If it be natural to contract insensibly the Manners of those we imitate, the Ladies who are pleased with assuming our Dresses will do us more Honour than we deserve, but they will do it at their own Expence. Why should the lovely Camilla deceive us in more Shapes than her own, and affect to be represented in her Picture with a Gun and a Spaniel, while her elder Brother, the Heir of a worthy Family, is drawn in Silks like his Sister? The Dress and Air of a Man are not well to be divided; and those who would not be content with the Latter, ought never to think of assuming the Former. There is so large a portion of natural Agreeableness among the Fair Sex of our Island, that they seem betrayed into these romantick Habits without having the same Occasion for them with their Inventors: All that needs to be desired of them is, that they would be themselves, that is, what Nature designed them; and to see their Mistake when they depart from this, let them look upon a Man who affects the Softness and Effeminacy of a Woman, to learn how their Sex must appear to us, when approaching to the Resemblance of a Man.
I am, SIR,
Your most humble Servant.
[Footnote 1: The letter is by John Hughes.]
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No. 105. Saturday, June 30, 1711. Addison.
Adprime in vita esse utile, ne quid nimis.’
My Friend WILL. HONEYCOMB values himself very much upon what he calls the Knowledge of Mankind, which has cost him many Disasters in his Youth; for WILL. reckons every Misfortune that he has met with among the Women, and every Rencounter among the Men, as Parts of his Education, and fancies he should never have been the Man he is, had not he broke Windows, knocked down Constables, disturbed honest People with his Midnight Serenades, and beat up a lewd Woman’s Quarters, when he was a young Fellow. The engaging in Adventures of this Nature WILL. calls the studying of Mankind; and terms this Knowledge of the Town, the