’I fancy, if I was disposed to dream a second time, I could make a tolerable Vision upon this Plan. I would suppose all the unmarried Women in London and Westminster brought to Market in Sacks, with their respective Prices on each Sack. The first Sack that is sold is marked with five thousand Pound: Upon the opening of it, I find it filled with an admirable Housewife, of an agreeable Countenance: The Purchaser, upon hearing her good Qualities, pays down her Price very chearfully. The second I would open, should be a five hundred Pound Sack: The Lady in it, to our surprize, has the Face and Person of a Toast: As we are wondering how she came to be set at so low a Price, we hear that she would have been valued at ten thousand Pound, but that the Publick had made those Abatements for her being a Scold. I would afterwards find some beautiful, modest, and discreet Woman, that should be the top of the Market; and perhaps discover half a dozen Romps tyed up together in the same Sack, at one hundred Pound an Head. The Prude and the Coquet should be valued at the same Price, tho’ the first should go off the better of the two. I fancy thou wouldst like such a Vision, had I time to finish it; because, to talk in thy own way, there is a Moral in it. Whatever thou may’st think of it, pr’ythee do not make any of thy queer Apologies for this Letter, as thou didst for my last. The Women love a gay lively Fellow, and are never angry at the Railleries of one who is their known Admirer. I am always bitter upon them, but well with them.
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No. 512. Friday, October 17, 1712. Addison.
‘Lectorem delectando pariterque monendo.’
There is nothing which we receive with so much Reluctance as Advice. We look upon the Man who gives it us as offering an Affront to our Understanding, and treating us like Children or Ideots. We consider the Instruction as an implicit Censure, and the Zeal which any one shews for our Good on such an Occasion as a Piece of Presumption or Impertinence. The Truth of it is, the Person who pretends to advise, does, in that particular, exercise a Superiority over us, and can have no other Reason for it, but that in comparing us with himself, he thinks us defective either in our Conduct or our Understanding. For