When they had thus insensibly formed one another, upon the finishing of the War, which concluded with an entire Conquest of their common Enemy, the Colonels in one Army Married the Colonels in the other; the Captains in the same Manner took the Captains to their Wives: The whole Body of common Soldiers were matched, after the Example of their Leaders. By this means the two Republicks incorporated with one another, and became the most Flourishing and Polite Government in the Part of the World which they Inhabited.
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No. 435. Saturday, July 19, 1712. Addison.
’Nec duo sunt at forma duplex, nec
Nec puer ut possint, neutrumque et utrumque videntur.’
Most of the Papers I give the Publick are written on Subjects that never vary, but are for ever fixt and immutable. Of this kind are all my more serious Essays and Discourses; but there is another sort of Speculations, which I consider as Occasional Papers, that take their Rise from the Folly, Extravagance, and Caprice of the present Age. For I look upon my self as one set to watch the Manners and Behaviour of my Countrymen and Contemporaries, and to mark down every absurd Fashion, ridiculous Custom, or affected Form of Speech that makes its Appearance in the World, during the Course of these my Speculations. The Petticoat no sooner begun to swell, but I observed its Motions. The Party-patches had not time to muster themselves before I detected them. I had Intelligence of the Coloured Hood the very first time it appeared in a Publick Assembly. I might here mention several other the like Contingent Subjects, upon which I have bestowed distinct Papers. By this Means I have so effectually quashed those Irregularities which gave Occasion to ’em, that I am afraid Posterity will scarce have a sufficient Idea of them, to relish those Discourses which were in no little Vogue at the time when they were written. They will be apt to think that the Fashions and Customs I attacked were some Fantastick Conceits of my own, and that their Great-Grand-mothers could not be so whimsical as I have represented them. For this Reason, when I think on the Figure my several Volumes of Speculations will make about a Hundred Years hence, I consider them as so many Pieces of old Plate, where the Weight will be regarded, but the Fashion lost.
Among the several Female Extravagancies I have already taken Notice of, there is one which still keeps its Ground. I mean that of the Ladies who dress themselves in a Hat and Feather, a Riding-coat and a Perriwig, or at least tie up their Hair in a Bag or Ribbond, in imitation of the smart Part of the opposite Sex. As in my Yesterday’s Paper I gave an Account of the Mixture of two Sexes in one Commonwealth, I shall here take notice of this Mixture of two Sexes in one Person. I have already shewn my Dislike of this Immodest Custom more than once; but in Contempt of every thing I have hitherto said, I am informed that the Highways about this great City are still very much infested with these Female Cavaliers.