When the general Crowd of Female Youth are consulting their Glasses, preparing for Balls, Assemblies, or Plays; for a young Lady, who could be regarded among the foremost in those Places, either for her Person, Wit, Fortune, or Conversation, and yet contemn all these Entertainments, to sweeten the heavy Hours of a decrepid Parent, is a Resignation truly heroick. Fidelia performs the Duty of a Nurse with all the Beauty of a Bride; nor does she neglect her Person, because of her Attendance on him, when he is too ill to receive Company, to whom she may make an Appearance.
Fidelia, who gives him up her Youth, does not think it any great Sacrifice to add to it the Spoiling of her Dress. Her Care and Exactness in her Habit, convince her Father of the Alacrity of her Mind; and she has of all Women the best Foundation for affecting the Praise of a seeming Negligence. What adds to the Entertainment of the good old Man is, that Fidelia, where Merit and Fortune cannot be overlook’d by Epistolary Lovers, reads over the Accounts of her Conquests, plays on her Spinet the gayest Airs, (and while she is doing so, you would think her formed only for Gallantry) to intimate to him the Pleasures she despises for his Sake.
Those who think themselves the Patterns of good Breeding and Gallantry, would be astonished to hear that in those Intervals when the old Gentleman is at Ease, and can bear Company, there are at his House in the most regular Order, Assemblies of People of the highest Merit; where there is Conversation without Mention of the Faults of the Absent, Benevolence between Men and Women without Passion, and the highest Subjects of Morality treated of as natural and accidental Discourse; All which is owing to the Genius of Fidelia, who at once makes her Father’s Way to another World easie, and her self capable of being an Honour to his Name in this.
’I was the other Day at the Bear-Garden, in hopes to have seen your short Face; but not being so fortunate, I must tell you by way of Letter, That there is a Mystery among the Gladiators which has escaped your Spectatorial Penetration. For being in a Box at an Ale-house, near that renowned Seat of Honour above-mentioned, I over-heard two Masters of the Science agreeing to quarrel on the next Opportunity. This was to happen in the Company of a Set of the Fraternity of Basket-Hilts, who were to meet that Evening. When this was settled, one asked the other, Will you give Cuts or receive? the other answered, Receive. It was replied, Are you a passionate Man? No, provided you cut no more nor no deeper than we agree. I thought it my Duty to acquaint you with this, that the People may not pay their Money for Fighting, and be cheated.
Your Humble Servant,
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