But the manner of a Lady’s Employing her self usefully in Reading shall be the Subject of another Paper, in which I design to recommend such particular Books as may be proper for the Improvement of the Sex. And as this is a Subject of a very nice Nature, I shall desire my Correspondents to give me their Thoughts upon it.
[Footnote 1: very delightful]
[Footnote 2: John Ogilby, or Ogilvy, who died in 1676, aged 76, was originally a dancing-master, then Deputy Master of the Revels in Dublin; then, after the outbreak of the Irish Rebellion, a student of Latin and Greek in Cambridge. Finally, he settled down as a cosmographer. He produced translations of both Virgil and Homer into English verse. His ‘Virgil’, published in 1649, was handsomely printed and the first which gave the entire works in English, nearly half a century before Dryden’s which appeared in 1697.
The translation of ‘Juvenal’ and ‘Persius’ by Dryden, with help of his two sons, and of Congreve, Creech, Tate, and others, was first published in 1693. Dryden translated Satires 1, 3, 6, 10, and 16 of Juvenal, and the whole of Persius. His Essay on Satire was prefixed.
‘Cassandra’ and ‘Cleopatra’ were romances from the French of Gautier de Costes, Seigneur de la Calprenede, who died in 1663. He published ‘Cassandra’ in 10 volumes in 1642, ‘Cleopatra’ in 12 volumes in 1656, besides other romances. The custom was to publish these romances a volume at a time. A pretty and rich widow smitten with the ‘Cleopatra’ while it was appearing, married La Calprenede upon condition that he finished it, and his promise to do so was formally inserted in the marriage contract. The English translations of these French Romances were always in folio. ‘Cassandra’, translated by Sir Charles Cotterell, was published in 1652; ‘Cleopatra’ in 1668, translated by Robert Loveday. ‘Astraea’ was a pastoral Romance of the days of Henri IV. by Honore D’Urfe, which had been translated by John Pyper in 1620, and was again translated by a Person ‘of Quality’ in 1657. It was of the same school as Sir Philip Sydney’s ‘Arcadia’, first published after his death by his sister Mary, Countess of Pembroke, in 1590, and from her, for whom, indeed, it had been written, called the Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia.
Sir Isaac Newton was living in the ‘Spectator’s’ time. He died in 1727, aged 85. John Locke had died in 1704. His ’Essay on the Human Understanding’ was first published in 1690. Sir William Temple had died in 1699, aged 71.
The ‘Grand Cyrus’, by Magdeleine de Scuderi, was the most famous of the French Romances of its day. The authoress, who died in 1701, aged 94, was called the Sappho of her time. Cardinal Mazarin left her a pension by his will, and she had a pension of two thousand livres from the king. Her ‘Grand Cyrus’, published in 10 volumes in 1650, was translated (in one volume, folio) in 1653. ‘Clelia’, presently afterwards included in the list of Leonora’s books, was another very popular romance by the same authoress, published in 10 volumes, a few years later, immediately translated into English by John Davies, and printed in the usual folio form.