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most fashionable; such as enfeeble the body, and render it listless and delicate in all its motions. We have indeed a few' robust, clownish gentlemen; but in general they are thoughtdisqualified for any considerable posts, whether civil or military; and they are seldom or never promoted to any titles of honour above knighthood. The only exercise now practised, that seems to require some force of arm, and a lively spring in the wrist, is the violent rattling of two little square bones, in a small cylindrical box, about five inches deep, and two and a half diameter.
FREE-THINKER, No. 122, May 22, 1719.
Non illa loco, neque origine gentis
She was illustrious neither for her rank nor family, but for her learning and accomplishments.
WHEN the Emperor Theodosius (the younger) had resolved upon making choice of a consort, he would often advise with his sister Pulcheria Augusta concerning a proper person. Pulcheria gave up her whole time and attention to inquire out a worthy partner of her brother's bed, amongst the number of young ladies of noble, or of royal blood, whom she (in this view) edu cated within the palace, under her own inspection. Theodosius had declared to his sister, that his desire was to have a virgin of such extraordinary beauty as might eclipse the lustre of all the bright damsels of Constantinople; and if, besides, she was of a royal lineage, that he should be the better pleased; but that, in his estimation, neither nobleness of birth, nor royal descent, nor the addition of wealth, should come in competition with beauty; for that, upon the whole, let her family be never so obscure, the virgin of the most finished charms should
be his bride. The Emperor's resolution being fully known in this particular, Pulcheria dispatched persons of judgment into all parts of the world, in quest of beauty: and Paulinus, a young favourite courtier (who had been educated in the palace with Theodosius) studied likewise to gratify his master's inclinations, and made addresses every where amongst the ladies, to find out a matchless maid.
About this time it came to pass, that Athenais (a Greek virgin, of exquisite make and feature, and extraordinary learning) came to Constantinople upon the following occasion. Her father, who was a very learned man, had inserted the subsequent clause in his will: "I give to my dearly beloved daughter only one hundred pieces of money; because her beauty, and her erudition, in which she excels her whole sex, will be a sufficient portion to her." When the will came to be opened, upon the father's decease, and Athenais saw she was in express words cut off from her full share of the inheritance; she applied herself for redress to her two brothers, who were made co-heirs. She hung upon their knees, beseeching them that they would not insist upon the inequality of the will, but suffer her to come in for a third part of the father's estate; since they knew she did
not deserve to be disinherited, by the least for feiture in her duty towards him. Nevertheless, her brothers were inexorable: they not only slighted the petition of their sister; but, in their anger, turned her out of her father's house.
Hereupon, Athenais fled to her aunt by the mother's side; who not only entertained her, as her ward; but gave her protection, as a virgin. This lady conducted her to her father's sister; and both the aunts agreeing to undertake the cause of their fair niece, they commenced a suit against her brothers, They acquainted the most religious Princess Pulcheria of the severe usage she had met with from her own brothers, and at the same time took an opportunity to commend Athenais for her eloquence.
When Pulcheria found she was a damsel of extraordinary beauty, learning, and eloquence; she asked her relations whether she was a virgin? The Princess being thoroughly informed of the great care the father of Athenais had taken of her chastity, and how she had been trained up by him in a long and regular institution of philosophy; orders were given, she should be entertained in the palace amongst the ladies whom Pulcheria had assembled; and her aunts were dismissed with an assurance that their petitions should be granted. When the
Princess heard the beautiful stranger make her own complaint, and relate the circumstances of her injurious treatment, and her conduct upon it, she was sufficiently convinced of her eloquence, of her prudence, and the admirable dexterity with which she had i, managed her own affairs. Upon this,' she determined to marry Athenais to the Emperor; and to promote her design, she acquainted him that she had at last found an unblemished young virgin, of an exquisite form: her forehead fair and smooth, her lineaments lovely, her features regular, her skin white as snow, her air uncommon, woman-like in her motion, learned, and of a Greek extraction. 963
The youthful Theodosius was fired with the description of so complete a beauty; when, sending for his friend and favourite, Paulinus, he desired his sister to appoint Athenais an audience in her apartments, under the pretence of speaking with her about her own business ; that by this means he and his favourite might behold her unveiled. She was accordingly introduced into the apartment of the Princess, Where Theodosius viewed her with raptures, and Paulinus with astonishment. Soon after, she was converted to christianity, for she had been bred a pagan of the Greek T religion.