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The defpair which is here fhewn, without a word or action on the part of the dying perfon, is beyond what could be painted by the moft forcible expreffions whatever.
"I fhall not purfue this thought farther, but only add, that as annihilation is not to be had with a wish, so it is the most abject thing in the world to with it. "What are honour, fame, wealth, or power, when compared with the generous expectation of a being without end, and a happiness adequate to that being ?
"I shall trouble you no farther; but with a certain gravity which thefe thoughts have given me, I reflect upon fome things people fay of you, as they will of men who diftinguish themselves, which I hope are not true; and with you as good a man as you are an ' author.
I am, Sir,
Your moft obedient humble fervant,
Thursday, November 1.
Ficis meminerit nos jocari fabulis. PHÆDR. lib. 1. Prol. Let it be remember'd that we fport in fabled stories.
HAVING lately tranflated the fragment of an old
poet which defcribe's womankind under feveral characters, and fuppofes them to have drawn their different manners and difpofitions from thofe animals and elements out of which he tells us they were compounded, I had fome thoughts of giving the fex their revenge, by laying together in another paper the many vicious characters which prevail in the male world, and fhewing the different ingredients that go to the making up of fuch different humours and conftitutions. Horace has a thought which is fomething akin to this, when, in order to excufe himfelf to his miftrefs, for an
invective which he had written against her, and to account for that unreasonable fury with which the heart of man is often tranfported, he tells us, that when Prometheus made his man of clay, in the kneading up of the heart, he seasoned it with fome furious particles of the lion. But upon turning this plan to and fro in my thoughts, I obferved fo many unaccountable humours in man, that I did not know out of what animals to fetch them. Male fouls are diverfified with fo many characters, that the world has not variety of materials fufficient to furnish out their different tempers and inclinations. The creation, with all its animals and elements, would not be large enough to fupply their feveral extravagan
Instead therefore of purfuing the thought of Simonides, I fhall obferve, that as he has expofed the vicious part of women from the doctrine of pre-existence, fome of the ancient philofophers have, in a manner, fatirized the vicious part of the human fpecies in general, from a notion of the foul's poft-existence, if I may fo call it ; and that as Simonides describes brutes entering into the compofition of women, others have reprefented human fouls as entering into brutes. This is commonly termed the doctrine of tranfmigration, which fuppofes that human fouls, upon their leaving the body, become the fouls of fuch kinds of brutes as they moft resemble in their manners; or to give an account of it as Mr. Dryden has defcribed it in his tranflation of Pythagoras his fpeech in the fifteenth book of Ovid, where that philofopher diffuades his hearers from eating flefh:
"Thus all things are but alter'd, nothing dies,
By time, or force, or fickness difpoffefs'd,
"The foul is fill the fame, the figure only loft.
"Then let not piety be put to flight, "To please the taste of glutton-appetite; "But fuffer inmate fouls fecure to dwell, "Left from their feats your parents you expel; "With rapid hunger feed upon your kind, "Or from a beast diflodge a brother's mind."
Plato in the vifion of Erus the Armenian, which I may poffibly make the fubject of a future fpeculation, records fome beautiful tranfmigrations; as that the foul of Orpheus, who was mufical, melancholy, and a woman-hater, entered into a swan; the foul of Ajax, which was all wrath and fiercenefs, into a lion; the foul of Agamemnon, that was rapacious and imperial, into an eagle; and the foul of Therfites, who was a mimic and a buffoon, into a monkey.
Mr. Congreve, in a prologue to one of his comedies, has touched upon this doctrine with great humour.
"Thus Ariftotle's foul of old that was,
May now be damn'd to animate an ass; "Or in this very houfe, for ought we know, "Is doing painful penance in fome beau."
I fhall fill up this paper with fome letters which my laft Tuesday's fpeculation has produced. My following correfpondents will fhew, what I there obferved, that the fpeculation of that day affects only the lower part of the fex.
From my house in the Strand, October 30, 1711. • Mr. SPECTATOR,
UPON reading your Tuesday's paper, I find by feveral fymptoms in my conftitution that I am a bee. My fhop, or if you pleafe to call it fo, my cell, is in that great hive of females which goes by the name of "The New Exchange," where I am daily employed in gathering together a little ftock of gain from the fineft flowers about the town, I mean the ladies and the beaus. I have a numerous fwarm of children, to whom I give the best education I am able: but, fir, it is my misfortune to be married to a drone, who
' lives upon what I get, without bringing any thing into 'the common stock. Now, fir, as on the one hand I take care not to behave myself towards him like a wafp, fo likewife I would not have him look upon me as an humble bee; for which reason I do all I can to put him upon laying up provifions for a bad day, and frequently reprefent to him the fatal effects his floth ' and negligence may bring upon us in our old age. I must beg that you will join with me in your good advice upon this occafion, and you will for ever oblige • Your humble fervant,
Piccadilly, October 31, 1711.
I AM joined in wedlock for my fins to one of those 'fillies who are described in the old poet with that hard name you gave us the other day. She has a flowing mane, and a skin as foft as filk: but, fir, the paffes half ' her life at her glafs, and almoft ruins me in ribbons. For my own part, I am a plain handicraft man, and in danger of breaking by her laziness and expenfiveness. Pray, mafter, tell me in your next paper, whether I may not expect of her fo much drudgery as to take care of her family, and to curry her hide in cafe of refusal. • Your loving friend,
Cheapfide, October 30.
I AM mightily pleafed with the humour of the cat; be fo kind as to enlarge upon that fubject.
Yours till death,
'P. S. You must know I am married to a Grimalkin.'
Wapping, October 31, 1711. EVER fince your Spectator of Tuesday laft came into our family, my husband is pleased to call me his Oceana, because the foolish old poet that you have VOL. III.
tranflated fays, that the fouls of fome women are made of fea-water. This, it feems, has encouraged my faucebox to be witty upon me. When I am angry, he cries pr'ythee, my dear, be calm; when Ichide one of my fervants, pr'ythee, child, do not blufter. He had the impu⚫dence about an hour ago to tell me, that he was a fea'faring man, and must expect to divide his life between ftorm and funfhine. When I beftir myself with any fpirit in my family, it is high fea in his houfe; and when I fit ftill without doing any thing, his affairs forfooth are wind-bound. When I ask him whether it rains, he makes anfwer, it is no matter, so that it be 'fair weather within doors. In short, fir, I cannot speak 6 my mind freely to him, but I either fwell or rage, or 'do fomething that is not fit for a civil woman to hear. Pray, Mr. SPECTATOR, fince you are fo fharp upon < other women, let us know what materials your wife is 'made of, if you have one. I fuppofe you would make us a parcel of poor-fpirited tame infipidcreatures: but, fir, I would have you to know, we have as good paffions in us, as yourfelf, and that a woman was never defigned to be a milk-fop.
Friday, November 2.
Colla jugo, liber, liber fum, dic age--HOR. Sat. 7.1.2. v.92.
-Loofe thy neck from this ignoble chair,
NEVER look upon my dear wife, but I think of the happiness fir ROGER DE COVERLEY enjoys, in having fuch a friend as you to expofe in proper colours the cruelty and perverfenefs of his miftrefs. I have very often wished you visited in our family; and were acquainted with my fpoufe; fhe would afford you for fome months at least matter enough for