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of view with myself. This was a little old woman, who in her prime had been about five feet high, though at present shrunk to about three quarters of that measure. Her natural aspect was puckered up with wrinkles, and her head covered with gray hairs. I had observed all along an innocent cheerfulness in her face, which was now heightened to raptures, as she beheld herself in the glass. It was an odd circumstance in my dream, but I cannot forbear relat. ing it, I conceived so great an inclination towards her, that I had thoughts of discoursing her upon the point of marriage, when on a sudden she was carried from me; for the word was now given, that all who were pleased with their own images should separate, and place themselves at the head of their sex..
This detachment was afterwards divided into three bodies, consisting of maids, wives, and widows; the wives being placed in the middle, with the maids on the right, and widows on the left, though it was with difficulty that these two last bodies were hindered from falling into the centre. This separation of those who liked their real selves not having less sened the number of the main body so considerably as it might have been wished, the goddess, after hav, ing drawn up her mirror, thought fit to make new distinctions among those who did not like the figure which they saw in it. She made several wholesome edicts, which are slipped out of my mind; but there were two which dwelt upon me, as being very extraordinary in their kind, and executed with great Keverity. Their design was to make an example of two extremes in the female world; of those who are very severe on the conduct of others, and of those who are very regardless of their own. The first sentence, therefore, the goddess pronounced was, that all females addicted to censoriousness and detraction should lose the use of speech; a punishment which would be the most grievous to the offender, and, what should be the end of all punishments, effectual for rooting out the crime. Upon this edict, which was as soon executed as published, the noise of the assembly very considerably abated. It was a melancholy spectacle to see so many who had the reputa. tion of rigid virtue struck dumb. A lady who stood by me, and saw my concern, told me," she wondered how I could be concerned for such a pack of
" I found, by the shaking of her head, she was going to give me their characters; but, by her saying no more, I perceived she had lost the command of her tongue. This calamity fell very heavy upon that part of women who are distinguished by the name of Prudes, a courtly word for female hypocrites, who have a short way to being virtuous, by showing that others are vicious. The second sentence was then pronounced against the loose part of the sex, that all should immediately be pregnant, who in any part of their lives had run the hazard of it. This produced a very goodly appearance, and revealed so many misconducts, that made those who were lately struck dumb repine more than ever at their want of utterance; though at the same time, as afflictions seldom come single, many of the mutes were also seized with this new calamity. The ladies were now in such a condition, that they would have wanted room, had not the plain been large enough to let them divide their ground, and extend their . lines on all sides. It was a sensible affliction to me, to see such a multitude of fair ones, either dumb or big-bellied. But I was something more at ease, when I found that they agreed upon several regulations to cover such misfortunes. Among others, that it should be an established maxim in all nations, that a woman's first child might come into the world within six months after her acquaintance with her husband;
and that grief might retard the birth of her last until fourteen months after his decease.
This vision lasted until my usual hour of waking, which I did with some surprise, to find myself alone after having been engaged almost a whole night in so prodigious a multitude. , I could not but reflect with wonder at the partiality and extravagance of my vision; which, according to my thoughts, has not done justice to the sex. If virtue in men is more yenerable, it is in women more lovely; which Milton has very finely expressed in his Paradise Lost, where Adam, speaking of Eve, after having asserted his own pre-eminence, as being first in creation and internal faculties, breaks out into the following rapture;
- Yet when I approach
No 103. TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 1709.
Hæ nugæ seria ducunt
: : : HOR. Ars Poet. ver. 452.
From my own Apartment, December 5. THERE is nothing gives a man a greater satisfaction, than the sense of having dispatched a great deal of business, especially when it turns to the public emo. lument. I have much pleasure of this kind upon my spirits at present, occasioned by the fatigue of affairs which I went through last Saturday. It is some time since I set apart that day for examining the pretensions of several who had applied to me for eanes, perspective - glasses, snuff boxes, orangeflower-waters, and the like ornaments of life. In order to adjust this matter, I had before directed Charles Lillie of Beaufort-Buildings, to prepare a great bundle of blank licences in the following words:
" You are hereby required to permit the bearer of this cane to pass and repass through the streets and suburbs of London, or any place within ten miles of it, without let or molestation, provided that he does not walk with it under his arm, brandish it in the air, or hang it on a button: in which case it shall be forfeited; and I hereby declare it forfeited,
to any one who shall think it safe to take it from
“ Isaac BICKERSTAFF.”
The same form, differing only in the provisos, will serve for a perspective, snuff-box, or perfumed handkerchief. I had placed myself in my elbow-chair at the upper end of my great parlour, having ordered Charles Lillie to take his place upon a joint-stool, with a writing-desk before him. John Morphew also took his station at the door; I having, for his good and faithful services, appointed him my chamber-keeper upon court-days. He let me know, that there was a great number attending without. Upon which I ordered him to give notice, that I did not intend to sit upon snuff-boxes that day; but that those who appeared for canes might enter. The first presented me with the following petition, which I ordered Mr. Lillie to read.
“ To Isaac BICKERSTAFF, Esquire, Censor of
« That your petitioner having been bred up to a cane from his youth, it is now become as necessary to him as any other of his limbs.
« That, a great part of his behaviour depending upon it, he should be reduced to the utmost necessities if he should lose the use of it.
“ That the knocking of it upon his shoe, leaning one leg upon it, or whistling with it on his mouth, are such great reliefs to him in conversation, that he does not know how to be good company without it.
"That he is at present engaged in an amour, and must despair of success if it be taken from him. .