Cheapside, October 30.
I am mightily pleased with the Humour
of the Cat, be so kind as to
enlarge upon that Subject.
Yours till Death,
P.S. You must know I am married to a Grimalkin.
Wapping, October 31, 1711.
Ever since your Spectator of Tuesday last came into our Family, my Husband is pleased to call me his Oceana, because the foolish old Poet that you have translated says, That the Souls of some Women are made of Sea-Water. This, it seems, has encouraged my Sauce-Box to be witty upon me. When I am angry, he cries Prythee my Dear be calm; when I chide one of my Servants, Prythee Child do not bluster. He had the Impudence about an Hour ago to tell me, That he was a Sea-faring Man, and must expect to divide his Life between Storm and Sunshine. When I bestir myself with any Spirit in my Family, it is high Sea in his House; and when I sit still without doing any thing, his Affairs forsooth are Wind-bound. When I ask him whether it rains, he makes Answer, It is no Matter, so that it be fair Weather within Doors. In short, Sir, I cannot speak my Mind freely to him, but I either swell or rage, or do something that is not fit for a civil Woman to hear. Pray, Mr. SPECTATOR, since you are so sharp upon other Women, let us know what Materials your Wife is made of, if you have one. I suppose you would make us a Parcel of poor-spirited tame insipid Creatures; but, Sir, I would have you to know, we have as good Passions in us as your self, and that a Woman was never designed to be a Milk-Sop.
[Footnote 1: Odes, I. 16. ]
[Footnote 2: In the Timaeus Plato derives woman and all the animals from man, by successive degradations. Cowardly or unjust men are born again as women. Light, airy, and superficial men, who carried their minds aloft without the use of reason, are the materials for making birds, the hair being transmuted into feathers and wings. From men wholly without philosophy, who never looked heavenward, the more brutal land animals are derived, losing the round form of the cranium by the slackening and stopping of the rotations of the encephalic soul. Feet are given to these according to the degree of their stupidity, to multiply approximations to the earth; and the dullest become reptiles who drag the whole length of their bodies on the ground. Out of the very stupidest of men come those animals which are not judged worthy to live at all upon earth and breathe this air, these men become fishes, and the creatures who breathe nothing but turbid water, fixed at the lowest depths and almost motionless, among the mud. By such transitions, he says, the different races of animals passed originally and still pass into each other.]