We are to suppose that the Gallants are Men of Merit, but if they had been Rakes the Excuse might have serv’d as well. Hans Carvel’s Wife  was of the same Principle, but has express’d it with a Delicacy which shews she is not serious in her Excuse, but in a sort of humorous Philosophy turns off the Thought of her Guilt, and says,
That if weak Women go astray,
Their Stars are more in fault than they.
This, no doubt, is a full Reparation,
and dismisses the Audience with
very edifying Impressions.
These things fall under a Province you have partly pursued already, and therefore demand your Animadversion, for the regulating so Noble an Entertainment as that of the Stage. It were to be wished, that all who write for it hereafter would raise their Genius, by the Ambition of pleasing People of the best Understanding; and leave others who shew nothing of the Human Species but Risibility, to seek their Diversion at the Bear-Garden, or some other Privileg’d Place, where Reason and Good-manners have no Right to disturb them.’
August 8, 1711.
I am, &c.
[Footnote 1: This letter is by John Hughes.]
[Footnote 2: Shadwell’s Play of the ‘Lancashire Witches’ was in the bill of the Theatre advertised at the end of this number of the ‘Spectator’.
’By her Majesty’s Company of Comedians.
At the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, on Tuesday next, being the 14th Day of August, will be presented, A comedy call’d the Lancashire Witches, Written by the Ingenious Mr. Shadwell, late Poet Laureat. Carefully Revis’d. With all the Original Decorations of Scenes, Witche’s Songs and Dances, proper to the Dramma. The Principal Parts to be perform’d by Mr. Mills, Mr. Booth, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Bullock, Sen., Mr. Norris, Mr. Pack, Mr. Bullock, Jun., Mrs. Elrington, Mrs. Powel, Mrs. Bradshaw, Mrs. Cox. And the Witches by Mr. Burkhead, Mr. Ryan, Mrs. Mills, and Mrs. Willis. It being the last time of Acting in this Season.’]
[Footnote 3: Prologue to Davenant and Dryden’s version of the ’Tempest’.]
[Footnote 4: In Prior’s Poem of ’Hans Carvel’.]
* * * * *
No. 142. Monday, August 13, 1711. Steele.
‘... Irrupta tenet Copula ...’
The following Letters being Genuine,  and the Images of a Worthy Passion, I am willing to give the old Lady’s Admonition to my self, and the Representation of her own Happiness, a Place in my Writings.
August 9, 1711.