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.
whole Estate, Real, Mixed, and Personal, shall from the Hour of his Death be vested in the next Heir of the Person whose Blood he spilt.

  That it shall not hereafter be in our Royal Power, or that of our
  Successors, to pardon the said Offences, or restore [the Offenders
  [1]] in their Estates, Honour, or Blood for ever.

  Given at our Court at Blois, the 8th of February, 420. In the
  Second Year of our Reign


[Footnote 1:  them]

* * * * *

No. 98.  Friday, June 22, 1711.  Addison.

      ‘Tanta est quarendi cura decoris.’


There is not so variable a thing in Nature as a Lady’s Head-dress:  Within my own Memory I have known it rise and fall above thirty Degrees.  About ten Years ago it shot up to a very great Height, [1] insomuch that the Female Part of our Species were much taller than the Men.  The Women were of such an enormous Stature, that we appeared as Grasshoppers before them. [2] At present the whole Sex is in a manner dwarfed and shrunk into a race of Beauties that seems almost another Species.  I remember several Ladies, who were once very near seven Foot high, that at present want some inches of five:  How they came to be thus curtailed I cannot learn; whether the whole Sex be at present under any Penance which we know nothing of, or whether they have cast their Head-dresses in order to surprize us with something in that kind which shall be entirely new; or whether some of the tallest of the Sex, being too cunning for the rest, have contrived this Method to make themselves appear sizeable, is still a Secret; tho’ I find most are of Opinion, they are at present like Trees new lopped and pruned, that will certainly sprout up and flourish with greater Heads than before.  For my own part, as I do not love to be insulted by Women who are taller than my self, I admire the Sex much more in their present Humiliation, which has reduced them to their natural Dimensions, than when they had extended their Persons and lengthened themselves out into formidable and gigantick Figures.  I am not for adding to the beautiful Edifices of Nature, nor for raising any whimsical Superstructure upon her Plans:  I must therefore repeat it, that I am highly pleased with the Coiffure now in Fashion, and think it shews the good Sense which at present very much reigns among the valuable Part of the Sex.  One may observe that Women in all Ages have taken more Pains than Men to adorn the Outside of their Heads; and indeed I very much admire, that those Female Architects, who raise such wonderful Structures out of Ribbands, Lace, and Wire, have not been recorded for their respective Inventions.  It is certain there has been as many Orders in these Kinds of Building, as in those which have been made of Marble:  Sometimes they rise in the Shape of a Pyramid, sometimes like a Tower, and sometimes like a Steeple.  In Juvenal’s time the Building grew by several Orders and Stories, as he has very humorously described it.

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