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From my own Apartment, August 16. I Have had much importunity to answer the following letter.
. Mr. BICKERSTAFF,
• READING over a volume of yours, I find the words fimplex munditiis mentioned as a description of a very well-dressed woman. I beg of
for the sake of the fex, to explain these terms. I cannot comprehend what my brother means, when be tells me, they signify my own name, which is,
I think the lady's brother has given us a very good idea of that elegant expression; it being the greatest beauty of speech to be close and intelligible. To this end, nothing is to be more carefully consulted than plaine, ness. In a lady's attire this is the single excellence; for to be, what some people call, fine, is the fame vice in that case, as to be florid is in writing or speaking. I have ftudied and writ on this important subject, until I almost despair of making a reformation in the females of this iland; where we have more beauty than in any spot in the universe, if we did not disguise it by false garniture, and detract from it by impertinent improvements. I have by me a treatise concerning pinners, which, 1 have fome hopes, will contribute to the amendment of the pre
sent head-dresses, to which I have folid and unanswerable objections. But mof of the errors in that, and other particulars of adorning the head, are crept into the world from the ignorance of modern tirewomen; for it is come to that pass, that an awkward creature in the first year
of her apprenticeship, that can hardly stick a pin, shall take upon her to dress a woman of the first quality. However, it is certain, that there requires in a good tirewoman a perfect skill in optics; for all the force of ornament is to contribute to the intention of the eyes. Thus the, who has a mind to look killing, muft arm her face accordingly, and not leave her eyes and cheeks undrefred. There is Araminta, who is fo fenfible of this, that she never will fee even her own husband, without a hood on. Can any one living bear to see miss Gruel, lean as she is, with her hair tied back after the modern way? But such is the folly of our ladies, that because one who is a beauty, out of ostentation of her being such, takes care to wear fomething that she knows cannot be of any consequence to her complexion ; I say, our women run on fo heedlessly in the fashion, that though it is the interest of fome to hide as much of their faces as possible, yet because a leading toast appeared with a backward head-dress, the reft shall follow the mode, without observing that the author of the fashion affumed it, because it could become no one but herself.
Flavia iş ever well-dressed, and always the genteelest woman you meet: but the inake of her mind very much contributes to the ornament of her body. She has the greatest fimplicity of manners, of any of her fex. This makes every thing look native about her, and her clothes are so exactly fitted, that they appear, as it were, part of her perfon. Every one that sees her knows her to be of quality ; but her distinction is owing to her manner, and not to her habit. Her beauty is full of attraction, but nøt of allurement. There is such a composure in her looks, and propriety in her drefs, that you would think it impoffible the should change the garb, you one day see her in, for any thing so becoming, until you next day fee her in another. Tbere is no other myftery in
this, but that however she is apparelled, she is herself the same: for there is fo immediate a relation between our thoughts and gestures, that a woman must think well to look well.
But this weighty subject I must put off for some other matters, in which my correspondents are urgent for answers; which I shall do where I can, and appeal to the judgment of others where I cannot.
Auguft 15, 1710. · TAKING the air the other day on horseback in the green lane that leads to Southgate, I discovered coming towards me a person well mounted in a mask; and I accordingly expected, as any' one would, to have been robbed. But when we came up with each other, the fpark, to my greater surprise, very peaceably gave me the way; which made me take courage enough to ask him, if he masqueraded, or how? He made me no answer, but still continued incognito. This was certainly an ass in a lion's skin ; a harmless bull-beggar, who delights to fright innocent people, and let them a galloping. I bethought myself of putting as good a jest upon him, and had turned my horse, with a design to pursue him to Lone don, and get him apprehended, on fufpicion of being a highwayman : but when I reflected, that it was the proper office of the magistrate to punish only knaves, and that we had a censor of Great Britain for people of ano. ther denomination, I immediately determined to profecute him in your court only. This unjustifiable frolic I take to be neither wit nor humour, therefore hope you will do me, and as many others as were that day frighted, justice.
I am, Sir,
Your friend and fervant,
'The gentleman begs your pardon, and frighted you out of fear of frighting you; for he is just come out of the small pox.'
« Mr. BickERSTAFF,
• Your distinction concerning the time of commencing virgins is allowed to be juft. I write you my thanks for it, in the twenty-eighth year of life, and twelfth of my virginity. But I am to ask you another question : May a woman be said to live any more years a maid, than the continues to be courted ?
August 15, 1710 I OBSERVE that the Poftman of Saturday last, giving an account of the action in Spain, has this elegant turn of expression; General Stanhope, who in the whole action expressed as much bravery as conduct, received a contufion in his right fhoulder. I should be glad to know, whether this cautious politician means to commend or to rally him, by saying, he expressed as much bravery as conduct? If you can explain this dubious phrase, it will inform the public, and oblige,
NO. 213. SATURDAY, AUGUST 19, 1710.
Sheer-lane, August 18. There has of late crept in among the downright English a mighty spirit of diffimulation. But before we discourse of this vice, it will be necessary to observe, that the learned make a difference between fimulation and disfimulation. Simulation is a pretence of what is not, aird diffimulation is a concealment of what is. The latter is our present affair. When
When you look round you in public places in this island, you see the generality of mankind carry in their countenance an air of challenge or defiance ; and there is no such man to be found among us, who naturally strives to do greater honours and civilities than he receives. This is ate fullenness or stubbornness of complexion is hardly to be conquered by any of our iflanders. For which reason, however they may pretend to chouse one another, they make but very awkward rogues; and their dislike to each other is seldom so well diffembled, but it is suspected. When once it is fo, it had as good be professed. A man who dissembles well must have none of what we call stomach, otherwise he will be cold in his profeflions of good-will where he hates ; an imperfection of the last ill consequence in business. This fierceness in our natures is apparent from the conduct of our young fellows, who are not got into the schemes and arts of life which the children of the world walk by. One would think that, of course, when a man of any consequence for his figure, his mien, or his gravity, passes by a youth, he should certainly have the first advances of falutation; but he is, you may observe, treated in a quite different manner; it being the very characteristic of an English temper to defy. As I am an Englishman, I find it a very hard matter to bring myself to pull off the hat first; but it is the only way to be upon any good terms with those we meet with. Therefore the first advance is of high moment. Men judge of others by themselves; and he that