, I saw something like a pheasant, and therefore desired to be helped to a wing of it; but, to my great surprise, my friend told me it was a rabbit, which is a sort of meat I never cared for. At last I discovered, with some joy, a pig at the lower end of the table, and begged a gentleman that was near it to cut me a piece of it. Upon which the gemtleman of the house said, with great civility, ‘I am sure you will like the pig, for it was whipped to death.' I must confess, I heard him with horror, and could not eat of an animal that had died so tragical a death. I was now in great hunger and confusion, when methought I smelled the agreeable savour of roast beef; but could not tell from what dish it arose, though I did not question but it lay disguised in one of them. Upon turning my head, I saw a noble
surloin on the side table smoking in the most delicious manner. I had recourse to it more than once, and could not see, without some indignation, that substantial English dish banished in so ignominious a manner, to make way for French kickshaws. The dessert was brought up at last, which in truth was as extraordinary as any thing that had come before it. The whole, when ranged in its proper order, looked like a very beautiful winter-piece. There were several pyramids of candied sweetmeats, that hung like icicles, with fruits scattered up and down, and hid in an artificial kind of frost. At the same time there were great quantities of cream, beaten up into a snow; and near them little plates of sugar-plums, disposed like so many heaps of hail-stones, with a multitude of congelations in jellies of various colours. I was indeed so pleased with the several objects which lay before me, that I did not care for displacing any of them; and was half angry with the rest of the company, that, for the sake of a piece of lemon-peel, or a sugar
plum, would spoil so pleasing a picture. Indeed,
I could not but smile to see several of them cooling their mouths with lumps of ice, which they had just before been burning with salts and peppers. As soon as this show was over, I took my leave, that I might finish my dinner at my own house. For as I in every thing love what is simple and natural, so particularly in my food; two plain dishes, with two or three good-natured, cheerful, ingenious friends, would make me more pleased and vain, than all that pomp and luxury can bestow. For it is my maxim, that “he keeps the greatest table who has the most valuable company at it.'
No. 149.] Thursday, March 23, 1709-10. From my own Apartment, March 22.
It has often been a solid grief to me, when I have reflected on this glorious nation, which is the scene of public happiness and liberty, that there are still crowds of private tyrants, against whom there neither is any law now in being, nor can there be invented any by the wit of man. These cruel men are ill-natured husbands. The commerce in the conjugal state is so delicate, that it is impossible to prescribe rules for the conduct of it, so as to fitten thousand nameless pleasures and disquietudes which arise to people in that condition. But it is in this as in some other nice cases, where touching upon the malady tenderly is half way to the cure; and there are some faults which need only to be observed, to be amended. I am put into this way of thinking by a late conversation, which I am going to give an account of
I made a visit the other day to a o for which I have a great honour, and found the father, the mother, and two or three of the younger children drop off designedly, to leave me alone with the eldest daughter, who was but a visitant there as well as myself, and is the wife of a gentleman of a very fair character in
... the world. As soon as we were alone, I saw her eyes full of tears, and methought she had much to say to me, for which she wanted encouragement. ‘Madam,' said I, ‘you know I wish you all as well as any friend you have : speak freely what I see you are oppressed with ; and you may be sure, if I cannot relieve your distress, you may at least reap so much present advantage, as safely to give yourself the ease of uttering it.” She immediately assumed the Lost becoming composure of countenance, and spoke as follows: “It is an aggravation of asdiction in a marrica life, that there is a sort of guilt in communicating it: for which reason it is, that a lady of your and my acquaintance, instead of speaking to you herself, desired me, the next time I saw you, as you are a professed friend to our sex, to turn your thoughts upon the reciprocal complaisance which is the duty of a married state. “My friend was neither in birth, fortune, nor education below the gentleman whom she married. Her person, her age, and her character, are also such as he can make no exception to. "But so it is, that from the moment the marriage * ceremony was over, the obsequiousness of a lover was turned into the haughtiness of a master. "All the kind endeavours which she uses to please him, are at best but so many instances of her duty. This insolence takes away that secret satisfaction, which does not only excite to virtue, but also rewards it. It abates the fire of a free and generous love, and embitters all the pleasures of a social life.’ ‘The young lady spoke all this with such an air of resentment, as discovered how nearly she was concerned in the distress. When I observed she had done speaking, "Madam,' said I, ‘the affliction you mention is the greatest that can happen in human life, and I know but one consolation in it, if that be a consolution, that the calamity is a pretty general one. There is nothing so common as for men to enter into inărriage, without so much as expecting to be happy in it. They seem to propose to themselves a few holidays in the beginning of it; after which they are to return at best to the usual course of their life; and, for aught they know, to constant misery and uneasiness. From this false sense of the state they are going into, proceed the immediate coldness and indif. ference, or hatred and aversion, which attend ordinary marriages, or rather bargains to cohabit.' Our conversation was here interrupted by company which came in upon us. The humour of affecting a superior carriage, generally rises from a false notion of the weakness of a female understanding in general, or an over-weening opinion that we have of our own ; for when it proceeds from a natural ruggedness and brutality of temper, it is altogether incorrigible, and not to be amended by admonition. Sir Francis Bacon, as I remember, lays it down as a maxim, that no marriage can be happy in which the wife has no opinion of her husband's wisdom; but, without offence to so great an authority, I may venture to say, that a sullen wise man is as had as a good-natured tool. Knowledge, softened with complacency and good-breeding, will make a man equally
beloved and respected; but when joined with a severe, distant, and unsociable temper, it creates rather fear than love. I, who an a bachelor, have no other notions of conjugal tenderness but what I learn from books; and shall therefore produce three letters of Pliny, who was not only one of the greatest, but the most learned man in the whole Roman empire. At the same time I um very much ashamed, that on such occasions I am obliged to have recourse to heathen authors; and shall appeal to my readers, if they would not think it a mark of a narrow education in a man of quality, to write such passionate letters to any woman but a mistress. They were all three written at a time when she was at a distance from him. The first of them puts mo in mind of a married friend of mine, who said, ‘Sickness itself is pleasant to a man that is attended in it by one whom he dearly loves."
