Your humble Servant,
July 15th, 1712.
It is but this Moment I have had the Happiness of knowing to whom I am obliged for the Present I received the second of April. I am heartily sorry it did not come to Hand the Day before; for I can’t but think it very hard upon People to lose their Jest, that offer at one but once a Year. I congratulate my self however upon the Earnest given me of something further intended in my Favour, for I am told, that the Man who is thought worthy by a Lady to make a Fool of, stands fair enough in her Opinion to become one Day her Husband. Till such time as I have the Honour of being sworn, I take Leave to subscribe my self,
Dear Olivia, Your Fool Elect,
* * * * *
No. 433. Thursday, July 17, 1712. Addison.
’Perlege Maeonio cantatas carmine
Et frontem nugis solvere disce meis.’
The Moral World, as consisting of Males and Females, is of a mixt Nature, and filled with several Customs, Fashions and Ceremonies, which would have no place in it, were there but One Sex. Had our Species no Females in it, Men would be quite different Creatures from what they are at present; their Endeavours to please the opposite Sex, polishes and refines them out of those Manners which are most Natural to them, and often sets them upon modelling themselves, not according to the Plans which they approve in their own Opinions, but according to those Plans which they think are most agreeable to the Female World. In a Word, Man would not only be unhappy, but a rude unfinished Creature, were he conversant with none but those of his own Make.
Women, on the other side, are apt to form themselves in every thing with regard to that other half of reasonable Creatures, with whom they are here blended and confused; their Thoughts are ever turned upon appearing amiable to the other Sex; they talk, and move, and smile, with a Design upon us; every Feature of their Faces, every part of their Dress is filled with Snares and Allurements. There would be no such Animals as Prudes or Coquets in the World, were there not such an Animal as Man. In short, it is the Male that gives Charms to Womankind, that produces an Air in their Faces, a Grace in their Motions, a Softness in their Voices, and a Delicacy in their Complections.
As this mutual Regard between the two Sexes tends to the Improvement of each of them, we may observe that Men are apt to degenerate into rough and brutal Natures, who live as if there were no such things as Women in the World; as on the contrary, Women, who have an Indifference or Aversion for their Counter-parts in human Nature, are generally Sower and Unamiable, Sluttish and Censorious.