The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 3,418 pages of information about The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3.
her Spinet and Lute to the utmost Perfection:  And the Lady’s Use of all these Excellencies, is to divert the old Man in his easie Chair, when he is out of the Pangs of a Chronical Distemper. Fidelia is now in the twenty third Year of her Age; but the Application of many Lovers, her vigorous time of Life, her quick Sense of all that is truly gallant and elegant in the Enjoyment of a plentiful Fortune, are not able to draw her from the Side of her good old Father.  Certain it is, that there is no kind of Affection so pure and angelick as that of a Father to a Daughter.  He beholds her both with, and without Regard to her Sex.  In Love to our Wives there is Desire, to our Sons there is Ambition; but in that to our Daughters, there is something which there are no Words to express.  Her Life is designed wholly Domestick, and she is so ready a Friend and Companion, that every thing that passes about a Man, is accompanied with the Idea of her Presence.  Her Sex also is naturally so much exposed to Hazard, both as to Fortune and Innocence, that there is, perhaps, a new Cause of Fondness arising from that Consideration also.  None but Fathers can have a true Sense of these sort of Pleasures and Sensations; but my Familiarity with the Father of Fidelia, makes me let drop the Words which I have heard him speak, and observe upon his Tenderness towards her.

Fidelia on her Part, as I was going to say, as accomplished as she is, with all her Beauty, Wit, Air, and Mien, employs her whole Time in Care and Attendance upon her Father.  How have I been charmed to see one of the most beauteous Women the Age has produced on her Knees helping on an old Man’s Slipper!  Her filial Regard to him is what she makes her Diversion, her Business, and her Glory.  When she was asked by a Friend of her deceased Mother to admit of the Courtship of her Son, she answer’d, That she had a great Respect and Gratitude to her for the Overture in Behalf of one so near to her, but that during her Father’s Life, she would admit into her Heart no Value for any thing that should interfere with her Endeavour to make his Remains of Life as happy and easie as could be expected in his Circumstances.  The Lady admonished her of the Prime of Life with a Smile; which Fidelia answered with a Frankness that always attends unfeigned Virtue. It is true, Madam, there is to be sure very great Satisfactions to be expected in the Commerce of a Man of Honour, whom one tenderly loves; but I find so much Satisfaction in the Reflection, how much I mitigate a good Man’s Pains, whose Welfare depends upon my Assiduity about him, that I wittingly exclude the loose Gratifications of Passion for the solid Reflections of Duty.  I know not whether any Man’s Wife would be allow’d, and (what I still more fear) I know not whether I, a Wife, should be willing to be as officious as I am at present about my Parent.  The happy Father has her Declaration that she will not marry during his Life, and the Pleasure of seeing that Resolution not uneasie to her.  Were one to paint filial Affection in its utmost Beauty, he could not have a more lively Idea of it than in beholding Fidelia serving her Father at his Hours of Rising, Meals, and Rest.

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The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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