Imágenes de páginas
[graphic][merged small]



CAME hither (White's chocolate-house) this evening to see fashions, and who should I first encounter but my old friend Cynthio (encompassed by a crowd of young fellows) dictating on the passion of love with the gayest air imaginable.

« Well, says he, as to what I know of the matter, there is nothing but ogling with skill carries a woman; but indeed it is not every fool that is capable of this art; you will find twenty can speak eloquently, fifty that can fight manfully, and a thousand that can dress genteelly at a mistress, where there is one that can gaze skilfully. This requires an exquisite judgment to take the language of her eyes to yours exactly, and not let yours talk too fast for hers; as at a play between the acts, when beau Frisk stands upon a bench full in Lindamira’s face, and her dear eyes are searching round to avoid that staring open fool ! she meets the watchful glance of her true lover, and sees his heart attentive on her charms, and waiting for a second twinkle of her eye for its next motion.” Here the good company sneered, but he goes on : “ Nor is this attendance a slavery, when a man meets with encouragement, and her eye comes often in his way; for, after an evening so spent, and the repetition of four or five significant looks at him,

the happy man goes home to his lodging, full of ten thousand pleasing images—his brain is dilated, and gives him all the ideas and prospects which it ever lets into its seat of pleasure. Thus a kind look from Lindamira revives in his imagination all the beauteous lawns, green fields, woods, forests, rivers, and folitudes which he had ever before seen in picture, defcription, or real life, and all with this addition, that he now sees them with the eyes of a happy lover, as before only with those of a common man. You laugh, gentlemen, but consider yourselves (you common people that were never in love) and compare yourselves in good humour with yourselves out of humour, and you will then acknowledge that all external objects affect you according to the dispositions you are in to receive their impressions, and not as those objects are in their own nature. How much more shall all that passes within his view and observation, touch with delight a man who is prepossessed with successful love, which is an assemblage of soft affection, gay desires, and hopeful resolutions ?”

Poor Cynthio went on at this rate to the crowd about him, without any purpose in his talk, but to vent an heart overflowing with sense of success. I wondered what could exalt him from the distress, in which he had long appeared, to so much alacrity. But my familiar has given me the state of his affairs. It seems, then, that lately coming out of the playhouse, his mistress, who knows he is in her livery, as the manner of insolent beauties is, is resolved to keep him still so, and gave him so much wages as to complain to him of the crowd she was to pass through. He had his wits and resolution enough about him to take her hand and fay he would attend her to the coach. All the way thither my good young man stammered at every word and stumbled at every step. His mistress, wonderfully pleased with her triumph, put him to a thousand questions to make a man of his natural wit speak with hesitation, and let drop her fan to see him recover it awkwardly. This is the whole foundation of Cynthio's recovery to the sprightly air he appears with at present.

I grew mighty curious to know something more of that

Jady's affairs, as being amazed how she could dally with an offer of one of his merit and fortune. I sent Pacolet to her lodgings, who immediately brought me back the following letter to her friend and confident Amanda in the country, wherein she has opened her heart and all its folds. « DEAR AMANDA,

“The town grows so empty that you must expect my letter fo too, except you will allow me to talk of myself instead of others. You cannot imagine what pain it is, after a whole day spent in publick, to want your company and the ease which friendship allows in being vain to each other, and speaking all our minds An account of the slaughter which these unhappy eyes have made within ten days last past, would make me appear too great a tyrant to be allowed in a Chriftian country. I shall therefore confine myself to my principal conquests, which are the hearts of beau Frisk and Jack Freeland, besides Cynthio, who, you know, wore my fetters before you went out of town. Shall I tell you my weakness ? I begin to love Frisk. It is the best humoured impertinent thing in the world; he is always, too, in waiting, and will certainly carry me off one time or other. Freeland's father and mine have been upon treaty without consulting me, and Cynthio has been eternally watching my eyes, without approaching me, my friends, my maid, or any one about me; he hopes to get me, I believe, as they say the rattle-snake does the squirrel, by staring at me till I drop into his mouth. Freeland demands me for a jointure which he thinks deserves me. Cynthio thinks nothing high enough to be my value. Freeland therefore will take it for no obligation to have me, and Cynthio's idea of me is what will vanish by knowing me better. Familiarity will equally turn the veneration of the one and the indifference of the other into contempt. I will stick, therefore, to my old maxim, to have that sort of man who can have no greater views than what are in my power to give him possession of. The utmost of my dear Frisk's ambition is to be thought a man of fashion, and therefore has been so much in mode as to resolve upon me, because the whole town likes me. Thus I choose rather a man who loves me because others do, than one who approves me on his own judgment. He that judges for himself in love will often change his opinion; but he that follows the sense of others, must be constant as long as a woman can make advances. The visits I make, the entertainments I give, and the addresses I receive, will be all arguments for me with a man of Frisk's secondhand genius, but would be so many bars to my happiness with any other man. However, since Frisk can wait, I shall enjoy a summer or two longer, and remain a single woman, in the sublime pleasure of being followed and admired, which nothing can equal except that of being beloved by you.

“I am, &c."

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

ACOLET being gone a strolling among the men of

the sword, in order to find out the secret causes of the frequent disputes we meet with, and furnish me with materials for my treatise on duelling, I have

room left to go on in my information to my country readers, whereby they may understand the bright people whose memoirs I have taken upon me to write. But in my discourse of the 28th of the last month, I omitted to mention the most agreeable of all bad characters, and that is a rake.

A rake is a man always to be pitied; and if he lives, is one day certainly reclaimed, for his faults proceed not from choice or inclination, but from strong passions and appetites, which are in youth too violent for the curb of reason, good sense, good manners, and good nature, all which he must have by nature and education, before he can be allowed to be or have been of this order. He is a poor unwieldy wretch that commits faults out of the redundance of his good qualities. His pity and compassion makes him sometimes a bubble to all his fellows, let them be never so much below him in understanding. His desires run away with him through the strength and force of a lively imagination, which hurries him on to unlawful pleasures, before reason has power to come in to his rescue. Thus with all the good intentions in the world to amendment, this creature fins on against heaven, himself, his friends, and his country, who all call for a better use of his talents. There is not a being under the sun fo miserably as this—he goes on in a pursuit he himself disapproves, and has no enjoyment but what is followed by remorse; no relief from

« AnteriorContinuar »