[Footnote 1: [to keep her in]]
* * * * *
No. 296. Friday, February 8, 1712. Steele.
Nugis addere pondus.
Having lately conversed much with the Fair Sex on the Subject of your Speculations, (which since their Appearance in Publick, have been the chief Exercise of the Female loquacious Faculty) I found the fair Ones possess’d with a Dissatisfaction at your prefixing Greek Mottos to the Frontispiece of your late Papers; and, as a Man of Gallantry, I thought it a Duty incumbent on me to impart it to you, in Hopes of a Reformation, which is only to be effected by a Restoration of the Latin to the usual Dignity in your Papers, which of late, the Greek, to the great Displeasure of your Female Readers, has usurp’d; for tho the Latin has the Recommendation of being as unintelligible to them as the Greek, yet being written of the same Character with their Mother-Tongue, by the Assistance of a Spelling-Book its legible; which Quality the Greek wants: And since the Introduction of Operas into this Nation, the Ladies are so charmed with Sounds abstracted from their Ideas, that they adore and honour the Sound of Latin as it is old Italian. I am a Sollicitor for the Fair Sex, and therefore think my self in that Character more likely to be prevalent in this Request, than if I should subscribe myself by my proper Name. J.M.
I desire you may insert this in one of
your Speculations, to shew my
Zeal for removing the Dissatisfaction of the Fair Sex, and restoring
you to their Favour.
I was some time since in Company with a young Officer, who entertained us with the Conquest he had made over a Female Neighbour of his; when a Gentleman who stood by, as I suppose, envying the Captains good Fortune, asked him what Reason he had to believe the Lady admired him? Why, says he, my Lodgings are opposite to hers, and she is continually at her Window either at Work, Reading, taking Snuff, or putting her self in some toying Posture on purpose to draw my Eyes that Way. The Confession of this vain Soldier made me reflect on some of my own Actions; for you must know, Sir, I am often at a Window which fronts the Apartments of several Gentlemen, who I doubt not have the same Opinion of me. I must own I love to look at them all, one for being well dressed, a second for his fine Eye, and one particular one, because he is the least Man I ever saw; but there is something so easie and pleasant in the Manner of my little Man, that I observe he is a Favourite of all his Acquaintance. I could go on to tell you of many others that I believe think I have encouraged them from my Window: But pray let me have your Opinion of the Use of the Window in a beautiful Lady: and how often she may look out at the same Man, without being supposed to have a Mind to jump out to him. Yours, Aurelia Careless.