* Pliny to Calphurnia.
“I never was so much offended at business, as when it hindered me from going with you into the country, or following you thither; for I more particularly wish to be with you at present, that I might be sensible of the progress you make in the recovery of your strength and health ; as also of the entertainment and diversions you can meet with in your retirement. Believe me, it is an anxious state of mind to live in ignorance of what happens to those whom we passionately love. I am not only in pain for your absence, but also for your indisposition. I am afraid of every thing, fancy every thing, and, as it is the nature of man in fear, I fancy those things most, which I am most afraid of. Let me, therefore, earnestly desire you to favour ine, under these my apprehensions, with one letter every day, or, if possible, with two; for I shall be a little at ease while I am reading your letters, and grow anxious again as soon as I have read them.'
‘You tell me, that you are very much afflicted at my absence, and that you have no satis. faction in any thing but my writings, which you often lay by you upon my pillow. You oblige me very much in wishing to see me, and making me your comforter in my absence. In return, I must let you know, I am no less pleased with the letters which you writ to me, and read them over a thousand times with new pleasure. If your letters are capable of giving me so much pleasure, what would your conversation do? Let me beg of you to write to me often; though, at the same time, I must confess, your letters give me anguish whilst they give me pleasure.'
o Third LETTER.
‘It is impossible to conceive how much I languish for you in your absence; the tender love I beur you is the chief cause of this my uneasiness; which is still the more insupportable, because absence is wholly a new thing to us. I lie awake most part of the night in thinking of you, and several times of the day go as naturally to your apartment as if you were there to receive me; but when I miss you, I come away
dejected, out of humour, and like a man that had suffered a repulse. There is but one part of the day in which I am relieved from this anxiety, and that is when I am engaged in public affairs.
‘You may guess at the uneasy condition of one who has no rest but in business, no conso: lation but in trouble.'
I shall conclude this paper with a beautiful passage out of Milton, and leave it as a lecture to those of my own sex, who have a mind to make their conversation agreeable, as well as instructive, to the fair partners who are fallen into their care. Eve having observed that Adam was entering into some deep disquisitions with the angel, who was sent to visit him, is described as retiring from their company, with a design of learning what should pass there from her husband:—
'So spoko our sire, and by his count'nance seemed
“MR. Bickers'TAFF,-I have received your paper of this day, and think you have done the nuptial state a great deal of justico in the authority you give us of Pliny, whose letters to his wife you have there translated. But give me leave to tell you, that it is impossible for you that are a bachelor, to have so just a notion of this way of life, as to touch the affections of your readers in a particular, wherein overy iman's own heart suggests more than the nicest observer can form to himself without experience. I, therefore, who am an old married man, have sat down to give you an account of the matter from my own knowledge, and the observations which I have made upon the conduct of others in that most agreeablo or wretched condition.
“It is very commonly observed, that the most
smart pangs which we meet with, are in the beginning of wedlock, which proceed from ignorance of each other's humour, and want of prudence to make allowances for a change from the most careful respect, to the most unbounded familiarity. Hence it arises, that trifles aro commonly occasions of the greatest anxiety; for contradiction being a thing wholly unusual between a new-married couple, the smallest instance of it is taken for the highest injury ; and it very seldom happens, that the man is slow enough in assuming the character of a husband, or the woman quick enough in condescending to that of a wife. It immediately follows, that they think they have all the time of their court: ship been talking in masks to each other, and therefore begin to act like disappointed people. Philander finds Delia ill-natured and impertincht, and Delia, Philander surly and inconstant, ‘I have known a fond couple quarrel in tho very honey-moon about cutting up a tart: nay, I could name two, who, after having had seven children, fell out and parted beds upon the boiling of a leg of mutton. My very next neighbours havo not spoke to one another these threo, days, because they differed in their opinions, whether the clock should stand by the window, or over the chimney. It may seem strange to you, who are not a married man, when I tell you how the least trille can strike a woman dumb for a week together. But, if you ever enter into this state, you will find that the soft sex as often express their anger by an obstinate silence, as by an ungovernable clamour. “Those indecd who begin this course of life without jars at their setting out, arrive within few months at a pitch of benevolence and affection, of which the most perfect friendship is but a faint resemblance. As in the unfortunate marriage, the most minute and indifferent things
| are objects of the sharpest resentment; so in a
happy one, they are occasions of the most exquisite satisfaction. For, what does not oblige in one we love? What does not offend in one we dislike? For these reasons I take it for a rule, that in marriage, the chief business is to acquire a prepossession in favour of each other. They should consider one another's words and actions with a secret indulgence. There should be always an inward fondness pleading for each other, such as may add new beauties to every thing that is excellent, give charms to what is indifferent, and cover every thing that is defective. For want of this kind propensity and bias of mind, the married pair often take things ill of cach other, which no one clse would take notice of in either of them. “But the most unhappy circumstance of all is, where cach party is always laying up fuel for dissension, and gathering together a magazine of provocations, to exasperate each other with when they are out of humour. These people, in common discourse, make no scruple to let those who are by, know they are quarrelling with one another; and think they are discreet enough, if they conceal from the company the matters which they are hinting at. About a week ago, I was entertained for a whole dinner with a mysterious conversation of this nature: out of which I could learn no more, than that