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• Delamira! you are now going into that state of life wherein the use of your charms is wholly to be applied to the pleasing only one man. That swimming air of your body, that janty bearing of your head over one shoulder, and that inexpressible beauty in your manner of playing your Fan, must be lowered into a more confined behaviour ; to show, that you would rather shun than receive addresses for the future. Therefore, dear Delamira! give me those excellences you leave off, and acquaint me with your manner of charming: for I take the liberty of our friendship to say, that when I consider my own stature, motion, complexion, wit, or breeding, I cannot think myself any way your inferior; yet do I go through crowds without wounding a man, and all my acquaintance marry round me, while I live a virgin unasked, and I think unregarded.'
Delamira heard her with great attention, and, with that dexterity which is natural to her, told her, that all she had above the rest of her sex and contemporary beauties, was wholly owing to a Fan, (that was left her by her mother, and had been long in the family,) which whoever had in possession, and used with skill, should command the hearts of all her beholders : and since,' said she smiling, “I have no more to do with extending my conquests or triumphs, I will make you a present of this inestimable rarity.' Virgulta made her expressions of the highest gratitude for so uncommon a confidence in her, and desired she would show her what was peculiar in the management of that utensil, which rendered it of such general force while she was mistress of it.' Delamira replied, “You see, Madam, Cupid is the principal figure painted on it; and the skill in playing this Fan is, in your several motions of it, to let him appear as little as possible ; for honourable lovers fly
all endeavours to ensnare them; and your Cupid must hide his bow and arrow, or he will never be sure of his game.
You may observe,' continued she, * that in all public assemblies, the sexes seem to separate themselves, and draw up to attack each other with eye-shot: that is the time when the Fan, which is all the armour of a woman, is of most use in our defence; for our minds are construed by the waving of that little instrument, and our thoughts appear in composure or agitation according to the motion of it. You may observe, when Will Peregrine comes into the side-box, Miss Gatty flutters her fan, as a fly does its wings round a candle; while her eldest sister, who is as much in love with him as she is, is as grave as a vestal at his entrance; and the consequence is accordingly. He watches half the play for a glance from her sister, while Gatty is overlooked and neglected. I wish you heartily as much success in the management of it as I have had : if
you think fit to go on where I left off, I will give you a short account of the execution I have made with it.
• Cymon, who is the dullest of mortals, and, though a wonderful great scholar, does not only pause, but seems to take a nap with his eyes open between every other sentence in his discourse; him have I made a leader in assemblies; and one blow on the shoulder as I passed by him has raised him to a downright impertinent in all conversations. The airy Will Sampler is become as lethargic by this my wand, as Cimon is sprightly. Take it, good girl, and use it without mercy; for the reign of beauty never lasted full three years, but it ended in marriage, or condemnation to virginity. As you fear, therefore, the one, and hope for the other, I expect an hourly journal of your triumphs ; for I have it by certain tradition, that is was given to the first who wore it, by an enchantress, with this remarkable power, that it bestows a husband in half a year on her who does not overlook her proper minute; but assigns to a long despair the woman who is well offered, and neglects that proposal. May occasion attend your charms, and your charms slip no occasion! Give me, I say, an account of the progress of your forces at our next meeting; and you shall hear what I think of my new condition. I should meet my
I should meet my future spouse this moment. Farewell. Live in just terror of the dreadful words, SHE WAS.'
FROM MY OWN APARTMENT, AUGUST 8.
I had the honour this evening to visit some ladies, where the subject of the conversation was Modesty ; which they commended as a quality quite as becoming in men as in women. I took the liberty to say, • it might be as beautiful in our behaviour as in theirs, yet it could not be said it was as successful in life; for as it was the only recommendation in them, so it was the greatest obstacle to us both in love and business. A gentleman present was of my mind, and said, that we must describe the difference between the Modesty of women and that of men, or we should be confounded in our reasonings upon for this virtue is to be regarded with respect to our different ways of life. The woman's province is, to be careful in her economy and chaste in her affections; the man's, to be active in the improvement of his fortune, and ready to undertake whatever is consistent with his reputation for that end.' Modesty, therefore, in a woman, has a certain agreeable fear in all she enters upon; and in men, it is composed of a right judgment of what is proper for them to attempt. From hence it is, that a discreet man is
always a modest one. It is to be noted that Modesty in a man is never to be allowed as a good quality, but a weakness, if it suppresses his virtue, and hides it from the world, when he has at the same time a mind to exert himself. A French author says very justly, that Modesty is to the other virtues in a man, what shade in a picture is to the parts of the thing represented. It makes all the other beauties conspicuous, which would otherwise be but a wild heap of colours. This shade in our actions must, therefore, be very justly applied; for if there be too much, it hides our good qualities, instead of showing them to advantage.
