The Spectator, Volume 2. eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,123 pages of information about The Spectator, Volume 2..
Though I am a Woman, yet I am one of those who confess themselves highly pleased with a Speculation you obliged the World with some time ago, [2] from an old Greek Poet you call Simonides, in relation to the several Natures and Distinctions of our own Sex.  I could not but admire how justly the Characters of Women in this Age, fall in with the Times of Simonides, there being no one of those Sorts I have not at some time or other of my Life met with a Sample of.  But, Sir, the Subject of this present Address, are a Set of Women comprehended, I think, in the Ninth Specie of that Speculation, called the Apes; the Description of whom I find to be, “That they are such as are both ugly and ill-natured, who have nothing beautiful themselves, and endeavour to detract from or ridicule every thing that appears so in others.”  Now, Sir, this Sect, as I have been told, is very frequent in the great Town where you live; but as my Circumstance of Life obliges me to reside altogether in the Country, though not many Miles from London, I cant have met with a great Number of em, nor indeed is it a desirable Acquaintance, as I have lately found by Experience.  You must know, Sir, that at the Beginning of this Summer a Family of these Apes came and settled for the Season not far from the Place where I live.  As they were Strangers in the Country, they were visited by the Ladies about em, of whom I was, with an Humanity usual in those that pass most of their Time in Solitude.  The Apes lived with us very agreeably our own Way till towards the End of the Summer, when they began to bethink themselves of returning to Town; then it was, Mr.  SPECTATOR, that they began to set themselves about the proper and distinguishing Business of their Character; and, as tis said of evil Spirits, that they are apt to carry away a Piece of the House they are about to leave, the Apes, without Regard to common Mercy, Civility, or Gratitude, thought fit to mimick and fall foul on the Faces, Dress, and Behaviour of their innocent Neighbours, bestowing abominable Censures and disgraceful Appellations, commonly called Nicknames, on all of them; and in short, like true fine Ladies, made their honest Plainness and Sincerity Matter of Ridicule.  I could not but acquaint you with these Grievances, as well at the Desire of all the Parties injur’d, as from my own Inclination.  I hope, Sir, if you cant propose entirely to reform this Evil, you will take such Notice of it in some of your future Speculations, as may put the deserving Part of our Sex on their Guard against these Creatures; and at the same time the Apes may be sensible, that this sort of Mirth is so far from an innocent Diversion, that it is in the highest Degree that Vice which is said to comprehend all others. [3]

  I am, SIR, Your humble Servant,

  Constantia Field.


[Footnote 1:  In No. 226.  Signor Dorigny’s scheme was advertised in Nos. 205, 206, 207, 208, and 210.]

Project Gutenberg
The Spectator, Volume 2. from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.