The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 eBook

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I would desire the Fair Sex to consider how impossible it is for them to add any thing that can be ornamental to what is already the Master-piece of Nature.  The Head has the most beautiful Appearance, as well as the highest Station, in a human Figure.  Nature has laid out all her Art in beautifying the Face; she has touched it with Vermilion, planted in it a double Row of Ivory, made it the Seat of Smiles and Blushes, lighted it up and enlivened it with the Brightness of the Eyes, hung it on each Side with curious Organs of Sense, given it Airs and Graces that cannot be described, and surrounded it with such a flowing Shade of Hair as sets all its Beauties in the most agreeable Light:  In short, she seems to have designed the Head as the Cupola to the most glorious of her Works; and when we load it with such a Pile of supernumerary Ornaments, we destroy the Symmetry of the human Figure, and foolishly contrive to call off the Eye from great and real Beauties, to childish Gewgaws, Ribbands, and Bone-lace.


[Footnote 1:  The Commode, called by the French ‘Fontange’, worn on their heads by ladies at the beginning of the 18th century, was a structure of wire, which bore up the hair and the forepart of the lace cap to a great height.  The ‘Spectator’ tells how completely and suddenly the fashion was abandoned in his time.]

[Footnote 2:  Numbers xiii 33.]

[Footnote 3:  Guillaume Paradin, a laborious writer of the 16th century, born at Cuizeau, in the Bresse Chalonnoise, and still living in 1581, wrote a great many books.  The passages quoted by the ‘Spectator’ are from his ‘Annales de Bourgoigne’, published in 1566.]

[Footnote 4:  Thomas Conecte, of Bretagne, was a Carmelite monk, who became famous as a preacher in 1428.  After reproving the vices of the age in several parts of Europe, he came to Rome, where he reproved the vices he saw at the Pope’s court, and was, therefore, burnt as a heretic in 1434.]

[Footnote 5:  Bertrand d’Argentre was a French lawyer, who died, aged 71, in 1590.  His ‘Histoire de Bretagne’ was printed at Rennes in 1582.]

* * * * *

No. 99.  Saturday, June 23, 1711.  Addison.

      ‘...  Turpi secernis Honestum.’


The Club, of which I have often declared my self a Member, were last Night engaged in a Discourse upon that which passes for the chief Point of Honour among Men and Women; and started a great many Hints upon the Subject, which I thought were entirely new:  I shall therefore methodize the several Reflections that arose upon this Occasion, and present my Reader with them for the Speculation of this Day; after having premised, that if there is any thing in this Paper which seems to differ with any Passage of last Thursday’s, the Reader will consider this as the Sentiments of the Club, and the other as my own private Thoughts, or rather those of Pharamond.

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