Nestoro in Athens was an unhappy instance of this truth; for he was not only in his profession the greatest man of that age, but had given more proofs of it than any other man ever did?; yet, for want of that natural freedom and audacity which is necessary in commerce with men, his personal modesty over-. threw all his public actions. Nestor was in those days a skilful architect, and in a manner the inventor of the use of mechanic powers; which he brought to so great perfection, that he knew to an atom what foundation would bear such a superstructure: and they record of him, that he was so prodigiously exact, that, for the experiment's sake, he built an edifice of great beauty, and seeming strength; but contrived so as to bear only its own weight, and not to admit the addition of the least particle. This building was beheld with much admiration by all the Virtuosi of that time; but fell down with no other pressure, but the settling of a Wren? upon the top of it. Yet
• Sir Christopher Wren, the real person here alluded to very properly under the name of Nestor, both in respect of his great wisdom and his great age, was born at East Knoyle in Wiltshire, Oct, 5, 1632, and died at Hampton-court, Feb. 25, 1723, in his 91st year. Any attempt to declare his extensive merit, to enumerate his manifold inventions, or even to mention his literary publications and architectural works, in a note on a paper of half a sheet, to say nothing of the absurdity, would be an indignity to one of the most accomplished and illustrious characters in history. They are recorded with an hereditary modesty by his learned son, and published by his grandson in a volume in folio, an. 1750, under the affectionate title of · Parentalia,' a rich repository of curious and useful knowledge, and one of the most entertaining and instructive books in our own or in any language. For all his unparalleled services to his country, this true patriot was twice prevented from sitting in parliament by the effects of party malice; and in the year 1718, at the age of 86, in the full vigour of his mind, which continued with unusual vivacity till within a few days of his death, he was removed from the surveyorship, which he had dignified in a manner so extraordinary, under six crowned heads, and for more than half a century.
- Pudet hæc opprobria nobis Et dici potuisse, et non potuisse refelli. Ovid. Met. i. 758. Happily for him, he had an evenness of temper, a steady tranquillity of mind, and christian fortitude, that no injurious incidents or inquietudes of human life could ever ruffle or discompose. When his patent was superseded, this modest man retired to his house at Hampton Court, saying only, Nunc me jubet fortuna expeditius philosophari, “ It is now the intention of Providence that I should apply myself more closely to philosophy.” Accordingly, he spent the greatest part of his five last years
in contêmplation and studies, and principally in the consolation of the holy scriptures,
cheerful in solitude, and as well pleased to die in the shade as in the light. The continued aim of his whole life was to be, as he said, beneficus humano generi, a friend to his kind;" and his humanity appeared to the last in benevolence and complacency, free from all moroseness in behaviour or aspect.' He was an early member, I had almost said a founder, of the Royal Society; for first he drew up their charter, and afterwards promoted its noble design by many curious and useful discoveries in every branch of science, for the advancement of which it was instituted.. Evelyn, Sprat, Hooke, and Newton, have left on record their honourable testimonies concerning him. The following inscription, written by his son, is to be seen in St. Paul's: Subtus conditur hujus ecclesiæ & urbis conditor Christophorus Wren, qui vixit annos ultra nonaginta, non sibi sed bono publico. Lector, si monumentum requiris, circumspice.'
Evelyn's ' Account of Architects and Architecture.' Dedication to sir Christopher Wren. Sprat's “ History of the Royal Society, London, 1722, p. 317, et seqq. Hook's Micrographia, preface. Newton's Princ. Math. Nat. Phil. edit. 1687, p. 20. Parentalia, passim.
p That this high encomium was strictly true of Sir Christopher Wren's extraordinary merit, see the evidences, ut supra, in Ward's ‘Lives of the Gresham Professors,' p. 98, et seqq. and in Dr. Philip Nicholls's art. Wren (Sir Christopher) Biogr. Brit.
9 This passage alludes to an opposition which was made to a digest of designs for the reparation of St. Paul's, laid before the king and the