’I am to complain to you of a Set of impertinent Coxcombs, who visit the Apartments of us Women of the Town, only, as they call it, to see the World. I must confess to you, this to Men of Delicacy might have an Effect to cure them; but as they are stupid, noisy and drunken Fellows, it tends only to make Vice in themselves, as they think, pleasant and humourous, and at the same Time nauseous in us. I shall, Sir, hereafter from Time to Time give you the Names of these Wretches who pretend to enter our Houses meerly as Spectators. These Men think it Wit to use us ill: Pray tell them, however worthy we are of such Treatment, it is unworthy them to be guilty of it towards us. Pray, Sir, take Notice of this, and pity the Oppressed: I wish we could add to it, the Innocent.
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No. 191. Tuesday, October 9, 1711. Addison.
[Greek: ... oulon oneiron.]
Some ludicrous Schoolmen have put the Case, that if an Ass were placed between two Bundles of Hay, which affected his Senses equally on each Side, and tempted him in the very same Degree, whether it would be possible for him to Eat of either. They generally determine this Question to the Disadvantage of the Ass, who they say would starve in the Midst of Plenty, as not having a single Grain of Freewill to determine him more to the one than to the other. The Bundle of Hay on either Side striking his Sight and Smell in the same Proportion, would keep him in a perpetual Suspence, like the two Magnets which, Travellers have told us, are placed one of them in the Roof, and the other in the Floor of Mahomet’s Burying-place at Mecca, and by that means, say they, pull the Impostor’s Iron Coffin with such an equal Attraction, that it hangs in the Air between both of them. As for the Ass’s Behaviour in such nice Circumstances, whether he would Starve sooner than violate his Neutrality to the two Bundles of Hay, I shall not presume to determine; but only take Notice of the Conduct of our own Species in the same Perplexity. When a Man has a mind to venture his Money in a Lottery, every Figure of it appears equally alluring, and as likely to succeed as any of its Fellows. They all of them have the same Pretensions to good Luck, stand upon the same foot of Competition, and no manner of Reason can be given why a Man should prefer one to the other before the Lottery is drawn. In this Case therefore Caprice very often acts in the Place of Reason, and forms to it self some Groundless Imaginary Motive, where real and substantial ones are wanting. I know a well-meaning Man that is very well pleased to risque his good Fortune upon the Number 1711, because it is the Year of our Lord. I am acquainted with a Tacker that would give a good deal for the Number 134.  On the contrary I have been told of a certain